I was known as ‘Naakakanduri (someone who has tears on her nose). I used to cry at the drop of a hat. My father could never understand why would I cry every time I watched Anand, Abhiman. I knew the scenes by heart yet every time I watched these films, tears would flow naturally. I would cry looking at brides leaving their maternal homes and starting a whole new journey. And the point is even when I don’t know the bride at all. Standing on our balcony and watching her going away from her home, I would start crying. It didn’t matter to me that I didn’t even know her name. And I had no idea of how she looked.
I cried reading Pablo Neruda’s poems. I cried when Indira Gandhi was assassinated. I cried when Babri Masjid was demolished. I cried listening to Elton John’s Sacrifice. I cried listening to Cat Steven’s ‘Wild wild world.’ I cried while interviewing a woman who lost her entire family in the killer earthquake of 2001 that destroyed many homes and dreams in Gujarat. I cried at the railway stations looking at mothers bidding goodbye to their kids. I basically cried. And I had no shame about crying. I could cry anywhere. I held the world in my heart. The world was my home and I could cry anywhere in my ‘home’ freely.
Now, I feel all choked. On occasions. I feel the tears are just not flowing. I listen to my favourite songs, my heart aches but the tears are all hiding behind the veil. I go to Sabarmati Ashram thinking that I would sit in one quiet corner and just cry. Crying has been always freeing. It made me free from all trappings. Of being strong. Of being a tough cookie. Of being a hard-core professional. Crying made me feel humane. Crying made me feel light in heart and lithe in body.
Well. I don’t work in the film industry. So, I can’t put the glycerin and cry. This is my life. It’s real not reel. I am too eager to let the tears flow. I am waiting. I want to cry.