If you've ever suspected I was slightly abnormal, here's a confession: I am. I really did stalk an ex on Swiggy. While going through a heartbreak, it's normal to stalk an ex on social media, but mine wasn't that active, and the only way I could determine what he was going through was by checking his Swiggy order history. Obviously, I logged into his account, and he isn't much of an eater — so I wondered why he was ordering biryani and kaju dosa. Was he least affected by our breakup? Was he stress-eating? Wait a minute, why is he ordering enough for two or three or even four people? Is he bringing someone home? Is he on Tinder now? What must his bio say? He was good with words — so it might be something charming but then why is he eating..like properly?
I did this for a couple of days — particularly after breakfast and dinner, and started seeing a pattern. Yup, I know — very healthy behaviour, which also happens to be my forte. Then, I logged out of the Swiggy account. Now, I am here to talk to you all about heartbreak and other stories that I've shamelessly crowdsourced from a few friends and Instagram followers.
Fact or fiction — we've all been driven to do crazy things after a heartbreak. From basic things like getting a haircut and one-night stands to moving to a different city or, err, getting married in the heat of the moment — heartbreaks are a blast! We make some revolutionary and revolting choices. In Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes (the protagonist) moves from San Francisco to Tuscany after a divorce. She is a writer, and under the Tuscan sun, she hopes to heal, write, and perhaps discover love. Again. I don't remember well enough, but I guess she does find love after meeting a fuckboy or two. That's unnecessary for this essay, but you get the essence — people do crazy stuff to get over a certain someone. I would have loved to move to Europe too, but owing to things like lack of passport (even if I have, there's very little I could do with the Indian one) and monies, I am still here.
I was talking to Namrata Tripathi — a friend and a freelance photographer; when I asked her what's the craziest thing she has done after a heartbreak, she said, "my boyfriend cheated on me. So, I made him text all his close friends, particularly female friends, and tell them that he cheated on me. And then, I asked him to share the screenshots of those conversations with me."
Sam*, a digital marketer from Hyderabad, said, "I was talking to a friend who happened to be a therapist, and I started liking her. All the feelings I had on my ex, I channeled them towards my friend, and she stopped talking to me. So, I lost my ex and also my therapist." He added, "It sounds funny right now, but I did have terrible days. I remember spending a night on the street near Google office, crying. But I got into CrossFit, and that helped me a ton."
Evading relationships is another coping mechanism. Aarti*, a friend and a scholar who works in Europe, said, "After my first breakup, I felt so hurt that I decided not to date anyone for the next five years, and I kept that promise. Also, I was super absorbed in that relationship and felt like I had no identity anymore."
My gym instructor had a different story to tell, though. He said, "I ate way too much; soon, my mom found out about the breakup. She asked me to focus on work, and well, you know me, you know how hardworking I am and how much I love to train you all. Work helped me, and then I got married to a woman my mother chose. We're super happy." Guess he found his happily-ever-after!
While people on my Instagram story have shared their stories on failed rebounds, endless drinking escapades, solo trips, adopting a pet, getting married right away to get over someone — a ridiculous tale that stood out for me was Srikanth's. Srikanth*, an engineer at an MNC, was heartbroken when a girl turned him down. He said, "I put all my energy into befriending her boyfriend and hanging out with him. Eventually, I contrived their breakup and took a selfie with him after their breakup. At school, the next day, I showed off the selfie to my classmates. It wasn't a normal selfie though because I got it printed on an A4-sheet." It sounds devious, but I guess that's how we were in high school? "I do regret it now," he added.
But, no matter what the result is — people still take that leap of faith. To be with someone, to be seen, and to feel something. And when things don't end as intended, some of us (hush, most of us) lose our marbles and goof up! It's a rite of passage. But before you go, tell me — what is the craziest thing you've done while reeling from a breakup? I hope biryani and kaju dosa weren't involved.