Boys don’t cry

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Boys don’t cry. Nah. They may run into nasty boo boos and get mommy to kiss the wounds from time to time, but at least when they’re with their gang, boys do NOT cry. And men. They do not cry. Ever! Nope. They can’t cry. The tear glands are there for decoration only.

Imagine Lois Lane running to Superman for cover from Lex Luthor and Superman bursting into tears. He’ll be the laughing stock of the superhero community. Soon enough, Batman asks him, “Hey, water-eyes. Does that S on your chest stand for ‘Super’ or ‘Sissy’?” and overtime, he starts feeling self conscious, stops attending parties, shies away from friends, and stays at home watching reruns of the Oprah Winfrey Show with a bucketful of napkins in close reach. Stuff like these tends to ruin hard earned reps.

Bizarro: You will pay now, with your life. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha….

Victim: Help!!! Somebody save me!!! Is there anybody there??

Superman: This is a job for… Superman. Unhand that citizen, Bizarro.

Victim: Uhm.. Is there anybody ELSE there?

Superman: Fear not, citizen. I am here.

Victim: Yeah. I can see that. Don’t take this the wrong way. I don’t want you making a scene. But I think I’ll wait for Batman or Daredevil.. or maybe.. Hey, come on, now. Don’t cry already!! Get back here. Oh come on!!”

Crying men, then, are not commonly accepted. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule… as there are exceptions to every rule… There are women who refuse to cry, and there are men who do cry. Quite often, he would be the one who used to get beat up, scolded, teased and ridiculed every day as a child, and that was just by his parents.

Now I am not a crying man, as a rule. But just like I said about four sentences ago, there are exceptions to every rule. Emotions CAN pile up from time to time. I watched the new Aamir Khan Movie “Taare Zameen Par” last night. It was spectacular and stunning at the same time, which is not difficult because the words more or less mean the same thing. I am typically not a big fan of Bollywood, but if I had a hat on, I would have raised it in reverence to the skill with which this movie was made. And there were scenes which were filled to the brim with emotions…

So when I got to office today, I was ranting about the movie and was pushing everyone to go watch it. And I also happened to mention that I cried for a few scenes. This apparently raised a few eyebrows.

Colleague: You mean you cried?

Me: Yeah, there was this scene where…

C: You mean you ACTUALLY cried?

M: Huh? What?

C: Nothing. I just imagine you crying and…

M: Oh… Ok… No, no no. I didn’t cry. Sheeesh. Nope. Not me. Sure I had a few manly tears I belched in between beers. But no crying.

C: Hmm…

M: I had a lot of stuff that kept going to my eyes. It just happened to coincide with the emotional sissy scenes on the screen. That’s all.

C: Ya, I’m sure

M: Gnats and dust particles in my eyes. That’s it. And that too, not the sissy gnats. I’m talking about the macho gnats from Mexico with hairy chests going ‘Let’s poke this guy in his eyes, hombre’.

C: Ok, ok. I get it. You can cut the sissy talk now.

M: There was NO sissy talk. Just one or two random stray tears. And those were not sissy tears. They were part acid, part alcohol. They were a man’s tears.

C: STOP IT. I give up. I’m sorry I raised the issue. Can we change the topic PLEASE???

I don’t see why it’s a big deal. As far as I’m concerned, those tears (the masculine potent ones of mine) were testaments to the brilliance of the movie.

Right about now, most of the people who know me are falling off their chairs in wild wonder. A Hamish praising a Hindi movie is quite unheard of. Usually, when I watch a Hindi movie trying to get emotional, I move to a secluded spot so that I don’t hurt bystanders when I roll on the floor laughing. Far too often have I cringed at Bollywood actors/ actresses relentlessly ruining the magic of movies… Sure, I’ve applauded Dil Chahta Hai, secretly enjoyed Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, and have fond childhood memories of Mr. India. But these came nowhere close to eradicating the ill effects of Soldier, the ham acting from Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Ghum, the recommending for which I almost severed ties with a close aunt and associated cousins. So it is indeed quite out of the ordinary for a Hamish to lavish praises on a Hindi movie. But Taare Zameen Par certainly deserves it. In fact, I recommend that you stop reading this, run off to the nearest theatre, buy tickets and watch the movie.

I’m frantic that way. I’ve been randomly canvassing people in a more or less similar fashion.

Me: Hey, you. Yes you. You look tired. Why don’t you go and watch ‘Taare Zameen Par’?

Random Stranger: Huh? Do I know you?Yeah, there was this scene where…

Me: No, not really. I just noticed you were looking kinda irate as you walked by. Just giving a suggestion, you know. A movie might do you good. Could help ease your tension… or something.

RS: You know what. I HAVE been feeling tired lately. I think I’ll take your advice. A movie might be just what the doctor ordered.

Me: Attaboy. That’s the spirit. Let’s see now. The closest theatre here is PVR. Why don’t you go there and check out the tickets to ‘Taare Zam…’

RS: Hmm.. Naah. Not really in the mood for tearguzzlers. I think I’ll go and watch Akshay’s ‘Welcome’ instead. It’s supposed…

Me: Blasphemer!! Hrmph!!!

Now why do I get riled up over this? It is just a movie, after all… right? Well, maybe so, but this is the first time I’ve found a Bollywood movie made so well, and if it doesn’t turn out to be as popular as it deserves to be, I’d be frowning rather seriously at the Indian population. I’d be forced to shed another tear for my countrymen. A manly one, of course.

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11 Responses

  1. silverine1 says:


    “They were part acid, part alcohol. They were a man’s tears”

    Now that was an original quote!! i am going to watch this movie!! And congrats on the new home 🙂

  2. Arun Jose says:

    Hehe… 🙂 Very well written, man… I had the same experience about this movie. Even I have become a walking advertisement for the movie… 🙂

  3. TeleRavi says:

    Ham, nice read, but then I feel people shouldn’t rely too much on your advice, because you would rarely ever watch a Hindi movie 🙂 I got to watch some version of TZP online, and yes, I did like it. I might have missed the effects of the big screen, but then, the presence of Aamir forced me to remember Rang De Basanti (RDB). I would argue, however wacky the idea of comparing two movies with polarily different themes might seem, that except for the child actor and the animation, this one was nowhere near. I remember that evening of January 2006 where I went with a friend to watch this movie and came out and started toying with the idea of bombing the Marathalli bridge. I’m a peace-loving vegetarian, so you could imagine how persuasive the message in RDB should have been 🙂

  4. hammy says:

    Hey, Teleravi… El dudio…

    I DID watch Rang De Basanti. It was powerful, I’ll admit. And I DID like it. And I know opinions differ from person to person…

    My own is that TZP ranks far far above RDB. RDB had moments, yes. But this movie was near perfect. As a matter of fact, I even rate Dil Chahta Hai over RDB (a controversial move, I know…)

    And remember, Ravi… I’m not even saying that this movie is good, considering it is a Hindi movie. No. I’m saying this movie is superb. Period. I’m comparing it to Hollywood greats. And you KNOW how big that is, coming from me.

  5. hammy says:

    Hey, Silverine… Thanks a lot. Ya, the new home feels cosy.

    Have a warm and fuzzy feeling about this.

    Then again, it could just be the beer talking…

  6. TeleRavi says:

    Wow, did you say you watched RDB as well?! From being a hard-nosed hardliner to an irenic watch-it-all, you’ve come a long way, Hammy! I’ll hope for a day when you’ll get disillusioned with Hollywood and start falling from the edge of your seat watching David Dhawan’s senseless tragedies and popping-in anti-depressants after doses of Karan Johar’s melodramatic ‘tear’jerkers 🙂 Ooh, meanwhile, I love to imagine *you* falling off your seat 😛

    Jokes apart, I respect your opinion. I know it’s big for TZP when it comes from your mouth. And I’ve got to agree that I might’ve compromised on a lot of it by not watching it on the big wide screen.

  7. Swetha says:

    Hey Ham..
    nice work.. 🙂
    so keep in mind.. that once in a while u can watch bolly movies also.. particularly when recommended by ME!!

  8. hammy says:

    Hey, Teleravi,

    I STILL hate most of Bollywood. I’ve tried many movies. Sometimes, I laugh riotously until someone informs me that the movie is not supposed to be a comedy. Five minutes of watching a movie… any part of it… makes me just curse out at Bollywood. I’ve almost severed ties with some of my cousins and the respective aunt for recommending Kabhie Kushi Kabhie Ghum. I know I’ve told this before, but this one’s pretty legendary. I’ll probably say it again.

    There are movies that I HAVE liked a lot. I saw Chak De India. It was a bit like Walt Disney’s old “The Mighty Ducks”, but original enough. It was nice. I’ve seen a bit of Om Shanti Om, and reckon I’ll probably like it too. I’ll watch it sometime. Don’t let it be said that I only blast Hindi movies because of a lack of exposure. No. I watch enough. Only a few turn out impressive. TZP was something else. I’m going for a repeat show tomorrow… my friend Nash needs company.

  9. AlAmeen says:

    I watched this movie along with my friends.. I found it very difficult to hide my tears… A great movie from AAmir..
    And a nice blog here…

    Will read the rest some other time..


  10. Solitaire says:

    OMG your post has a tinge of humor in it but is so spot on! Thank you for not putting up the macho facade and being honest!

  1. October 9, 2008

    […] to some basic rules. Guys are traditionally expected to bite their lips and grunt away the pain. No cries. But you know that I am not bound by society’s stereotyping. So my first reaction was – […]

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