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Now, a helpline to help you pick up the pieces of your shattered heart
SHWETA SHARMA  5th Aug 2012

Illustration by Anish Dasgupta | Dev Kabir Malik Design

rish writer Oscar Wilde once said, "The heart was made to be broken". Though it may sound cheesy and hackneyed, a broken heart is never easy to deal with. While most of us have experienced one or two failed relationships, not all are lucky enough to have understanding friends. More often than not, we end up feeling worse, often driving us to suicidal tendencies. But thanks to Ankit, who has launched Breakup Helpline, you might not feel alone anymore. The website, claims to 'keep you away from soul crushing, revenge seeking and self pitying emotions helping you bounce back in one piece'.

"I had gone for a book reading session at the Kalaghoda Festival in Mumbai. While going through some books on display there, I came across Chocolate, Guitar, Momos by Kenny Deori. The author was supposed to talk about the book but was fashionably late. Meanwhile, I started reading the book and on the second page itself, the protagonist was describing how miserable he felt after his girlfriend dumped him. He continued saying that if there was a 'Break up helpline', he would be so much better-off without the alcohol and cigarettes. That was the 'Eureka' moment," says Ankit, who prefers being addressed by his first name, with the fear of being recognised at his workplace.

Launched on 3 July, the helpline is handled by a team of four (including Ankit) – two of his friends who have completed master's in psychology and one film assistant director. In less than a month, the site has garnered more than 131 likes on Facebook, with a total of 82 members (66 national and 16 International).

People are so hurt that when probed a bit they confess. It’s human to tell everything when you realise that someone is trying to be by your side and not judging you. — Ankit

"Once you have a breakup, register with us and we get back to you within 24hrs. We send an email inquiring about your hobbies, what exactly you do and the duration of your last relationship, to help us have a brief understanding of your background. Once we have the details, we start a detailed communication process asking the reason behind the split, which helps us gauge your feelings and expectations. On the basis of this information, we suggest some points that helps people open up to us. Currently, the ratio of girls and boys contacting us is 60:40," he says.

He further explains that a person who has experienced a broken relationship is insecure and hence cannot be asked direct questions about his/her past. "This is why we disguise it with hobbies and other questions while also asking the main reason for the breakup. This helps the person to gradually take us into their personal zone. Since they don't know us, it's easier as they know that we are not judging them at any point. Based on this information, we give them helpful tips," he adds.

From here on, the website offers two packages, free and paid (Rs 2,500). The free package includes email assistance and two Skype along with an in-depth analysis of how to get over your past. The paid package includes services like 'Personality Checks', 'Dateability Quotient', 'Grooming Sessions', 'Next Date Preparations' and also a 'Test for Stability'. "Our operating process is part of a mini algorithm that we have developed, which is 86% successful if people do what we suggest," Ankit says.

It is interesting to note that the helpline also suggests outdoor activities (under the paid scheme), helping people get out of their shell. Ankit is quick to add that their USP is personalised services that they go out of their way to offer. But are people open enough to send across the details of their failed relationship to a stranger? "People are so hurt that when probed a bit they confess. It's human to tell everything when you realise that someone is trying to be by your side and not judging you. Yes, people are opening up, but they need to be more educated about the services that will help them. In future, we plan to organise Breakup Bootcamps to give a reality check to people who have not yet checked our services," he explains.

However, there are a few, like marketing professional Wendy Rozario, who are sceptical about a 'break-up' site. "This is an appealing website with an array of articles on men, women, love, friendship, life and its modalities. But, I have my doubts as to whether people would actually want to go to a website to get over a break up! It is a difficult time when all we need is support from our close ones. Virtual advice, even if it is customised would never really work for me," she says.

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