Friends are the most important part of anyone's life. In a world full of loneliness and emotional issues, friends help you to get through rough patches," says Dr Anjali Chhabria, a Mumbai-based psychiatrist and psychotherapist.
You can share everything withfriends they're always there to support you in whatever you do.
But what happens when you realise one day instead of laughing with your friends, or crying to them over the phone you cry because of them? That's when you know your friendship is on the way to becoming toxic.
Nothing lasts forever
Sankalp Pradhan observes that friends have a shelf life. "You relate to them at a certain phase in your life, but as you grow up and become venturesome, you realise they don't fit in any more."
Tanya's once-upon-a-time close friend got too busy to keep in touch with her, after she moved college. When repeated attempts to contact her failed, she realised it was time to move on.. her priorities had changed.
Worse, imagine what happens when your best friend moves to another country. Anasuya Menon explains, "When my best friend left for Canada a year ago, I felt as if I'd lost a big chunk of my life.
"We shared everything with each other. Though we chat online now.. it just isn't the same. There are some things that a mail or MSN just cannot convey ."
Her friend is soon returning to India. Anasuya feels their equation will depend on the space they will share now. However, Raza Mehta had a different experience when his best friend left for the US.
He says, "We chatted regularly and mailed each other. But ultimately, we both went our ways. Now, we've re-established contact on Orkut but we don't even have the same interests anymore."
Friendships may also go sour if a friend shows an ugly side to him or her. Taha Varawala narrates, "I had a close friend in school. We shared a lot of secrets.. we loved to discuss cricket, football and F1 racing.
"One day, I discovered he liked a girl. He was aware that I too had a crush on her. I guess, the secrets we shared, eventually became the reason for an end to our friendship."
He continues, "They started dating each other I felt he'd backstabbed me. I lost trust in him after that."
Trust is the most important aspect of any friendship. Once broken, it can never be mended. Bhoomika Chouhan learnt this the hard way .
One day, she realised that her best friend of 10 years had been bad-mouthing her. "We almost lived at each other's houses, I couldn't believe what I'd heard." But she dealt with this betrayal in a philosophical manner.
While most people choose to brood, hold grudges and feel bitter towards their friends, Prince Shah looks at this in a refreshingly different way .
When he heard derogatory rumours about himself being spread by his so-called friends in college, he blamed himself for it.
"I was naïve to think I could trust any one with anything. It's human nature to gossip and talk about other people. I don't have hard feelings towards those who did that.. I feel grateful towards them for having taught me a valuable lesson in life."
Once you establish that your friendship isn't meant to last, you begin picking up the pieces and moving on. The best way to do this, according to Dr Chabbria, is to join a club or take up a new activity .
It's also important to immerse yourself in extra-curricular activities in college. What's most important is making new friends.
She ends, "Take a look at people whom you've always taken for granted. They may have wanted to be your friend. "Probably you have always pushed them away. Say, ‘hi,' to a new person every day and explore new avenues."