Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Sunday Scribblings - "Confession"

A couple of confessions, in no particular order of importance because they’re not terribly important. The really interesting ones get to remain unconfessed and I shall carry the guilt (or the secret joy) of those unconfessions to the grave (or the crematorium) with me. Sorry, folks.

Confession No 1:

When I was 10 years old or thereabouts, I accompanied my parents to their friends’ home. There were two boys there, the older one about 12 years old and the younger a couple of years younger than me. Younger one evidently worshipped older one, and older one showed off freely and quite unashamedly, encouraged to greater “feats” by the presence of an extra onlooker (me). At one point he opened an atlas and challenged me to match his hand span at full stretch, thumb on Australia and tip of middle finger touching India (or something like that).

I did it fairly easily (the older one hadn’t observed this, probably busy trying to think of the next “challenge”) but then saw the look on the younger boy’s face – total shock/disappointment/disbelief at the perceived fall of his hero, beaten by a mere girl… and oh dear, a few incipient tears. So I asked the older one to show me again exactly where he’d placed his thumb and middle finger, and then - oh, how I cringe at this confession - I pretended that I couldn’t match his “manly” hand span!
Yes, I ensured that the younger one’s hero didn’t fall off his pedestal and protected the reputation of the older one… but oh, at what price this impulsive defence of a young blowhard! What a letdown of my gender, of all the women who fought for emancipation, who fought for the vote, who fought for equality, who fought to be seen as equal to or even better than men! It is a difficult, difficult thing to confess, and I may never live this down...

Confession No 2:

Actually, come to think of it, this next confession may actually matter – but never mind, I shall come clear no matter at what further cost to my reputation.

I’ve always made fun of people who cried at emotional scenes in movies, pointing out perfectly logical and perfectly true things like “It’s not real, they’re only acting”, and shaking my head in disbelief when I caught anyone blubbing – which was pretty often. But what they didn’t know, because I was at great pains to hide from everybody (friends and family both), is that I cried at every single melodramatic scene I came across. Since everybody would be watching the movie and not me, and because the cinema halls were always dimly lit, I got away with it every time (I’m pretty sure of this). And by the time the credits got over and the lights came on, I would have collected myself, ready to mock those who didn’t have a problem with being openly “emotional” or being labeled “sensitive”.

There. That’s about as much as I’m willing to lay bare.


Dee Martin said...

Such a never-ending job, protecting boy's egos LOL and I admit that I have even cried at a few commercials!!
My husband always laughs. I throw things at him!

Kamini said...

Lovely, Shyam. And I think that your first confession goes to show that you are a really very nice person!
And I too have wept copiously (and secretly) during movies, emerging dry-eyed and smiling once they're over!

Teesu (very very Indian, very very good) said...

C1 -- Very nice of you indeed and that too at that young age !C2-- To cry for movies runs in the family ...and hiding it too.