The other day BP and I had been to the city for some purchases and the usual round of hogging. As we indulged ourselves with some golgappas near Laxmi Galaxy, we saw identical twin girls, about 5 years old, emerge out of the building. One of them was sobbing incessantly while the other remained fairly unruffled. The pitch grew higher and the wails grew longer as the child wept with no restraint.
Watching this little girl cry with so much gay abandon filled me with a sense of happiness albeit with a pinch of salt. Childhood was the time when one could cry their lungs out without a care in the world. A broken toy, a fight with the new kid on the street, Amma’s sharp words or Appa’s anger; all of these and more could elicit a shower of tears. But as we grow older, we are taught to remain placid and composed even in times of crisis. With age, we learn the art of concealing sorrow and converting it into bitterness that manifests as wry humour or a cynical attitude.
Here was a girl crying over a toy or a new dress. Nobody shushed her, nobody thought her to be ‘weak’. She would eventually stop crying, sniff a little, wipe her red nose and forget about it. Soon, she will smile with all the happiness in the world because she has nothing gnawing at her from within. What have we done to ourselves in the name of ‘growing up’? We bottle the hurt and bury the regret until it finally chokes us with its weight and we are left gasping for breath from everything we have been holding on to.
Break away from this bondage. The next time you are upset, take a moment for yourself. Don’t stifle yourself and drown in the pool of despair you create for yourself. Free yourself from the shackles you place around yourself; learn to let go of everything that you’ve been holding on to. It’s okay to shed tears. You don’t have to mask your emotions for the benefit of the world. You deserve to be honest to yourself.