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Devyani: 'I am beginning to fall apart'

By A Rediff Correspondent
Last updated on: December 18, 2013 11:38 IST
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'Only my friends know how I live here in Manhattan, saving every penny... Life in New York has not been easy for me,' Devyani Khobragade told friends and colleagues.

Dr Devyani KhobragadeDr Devyani Khobragade's arrest for the alleged presentation of allegedly fraudulent documents to the United States State Department while applying for a visa for her babysitter and housekeeper in Manhattan is considered a "political arrest" by the Indian establishment in New Delhi.

Dr Khobragade, India's deputy consul general in New York, left, too had informed the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi that her arrest was 'a political arrest.'

The diplomat, who is described as 'alert and lively' by those who know her, is aware of the pungent comments posted against her for owning a flat in the tainted Adarsh society in Mumbai.

She told friends after her release that 'The way I am being portrayed as a rich elite exploiter, a child of privilege, claiming to sympathise with disadvantaged women is what hurts me the most.'

A source in New York told that "Devyani is a sensitive woman and a well-groomed diplomat."

She told close friends about her plight, adding that 'with the government standing behind me, I could bear it.'

'I went through the indignity of being arrested and treated like a common criminal and came out in court composed despite having broken down several times before as I was stripped, swabbed, fingerprinted, handcuffed, held in a common holding room with drug addicts, because I knew I had to remain dignified and composed for my friends, family and countrymen who would watch me as I come out,' Dr Khobragade told close friends.

Aware of the negative comments posted about her on social media, Dr Khobragade told one friend, 'Now the attacks are moving to my personal integrity and I am beginning to fall apart.'

Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh and other senior Indian diplomats have rallied behind Dr Khobragade and are in receipt of her e-mail where she said, 'Only my friends know how I live here in Manhattan, saving every penny, trudging my children through subways to school and back, rushing to work and running to events thereafter, mornings and evenings respectively, buying groceries in bulk at Costco (a store where goods are available cheaply) and Jackson Heights (the South Asian enclave in Queens, New York) to save money, never entering a store since I came to the city to avoid the temptation to shop, allowing myself the luxury of cabs only when the children are around, of eating out only when I'm returning meal courtesies to my friends.'

'The first shopping I did was allowing myself some few warm winter things this Thanksgiving sale.'

'Life in New York has not been easy for me,' she wrote.

Photograph: Paresh Gandhi/

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A Rediff Correspondent in New Delhi