Tanvi is a social activist, originally from Bihar, but now lives in Delhi.
The anniversary breakup
It was our fourth anniversary. Kapil and I had planned a special celebration dinner at our favorite restaurant. I had dressed in his favourite colour and was expecting a very warm welcome. But something was amiss right from the start. Kapil was with me, but his mind seemed somewhere else.
I tried to dismiss my thoughts and decided to get the evening going myself. I started recounting how we had met. ‘You remember, how much I hated you after we first met at that party!’
Normally, he would fight that recollection hard and explain how it was him who had hated me. But today he did not even try. I decided to change track and talked about the various lovely milestones in our beautiful journey to pep up his mood. ‘All my friends are jealous till date of your proposal to me. Oh that room full of roses!’
That seem to improve things a little but something continued to nag him. I asked him many times but it was only when dropping me home, he said, ‘I think we should not meet again. I am breaking up with you.’ He said those words and left. No explanation. No reasons. And just like that my whole world came to a standstill.
That Bihari girl?
I refused to accept what had just happened. I had loved him so much, what could have possibly gone wrong? The past four years, which I had been reminiscing the whole evening, flashed in front of my eyes. And his words - I am breaking up with you - just kept ringing in my ears.
The next morning, as I lay awake in bed, a memory came to me. I had been talking to Kapil over a video call once as his mother walked in. ‘Oh! are you talking to that Bihari girl again!’ She had left the room in a huff. ‘Could that be the reason?’, I thought.
I was now heartbroken and hurt. It wasn’t my fault that I was from Bihar and he was from Haryana. Nor did I care about this. We hadn’t even talked about or known about each other’s castes until months into our relationship. His friends used to pull my leg, teasing me about Laloo or Rabri, as normally happens with all Biharis in Delhi. But Kapil would always apologise on their behalf. I had never thought this regional difference could be so important to anyone until last night.
Giving up on us
I could not stop crying and eventually, my friends told me to talk to Kapil. I finally gathered enough courage and called him the next day to ask what had gone wrong.
My worst fears came true. He told me, ‘I still love you, but sorry, I am giving up on us. My parents want me to get married to someone from my community. But I always want you to be happy.’ And with that, he disconnected the call.
I’ll be there for you
I was shattered. We both had invested so much in this relationship. We practically lived each other’s lives. I would help him with his engineering assignments as he burned the midnight oil on my thesis. We would often talk about our future – when will we get married, where will we live and dream of our life together.
And after all that, it came to an end, just like that? It took me six months to get over the initial shock. Oddly enough, it was Kapil, who helped me deal with even my breakup with him! We were so used to helping each other that Kapil was the one who drove me to my sessions with the psychotherapist.
All for the best
Looking back, I don’t blame him for not taking a stand for me. I now understand his perspective better. His family would have never accepted a Bihari bahu and chances are that I would have suffocated in the environment at his house. And since he was also close to his family, it was perhaps for the best that we had parted ways.
Someone once told me, ‘When you can tell your story, and it doesn’t make you cry, you know you have healed.’ Yes, I have healed. It’s been two years since we broke up. He is still a part of my life, always cheering me on. I guess that is what truly loving someone means.
Meanwhile, he has found love again. I have found love too – but this comes with a special feeling that my first love is also a friend for life.
*Person n the picture is a model.
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