Sunday, July 6, 2008
"Ye aasoon poch daalo Pushpa! I hate tears re.."
Yesterday I cried. Okieeeeeee, not that I cried lakes, so much so that the neighbour’s kids started poking their Mommy’s tummy, “Mummy hamein bhi nahana hai is talaab main”!!..chapak..chapak.. But, I did manage to dehydrate myself enough to gulp down gallons of water after the crying episode and make questionable rounds to the loo, scaring the hell out of Parisa (my roommate), who suspected me of suffering from a bout of Amebic dysentery.
Anyhow, the mystery of human tears (or for that matter crocodile tears, if at all it cries, I’m not sure!), made me wonder “What makes one cry?” ( Yeah..yeah..the demented scientist in me who loves the WHY of things)
So..Google Zindabaad! I typed in..And bang! 7,730,000 references!! Eee toh ghor conphusion ho gaya bhai!! Anyhow I hit upon Wikepedia, which gave me an answer good enough to defend my PhD thesis. What I was looking for was an empirical or so to say a humane answer and not something like “Crying is a complex secretomotor phenomenon characterized by the shedding of tears from the lacrimal apparatus, without any irritation of the ocular structures” ,to comprehend which I need to type in 200 more search items! Bachao!!
So, yet again I resorted to my tried and tested philosophy “What-did-I-do-when-it-happened-to-me?” I transcended into a deep ‘chintan’ mode and pressed the rewind button of my life and recapitulated the events that made ME cry.
Although, I must admit, since I don’t maintain a ‘Tear Diary’ and I’m actually the ‘Vamp kahin ki' sorts ‘jo logon ko balti bhar bhar ke khoon ke aasoon rulati hai’, hehehahahaaa!!, I was actually flummoxed over whether I cried or made the other person cry (the probability of the latter being manifolds).Nevertheless, I was sure that the Archies card commercials didn’t tear me up nor did the hopelessly emotional flicks made a dent!
In retrospection,Arpita, as she was 10 years ago, would be down-casted by the fear of rejection and the inability to express herself. The perennial question ‘What would others think of me, if I do this?’ (As if, it was somebody’s prerogative to define what is right or wrong in life!), would occasionally make a tear or two (okiee..make it buckets..happy?) escape from her eyes. My obvious submissiveness to people and situations would often make me put my hands up and surrender.
What was more interesting is the fact that the sobbing episodes were of assorted kinds, whose intensity and quantity would fluctuate with random ease. For instance, mahayuddh with Ma, screwing up my Physics exam, Papa getting visibly upset with me, but not telling me where did I go wrong?, not getting through an interview; my siblings shooting back at me, giving me the shock of my life (but since it was a part and parcel of their growing up process, I bail them out of this. Yeah..I know..big time bias..but what to do, when you love somebody so much? "Bachcha party, you better adore me for this!") and not to forget, the perpetual gender wars culminating into jackass comments such as ”Abe yaar ,chal chod, ladki hain, rone lagegi!!(Yes, that’s the seldom feminist in me,speaking, for a change!!). All the aforementioned events would stimulate the tear tank differentially. Often vulnerability, a palpable conversation or an overwhelming gesture would make tears dwell in my eyes too!
To cut the long story short (Hayo rabba!!ab yaad aaya mujhe?), I was the kinds who could easily score a negative 10/10 on Emotional Intelligence.
So, have I changed over the years bygone?
Well, I haven’t risen out of ashes like Phoenix and punctured my vocal chords screaming “Nahi! Ab main nahi ro-oongi!” neither do I go slitting people’s throat, if they dare to make even the slightest attempt to fiddle with my sanity (though sachchi-muchchi speaking I would love to!!).
But, yes, there was indeed, a phase in my life, when denial helped. I sketched out a perfect ‘Escape Route’ for myself, ‘I-got-no-emotion-I-won’t-cry‘. My face would redden up and my blood would hit 100˚C (Yup, like a typical chudail in a Ramsay horror movie) and my hands would clench to knock off the nuisance maker (Now you know from where Lady Swank got the inspiration in Million Dollar Baby and swiped off the Oscar!!).
But I did not cry.
Today is no different, it’s as much as a hopeless crusade (as it was 10 years ago or the transitory phase in between) to decipher, ‘What exactly makes me helpless enough to cry?’ I’m still subjected to a situation analogous to a proverbial kid in a toy store. Lost. There are umpteen occasions, when I struggle and question myself, “Do I stand the choice of crying or should I behave brave?”.
Total façade, because, at the end of the day, I’m human. There are days when I’m brave (Well, some people have tagged me Jhansi Ki Rani too! Shukriya ..Shukriya!) , and there are days when I sulk and I’m hopelessly weak. So, I still do cry. Just that, earlier I howled to bestow a sense of guilt upon the person who made me feel miserable (And it’s the last thing on Earth,which works; making a Zebra doing disco is much easier!). And if tears didn’t do the trick, I would find refuge in words (and in the process I have made some of the best speeches of my life, which I regret till date).
But now, I cry, unnoticed. Alone. Without an audience. Just myself. It helps me recognize my own feelings and embrace them as a part of me.
So, for all those people, who assume crying to be a sign of weakness, or a woman’s job, I would love to be a loyal opposition. The advice on board is (I agree, an unwanted one, though), crying helps. I got no clue about the biochemical reactions going on, in and out of the neurons, but it sure cleanses your soul. And trust me, that’s less of a cleaning job to do, thereafter in your life.