Recently i went over to my good friend rahul's house to catch up on the past year, re live the past joys and ponder upon the fast approaching future, Our conversation chanced upon the latest aamir khan starrer 'Taare Zameen Par' , the tale of a dislexic boy who discovers his potential.
For those who are unfamiliar, the movie is known to be a tear jerker, for even the most stoic of men, But not for Rahul, of course not, his insensitivity is legendary!
"So, vivek did you cry during the movie?"
Rahul asked with a glitter in his eye,
I had cried a bucketful, even the little girl who sat next to me was staring, and offered her hand kerchief, i returned it after wiping my eyes and blowing my blocked nose, she strangely threw it away, very strange, but coming back to the matter at hand, Rahul would pull my leg for ages if he came to know the truth.
"Dude you crazy? i don't cry! i'm a man" i replied defiantly. Somehow my half hearted reply didnt even convince me. Rahul was not gonna let this go. I had embarassed him often enough, he finally had something on me, i had to find a way out.
"Don't lie, Your eyes must have filled up with tears atleast" he shot back. Was he there at the theatre? Did he plant that li'll girl to catch me in my weakest moment. Did he videotape the whole incident. All manner of thoughts raced through my head. Should i admit it and plead for mercy? Should i book a ticket out of bangalore? Run while i had my pride intact?
"Of course not, i was yawning throughout, damned kid got dumped in a damned boarding school. why should i cry?" My nerve had thankfully not given way. Maybe this battle could be won. Maybe i could still walk with my head held high. Die another day!
"Okay your throat must have choked atleast"The man was onto something, he could smell a rat, and was playing around like a cat playing with its prey, before going for the kill! I should give up while i still can i decided.
"Fine!! My throat did go dry, thats when i reached for my neighbour's pepsi, But i did not cry" I gave way, maybe he would go easy. i hoped and prayed.
"So you choked and did not cry. Like a typical man! There is nothing wrong with crying yaar, its natural, only a real man would cry, Try crying dude, it helps, You feel way better after you let the tap in your head flow, you'll feel much better" Rahul ended his little speech with a pat on my back.
This from the man who was the tower of insensitivity in school, the basketball playing mindless brute, who didn't even bat an eyelid when he was last in class 11 along with me. The man who sent his dog away and visits her during festivals(Thats another long story).
Life had changed my friend. Wholesale changes!!!
Or had it? maybe he was putting up this macho act just to save face with me.We were playing this double act all this while! and hiding our true sides, our true feelings!
I'm not gonna conclude by asking everyone to show their true sides and not to go with whats "cool" .Rahul and i had shitloads of fun playing men while we were still boys, The fun making and abuse has no parallel . Twas just a funfilled chapter in the picture book of life, you can paint it in any which way you want .
As a boy i painted like a man
When i became a man
i look back at the paintings of boyhood
trying to 'be a man'