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Character Profiles > Haz Devkar Shiv Palekar

Hari 'Haz' Devkar 2023-
Lived: 32 Ramsay Street
Siblings: Amira
Occupation: Leaseholder of Harolds Cafe

When barista Haz Devkar decided to take on his own business, he shocked his parents by not only taking over the lease of the cafe at Lassiters, but also moving out into a sharehouse on nearby Ramsay Street. Haz and his dog, Trevor, quickly made themselves at home at no. 32 with housemates Mackenzie Hargreaves and Byron Stone, whilst he set about making the business his own - though he struggled to bite his tongue whenever anyone attempted to order their coffee with milk and sugar. When Harold Bishop - who'd run the business himself with his friend Lou Carpenter, before it had been renamed Harold's in his honour - returned for a visit, Haz was delighted to meet him. The pair quickly hit it off, and when Harold left on his travels, he gave Haz a photo of him and Lou, which was given pride of place in the cafe kitchen.

With the three housemates at no. 32 all out working, rescue dog Trevor began to suffer with separation anxiety, and Haz started breaking the rules by taking his pet to work and hiding him in the storeroom. When Mackenzie finally caught him out, attempts to keep Trevor at home ended badly when he started ripping up the cushions and everyone’s personal possessions, and a rota had to be drawn up, so that someone was there to regularly check on Trevor.

Haz developed close friendships with both Byron and Mackenzie, but it seemed like his closeness with Mack might develop into something more, as Mack’s friend Sadie Rodwell encouraged them to get together. Though they both seemed to be falling for each other, they didn’t think that the other one felt the same way, and Haz was determined that he didn’t want a serious relationship, particularly not with a housemate. Just as Mackenzie decided to throw caution to the wind, and tell Haz how she really felt, she was upset to realise that he’d met someone else, Billie Allesio, on a dating app, watching as Haz kissed her goodbye one morning. When Mackenzie and Sadie ended up accidentally gatecrashing Haz and Billie's next date, Mack finally decided that it wasn't meant to be, and she decided to set up a dating profile and move on with her life.

When Mack then met a guy named Ed, bumping into him at The Waterhole when her first online date stood her up, Haz struggled to hide his jealousy. When Ed then turned out to be Eden Shaw, the guy who’d hurt Holly Hoyland very badly before her return to Erinsborough, Haz was determined to find him. He, along with Billie, Sadie, Holly and Mackenzie, searched the vineyard where Eden had been working, but failed to find him, returning to the restaurant to find that their wallets, as well as Mack’s bag containing her wedding rings, had been stolen. Devastated by the double blow of having the rings stolen and being conned by Eden, Mackenzie was hit by an overwhelming sense of grief for Hendrix, with Haz doing everything he could to help her - leaving Billie wondering if there was more than just friendship between them.

Soon after, as they, and the police, had failed to find Eden, Sadie remembered that her mum had given her some tracking devices for her valuable items, and one had been in the wallet that was stolen. After they found out where the wallet was, Haz and Holly went to the location, hoping to also find Eden there. As Haz started looking around the property, Holly waited in the car, but when she spotted Eden leaving the house, she went to confront him, finding him about to dump the empty wallets and bag. As Holly tried to work out what Eden had been hoping to achieve by coming back and dating Mackenzie, he turned nasty, locking her in a shed when she told him that the police were on their way. Hearing Holly shouting, Haz chased down Eden and a fight broke out, with Eden managing to overpower Haz and make a getaway. Haz then rescued a grateful Holly from the shed, playing down his injuries as they returned to Lassiters and reunited Mackenzie with her wedding rings, which she’d kept hidden in the lining of her bag. As Haz went to get some ice for his injured eye, he was unaware that the incident had left Holly viewing him in a new light. With both Mackenzie and Holly now developing feelings for Haz, there was soon one less complication in his life when Billie broke up with him, unable to deal with the amount of attention he was constantly showering Trevor with.

When it was discovered that Eden had been blackmailing Melanie Pearson and Paul Robinson for a year, leading them to believe that Melanie had accidentally killed Krista Sinclair, Haz and Holly helped to find him. Holly knew that Eden used empty properties from executor's auctions when he had nowhere else to go, and they eventually found him in one, along with a drugged-up Krista sleeping in the basement. As Eden was arrested and Krista was taken to hospital, Holly went into shock, realising how close she'd come to similar abuse from Eden. When Haz comforted her, they ended up in bed together and a relationship began, though it quickly became clear that Haz was struggling with having Holly in his home all the time. Unfortunately, as he tried to find the right words to tell her this, his anger finally spilled over when she spat out one of his rare coffees after trying it, and he told her that he didn't appreciate her lack of respect for him, his home and his possessions. Holly quickly left, and when Haz asked to meet with her later, she assumed that he was going to end things between them, but he explained to her that he needed time and space to himself, and that Holly would need to respect that.

With grievances aired and things looking better for Holly and Haz, there was a surprise in store when Haz saw a half-naked Byron, who had just been dumped by girlfriend Reece, emerging from Mackenzie's room one morning. Believing that they'd slept together, when they'd actually just spent the night drinking, dancing and talking things through, Haz struggled to hide his jealousy. When Mack found out that Haz had told Holly that she and Byron had sex the night before, she was furious that he would spread rumours like that, without first coming to her for the truth. When she confronted him, however, she ended up blurting out the fact that she liked Haz more than just friends. A confused Haz then spoke to Byron, telling him that he wished he'd known that information before he got together with Holly. Unfortunately, Byron then passed that information on to Holly, who was left feeling very insecure as neither Haz nor Mackenzie said anything to her about it. When Mackenzie then gave Haz a very thoughtful Christmas present - a scarf she'd knitted herself - a jealous Holly ripped it to pieces when everyone else was outside, allowing Trevor to take the blame. When Haz then checked the camera he'd set up to keep an eye on Trevor's behaviour, he was shocked to see that Holly was responsible. She apologised, explaining that she didn't really know why she'd done it, but that she knew about Mackenzie's feelings for Haz and what Haz had said to Byron. The revelations left Haz more confused than ever, not to mention unhappy with Byron for breaking his confidence.

Haz and Holly agreed to take a break from each other, but her jealousy over Mackenzie continued and, when a Christmas party was being held at no. 32, she decided to invite Mackenzie's ex-boyfriend, Richie Amblin. When Mackenzie found out, an argument broke out between her and Holly, just as Holly was attempting to get the Christmas tree out of the pool, where it had fallen during the party the night before. As Holly fell in the pool, Mackenzie stormed out, unaware that Holly's dress was tangled in the tree and she couldn't free herself. Fortunately, Haz spotted her and rescued her in time, and the incident led to Holly and Haz getting back together. A traumatised Holly then told Haz that she was unable to forgive Mackenzie and wanted either her or Haz to move out of no. 32. With tensions running high, Mackenzie decided to take a break from the whole situation, going to visit her dad, while Haz and Holly tried to move on. Unfortunately, Holly's dad, Karl then started to take an interest in his daughter's relationship, feeling that she could do better and was censoring herself whilst with Haz. Though upset at first, Holly began to realise that her dad was right, and as Mackenzie returned to town, Holly ended things with Haz. She told him that he was now free to be with Mack, but pointed out that perhaps he needed to think about his commitment issues, as the way he'd treated her and Billie was unfair.

As he and Mackenzie attempted to speak to each other about their feelings, Haz suddenly had something new to worry about when Byron was out walking Trevor at the park one day. A woman named Alyssa approached Byron, saying that the dog was her family's missing pet, Bodie. As Trevor seemed to recognise her, and she knew about the mole under his ear, Byron believed her and offered to put her in touch with Haz. When he heard about it, however, Haz refused to believe it, and started to keep Trevor in the house, only walking him at night and worrying his friends as he asked them to remove photos of Trevor from their social media. After a few days, he began to realise that he couldn't keep living in fear that Trevor was going to be dognapped, and he had to speak to Alyssa. Armed with the knowledge that he was now Trevor's legal owner, Haz met Alyssa and she explained that her six-year-old son, Max, was desperately missing his dog. His guilt piqued, Haz decided to send Trevor back to the Gavalas family but struggled to deal with life without his best friend. Matters were only made worse when Trevor ran away and turned up at no. 32, with Haz forced to say goodbye all over again. Seeing Haz's suffering, Mackenzie wondered if the Gavalas family would agree to shared custody, and she met with Alyssa's husband George, who explained that Trevor had been unable to settle with his old family, constantly trying to escape from the garden and not wanting to engage with Max. Realising that the dog would be better off with Haz, George agreed to return him, and Haz was delighted to be reunited with him. Grateful to Mackenzie for everything she'd done, Haz thanked her as they walked Trevor at the beach later that day, before the pair finally shared a kiss.

After a happy few weeks with Mackenzie, Haz was in for a shock when she told him that she'd entered Harolds into the Best Coffee category in the local council awards - and that it had won. Though initially reluctant to accept any praise or attention, Haz was won over by Mackenzie's enthusiasm and when the pair then went on a picnic together, they said 'I love you' to each other for the first time and made plans for a road trip to visit her dad. Just as everything was looking positive, Haz was shocked to walk into Harolds one morning and find that someone had broken in and completely trashed the place. With the mayor due the next day to present him with his award, he worried that he'd never be able to fix all of the damage, but as many of his friends and neighbours found out what had happened, they all pitched in to get the cafe back to normal. That evening, however, Haz received an anonymous text message saying that they knew the truth about him, accompanied by a video which appeared to show Haz smashing up his own business.

As Haz then spent the following day pretending that he'd already filed his insurance claim, he met with Mayor Helen Brown to receive his award. As she mentioned that there would be a gala later in the year for all of the winners and their families, Haz told Mackenzie that his family would still be unable to come, with Mack surprised when Byron then mentioned the possibility of Haz's brother attending. Having been unaware that Haz even had a brother, Mack asked what he was like, and Haz simply said that a lot of people thought that they were very similar, but he didn't agree.

Things grew more complicated for Haz when his friends and neighbours Aaron Brennan and Jane Harris were targetted by deepfakes - Aaron received a call from his dead husband, David, while a video circulated of Jane seductively peeling a banana. As Haz's odd mood swings started to worry Mackenzie and his friends, things only worsened when Holly had her bank account hacked, with the $20,000 she'd been saving for a car stolen. When Holly and Mackenzie caught Haz leaving an envelope in the back garden of no. 28, they were shocked to find that it contained $20,000 in cash. As Haz tried to claim that he felt bad for Holly and, as his insurance claim had paid out, he decided to anonymously help her out. Mackenzie struggled to believe this explanation, unable to shake the feeling that Haz was the hacker. After finding an external harddrive in his bag and realising that it contained the deepfake clips that had targetted Aaron and Jane, along with the clip of Haz smashing up the cafe, she confronted him.

With Haz struggling to explain, and Mackenzie on the verge of calling the police, he told her to switch off her phone. He then explained that they were all being watched and listened to, and it was because of his past work in IT. He explained to Mack that he'd lied to her when he said that he hadn't been to uni, and that he'd done a degree in IT, before starting up a sideline with some friends in which they would be hired out to help people with their tech problems. He told her how they'd slowly started taking on jobs that weren't completely legal, but the money was good and they didn't feel that it conflicted with their morals at first, but when they were asked to help destroy a man's career, Haz realised that things had gone too far. He said that he had then walked out on them, destroying their tech gear as he went, before arriving in Erinsborough to make a fresh start. He explained his belief that his former workmates were now targetting him, setting him up to look like he'd trashed his own business, stolen from Holly and sent the deepfakes. He also told Mackenzie about an email that he been sent to him, apparently written by Mack to her friend Harlow, which said that she would never love him the way she'd loved Hendrix. Mack claimed that it wasn't sent by her and that she'd never say something like that.

Though Mackenzie was still determined to go to the police, Haz told her that, not only would he probably be facing criminal charges for his former line of work, but it would destroy all of the friendships and relationships he'd built since coming to Erinsborough. Mackenzie insisted that wouldn't happen, but was in for a shock when Haz explained that he'd once believed that himself, until he came clean to his family, who disowned him, meaning he'd had no contact with his parents or either of his siblings in a long time. With Haz insisting that he could deal with the problem himself, Mackenzie gave him one more week before she'd speak to the police. Haz spent the following week trying to pick up the hacker's trail, suspecting that it could have been one of his old uni friends out for revenge. After managing to contact one of those friends, Pr0xxy, Haz was left satisfied that it wasn't any of those old friends, but Mackenzie was growing increasingly frustrated with the situation. She had been in touch with a man named Wade Fernsby, whose name Haz had let slip as the person whose life his crew had destroyed. After hearing what Wade had to say, Mackenzie felt terrible for him and struggled to even be in the same room as Haz, eventually ending the relationship when Wade told her that Haz and his mates had sent a deepfake video to his best friend, showing him sexually assaulting a woman, and that had ended his final existing friendship.

When Haz then decided that he had to do the right thing, he wrote letters to Jane, Aaron and Holly, telling them the truth, as well as another to Wade, apologising for everything. Mackenzie gave Wade's number to Haz, and the two men met up, with Wade initially acting shocked to learn that Mackenzie was Haz's girlfriend. However, after learning that the relationship had just ended, Wade's mask dropped and he admitted that he was the hacker who'd been targetting Haz, having been studying IT and waiting to get his revenge. He told a shocked Haz that he'd made up the story about the sexual assault deepfake video, knowing that it was the final push that Mackenzie needed to end her relationship. As Haz had now told his friends about his past too, Wade was satisfied that he'd ruined his life, and presented the idea that Haz come and work for him at his start-up business, where he planned to hack banks and businesses. Haz initially refused, but Wade then played him another deepfake clip, this time of Mackenzie seemingly requesting bribes to get planning permits through the council. As everyone on Ramsay Street turned against him, and the police informed him that he'd probably be looking at jail time for his historical crimes, Haz realised that he had little left to lose and agreed to work with Wade.

When his housemates caught him packing his bags to leave, they told him that doing a runner was just making him look more guilty. He agreed to stay, but as soon as their backs were turned, he disappeared. Feeling conflicted, disgusted by what Haz had done but worried about the danger he might be in, Mackenzie tried to track him down, finally noticing an address at the bottom of a note Wade had given to her. As she and Karl made their way to the address, they were unaware that Haz was actually working with the police to trap Wade, and that Andrew and some other undercover officers were watching the building. Haz was also wearing a wire, aware that they needed Wade to transfer the deepfake they were making to the client, but as he tried to get him to do this, Wade suddenly realised what was going on. He attempted to do a runner, with Haz giving chase and the police springing into action, but it all ended in disaster when Karl and Mackenzie arrived, and she was unable to stop in time as Haz ran in front of the car. Haz was then rushed to hospital, where Dr Bowman informed his friends that he was in a coma and they were assessing his brain activity to work out his chances of regaining consciousness. Later that day, he reported that Haz's brain was showing signs of activity, so his chances of recovery were improving, but as he remained in a coma, Mackenzie stayed by his side and apologised for not trusting him.

When Haz eventually woke up, plenty had changed while he was comatose - Mackenzie had stuck by him, feeling guilty about being responsible for the accident and for not trusting him when he was actually working undercover for the police. Mack and his friends had also helped to save Harolds when it looked like Haz would lose the lease, and his sister, Amira, had been tracked down and was by his bed, arguing with Mackenzie, when he woke up. Haz was happy as he realised that there was still hope for him and Mackenzie, though she admitted that it might take a while for her to completely forgive him, and he also remembered her confessing, while he was comatose, that the email to Harlow, that said that she'd never love Haz like she loved Hendrix, was genuine and not another deepfake. With Amira encouraging Haz to return to the family fold in Margaret River, explaining that their parents had forgiven him and wanted to see him, Haz was left torn. After initially deciding that he would leave with Amira, Haz then changed his mind, deciding that Erinsborough was now his home and he wanted to make things work with Mackenzie. Having seen Haz's new life for herself, Amira went along with the decision, but said that she would stay for a while, wanting to make sure he wasn't overdoing it during his recovery.

As Haz was released from hospital, Mackenzie began to feel increasingly sidelined by the overbearing Amira, and Haz admitted that he was also struggling with her ordering him around, but was so happy to be reunited with his sibling that he didn't really care. Mackenzie only felt more pushed out when she learnt that the Devkar family had hired a lawyer for Haz, who had managed to get him a fine of $10,000 for the hacking charges. With Holly's encouragement, Mackenzie asked Amira if there was any chance that she and Haz could have a day on their own, but Amira took offence at the suggestion that she was getting in the way, when she was trying to help her brother. As the two women argued, Mackenzie blurted out that Haz found Amira annoying and, already feeling overwhelmed as a one night stand with Nicolette Stone looked like it might turn into more, Amira announced that she was leaving to go back to Western Australia. Mackenzie apologised and managed to clear the air, but Amira explained that she needed to go because of a work crisis, telling Haz that she wanted him to visit the family as soon as he was recovered. As Amira left, Haz and Mackenzie finally got some time alone, rekindling their romance as Mackenzie presented him with two necklaces, the two sides of a broken heart, signifying that they had both suffered heart attacks and survived.

Tenure
8904-

Biography by Steve

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