It was the wedding of my cousin in 2014. In fact, it the time of farewell when the bride was about to leave with the husband to her new home. It was the time when everyone was teary eyed. Partly because in India family profusely cries when their daughter is about to leave. And partly because everyone is tired of the mammoth of the event a North Indian wedding is, as it draws curtains. So, as my cousin was about to sign off from the scene with her newly added friends and family, my whole family started to cry, while saying bye, as per the tradition (and heartfelt too, of course).
When it comes to crying in public, I am a sponge. I take it all in and if you won’t twist me, I will not spill out by myself. Basically, I know how to contain myself. I can hold the salty water, as they say, like a Man. My brother, who is as much a Man as myself (as we both ride Royal Enfield Bullets so obvio!) is opposite though. His tap opens as soon as he is provoked emotionally, by either real life or any drama on TV. Any. Even Tarak Mehta!
So, obviously he was busy crying seeing the cousin leave. But then he saw me nonchalantly standing in a corner, soaking all in and not emoting much. He came to me and asked me why wasn’t I crying. I told I don’t feel like crying. He wasn’t convinced and poked me in my chest. Not sure if it was everyone’s crying, or the pain from the poke, I also shared a tear or two and bid farewell to my cousin. That farewell and crying was all futile as I saw her again just the next day at another reception event.
How much I can brag about being like a stone and not easily being a cry baby is nothing to do with gender though. It is 2020 and if someone still thinks that men or boys don’t cry can be given a kick in the nuts to see if they can hold tears back. Everyone cries. Not crying, for me was like a super power. I used to brag about it. I really was stone cold.
But as I grew older, the super power kept fading away. Sometimes, it was some really moving movies, or just some advertisements showing kids or old folks. At times, it was pure nostalgia, other times it was just nothing. May be it was growing up, or it sometimes was thoughts in solitude. It is best to sum up this feeling via these lines from the song ‘Kahin door jab din dhal jaye’ from Anand.
कभी यूँहीं, जब हुईं, बोझल साँसें
भर आई बैठे बैठे, जब यूँ ही आँखें
Sometimes, even humor can bring tears. And those are the tears we all crave for. Remember, how laughing with friends and family reached a level that cheeks hurt so bad that tears flew out uncontrollably. Tears of joy are hard to come by, but they’re the best. I remember crying for hours watching that episode of The Office (US) when Michael Scott leaves. That’s unexplainable crying but tragedy in comedy is the most amazing to achieve. Crying is an emotion we should be more familiar than laughing, as we knew it already since the birth.
This year has had many moments when sometimes tears were imminent. Hopefully 2021 will bring tears of joys for everyone. One more day to go.