Friday, 12 August 2011

Real Men Cry

A son is a son, till he gets a wife;
A daughter is a daughter for life.
I do not know when and where I had read these lines but my two daughters have proved this to me. Here I must hasten to add that I have not had the scope for personally experiencing whether the first line is true.
In olden days, when girls were not leaving their homes till marriage, they were weeping bitterly while leaving for their husbands’ homes after marriage. So much so that in Odia language, there is a rich stock of lyrics called kandana geet (weeping songs) containing how girls cry at the time of parting for their bridal homes. These were genuine expressions of sadness at having to leave the protected life and environment in parental homes and going to an unknown place, the husband’s home, full of strangers and an uncharted sea. They were not mentally-equipped to face unknown people. However now a days, more often than not, girls have to leave their parental homes in early teens for their education and later, have to live away to take up jobs. So, at the time of marriage, girls no longer weep or cry though they may be feeling a little sad and sobbing a little, at having to leave the loving parental family and having to loosen the umbilical chord. Hence kandana geet has become only a nostalgic part of the history of folk lore in Odia literature..
When the ceremonies accompanying Daughter I’s wedding were over and the time came for bidding her good bye, my eyes became moist.
Sometime after that, I came across an advertisement put up by a well-known Textile House manufacturing design-sarees. It contained a couple of beautiful pictures of a wedding scene and a few lines which are reproduced below:
Like a million
You knew
From the moment
She was born,
It was to happen.
Like a million
You thought,
You would be
For it
It’s okay,
Real men cry.

My eyes became moist once again, reading it.
I went through the same experience at the wedding of Daughter II, although I had really thought that I was prepared for it.


  1. agreed ... and I would even go on to say "only" real men cry. but you are quite right times have changed but the emotions remain the same :)
    The first two lines are quite popular used widely across different communities in India but sometimes I feel it puts women in bad light. Thinking from another perspective it means that the daughter remains faithful to her parents for life but virtually steals the husband from his parents when he goes to the other house.

    Yes, many parents feel the same way after the marriage of their sons.
    Sash-bahu tug-of-war over the son-husband is legendary.
    Why do women do that? It is perhaps similar to the age-old question, "What do women want?"

    It is also said that mothers-in-law have an equally important role in winning over the newest member of her family by love and affection.

    By the way I am following all your blog-posts and agree with what you say in your latest post The "Business" of News.

  3. Thanks for following my posts. Now I know there is at least one person reading them :P

  4. Snigdha,
    Have you read the article 'Aloda Gatakali' in The Sambad of the 24th August?