My elder sister Katrina’s photo proved so lucky for me that a record number of you wrote back on last week’s column. It’s another thing that some described, in vivid detail, how they curse me for casting an evil eye on their love affair with the rainy weather. Their curse seems to have worked, going by a rather traumatic experience I went through yesterday.
Cut to last evening. Setting: my home. Weather: cloudy (aha!), Me: desperately wanting to sit in the balcony, have a cup of tea in peace, and watch neighbours quarrel over parking. And then she walked in, all geared up to spoil whatever peace of whatever mind I have. She sobbed. I gave her a tissue. She sobbed again, and extended her hand. Now tell me, don’t you think one tissue should last longer than a nano sob but it wasn’t the right time to act all kanjoos. I gave another. She then burst into a fit of tears and my heart sank. I had run out — of tissues, and patience.
Bansuri, my neighbour and emperor-of-the-irritating Chaddha ji’s daughter had been crying for over two hours now. In this duration, I had witnessed 17 different sounds and styles of crying but she hadn’t shared one minor detail with me — ‘why’.
If you have been following this column regularly (you better be!), you’d know how I’m blessed with unique neighbours. Apart from her name which gives me giggles no matter what the situation is (heartfelt sorry to some perfectly nice Bansuris I know… but it just doesn’t go with Chaddha), she has a lot of other things that are…emm... odd. Anyway, this time it was getting out of hand, so I had to confront her with the bitter reality of the situation — no more tissues — and asked her to tell me what was behind all this rain in my living room.
‘We broke up — Cheenu and I. Just two weeks before Valentines, it’s all over,’ she said. I wasn’t listening, my head spinning from trying to suppress a manic bouts of giggles over the fact that someone named ‘Cheenu’ was err… playing this Bansuri (sorry, I know I’m very mean. I’ll improve).
Anyway, apparently Cheenu had suddenly withdrawn from her, after seventy-two blissful days of courtship that had even survived a meeting between him and Chaddha ji. ‘I feel like ending my life… just can’t get him out of my mind,’ cried Bansuri. Going by the sheer number of young boys and girls feeling the stress of ‘break-up’, am sure a lot of you can identify with junior Chaddha and her trauma. Though I continue to firmly believe in my well-researched theory that deep inside, those in a relationship are equally dukhi if not more, here’s what I have to say to the ones who’ve recently had a break-up and finding life worthless a la flute Chaddha.
1 It’s a curse, not to be not in a relationship, but to be in one with an unwilling partner: Whatever the reasons, the moment one partner says he/she wants out, the soul of the relationship flies out of the window. Please note that I’m not referring to the idiots who end every day — and every fight — by announcing that they are breaking up and are back to exchanging lovey-dovey emoticons over SMS the next morning. I’m talking about situations where one person has emotionally withdrawn but is dragging along only because we in India are experts in not being true to our own feelings and facing the consequences of it.
Watch out for signals
Sentences like ‘you deserve someone better than me’ or ‘I’m not ready for the real thing just yet’ or ‘I love you but right now I need to focus only on my future’ or ‘I need some space to get my thoughts together’ are all ‘BS lines’ or polite ways to say the same thing - ‘I don’t want this relationship anymore’ (BS stands for Bullshit but I’m not supposed to say it in print. You have no decency or what?) Anyway, what I’m saying is, no matter what BS line is being thrown at you, do realise that there’s absolutely no point in forcing someone to be with you if they don’t want it. You just need to remember that it’s not about you, it’s not a rejection of who you are. It’s about them, and only them, being so fickle minded that they can’t deal with the demands of a relationship they willfully got into. Don’t let it even touch your self esteem, and you’ll do just fine. The golden rule — ‘If someone is stupid enough to walk away from you, be smart enough to let them.’
2 Deal with it, with your head held high: I know it’s easier said than done. Life after a break-up seems worse than hell for a while. For.A.While. Do you get that? Nothing’s permanent, my friend. If even the mushy love slowly dies down in a relationship that otherwise may last 102 years, how can the pain of a break-up last endlessly? If you are not hell bent on making a Devdaas out of yourself (even he went on to Madhuri Dixit by the way, I mean Chandramukhi), nothing can stop you from feeling fine and happy after a while.
The period may differ, but with time, we all forget. That’s how we are wired from inside. In my view, what really helps in getting over a break-up is staying away from your ex, at least for some time, unless he/she is someone you have to see everyday in college or at work. Even then, it’s possible to stay away, emotionally. All that spiel about ‘being best friends’ and ‘staying in touch forever’ after a break-up is nothing but BS. Someone wise has said that saying we can still be friends after the relationship has ended is like your dog dying but your mom saying ‘hey, you can still keep it’.
3 Finally, don’t close all doors of your life after a break-up: A relationship not working out means only one thing — another will. Each time you break up with someone, you are inching one step closer to the person who is actually right for you. I know, I know, I sound like Yash Chopra when I say such things, but let’s just be practical.
So many loving, sincere and hard working couples in our country have worked extra hard to take our population to the level where it stands. You can’t waste their effort by thinking that one moron, who just broke your heart, was the only one made for you. No, no, no. There are others. Many others. Give them a chance. Give life a chance. Another one.