All posts by Nandhitha Hariharan

Hopeless romantic. Feminist. Minimalist. Not afraid to contradict myself. Milk chocolates and red lipstick make me a little happier. I write because it keeps me sane in an otherwise insane world.

Heart Break is real after all

I remember a little framed quote that I always used to keep at my desk. It read “If your heart was really broken, you would die.”

It was a constant reminder to my no-nonsense cynical self that a heartbreak was not that painful. Heartbroken to me was nothing but a theatrical misconception that a stoned poet conjured.

How can someone “break” your heart? It had no physical connotation what-so-ever. At least, that is what I thought.

So, when do you realize that a heart-break is very real?

What does it take to realize that a “heart-break” actually has a very tangible physical connotation to it?

It takes waking up one morning, suddenly stripped off your denial and realizing that your life has changed a great deal.

It takes coming to terms with the fact that your house will smell of yesterday’s breakfast and that you are going to smell of freshly dried tears for a while.

It takes sleeping with frizzy hair and puffed eyes in your old clothes that were supposed to be in the washing machine, a week ago.

It takes a sink full of undone dishes, untouched homework and a heavy heart.

It takes waking up to the smell of Nutella and banana pancakes and grasping that you still don’t have an appetite.

What does it take to realize that a “heart-break” actually means that you are broken?

You slowly start to realize that you don’t make plans for “We”.

You realize that suddenly you have no one to tell the most unimportant details of your life to. You smile when someone says how being single feels great even though every time you think about the fact that you are single, it feels like someone just punched you in the gut.

It is normal to panic at the very sight of emptiness. When an important person leaves our life, it creates a void. We hate emptiness and we immediately fill that void with something, no matter how meaningless it might be.  

That is why he becomes a box of chocolates. He becomes a new hair-cut. He becomes a new job, a new city.  He becomes a gold fish you cannot take care of.  He becomes a new hobby or a garden.

And slowly, he becomes everything that you try to thrust in to fill the void that he left behind.

What does it take to realize that a “heart-break” takes its own time to heal?

It takes days when you are smiling because it seems like there is finally a new beginning.  That feeling lasts only until memories of a seemingly sweeter yesterday pushes you back to the corner of your bed where you cannot even stand the thought of your own blanket touching you.

It takes days when you feel that life is downright unfair. It takes days when you plead with destiny to give you just another first time with the familiar. It takes sleepless nights and days when you just live to oversleep.

And then it takes those most important days. The worst days. The days when somewhere in between a busy meeting, an excel file, a meaningful book, a funny movie or just before you drink a sip of water on a random afternoon, you wonder.

You wonder, however did I let something so perfect be ruined?

And it is on those days that you realize that a heart-break is very real after all.  

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THE SECOND TIME YOU FALL IN LOVE

“Because love is not instagram to always show you in the best possible light. It is messy and ugly like the unfiltered snap chats you send your best friend”

The first thing you should know about the second time you fall in love is that it will be very different.

The first time you fell in love, you were innocent, untouched and hopelessly optimistic. When you got your heart broken, you decided that you would never fall in love again. You now know that “forever” is a gamble and that “promises” are more often than not made to be broken.

The second time you fall in love, your heart will beat a little faster. There is bubbling apprehension, restless guilt, unmasked fear, unresolved emotions and all of this is still delicately laced with the most basic need to be loved.

 You will surprise yourself because the day you believed will never come, has finally arrived.

It is not easy to let someone else in. It was effortless the first time because love just gilded into a place which you never knew existed. Now it just feels like you are pushing someone else out to let another one in and killing yourself in the process.

Second love could be more voluntary and less vivid because you are determined to not let your emotions get the better of you. First love may have taught you how to love and fly, but second love will help you unlearn and humble you in a very earthy way.

Second first times are always complicated. First dates are not first dates in the real sense, but they are first dates nevertheless.You are torn in between the butterflies in your stomach moment when you are getting to know someone new while at the same time missing the comfort of eating out of a jar in your night clothes.

The second time you fall in love, you foolishly try to surpass imperceptible benchmarks. You remember that his forehead didn’t crinkle like that. He used to hold hands a lot more. He never wore bright colors.

Remind yourself that it will never be the same. And it most certainly should not be. You are trying to find love, not a replacement.

The second time you fall in love, you will hear a voice in your head that repeatedly asks you to “RUN”.

It is natural because we are taught to survive based on acquired learning. Even a child knows not to play with fire twice.

The second time you fall in love, no matter how hard it tries to sweep you off your feet, you will be adamant to keep your feet on the ground. You are passionate about how much love can give but scared stiff of how much it can take back when it wants to.

The second time you fall in love it might be more accepting and selfless. Second love wants to write pages and pages of your life together but it lacks the ugly selfishness of first love which expects the whole book to be about it.  You deal with the fact that everyone has songs that remind them of someone else and places where they made some unblemished memories.

You know that poets lied when they said that every kiss will be like your first kiss. You are mature enough to accept that burning lust always comes with an expiry date.

Second love is difficult. Tearing down the walls that you built around yourself is not easy when you constantly question the effort involved. When you eventually find someone who is willing to accept the mess that you are, don’t be afraid.

Fall in love for the second time. Life mostly begins here.

And What The Vows Should Say.. !

Till death do us part. Or, maybe not.

Wedding vows if you ask me, need not be about forevers.

Promise to make each other’s sandwich with extra mayonnaise and never be stingy when it comes to love or chocolate spread. Promise to know by-heart how many spoons of sugar they like to take with their coffee and never forget the little ketchup packet that comes with the fries.

Promise to Wi-Fi proof your bedroom and never to let a smart phone creep inside your blanket when you are with them. Promise to live a little.

Promise to keep the ugly photographs only in your phone and like every picture, every post, every tweet and every comment, just because. Promise not to stalk their exes and promise to let the past lay where it belongs. Promise to Wi-Fi proof your bedroom and never to let a smart phone creep inside your blanket when you are with them. Promise to live a little.

Promise to never let the world end with you two.  Let the beaches of Bali take your breath away, get lost in the markets of Hong Kong, get intimidated by the sky-scrapers in New York and gasp at the beauty of nature in places that you go to. Cuddle next to each other in the strangest of places and feel at home even when you are so far away from home. Promise to travel.

Promise to keep each other’s dreams alive.

Promise to be their spell-check, alarm clock, tax planner, recipe tester, coach and whatever else they need you to be. Wake them up on those days when they really want to sleep, ask them to sleep when they are stretching too far, push them when they are slacking and sit next to them silently when they want to think aloud. Promise to keep each other’s dreams alive.

Promise to be the spring they need in autumn and promise to be their summer when it is snowing outside.

Promise to never tell them they look “ugly” in a dress. If at all they look ugly, promise that the dress would just mysteriously disappear from their wardrobe but they would never have to hear the word “ugly!” Promise to be the spring they need in autumn and promise to be their summer when it is snowing outside.

Promise to be loyal but promise to let them breathe.

Promise to never flirt with anyone they know and promise that you will not stare at anyone else for too long when they are next to you. Promise to try and make them jealous but promise to never make them insecure. Never forget that you don’t “own” each other and never take offense when they want to be left alone for a while. Promise to be loyal but promise to let them breathe.

Promise to make love to them until the stars can melt in your palms and promise that it won’t always be this cheesy. Promise to never frown at each other’s fantasies and promise make-up sex after every bad fight. Promise handcuffs, candlelight, strawberries and like I already said, promise to never be stingy with the chocolate spread. Promise to never be a prude.

Promise to look out for them. Remember to pack an extra tooth-brush and save their favourite top even when they throw it away. Apologize when you are wrong and promise never to believe the things that they say when they are angry. Promise to always think for two.

Promise to be around in health and sickness and most importantly promise to never let them hear the words “I told you so!” Promise to love them when you want to hate them because that is when they need it the most.

Promise to remember that promises cannot always be kept and promise to love them anyway.

Promise to forgive.

And if you can promise them all this, no matter how long, they would have found a forever within you.