Oh my God! I sure can cry!

Oh My God! I sure can cry but be rest assured, I am not a cry baby!

In our deeply patriarchal society where it is considered ‘unmanly’ for even a boy to cry, forget a grown up man, I am not ashamed to admit that I do cry often, for a myriad of reasons!
I started noticing this peculiar affliction of mine, since childhood. A friend falling down while playing football and hurting his knee, made me cry. A teacher scolding a class fellow for not doing his homework brought tears to my eyes. Calling on a sick class mate in hospital opened the flood gates…..you get it? Right?
Till the time I was considered as a ‘little boy’, my crying did not matter. Some, especially girls thought it to be cute. Believe me; I got a lot of hugs and pecks on my cheeks for it. However, as I grew up I realized that while girls still thought my crying to be cute, other boys had started making fun of me! Try as I might, interdict the tears proved fruitless.
In hindsight, after endless thoughts, on crossing the ripe albeit young age of fifty years I now think I know who is responsible for this challenge of mine. No, it is not my genes. One look at my stentorian parents even today would be enough to douse all doubts. It is none other than the quintessential mom of Bollywood, yes, Nirupama Roy! I believe she was single-handedly responsible for my condition.
Growing up on a staple diet of ‘mom’ Nirupama Roy movies made me bawl at a drop of any emotional, heart tugging situation but the question remains what of today? Why even now in my present age does the ‘ganga – jamuna dhaara not ebb? In fact the range of emotions which trigger the flood gates have only increased. Apart from all emotional scenes in movies I also get moved by, lovely romantic scenes. Forget movies, if someone praises me or my work tears jostle out. Forget praising me, if someone praises my wife / daughter / parents / my closest friends my eyes start their precipitation. Forget praising my loved ones, retirement parties, birthday parties, marriage parties, engagement parties, you name it and the cascading waterfall shows its presence.
During my courtship and early marriage years my wife would be alarmed as soon as she saw tears welling in my eyes. “Everything ok jaanu?” “Have I done something to offend you sweetheart?” “Please talk to me and together we can sort everything out,” would be music to my ears! As of today she just knows all the situations when my eyes would brim over and very quietly take hold of my hand to give me a tight squeeze! Wow! Crying unconditionally does have its benefits. Even after twenty six years of togetherness, the tight squeezes have not subsided.
On the other hand, my daughter, who is a qualified doctor by the way, is primed to my ways. Say, if we are watching a movie at home and an emotional scene is about to unravel and I am trying my best to shut the flood gates tight my daughter would peer at me, as a dentist would at a patient and say loudly to no one in particular, “Daddy is about to cry!” Lo and behold and the rain would start.
Both my wife and my daughter have handed me the sobriquet – coconut. I now believe that they have come to terms with my situation and we all share a nice hearty laugh after a bout of vigorous crying!
Oh My God! I sure can cry but be rest assured, I am not a cry baby!

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