Hey Roger Federer ! Big boys dont cry

I saw Roger Federer’s tears as he lost the Australian Open to Nadal. It was quite heart warming to know that behind all that professionalism lay a little boy still trying to prove himself. And once the tears came so publicly, there was no stopping them. Even Federer could not help smiling at his own emotional catharsis. And he gave an insight into the years of struggle that led him to being a world champion.
I have always envied women for their ability to shed tears easily, and not be embarrassed by them. I am too conditioned now with all the training to be able to do that. Even though I as a film maker keep trying to go beyond the viewers intellect, or through their intellect, into something far deeper, into their subconscious, their own mythology, to get them to be emotionally react to what is happening on screen. And usually a provocation so deep is expressed /sublimated in tears. But in order to do that, I must explore that myth, that hidden deeper consciousness in myself. Somewhere assuming/hoping that we have common consciousness and common mythology that I have been able to tap into.
But then I am silently exploring my own hidden tears too, aren’t I ? And what is the emotional cost of keeping them hidden and only expressing them through creative work ? I wonder. I often wonder if I should express myself more openly, not worrying about containing myslelf in order to use ‘hidden tears’ for artistic expression. Poets and musicians have it better – their expression is quicker, a film takes soooo long.
But I guess in one way that is exactly what I am doing right now. Finding public expression to bubbling emotions and trying to make some sense of them as I express. In a way discovering myself and expressing myself in the same moment without too much analysis. Some logical sense yes, but not so much that it gets too logical, too mundane, too analytical.
Anyway back to tears. I do cry incidentally. I go to the Cinema and quitely shed tears in the darknes where no one can see me. That is what makes me go to Hindi Cinema every wekend in London or NY. I actually get an emotional catharsis. So ‘Jai Ho’ to all those Bollywood Melodramas !!
i was reading the NY times today and it said that while the world believed that tears were a great way to relieve deep seated stress, a large part of that depends upon your childhood. Tears are a way for children to express helplessness, and more than anything it is a way for a child to ask/plead for attention, for comfort. If in childhood the response of the parents/others to crying was immediate attention and comforting, then through their lives crying is seen as a comforting and stress relieving activity. But if not – then crying – or the learning ‘not to cry’ leaves emotional wounds that are expressed in other ways throughout one’s life.
So please pity us boys/men that were taught that to be a man meant not to cry. That to be tough meant not to cry. For we are trained to sublimate crying into achievement and competitiveness. No wonder Roger Federer finally broke down. Or footballers routinely sob when they are defeated or they win. We need extreme activity to give ourselves an emotional catharsis.
But do you also notice how different cultures react differently ? Western cultures, where emotional expression and catharsis is much looked down upon, express themselves far less. Is that why the West were the great colonizers ?

37 thoughts on “Hey Roger Federer ! Big boys dont cry

  1. And it is a healthy thing to cry, to weep, to laugh. Now scientists are discovering that crying, weeping, laughter, are immensely healthful; not only physically but also psychologically, they are very much capable of keeping you sane. The whole of humanity has gone a little cuckoo, for the simple reason that nobody laughs fully because all around there are people who will say, “What are you doing? Are you a child?at this age? What will your children think? Keep quiet!”

    Every society has done so much harm by preventing your joys and your tears. If an old man starts crying you will say, “What are you doing? You should feel ashamed; you are not a child, that somebody has taken your banana and you are crying. Have another banana, but don’t cry.”
    .. here for you :

  2. It will be interesting to note how we made various inventions including cinema in terms of four basic forces or interactions or rather to exhaust and outgrow them.
    We invented vehicles to handle gravity/physical weight beyond a certain point up to which we could handle it with our legs/physical body ourselves.
    We invented cinema to handle electromagnetic force – really the force of attractions/repulsions/emotions in simple language – or emotional weight beyond a certain limit up to which we could handle it with our heart/emotional bodies ourselves.
    We invented books, various means of communication, computers, internet etc to handle strong force – really the force of our development of ego/reason/intellect etc – or intellectual weight beyond a certain limit up to which we could handle it directly and with our brains/minds.
    And lastly we are moving towards inventing some sort of quantum net which will keep us in touch with all always to handle the weak force – really the force of our feeling of being one with all, of empathy – beyond a certain limit up to which again we could handle it sort of directly.
    So Shekhar, Jai Ho to Bollywood tear jerkers, they were really invented to help us shed tears so as to save us from experiencing all wide spectrum of emotions on our own emotinal bodies.

  3. Dear Shekharji,
    Its OK to cry, what Fedrer did was not abnormal. If he would not have cried, this wound would have left an emotional blank or void in his personal expression of his future life…actually its uncomfortable not to cry.
    What psychologists say is what they understand and they are not 100% authority because they never tell everything, they are just in process and what Fedrer did was honest emotion, naked emotion but it would not make him less macho or less sporting personality, my respect for him is better then it was before that event.
    Shekharji, I wanted to know how you approach many things in your perceptions and they are many in various dimensions and no one cam comprehend but this blog entry – it amuses me and a kind of learning experience when you write about reaching out to deeper level of intellect. It is a great way to learn this aspect so thank you for this post, I try to understand through your writings what I can learn, and everything I am rich with it, but this is something simple and complex at the same time, nevertheless a great catalyst. Thanks!
    Another opinion – speaking of tears, and women at that, I think its natural for both sexes but women have this greater level of subconsciousness in emotional responses, they have far better instincts too and they live more then men…they may age faster but they are wiser then us menfolks…if anyone has to do a research on aforesaid thing, it will be clear that many men commit suicide then women all over the world and men actually have more heart attacks then women! (Shekharji How many times you have heard that a man had heart attack at four in the morning in bathroom? and very few times you may have heard a women having heart attack)
    I think in times to come, it will be easy and progressively natural for men to show their emotions to their loved ones or people who matter to save their health and feel oneness with their emotions and family/friends…
    Hey this was your best post of 09′ Keep writing on common consciousness of human emotions, myths…love this thought provoking things you pen down…:)
    Good good bless your health

  4. Yes film takes too long…and 98% of films are not art, they rise almost to level of art but are not art…they are graffiti on walls uncensored, unprovoked and uninsightful

  5. Hello Sir, once again you picked a topic evoking a lot of public reaction, and you’ve left the house open for us to share our thoughts! It’s clever how you sideline yourself this way 😉
    I think I speak for the majority of the “emotional” sex when I say that women seek, and enjoy evoking, a visible, sensitive reaction in a man. I don’t quite buy the theory that men are incapable of befuddling themselves and working their nerves into a frenzy like us! Is life really that straightforward for one gender, and so thought-provoking and complicated for the other?! Must we try to read the clues of personal expression in abstract things like paintings and films, and crave a direct discussion? Emotions and feelings are something we are all privy to; at times they facilitate communication– but insensitive, controlled responses drive us women crazy– we usually misinterpret everything in a thousand imaginative ways, rave, rant and then dissolve into tears 😛
    I’m pretty sure the women reading this would agree– the world would be a lot simpler for us if Men Cried More!

  6. And how do we fine-tune?
    “Simrao simar simar sukh pao”
    ‘Re-member remembering again and again gain happiness’
    And this is happiness(sukh) we are talking about not only bliss(anand).
    Re-membring again and again one gets directions from this very physical matrix which are conducive to one’s happiness.
    But since these directions are very sublime one has to be very sensitive to them.A little extra force or indifference and they fly off like Betaal from Vikram’s shoulders.
    For the heedful, frustrations wither away and light shines on the worldly secrets of the Universe which lift a man from his disposition and catapult him into heaven on Earth.
    Man turns from a noun to an ever evolving verb and loosens his ignorance of having authored or created anything.While people gain from his ever flowing work he enjoys the bounties of God’s secrets experiencable only by him for him.
    To what he was blind before now he sees. Although it was never away from him,he
    could not see it for he was too proud to have seen.

  7. Emotions resides within heart.
    Head is for calculation.
    And Eyes are in-between.
    They say everything goes to head to decide to act. The decision is ours to by-pass eyes and use head or let eyes express the message.

  8. Hi,
    Just love your writing style. Please give some times to Aamir Khan for his blog. Unfortunately his blog gets more hits and comments.
    I guess,Men also cry and its just we don’t like to show it. I don’t think there is a single man on this planet who has not cried behind the scenes. We cry and just don’t want any one to see as it is considered weak for a man to cry
    Women are very lucky as they can just shed tears and express themselves emotionally. If God did not want man to cry, why would our system produce tears?
    Times are changing..Before it was women who took care of their bodies,now even men do it..Men wax,bleach,color hair,do facial etc..There will be a time when men will cry in open to express their emotions..
    So I guess Federer has every right to shed his tears..He is a champ..

  9. I wonder if it is a two way process … if you can cry and express your own sorrow that also makes you more empathetic to the emotions of other people (and animals). In other words, more compassionate. Anyway, so much of the creative process is about empathy, so the ability to cry is probably a very good thing if you’re in the arts …

  10. Hi,
    Just love your writing style. Please give some times to Aamir Khan for his blog. Unfortunately his blog gets more hits and comments.
    I guess,Men also cry and its just we don’t like to show it. I don’t think there is a single man on this planet who has not cried behind the scenes. We cry and just don’t want any one to see as it is considered weak for a man to cry
    Women are very lucky as they can just shed tears and express themselves emotionally. If God did not want man to cry, why would our system produce tears?
    Times are changing..Before it was women who took care of their bodies,now even men do it..Men wax,bleach,color hair,do facial etc..There will be a time when men will cry in open to express their emotions..
    So I guess Federer has every right to shed his tears..He is a champ..

  11. “Sab say bada dukh apney sukh ko yaad karna hei”
    The greatest sorrow is to remember greatest moments of happiness and bliss

  12. Pain or Happiness, its way to soul makes a woman cry……
    But for Man that has to reach and hit the soul hardly, to shed the tears….
    Rare cases are there in both groups……But I say, you should CRY.
    Thanks for the post Shekhar.

  13. just on the lighter side i do cry and make my husband cry:) so life goes on laughing, screaming and crying

  14. hari, quantum net is something within the realm of inventing possibilities further within the realm of the world of becoming.
    What you are talking about is something beyond, one with the realm of being, where there is nothing separate from you to tune to.

  15. hari, regarding “simmer simmer simmro sukh pao…” there is a punjabi love-poem on Heer-Ranjha:
    Ranjha Ranjha kehndi ni mein aape Ranjha hoi
    Aakho ni menu dhido Ranjha, menu Heer na aakhe koi
    (Re-membering Ranjha, Ranjha I have become Ranjha myself; now friends call me Ranjha don’t call me Heer.)
    This is the very way we progress on our search for God/One. First we take Him as separate from us and so remember Him again and again and find solace and happiness in it. Then we go beyond it and find Him in ourselves, as one with us. Then we simply live and in our very living is hidden His rememberance/presence. Then we just act spontaneously, without the thought for whose stake our actions are, that is, whether for us as individuals or for the scoiety as a whole, and take whatever comes in our wake and remain satisfied with it. This is flowing with the flow as I often say.

  16. Well there we go again I didn’t write “we need to tune to it” but “tune our minds to it” very much aware of the fact you mentioned.
    Yes I agree with you that when the tuning process becomes second nature or rather first nature than the difference between you and your mind dissolves and the rest absolutely becomes the way you put it.
    “Heer Heer akhda main ape Heer hoia, par akhu mainu Heer kaon mein jag toh ohle, Kahla roia”.
    (Remembring Heer again and again I have become Heer Myself, but who will call Me Heer I wept alone away from My created world)
    -Ranjha at the invisible end of the Lovestory.
    So its alright even God/Consciousness weeps sometimes at the beauty of the Universe.

  17. The worlds funniest person once said, I love to walk in rain, bcoz no one can see my tears. Gut wrenching. Suppressive. Living life to a stereotype.
    Mr SK:) crying like you rightly said is a great form of catharsis. Heres to more lightness and less seriousness in life:) heres to tears and joy both:)
    @Raj #12 – love your remark on aamir:) I have never read his blog but I know exactly what you mean when you make that first line remark to SK:)- he is just too obsessive to be spontaneous:)
    And finally about Fedex- I love him way too much, I know he is a super champ. Love Rafa too.:) Wish and hope we will see Fedex come back with a couple of slams and delight the world with his gentlemanly powers:)

  18. Yes. It is good to cry.
    The heart feels fresh after. Light.
    I can only speak for myself.
    Over time, over repeat shock, the capacity for tears changes.
    The threshold changes. Sad,
    But-how can it be otherwise?
    Nothing more sad than that state of hurt that is so deeply personal you cant cry.
    I guess you have to live a little life to understand that line about the sorrows being the joys reversed. Samajhney ka daam dena padta hai.

  19. hi,
    Mee great comments…
    I use to live in masjid room in old city Hyderabad,went to friends place which he had rented and owners few books and furniture was there, just out of curiosity I started looking at books and I stole two books, one was riddle of the universe by Dr.Amir iqbal one of the finest books I have read , to my surprise Dr.amir iqbal lived just another mohalla , cant believe a person from this part of society starts his books with the most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible Eistien
    Would like to share with you shekhar .. let me know where I can send ..or for that matter any one

  20. I just finised reading Buddha by Deepak Chopra, easy read and great insight into the mistry Buddha , his life and teachings are.
    it has all the soluations to the issues and problems we face.
    Two things i learned-
    practice non-doing and the self reaches its goal by not being self
    i will re visit it again and hoping to find new gems

  21. Crying can be also of different forms…Dude the cry which you are talking about is of subconscious realization of nothingness.
    at times we cry out of fear! especially when some one close passes away.
    there are as many types of cries as many emotions are there. but since its a physical act no matter what kind it is we feel relaxed.
    but we have to be alert even while crying!

  22. ah…
    the quest of the desert children…
    men or women…
    all the same …
    an inprint …
    of those…
    living in exile…
    a torment …
    so deep …
    it hides away …
    under layers of creative outfits …
    oh yes …
    the blue birds …
    in our bay windows …
    as if reminding us …
    of God’s …
    sacred …

  23. Very interesting article. I also expected you to write about the instances where you had cried. May be that’s a bit too personal. For a man to cry, it’s still looked down upon as cowardice. A man is supposed to act and crying is seen as a expression of helplessness.

  24. Hiya Shekhar, Hows You?
    I say, as per my collective insight, and exposure to various aspects, crying is one beautiful emotion, wonder why it has been over shadowed and been given as exclusive rights to women alone….tis part of our conditioning, which proves
    We are born intelligent but education does ruin us!!
    When women fight for equal rights, why can’t men have their rights too?
    pain and agony,loss, emptiness, joy so many factors are associated with tears, why do we need to supress the natural natures gift to us?
    men hurt the same as women as a matter of fact, they hurt more, because they cannot share nor express the way we women can cry and spill the beans out in a blink of an eye to our friends or family or whoever…
    When we cry a chemical called ‘serotinin’ I hope thats no spell error….is released in the tears , which is a natural pain killer of the body, ….enkaphalins….
    I wonder who set rules for this male and female behaviour and why we follow it like cows even now?
    I read here…
    man is supposed to act, and crying is expression of helplessness
    helplessness is not associated with tears
    what happens when there is joy? birth of a child in a mans world? sickness of a loved one? loss of a loved one?
    is this associated with helplessness?
    I’m Sorry…
    Tears is a ‘BIRTH RIGHT’ In the true senses for male species too!!
    PSSst Shekhar, I agree with your point abt poets, musicians and producers..

  25. Theres a child
    matured too fast
    etc etc
    In each Human, why the need to hide that?
    Why the need to kill that?
    Let the child in thee entwine with thy maturity and see new colours and dimensions flicker free…
    Don’t kill that beauty
    Hell this conditioning has been too notorious!

  26. Hiya Shekhar and respected folks taking part!
    Missed the previous post, hence was going through it.
    The state of affairs in any manner does not seem to be heading towards any growth, or possibility of correcting it, it will get worser,
    I believe
    The woman is the one who really builds the psychology of the child, must agree men too, but in the indian culture seemingly women have more hand in it
    hence we give birth to new genes, new ideas, new psychology and various aspects in various dimensions
    I with my first hand experience speak my heart out
    It’s the women themselves who have made a mess of the entire thing
    We have not educated nor conditioned the new born male species, and expect them to change when the conditioning has taken deep roots
    We give birth to a new society, new psychology, balance, management, responsibility, and so many factors associated with growth of a child.
    hence instead of saas bahu stuff, It would be a boon if they had creative serials which educated these ladies sitting home, to learn how to handle new systems, adapt and instill logic, and certainly this would also reach those ladies who are busy with profession, and adult men too would make a change in their thinking..
    Instead of crying and fighting the male species for rights, lets correct them from the ‘ROOTS’
    ‘Every New generation will face similar problems, but with a new dimension, must prepare them’
    The change shall begin from the ‘MOTHER’ as her instincts are more sharper and can grasp change, faster than males. To be used positively

  27. why make it so complicated, if you feel like crying go ahead wale it out or shed a tear, if you want to laugh just do it. Keep it simple – after all we are simpletons.

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