The Haven
Published in

The Haven

What Are Tears?

Some cues to shed and unshed the authentic liquid emotion

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

I am filled with wonder when my fellow humans cry, on any given emotional outburst. Crying literally, as in wuhuhuhu with a liquid welling out like an overflowing dam in rains. As most of the life skills I am not very expert at, crying stands out like a Crocodile bag slinging on the shoulders of an animal activist. Especially if I disagree with fellow humans, I freaking don’t display insincere, overt emotions. While I was wee embarrassed of my inability to do so, I even tried various gambits to trigger my stubborn tear ducts into submission.

Alas! As headstrong I’ve been, my lacrimal glands have adopted the same blueprint. Ufff!

Hence first time ever, on this global platform, I am blowing a Shankha(Conch shells people, huh!) to broadcast the most coveted secret of my life, that I am not much of a CRIER! If that’s a word!? Meaning, I take time to build the emotion and then well out. But every day I come across Sapiens, who comfortably shed some liters on any given occasion, one like Crocs. For example, there are folks who cry at weddings of their third cousin’s neighbor, or when nephew’s daughter tumbles on the floor while learning to walk, or at the demise of acutely aged great granny. Despite the fact, that the snouted Croc is biologically designed to shed tears, unlike us, some of us fail to grasp the fact. The Crocs weep mostly out of consequential shame of murderous attacks on its preys, or to lubricate their eyes.

But how do we justify?

No! Please don’t judge me for being a ‘non-crier’! To be precise I can’t weep like Crocs, neither like real nor like Alligator-folks. The unsaid condition is, I can’t make myself cry mechanically. It’s all very original. I cry in bathrooms, under the pile of pillows, behind closed doors, or under boundless skies. I even don’t mind crying in cinemas. I get carried away with the realism of emotions those actors put across. Amazing!

Yet, I can’t induce crying like a drug-induced coma.

If Rumi was alive, he’d say, “Cry when you are broken, Cry if you’ve torn the bandage off. Cry in the middle of fighting, Cry in your blood. Cry when you are perfectly free”. But I was sure to remind late Rumi to add, “but for heaven’s sake don’t cry for showing off, if you don’t feel the pain. Don’t jab your eye to well out”.

I mean there is no point in ‘showing off’ that you are crying to empathize or sympathize or whatever ‘thize’.

You simply don’t need to show your care and concern by crying, there are better ways of standing beside someone in pain and regret. You can cook them scrum biryani or take them for a spa or watch The Mitchells vs The Machines together on Netflix. No, I am not running of out ideas of on how you can help someone feel better while they are stirred up. Neither am I an incorrigible optimist. There are times that pain creates semantic confusion. As kin, we can simply stand and witness. At least not pretend! It’s not even about being apathetic.

OTOH, I am very emotional, to the extent that I sometimes skirt on edges of emotional boundaries, allowing all kinda jerks to walk in.

Yet, unlike south Asian Aunties and cousins, I fail to cry on adios to a newly wedded girl or farewells of human lives, until I feel some kind of resonance. Basically it should tickle my lacrimal glands really hard. Again, it is unfathomable for me to see people willfully wiggling their ears and stimulating their tear glands!

Failing in both, middle age has taught that involuntary and impulsive crying is super-groovy for emotional and social well-being. But coaxing the same is super sin.

I hold an uncompromising grudge against Croc tears!

And I hold this grudge for two maddening perils,

Number 1, when these crocs cry, they create a ripple of not-very-desirable theatrical grandiosity that is, highly contagious. The other theatergoers put up the show. While, few who really can’t feel the pain, fake it. This in turn has a sub-effect, it pushes the participant in a self-regret of being wishy-washy.

I’ve done this myriads. When I couldn’t cry, I drew my legs to my chest and bury my head to show that I was weeping, and silently poked my eyes to shed at least a tear or two.

Wow! I wonder about my half-baked emotions in retrospect.

Number 2, it gives a false impression of brotherhood or sisterhood or any human-hood. People start trusting you if you cry ‘with’ them, in their times of despair. Consequently, they pour in their darkest, deepest, ugliest secrets. And that isn’t a fair play!

So, next time you see crying someone with you, make sure the liquid is warm and real, before opening up or giving in!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store