Humans of Bombay:
“I grew up in a liberal family — from discussing which boy I like with my parents to Dadi giving me fashion tips, everyone was independent. I even moved out at the age of 16 to study and then get a job!
Through a colleague, I met a boy. Same old story — we dated and after a year, we thought of the next step and our parents met. In the first meeting itself, his father discussed that whenever the wedding happened, it would be ‘lavish,’ and indicated that of course all expenses will be borne by the ‘girl’s side’. My parents agreed, but when I looked upset with the demands, he said, ‘Ankita, tumne toh duniya dekhi hi nahi hai.’(Anikita, you have not even see the world!)
My boyfriend and I started constantly fighting. Things became petty — like who would pay for the furniture or which part of the honeymoon was my share. The last straw, was when I’d gone to Goa for my birthday and on the phone he said, ‘after marriage, forget about any trip out of Ahmedabad!’. I felt suffocated, like I was losing myself…I couldn’t do it anymore…that’s when we broke up.
I was always crying, either at home or at work. My tears would just well up and no matter what I did or how much people told me that ‘it’s for the best’ — I couldn’t get over it.
It was my dream to go to Greece with my partner — I’d even planned a photoshoot for us there. When I was looking at these Greece photos, I snapped. I was like ‘you know what? Wedding ho ya na ho — mera photo shoot toh hoga!’ I packed my bags, told my boss that ‘I’m taking off, I don’t know when I’ll be back’ and left solo for Europe with my savings.
It wasn’t like I healed overnight — I was still crying. But it got easier as I spent time alone and met new people. I did my own photoshoot in Greece and then travelled to Spain and Croatia. I shared a room with a boy on a boat in Croatia who was also heartbroken. I met people who lost their jobs or a loved one to diseases — what was I being so whiny about? It was a bad break up…not a bad life! I travelled, explored, made memories with myself, and returned to India ready to get back to life.
I focused on work and within a few months, I landed my dream marketing job in Bombay! Now I’m here, handling the West Zone for my company and no more tears are being wasted. But I’ll tell you what? It wasn’t that perfect sunset in Santorini or a backpacker in Croatia who made me heal — it took me a little more than 9 months to realise, that power is only mine. That I am enough. That love will find me again. That I’m going to be okay… Aur uncleji? Dekh li duniya?”(And uncle? I have seen the world!)