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Inbox snooping

You are partners for life and share everything. But is it okay to check your partner's mailbox, wonders Smriti Lamech.
Hindustan Times | By Smriti Lamech, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUN 04, 2008 01:17 PM IST

Aakanksha Tripathi logged in for the third time that morning to check the inbox. She looked around to see if anyone had noticed. She needn't have bothered. Her colleagues were not likely to notice the name at the top of the page. She was checking her fiancé's email.

Barely six months into a relationship, they have exchanged rings as well as passwords. And already, Aakanksha has found need to use that password, surreptitiously.

"Rahul has been acting weird lately, spending long hours on the phone, out on the balcony. He doesn't meet me as often as he used to and behaves suspiciously. So I decided to keep an eye on his email account. Why shouldn't I? I am his partner and I have to look out for myself," she says casually.

Mixed results
Fortunately, she hasn't found anything incriminating yet.
Riddhima Shastri on the other hand, has not been so lucky. "They're right when they say that eaves droppers never hear well of themselves," she confesses ruefully. Husband Ashim and she have been married for two years but the bond with his ex-flame seemed to be burning brighter than ever. Phone calls, accidental meetings and much more.

Eventually, Riddhima used his password and checked his account. He had booked a holiday with the ex-girlfriend. She found the booking confirmation from the hotel in his inbox. He had told Riddhima he would be away on business. Soon, divorce proceedings were initiated.

Getting caught
Riddhima looks back with mixed emotions. "I logged into his account without really expecting to find anything. When I did, I battled with shock and shame. I knew I shouldn't have snooped. But at least I got to know and I've made a clean break."

Privacy lawyer, Parry Aftab, points out that there is a thin line between monitoring and snooping, be it vis-a-vis the email of a spouse, child or employee. If caught while snooping, salvaging that trust or relationship is not easy.

College student Drishti gave Tanmay her boyfriend of six months, her email password and expected him to reciprocate. She hacked into his account which had a simple data - his birth place, something she knew.

She confessed what she had done and apologised. He wanted out of the relationship.

Trust factor
Anindita and a college friend Sameer had been flirting for ages. Sameer married his college sweetheart and Anindita was in a serious relationship. They sent each other the odd mail once in six months. He addressed her as the college sex bomb, an old joke.

Charu, Sameer's wife happened to check his account. He had shared his password. She was furious.

"Legally we are equal partners in our home, our marriage, everything. I had nothing to hide. The email was a joke which wouldn't have upset the apple cart if she hadn't been snooping around," Sameer says.

The matter was eventually sorted out, but Sameer changed his password.

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