Celebrating Heartbreaks!

Romantic love is like an airplane ride. The moments of await when one can’t keep his or her feet on the ground anymore. A flying languor engulfing the soul. The euphoria of the take-off: The skipping of heart beat, clasping of hands & defying the laws of motion & gravity. Everything else feels tiny & futile. Life seems so simple, just like pressing of a button, with the genie coming to solve everything. Problem solving was never so easy. The journey follows a scripted path crafted by the dreamy clouds (a bump here & there to just keep the spark going) and the perfect canvas (created by the dominant sun & the reclusive sky). The souls get busy painting their life. Mind you, the optimism of a safe landing is way too high. The fear of a crash (~heartbreak) are momentary but vanishes instantly through the romantic creative promises of the bonded souls. The ride is a memorable one.

Yes, love stories create memories. They are special. But are they more special than the heartbreaks? Heartbreaks seem to be harsh, brutal and lonely. Would people in general talk more about their sad breakups or the pleasant memories created in their love stories? Well, it would appear that the latter would win any day. And with the big reliance on data these days, this seems to be right. If we look around, around 80% of the Facebook participants use the medium to share good news, achievements and success. Only 35% use it to share bad news and losses. People post about climbing mountains, sitting beside the crazy sea, buying expensive gadgets; rarely we see people posting about mundane grocery buying, failing to do the trek, their household fight with their maid, frustration while making the presentation etc. Positive social elevation seems to be the flavor these days. People tend to show more positivity in their social circles. And hence it is but obvious that positive elevation would seem to be the natural course in love stories as well.

But it was quite a surprise to see a museum dedicated to heartbreaks. Called the ‘The museum of Broken Relationships’, it carries the reminisces of failed relationships and their ruins. The Museum situated in Zagreb, Croatia was a surprise to me and left me in amazement. The museum has donations from across the World- Personal heartbreak stories, their details and a treasured belonging marking the specialty of the relationship. In times which sees marriages & anniversaries hog limelight with grand & emotional celebrations, collections of demise of a relationship seemed odd. And unique and intriguing! The Museum has stated ‘Every passion, ultimately has its spectator. There is no amorous oblation without a final theatre.’ The stories ranged from emotions such as humor, sacrifice, cheat, pain, grief panning multiple years of relationship and varied geographies.

The museum though having a very different concept left me thinking on why heartbreaks would be celebrated in any form. Or if ‘celebration’ is too strong a word, ‘remembered’! Wouldn’t they be the most personal stories- the stories dearest to one and only to be shared, maybe, with very closed ones.

Well, if you really think, when in love, the individual has a deep sense of ownership (of his/her partner). The investment is huge and hence the ownership! And this ownership is just as much an attitude. Like the waves of a sea. Interlaced with crests and troughs, it takes along anything which comes in its way. A feeling of possessiveness, or a pseudo controller seeps in. The degree of possessiveness varies- but to say that it doesn’t exist would be wrong. And when that attitude is shaken, the ‘controller’ in us is defeated. This school of thought believes that people hate such emotional defeats and losses. Research has proven that losing something makes one twice more miserable as gaining the same thing makes one happy. Such a loss or shake up in attitude comes with self-inflicted period of remorse wherein the individual crafts out his lessons of life and builds a philosophy around it. It is this philosophy which is chosen to be strengthened subconsciously as life progresses. And this philosophy becomes special and is remembered!

Recall that all heartbreak stories end with a personalized life lesson. ‘Trust is an overrated word’, ‘Love is nothing but convenience’, ‘Belief is like the doorbell which anyone can press anytime’, ‘All our miseries start because we try and seek happiness from others’, ‘It’s like coming home to yourself at last’. You are flooded with them. And these life lessons are the major inherent triggers behind people cherishing their heartbreaks. And mind you, this sometime back was a trend. Many would say ‘You haven’t experienced a heartbreak? You have missed a major life lesson dude?’ And there were few who dived into it. Like the martyr complex- feeding the imposed psychological need. And what about the happiness through these broken relationships- They are special but our minds seek to index every ounce of happiness we get to the next level. We crave for the extra ounce reducing the timeline of being stable at the current one. We chase happiness! Indexing grief or an attitude’s defeat is unheard of.

Whatever said, with onslaught of tinder and the dating apps, the sustenance of these cherished and celebrated broken relationships are under threat. With the desire to experience diversity, the relationship tenure is reducing with little chance of any attitude in this regard shaping up. The romantic identity of an individual is becoming liquid nowadays. And the probability of experiencing a real heartbreak is reducing. Are you missing a major life lesson? Err!!!

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Adrit Mishra

When statistics & management insights transcends into philosophical, introspective & poetic ones