"Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor was caught in an emotional storm over the Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar. I did not think she would take her life because she was planning to do something about it," senior journalist Nalini Singh told HT on Saturday.
Minutes into Friday – some 20 hours before she was found dead in a luxury hotel room in Delhi – Sunanda called Singh. "It was not a short call. I saw her name on the phone and said, Sunanda, and she broke down. She kept sobbing and crying. She was clearly in an emotional storm and it was entirely to do with Tarar. Sunanda had been badly hit by reports of Tarar's relationship with Shashi Tharoor," Singh said.
Singh told HT that she would be writing a letter to the assistant commissioner of police in charge of the investigation, telling him that she wanted to reveal the contents of her conversation with Sunanda. Asked if Sunanda was referring to divorce proceedings when she told Nalini about her plan to do something, Singh said it was something else and that she wanted to first reveal it to the police.
"That there were ups and downs between Shashi and Sunanda is well-known. The Tarar episode wasn't of yesterday's origin and she was hit badly and she was hurting," Singh said.
When asked if Sunanda sounded suicidal or mentioned suicide, Singh said, "I am not a trained psychiatrist or psychologist but I did not get the sense that she would take her life." Sunanda, Singh said, was not with her husband when she called her.