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Posted at: Sep 2, 2015, 12:31 AM; last updated: Sep 1, 2015, 9:32 PM (IST)

Let the teardrops fall

Aamir Khan has done it and so has Justin Bieber! Men, when the heart is torn and emotion is overwhelming, do believe in crying out loud, even in the public glare

Jasmine Singh

‘Ladkey rotey nai hain… Men don’t cry’, a campaign has been around for sometime now opens with this line. And then a few days back, the beefed up Aamir Khan filled buckets with tears after watching Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan and later Katti Batti. If this was just a trickle, popular pop sensation Justin Bieber broke down after his performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Looks like men can cry too, in full public glare, at the drop of a hat!

What was considered only a women’s thing, to cry unabashedly, anywhere, anytime, is now finding an acceptance with many men. They wouldn’t necessarily finish a pack of tissues; but they still find it okay to let tears flow down their cheeks, and not knot them up in their throat. But are such men still considered softies, and what triggers crying, and what about the public gaze, who is okay with it?

Touch & go

Aamir Khan is not a lone example. Celebrities like Dharamendra, Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan have been captured shedding uncontrollable teardrops. Dinesh Sood, director, Orane International Ltd, finds it perfectly alright for men to cry. “In fact, crying is the best catharsis. Sometimes, women in my office approach me with their problems all sobbing; I look at them and feel it must have taken a lot of burden off their shoulders. Crying is not a women’s thing alone.”

Cry out loud

Society has always portrayed men as the stronger sex; the provider who has a heart but tears and that too in public, is a big no. Actor Harish Verma would want to ask everyone “is crying a gender thing. Anyone with emotions and heart will cry if something triggers it.”

Harish quotes an incident when he saw a small boy handling a mentally unstable elderly man at the traffic lights. “I crossed that scene but I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I was crying and went back to see them but they had left by then.”

Tragic incidents, happy moments, unforgettable memories and even films, men can cry too when any of these become too overwhelming.

Tears of joy

Indeed gender doesn’t create the divide of crying or not crying in public. It is how we have perceived it to be. “It is a farce,” adds gym instructor Pramod from sector-8. “If you look at my physique, I ooze machoism, but I cry. I remember when my mother learnt to message last year. She messaged me ‘Heilllo beta’, and I couldn’t hold my tears.”

Pramod doesn’t think he would be considered a softy if he shed tears. Chips in Kartar Cheema, “In fact, women find such men sensitive. I have a heart, it hurts, it pains so why can’t I cry even if people are watching me.” However, Kartar also adds that the frequency at which women and men cry varies. Something Rizwan Sikander and Zafar Khan also second. “I handle tough situations. I only break down when something tears through the chords of my heart. It could be a film like War Horse or when I see my nephew who is so attached to my sister like I was to my father. Being emotional is not a bad thing, after all we are also humans.”

Open your heart

Harpreet Ahluwalia, school guidance counselor based out in Patiala and on visiting faculty with private schools adds, “I blame society for attaching certain notions to men and women. “Men are not supposed to use talcum powder!,” she laughs, “why they hold back their tears is because they don’t want to be seen as soft hearted or the ladki type. Men, in fact, can react strongly to situations and they can cry easily.”

jasmine@tribunemail.com

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