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June 7, 2000
Failed writer commits suicide
Eugene Correia in Toronto
It came as a sad end to a writer's life -- a life unfulfilled. H S Bhabra, 45, killed himself on June 1 under the bridge in the Don Valley, Toronto. The police found a suicide note besides his body.
Bhabra published his first novel, Gestures, in the 80s. It earned him a little attention but he failed to live up to his promise. Though he remained fairly unknown as a writer, Bhabra made his mark as co-host of the show, Imprint, which dealt with books and writers. He later became the show's producer but left it in 1999. The show was one of TV Ontario well-liked programmes.
Knowledgeable and intelligent, Bhabra's interests ranged from food and fashion to films and books. He occasionally wrote book reviews. He wrote a few books, mostly mystery and thriller novels, under a pseudonym and won several prizes.
Bhabra was born in India and moved to England when he was two. After graduating from Oxford University, he moved to Toronto and then wrote Gestures.
According to one of his co-producers, Wodek Szemberg, Bhabra had high expectations of himself and that was his undoing. Another friend, T Sher Singh, a columnist at The Toronto Star, Bhabra set standards for himself that he refused to lower.
Singh feels Bhabra couldn't get himself to write the "big novel" that he dreamed of and that things may have not been working well for him.
Before joining TVO, Bhabra taught literature at Amherst College, Massachusetts, UCLA, and at Toronto's Humber School of Writing.
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