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The Great Conspiracy

March 6, 2009

It is cruel that you can cry and I cannotRobin Williams in Bicentennial Man

A great conspiracy was perpetrated. Nobody knows when it all started and surely nobody seems to be aware that it is in full force even today. The beauty of this conspiracy was its simplicity. It was carried out by the close members of the victims’ family – the grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunties, nieces etc. So complete has been the indoctrination that the victims have grown up believing it completely and in time have joined hands with the perpetrators. And it was done with three simple words, ‘Boys don’t cry’.

While little girls bawled their lungs out at the sight of a cockroach, a lizard, or a hypodermic needle at the doctor’s clinic, the boys were not allowed to let out a whimper even if their tibias jutted out of their legs after a ‘friendly’ football match. No,no,no…… boys don’t cry. As they grew up they were conditioned to keep all pains physical as well mental, frustrations, and traumas to themselves and not exhibit them. Not definitely in public anyway. They couldn’t cry while watching a movie or a TV programme that moved them without being called a sissy; or cry over a death of a near one, always reminded that they couldn’t break down for the sake of the rest of the family, meaning the womenfolk. So what has it achieved? Men locked up their emotions and threw the keys away. These emotions start playing havoc with their bodies. And not before long, they died. Boom…. like a pressure cooker without the safety valves, their bodies unable to cope with the weight of their miseries. The woman in his life or should I say women, sometimes there are a whole lot of them, mother, sisters, aunts who outlive him, cry their hearts out and then go on to live for another twenty thirty years. Ah, I can visualize a few of my lady friends drawing out the daggers asking if the men didn’t die young due to their habits. Surely they do die of smoking or drinking, but are they not drawn into these as a means to calm their minds or to seek courage to deal with their lives in a ‘manly’ way or more importantly maybe to cry? It is also a pity that women with so much going for them would want to throw everything and want to be ‘tough’ like the men. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

Things have started changing in the last decade and a half. More and more men are willing to take off their masks and to wear their hearts on their sleeves. Remember Kapil Dev breaking down on TV on Karan Thapar’s show or Andre Agassi crying after his defeat on his last professional tournament or Tiger Woods crying over his caddy’s shoulder after winning the US open, the first one without his father by his side or more recently Roger Federrer after losing to Nadal at the Australian Open. Strong sport persons that these men are, they most definitely would not have pulled their act off without sufficient practice. They would have experimented with it in the confines of their rooms in solitude or with close friends. They would have felt good about it, as they would have felt about their practiced in-swingers or aces or swings, before they displayed it in public. While there were many men who thought of Roger as a wussy, a wimp and a crybaby, refreshingly there were also many others who thought it was perfectly alright for him to display his emotions. May their tribe grow!

I thought I wouldn’t cry, when my father died at a ripe age of 80, so peacefully in his sleep (thank God for small mercies, an army man who did all his things on his own till his last day would not have liked to be in hospital and ‘attended’ to). I had conditioned myself for the eventuality, expecting every call from home while I was away on tour to bear the news. But when I lit the pyre tears streaked down as if it was nobody’s business. ‘Was I ashamed’, you ask. Maybe a little. I only hope my sons need not have to feel that way when the time comes. Let’s cry to that!!! After all, even Jesus wept.

Watch this for a cool take on how men cry!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. shail permalink
    March 6, 2009 20:28

    Well said. But my real one word answer to this is unprintable. So let me give a printable version. Men don’t cry. But they take out their frustrations by getting angry, shouting and beating up people, including near and dear ones. Anyway I simply think this is a generalization. Men cry and how. I know at least a dozen who bawl at movies, at funerals, who wouldn’t take their child to the hospital, who will turn their face away when the doctor takes out the needle. Ask me, I KNOW! 😛 I have stood by my son in the operating theatre while the cut in his forehead was being stitched and my husband was absconding on some flimsy excuse. I let him. I knew it was too much for him. :-))))I have resented ‘Don’t cry like a girl’ thrown at my boys by others and have taken up the matter tooth and nai.l What did they mean ‘like a girl??’ ‘Oh really??’ Hmmm… They were crying because of pain or some disappointment. WHERE did girls enter the picture, I asked them. Silence was all I got in answer! 😉

  2. Anonymous permalink
    March 7, 2009 10:51

    After you had fallen in love again on Feb 13th, I thought it was for eternity and you had stopped blogging. Good you cried your heart out!

  3. PRG permalink
    March 7, 2009 20:53

    Shail: I knew it was coming :)! The simple unprintable version would have been just fine. The guys bawling at the movies, at funerals etc. are the change we want.PC: Don’t count me off so soon. I will keep coming till you beg me stop.BTW You can at least sign in as PC. I can recognize your words anytime any place. Thanks anyway.

  4. writerzblock permalink
    March 30, 2009 15:31

    This was a very nice post, PRG. Men don’t cry, most of the time. But women, I believe, are by far, the stronger sex. Men get flustered over a cold/flu. Women bear even childbirth!! Cheers..

  5. Shilpa permalink
    September 15, 2009 22:23

    You were right, i really like it very much.


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