Do you remember your first heartbreak? Well, I remember mine. I was seventeen years old and had been weeping for 17 hours. It wasn’t great love or anything but it did leave a mark. It is probably what made my innocent belief in fairy tales crumple. It also made me more self-centered and perhaps a little afraid of the agony of being in love. My parents had no idea what was going on or why I couldn’t stop crying, but they do know me well enough to know that it was a love problem. (They knew that my “first love” was actually in Fourth standard don’t ask!)
They didn’t know what else to do so they took me out for my favourite, Tandoori Chicken. It was really sweet of them but I didn’t feel like eating. My little sister had no idea what had happened either, but she also tried to cheer me up by bringing me a plate of Schezwan fried rice and it was so tempting that I ate it. Family always knows the answers, even if they don’t know the problems.
It was probably the first time that I realized that food could be a measure of a person’s emotional status. I started to recover but all those dreams I had of growing up and falling in love with the man of my dreams slowly crumpled, and other dreams took their place. I don’t think that I ever stopped eating through my subsequent break ups, although all of them were pretty messy. What can I say, may be I attract drama.
I thought I was all grown up, when suddenly one day I stopped eating again, honestly I didn’t know that I was capable of that “first heart break” emotion any more. Turns out no matter how long you fool yourself, you always fall into that trap called “love”, again.
So is “emotional eating” or “emotional not-eating” really a thing? Why is it that we always fall back on food to feel better? Is there really any truth in the theory that sweets, chocolates and fatty foods help you recover from a heartbreak or depression?
I know that there are days when the only thing I have to look forward to is my dinner plan. I don’t see what is wrong with that. Cooking that perfectly supple breast of chicken and then dipping it into that warm and velvety cheese sauce while sipping wine can bring you out of any misery through the day.
I know that we have been through a lot and that is not necessarily the way to deal with fights, problems and bigger problems, but then again, there is no harm in escaping into culinary heaven, even it is for a few minutes. Cooking soothes me, in fact when I am avoiding thinking about all else, it really helps me focus on the one thing that I love, reading the language of flavours and weaving a melody into my plate.
Have you seen that movie, The Ramen Girl? It is about a girl who flies to Japan to save her love, and in her deepest pain she finds love in a bowl of Ramen. I think sometimes when the heart longs for love, it can find it anywhere, and especially in a bowl of Ramen!
If you ever managed to find love in sad moments, then do share it with me here. If nothing, we can probably share the recipe for finding happiness in a frying-pan again.