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September 19, 2017
With the sharp explosive sound of the gun shot under the scorching sun and the intense desire to bring home the bacon they rushed on the racecourse – trying to overtake each other. Their parents were surrounding the track-cheering for them, hooting and shouting to encourage them, with a feeling in their heart that today their child would make them proud by defeating everyone present in the race . When suddenly from the middle of the crowd I saw a girl advancing and within no time she was leading the race. And there raised a sudden urge in me to observe the faces of boys running behind her to overtake her and to break the tape in record time. I saw them getting uneasy and their faces turning pale. Their forehead creased, their expressions hardened, their jaws clenched, their mouth twitched and vein pooped out in their neck. Sweat poured off their faces and drenched their jersey. Their heart throbbing as to burst out any moment and their feet speeding up. And when they saw finish line approaching-terror overtook their faces. It seemed like they’ve encountered death and so they pulled together every bit of their strength, pushed their spirit, screamed their heart out and advanced rapidly by springing steps. And Gosh! defeat slapped all their faces when the girl broke the tape.
No matter what you are going through and no matter how hollow and weak you get inside- you ought to stand firm and stoic in front of the society.
She grinned on her victory while disappointment took over others. While everyone surrounded the achiever and started congratulating her, I noticed a boy silently crawling to a corner, his eyes were wet and pain was apparent on his face. He was the boy who stood second in the race and the next movement I caught him being teased by a group of boys. They were mocking him for being defeated by a girl by calling him a looser. I could see the pain and humiliation in his eyes but stood apart to see his reaction. Then I saw a man- who was in his early thirties walking towards him; he had a slight smile on his face still I could sense a short of discomfort in his behavior. When the boy saw the man, he ran towards him and busted out into tears revealing his reaction with a man. His father gently took his hands and asked softly-
Why are you crying son?
I lost dad, I couldn’t get the winning trophy-he cried.
Runner up trophy is okay son but a girl defeated you- he tantalized; And first stop crying like a girl- he added further.
It was then I saw a ten years old innocent and carefree boy learning that being a man, one isn’t supposed to cry.
I saw the little boy learn to hide his pain, feelings, tears, humiliation and everything he was going through at that instant behind his smile- to live up to society’s concept.
It was then I realized that it’s tough being a man. No matter how upset you are, no matter what you are feeling inside, no matter what you are going through and no matter how hollow and weak you get inside- you ought to stand firm and stoic in front of the society, you ought to hide your tears behind your fake smile, you ought to act normal and strong to meet expectation of this so-called chauvinism society. Because according to the so-called concept of our society crying is a sign of weakness and being a man you aren’t supposed to be weak. So it was then when I saw the little boy learn to hide his pain, feelings, tears, humiliation and everything he was going through at that instant behind his smile- to live up to society’s concept, I realized it’s tough being a man too.
It was then in his home, when he was asked to share his dearly toys with his cousins, who never allowed him to touch theirs. It was then when he was forced to share his birthday gifts and favorite chocolate with his sister; I saw him learn that men are meant to give without expecting anything in return. I saw him learn to kill his own wishes for the happiness of others. It was then I realized that being a man is tough too.
It was in his school that he was forced to choose science against his wish of going with humanities; since his parents felt that science have wider scope. It was after his school that he was pushed to hit the books in an engineering college far away from his friends and family that I saw a teen boy crushing his aspiration to live his family’s dreams. It was during his college days that the plan of buying a sports bike for him was dropped when someone suggested his father to buy a scooty instead; so that it can come handy to his sister even and later was mocked among his group for counting chickens before they were hatched; I saw the young boy stop dreaming. It was then I realized that being a man is tough too.
Gentleman learn to accept humiliation and insult as a prize for his help and commitment.
It was a crowded bus. A pretty girl walked in finds no seat. Disappointed, she stood next to him. Sudden breaks caused her to stumble. He stood close to her with an intention to save her from falling. Sudden breaks again and she fell on his chest. He held her and helped her up. The rest of it turned into a humiliating tale of how he was slapped and insulted in front of the whole world. It was then I noticed him hiding his tears because men aren’t allowed to cry but women are free to humiliate them in public. The same happened to him when his girlfriend dumped him for some other boy and he was called incapable of keeping a girl happy. I saw him shattering into pieces; I saw the gentleman learn to accept humiliation and insult as a prize for his help and commitment. It was then I realized that being a man is tough too.
It was when sitting in the park he was observing the little girl playing around happily, smiling and giggling. It looked as if everything she touched turn to be happy. Her glowing face, small steps, honeyed voice made him miss his newborn who he left miles away just to feed his family. He sat there and watched her finding comfort in her laughter. A sudden tap on his shoulder broke the chains of his thoughts. And I heard the sound of his heart cracking when he was held guilty and suspicious for watching a child for such a long time. They saw him as everything he wasn’t a kidnapper an abuser. They failed to see what he really was- a father. It was then I saw the man learn, that he don’t deserve solace; all he owns is living up to the expectations of other and society to be precise. It was then I realized that being a man is tough too.
Visualize yourself acting strong when you are shattered within, faking smile when you’re dying of the grief, hiding or emotion when all you wish is to cry out loud and tell the world how hard it is to pretend something which you aren’t.
It was then his daughter grown up and fell in love with a jerk and argued to live with him. He tried to stop her, for her knew that the boy her daughter was in love with didn’t deserve her; for he knew that love alone is insufficient for survival; and for this he was called a hardliner and an orthodox. It was when his care and love was seen as boundation on his daughters life. It was then again when a tear struggled to come out of his eyes-but he reminded himself that being a man he isn’t supposed to cry and I saw a man finally giving up on the society. It was then I realized that being a man is tough too.
So dear society out there and precisely woman, now it's time for you to step into men's shoes. I know sometimes you feel like only you have responsibilities and wish to own the kind of freedom these men posses, but now have a closer look on their life.
He’s called weak if he reveals his emotion and hardliner if he don’t . He’s labeled as kiddo if he don’t drink and a cheap drunkard if he does. He’s termed as conservative if he follows tradition and culture and careless if he promotes new beliefs. He’s titled as slave if he listen and obeys a woman and an abuser if adhere to his own thoughts. He’s called impotent if he gets thrashed by a woman and cruel if he see eye to eye. He’s never appreciated for what he really is; he’s never allowed to speak his heart out, he’s just forced to act according to the preset concept of the society, he’s always compelled to act strong and fake smile even if he isn’t. I’m not saying that life of women is easy, undoubtedly they perform numerous jobs and responsibilities but it would be completely biased to take into account only the privileges and snubbing the duties these men performs.
So next time when you tell yourself “wish I was a man” take a deep breath and visualize yourself acting strong when you are shattered within, faking smile when you’re dying of the grief, hiding or emotion when all you wish is to cry out loud and tell the world how hard it is to pretend something which you aren’t. Did you smile thinking about that? No! So now step back and try to seek happiness in what you are. Because my dear that's the most important and the easiest task- being exactly what you are.