I had a cat for the past three years. She was our fur loaded bundle of joy who turned my family of three into a family of four even before I could realize. One day at 7 in the morning when me and my dad were still in bed, my mom ran into the room with tremble written all over her face, she just said two words “Lola (our cat) died”. She had found our cat dead in the backyard.
When I saw her dead body my first reaction was shock and the second one rolled down my cheeks. I cried, I cried a fishbowl load of water! That’s pretty normal right? Pets die, People cry. Although what happened that day was something my 18-year-old self had never seen, my dad cried. Not a lot but a considerable amount for a “dad to cry“.
Lets face it, how many of us have really seen our fathers, grandfathers or uncles cry? It’s not because they are 30 years older than us, have matured and gone above emotions, my mom is the same age and she cries too! But thats not a big deal! However, my dad’s tears were unknowingly strange for me; whereas there was nothing weird about them at all! That is when it struck me that during the construction of my brain over the years I had not actually seen a boy cry. Now, this led me to deeply contemplate on all the experiences I have had of a male shedding tears, not that there was a significant number of them but all of them echoed the same line, “don’t cry like a girl!”
The problem is that we have associated tears to weakness. Whereas, laughing or smiling is a symbol of happiness. Happiness is a feeling, weakness is not! We have been conditioned to think that a person is in his most vulnerable state when he cries. Even if that is true, don’t men have the right to feel that way? Dont they feel sad or hurt? Of coarse they do! But they really don’t get to cry out loud because we have encircled them wearing our “mard ko dard nahi hota*” graphic t-shirts!
Crying is an expression of emotions just as talking, laughing or smiling. It is really necessary that every man at every age has a shoulder to cry on and a pair of ears to vent to because that is what every human being deserves and needs, regardless of being male or female.
Nobody has an idea about the pressure that builds up on the inside if this doesn’t take place and what happens next? Every third married women with a bruised and swollen face or every child whose only memory at his father’s funeral is of him showing up drunk and frustrated from work hurling abuses at his mother and the child himself would be able to explain to you the agony in much detail than I’ll ever be able to because my dad let go of his emotions, he ‘man-ed up’ and cried and taught me how healthy and nurturing expression is for us as well as our relationships.
SO JUST BE A MAN AND CRY WHENEVER YOU WANT TO!
*mard ko dard nahi hota = real men dont feel pain