A Calmer You, by Sonal Kalra: Break up but don’t break down
A relationship not working out means only one thing — another will.Updated: Sep 07, 2019, 17:08 IST
So many of you wrote back in response to last week’s column on one-sided love. While it resonated with a lot of you, many also argued that their heartache has resulted from a bad break up and not from unrequited love. So I’ve dug out what I’d written a while back on the subject of not letting a break-up break you up. Hope it helps.
Here’s a scene for you to visualise. 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. You would 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, of 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 at no matter what the situation is (heartfelt sorry to some perfectly nice Bansuris I know … but it just doesn’t go with Chaddha ji), 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. It’s all over,’ she said. I wasn’t listening, my head spinning from trying to suppress manic bouts of giggles over the fact that someone named ‘Cheenu’ exists and was dating Bansuri (Sorry, I know I’m very mean. I’ll improve). Anyway, apparently Cheenu had suddenly withdrawn from her, after 72 blissful days of courtship that had even survived a meeting between him and Chaddha ji.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’, I’m 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 who are in a relationship are equally dukhi if not more than the ones who aren’t, here’s what I have to say to those who have 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 on WhatsApp the next morning. I’m talking about situations where one person has emotionally withdrawn, but is dragging along only because we are experts at not accepting our inner feelings for the fear of unknown consequences.
2. 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’ (Yes, BS does stand for Bu**s***. I was only trying to be decent but then you had to ask!) 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 not being able to deal with the demands of a relationship they wilfully got into. Don’t let it even touch your self-esteem. The golden rule — ‘If someone is stupid enough to walk away from you, be smart enough to let them do so.’
3. Deal with it, 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’re not hell-bent on making a Devdas out of yourself (even he went to Chandramukhi after a while, or was it Madhuri Dixit Nene), nothing can stop you from feeling fine and happy when some time passes.
The duration 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 impractical. Someone once told me 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’. You can of course get back to being friends, but give it sometime.
4. 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 the dialogue writer of a Karan Johar film when I say such things, but hey, just being 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.
Sonal Kalra just realised that she has written an entire piece on break ups when most people still have the left-over anniversary cake in the fridge. Maafi? Blame Bansuri and mail your thoughts at email@example.com or facebook.com/sonalkalraofficial. Follow on Twitter @sonalkalra