Use and Misuse of Tears

My information about tears is very limited and rudimentary. That does not go beyond shedding them to wash off the sins. I regularly do the ritual.

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My information about tears is very limited and rudimentary. That does not go beyond shedding them to wash off the sins. I regularly do the ritual. But the ace practitioners of the art as well as tear-watchers aver that tears constitute a powerful weapon in the hands (read eyes) of a woman. Sometimes they are like a Kalashnikov, sometimes like a light machine gun (LMG) and sometimes like an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (IBM). Much depends upon how and when she uses them. If she strikes – as did Hillary Rodhem Clinton – when the iron is hot, her success is cocksure.
The news from Manchester has it: Americans from across the political spectrum played and replayed the clip, pausing on every flicker of expression on Ms Clinton’s face, asking questions like: After political lifetime of keeping her emotions secret, why was she finally letting her guard down? Was it a spontaneous outburst or a calculated show? She kept herself under control when the world found out her husband’s marital misconduct.
Many discovered a “humarised” Hillary after the New Hampshire coffee shop incident, in which the former first-lady made “a nakedly emotional plea for her candidacy.” Was it that Katherine Hepburn has said in Adam’s Rib. Here we go again, the old juice. Guaranteed heart melter. A few female tears, stronger than any acid. I believe it was the awful prospect of losing in the rat race. Otherwise, the west as a whole considers crying a sign of weakness, on the part of both male and female. But can a woman cultivate or prove masculinity?
To you in Asia, the question may sound reasonable. But the response in the west would be different. They read “self pity” in it. Is not like locating a black cat in a darkroom?
Crying on the part of male may look somewhat odd. But not on all occasions. When Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, ignoring security and protocol, jumped into the grave of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, he, totally uncontrollable, was crying like a child. It was simply human.
After visiting a communal carnage, Mrs. Indira Gandhi could not control her emotions and started weeping like a primary school girl. After losing a general election, she put up a brave face for a few days. But one day she cut herself off from engagements and for hours wept bitterly in her bedroom. Was it un-human or inhuman?
After the communal upheaval in Bhiwandi and Jalgaon, when Mr. Y.B. Chavan returned to New Delhi, his eyes were red. The presspersons asked the Union Home Minister about his findings. His cryptic one-liner was: “I have seen a mother today, whose face would haunt me throughout my life.” Her two young sons had been done to death in front of her eyes.
Last week, our shadow prime minister wept after watching a film Taare Zameen Per. But Mr. L.K. Advani, quite fastidious that he is, is selective in shedding tears also. There was not a single tear in his eyes after – to name a few – Moradabad or Hashimpura and Malyana or Neilli or Bhagalpur or Mumbai or Gujarat! No national tragedy moves him. He is a strong man. You can see him in a picture of serenity in the video-films when the Babri Masjid was being brought down brick by brick. Our wannabe Premier did not cry when Bilkis Bano was gang-raped and when her near and dear ones were slaughtered. He, last week, even praised Mr. George Fernandese profusely whose comment on the rape in Gujarat was simply classic: what is extraordinary about rape? It is common and takes place everywhere!
The truth is that Mr. Advani is a mature politician, who knows where to, where not to shed tears. The case of an immature person is different as, Faani Badayuni pointed out:
Aansu thhey so khushk huey; jee hai ke umda aata hai, / Dil pe ghataa si chhayee hai; khulti hai na barasti hai.
My translation, I am afraid, would turn Faani into his grave: The tears have dried up; my being vainly wants to cry in full / something like the rain-laden clouds hover over my heart; they neither dispel nor rain.