BOYS DON’T CRY!
That moment…it felt that the “sound of silence” could be deafening.
The silence was laughing uproariously at the people present in that numb moment.
He was staring in vacuum. His shirt was torn, hair dishevelled and tears had dried up while it left a mark on his cheeks.
She was sobbing inconsolably. Fingers imprinted on her cheeks, a fresh bump on her forehead showed that she was beaten up.
“Son, why did you do this, is this how I have brought you up? Didn’t I always tell you to respect women. Understand them. Why so much anger you contain within yourself? You guys should have resolved the matter by talking the things out. Hitting is not the solution. It is a cowardly act. I love you, son but you seem so despicable today. I regret giving birth to you,’’ his mother vented her feelings.
He looked unfazed. Without giving any reaction. He continued staring in vacuum. His face showed no traces of remorse. His mother slowly walked towards his daughter in-law and hugged her tight, caressed her hair and wiped her tears.
“Look at her condition. You are an animal!’’
“Ma.” he spoke for the first time after breaking the silence.
“Did you bother asking me, why did I take this drastic step. Have you ever seen me hitting anyone, leave aside raising my hand on a woman? Did you ever wonder why your son had become so quiet and sad? Did you ever try to find the smile that I had lost somewhere. No you didn’t!
She had made my life a living hell. Her continuous nagging,showing me down,demeaning me and comparing me in public, calling me nincompoop and so much so she called me impotent an impotent and useless.
You know Ma, she even hit me, she hit me hard physically but I never got back because you told me NOT to hit a woman. But with each assault my pride got injured, my self-respect started biting dust; my self-confidence was drained out.
Sadness, self-pity, anguish, rage, hatred all this started bottling up inside me. The chemical reaction of varied emotions started striding inside me still I kept enduring all of it until the lid of my endurance blew up and for the first time today I hit her.
Why all the mothers teach their sons ONLY to not hit a woman. Why can’t mothers treat boys and girls as equal regardless of their gender. Why don’t they teach their daughters too to respect the sentiments of a man and give him credit for what he silently does for the family. Just because we are men doesn’t mean we are born strong. Strength comes from love, emotions ,acceptance and understanding too. It’s not only about how the physical constitution of a man is made, ma” and he could not speak any further; a huge lump in his throat lulled him.
His mother was shocked. She could not believe what she had just witnessed or heard. Suddenly the man who appeared like a monster looked so helpless.
“But but why didn’t you ever share this with me. I was always there for you to hear you out, to understand you my son. Why did you let all these emotions bottle up inside you? You could have told us or even cried and allowed your pain to wash away.”
“Did you just say cried? But Ma you always said, boys don’t cry. Boys who cry are sissy.’’
He hit the wall hard with his full might and broke down.
Boys don’t cry Ma. Wish you had allowed me to cry and vent my feelings like my sister in the childhood. Wish you had brought us up equally. Wish you had treated us the same .as your children-not as a boy and a girl.’’
He dialled 100.
“I have hit my wife. Come and take me. Take me away from here PLEASE.’’ The pain in his voice was beyond imagination.
And this broken man who sat on the floor was crying.
Boys DO cry. Let them.
About the author: Shailja Narita is a Gurgaon resident and a marketing professional with a passion for writing and photography. Mother of two boys with an adventurous spirit, she has six half marathons in her kitty and she expresses best through her writings – Kathachitram by Shailja