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While you were stalking

One often hears of relationships turning sour.. but what happens when a person mistakes friendship for something else?Sneha Mahale recalls a nightmarish experience.
Hindustan Times | By Sneha Mahale, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 10, 2009 08:00 PM IST

One often hears of relationships turning sour.. but what happens when a person mistakes friendship for something else? What if that person refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer or see reason to anything you say? What if she promises to kill herself and your near and dear ones just to hear that all encompassing ‘yes’?

This incident took place recently. Vijay – a close friend who earlier lived in Mumbai but shifted to Delhi for professional reasons --and Tanvi started off as colleagues.. oblivious to each other’s existence.

Keeping in touch
But one thing led to another and soon they were fast friends. They spoke for hours daily and met often. They shared similar interests in movies, books and theatre. Being out-of-towners, they were happy to have finally found company in a city they had both come to dislike immensely.

Vijay often told Tanvi about how much he enjoyed her company and how glad he was that he had a friend in an alien city. A few months ago, Vijay moved to Bangalore for better prospects. The two stayed in touch.. carrying off from where they had left off. Then something changed.

Vijay noticed that Tanvi was getting more and more clingy. She started begging him to return. He would call and tell me about it. I warned him to be careful. “She’s falling for you,” I’d say, to which his reply would be, “Are you crazy? We are just friends.”

Then one day Vijay got a call from home. Tanvi had gone through the office records and traced his home address. She was bombarding his family with letters, confessing her undying love for Vijay. She even threatened suicide if they didn’t convince Vijay to marry her.

When that failed to draw attention, she called up Vijay’s father and threatened to hurt Vijay’s sister and other close friends.

To make matters worse, she then called up her own folks and told them that Vijay had duped her, after promising marriage. Thankfully, neither family reacted adversely. After talking to Vijay, a couple of friends, including me, both families were satisfied that Tanvi was not delusional about the friendship.

Endless chase
Her family then decided to take her back to her hometown. That was when she disappeared and began stalking Vijay.. via phone and e-mail. She flooded Vijay’s inbox with mails and called him at odd hours from different numbers. She even threatened to visit his office in Bangalore and tell his boss about their past with her.

Thankfully, the cops were able to trace her pretty quickly. (Both sets of parents and Vijay had filed a missing persons complaint).

Last heard, Tanvi had been taken back to her hometown and was undergoing psychiatric help. The incident traumatised Vijay completely. He has now sworn off relationships. He often relives their time together, trying to trace what he might have said or done that forced her to react the way she did. He often asks me, “My family and friends had to live a nightmare because of me.. is any relationship worth this?” I have no answer.

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