Random Ramblings

#7 : Cracking the “Crying” Code

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Photo by Alberto Nogueira Junior

A couple of days ago, I was saddened by an incident at workplace. Given that we are expected to maintain “professional” decorum, I couldn’t express it then. Once I came back home, the dam broke. I wept for 20 minutes straight until my mom decided it was enough. She then went on to deliver a lengthy sermon as to why crying wouldn’t accomplish a thing and how being so emotionally weak is bad. Being the thick head that I am, I hollered at her accepting that I was, I am and I will be emotionally weak. Mum being herself, didn’t let it go. She kept telling me that I was emotionally attached and had high expectations from people, so, when things didn’t go my way I end up crying and hurt. In fact at one point, I started to agree with her. After a night of sound sleep, I felt lighter and it didn’t really matter anymore. I reasoned that she was simply protecting me from the society which would brand me weak for shedding tears.

So to the big question – Is crying a sign of weakness? More often than not, the standard reply at large to this question would be that it is okay to cry, because I am woman. After all, women and tears are synonymous. I decided to do a little replay in my head the events that eventually ended up in tears for me. I still wanted to cry and I did – locked myself up in the toilet and cried buckets. I tried doing the same exercise again – the postmortem activity – this time around however, I was clearly able to reason and no tears! Voilà! I simply had to get it out of my system. This strengthened my belief that crying is definitely NOT a sign of weakness but rather a defense mechanism to prevent us from going insane.

Sadness in life is inevitable. Circumstances, people and their behavior somehow end up dumping negative thoughts on us. Don’t we all need to clean that out, immaterial of the gender? If you shout it away, you are branded temperamental. If you cry it out, you are branded weak. If you talk it away, you are branded as being clingy. If you smile all the time to ease it off, you are branded as being pretentious. Is there some way to actually to express yourself without being ‘branded’?

I prefer to flush my sadness out by crying. In what way does that make me weak? Buddha didn’t attain enlightenment in a day. Fat chance it happens to me in a day. However, I am getting at it. I don’t let the same ‘kind’ of negativity affect me twice. I learn my lesson the first time around mostly. Does that warrant I won’t be saddened by something else? Nope. Definitely not. We are humans. Humans are supposed to be experience emotions and learn to process them.

Weeping out of sadness or disagreement is perfectly okay immaterial of the gender. Why should men be expected to be stoic all the time? Aren’t they humans too? The society these days has begun to make amends and treat a woman equal to man. Shouldn’t a man be given the same treatment as a woman when it comes to crying? Last time I checked my aptitude at biology, they had a heart too. A hear that ticked and wept just like it did inside a woman. Dissecting the gender debate with respect to crying is a worth an essay by itself. I think, this write up here in Aeon would do more just than me. Do visit this website and read the essay.

The next logical question arising would be, what of fake tears – the crocodile tears. Again, it is a stereotypical generalization that women shed tears just to garner sympathy or get things done. Not all women are capable of doing so. Moreover, I think it is fairly simple to distinguish between anguish and acting. However, when people only have enough ‘intellect’ to brand crying as a weakness, I think it would take a genius to differentiate between genuine feelings and acting.

Crying is natural. Judging a person for it is sheer foolishness.

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#6 : A Haunted Memory -#1

The fury of the dark clouds loomed over the building inducing an eerie gloom. The wind was howling, giving the whole place an unnatural feeling. A tall man with the gaunt of a cop stood intently staring at the painting that was before him. He was so immersed in the painting that he failed to notice the cacophony that the wind was orchestrating. What was strange was that, the painting before him seemed to reflect the weather outside. He sighed and moved on to the next painting which was equally brusque as the earlier one depicting a heavily pregnant woman being strangled by a man. The woman seemed to be angry rather than pleading given the circumstance, while the man was smiling. It wasn’t just a villainous smile; it was the smile of a man with pure evil intention. The woman, in spite of her state looked like a sheer beauty. Her haunting gray eyes and lustrous long black hair which hung loose over her shoulder enhanced the beauty of her impending motherhood. She was clothed in a soft red colored cotton saree which seemed to amplify the anger which dissipated from her body. It was very evident that she knew her attacker for she showed anger instead of pleading for mercy.

A little girl dressed in a Blue frock, having the same haunting gray eyes as the woman in the painting came skipping about and stood near the man. “Do you like my painting sir?” asked the girl, pulling the man out of his reverie. The man was Deputy Commissioner of Police, Prakash who was visiting the art exhibit.

“I’m sorry I didn’t catch that,” replied a visibly surprised Prakash.

“Do you like my painting sir?” repeated the girl with a glint of impatience.

“Your painting? Do you know the man in this painting? Can you take me to him?” asked the DC impatiently.

The little girl laughed at the much grown man’s ignorance. “Man? I just paint the face I like to sir, I don’t know of any man, sir other than perhaps our most holy Lord Jesus maybe?!!” replied the girl cheekily.

Prakash was simply dumbfounded. She didn’t know of the man, but had painted him in perfect detail like a professional artist who could sketch based on just the description. A fact that the woman was very much a real person who was murdered 8 years ago, probably before the girl was even born baffled him. How could she have known Lissy? Prakash was the investigating officer in Lissy’s case. Hers was the only case which didn’t really give him that closure in spite of the “murderer” being found and proven guilty.  He wasn’t convinced that they had the right killer. The man proven guilty was indeed a murderer, but something told Prakash that he didn’t kill Lissy. Post the trial, Prakash continued to hunt for the actual killer out of his own interest. He felt drawn towards Lissy. Who wouldn’t?

Note : This post is a part of the “Tagged” Contest by writer Kaarthika and The Chennai Bloggers Club. Kaarthika’s book is being released on May 29. Do pre-order it on Amazon.

I now tag Dr.Sai Sriram to take the story forward. Belated Birthday wishes Doc. Wonder what the Doc will come up with?

PS. Dear Admins, My part of the story is exactly 500 words 😀  Romance to thriller is too mainstream for me. How about thriller to romance 😛

PPS.The contest is running in full swing! 🙂 Want to read more of the story? Check out the chapters below

#2 : Three Strokes of Red – Dr.Sai Sriram.

#3 : The Red Saree  – Rajathilakam Velmurugan

#4: Black Heart – Jenny Sarato 

#5 : Who’s Next – Sheetal Mary

#6 : NUMB3RS! – Lakshmi

#7 : Will O The Wisp – Uma Muruganantham

#8 : Resurrection – Asmita Madhu

#9 :  I watched you – Satheesh K Chinnappan

#10 :  Fates Entwined – Shreya Sudesh

#11 : The Other Side – Kavya Menon

#12 : Red Handed – Malavikka Sridharan

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#5 : Tagged!

I have a love hate relationship with Facebook. Okay! Okay! who doesn’t?! Love – When I get to scroll through my news feed and like posts which I can actually associate without looking at who shared it. Hate – When people tag me. I’m the type of person who thinks of a comeback ages after the joke is dead. I would probably even miss the notification that I’ve been tagged only to stumble upon it days after and reply then. In short, I’m not quick at wit  or replies and I keep to myself largely. Thus interacting in social media is a pain. Let’s not even get to how I manage live social interactions. Honestly, between books, books and more books, what is the damn need to be on Facebook. That is one ‘book’ I would gladly give up. Lame joke that was. My bad. 

Being a book blogger, I really cannot escape social media. Facebook especially. I’m expected to post about the book I’m reading, promote reviews blah blah blah. Oh well, I grit my teeth and do it only for the love of books and the writers. I’m no social butterfly. My friend list contains people whom I have actually interacted with – either over mails or in person. So I have no peer pressure so to say “to be witty” or post something that would garner like a 100 likes and shares. I’m this spectator who doesn’t update every single activity that I do on Facebook.Ultimately, my posts don’t land a 1000 likes or shares. However, there was this one post of mine which “stole the limelight”. Oh well, I’m not surprised. This post of mine was a screenshot of a conversation between my dad and me.

About my dad – where do I even begin! He is this tech-savvy and socially active person who ‘surpasses’ his 25 year old daughter when it comes to being in tune with the memes and videos circulated in Whatsapp or Facebook. More often than not, I chide to put his phone down. Reversal of roles isn’t it?

Here is a screen-shot of that post which had me laughing straight for hours. That damn post garnered about 40 likes and 27 comments – most of which where replies in the form of memes posted by my dad. (if you are logged on to Facebook and friends with me, you should be able to see the post here,  Else, I’m sorry, you have to make do with the poor images.)

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Dhivya Balaji, Sarika Sethuraman and Vinay Kumaar, who commented on that thread are all my friends who are of my age. My dad (Sundar Rajan), gave them a tough competition. Vijay Rajagoplan, who also commented, is my uncle. (If you don’t read or know Tamil, I’m sorry, that post might not make sense at all!)

When people fear having parents on their friends list, I’m totally cool with it. I’ve never found it awkward to have my dad commenting on my posts. It’s simple really. I keep my personal life personal and private.What do I really have to fear when I don’t hide things from them and don’t post stuff online which shouldn’t be online. In fact, it’s super fun having him crack me up with his commenting antics!

Note : This post is a part of the “Tagged” Contest by writer Kaarthika and The Chennai Bloggers Club. Kaarthika’s book is being released on May 29. Do pre-order it on Amazon.

I’ve been wanting to write about why having your parents in your friend list isn’t a bad idea as it seems. Thank you guys for reminding me 🙂