You must be wondering these are sketches done by some brilliant artist who has given a pencil to his imagination of tears of different causes, but that is not what this is. These are microscopic images of tears of different reasons taken by a photographer named Rose-Lynn Fisher. Yes!!! Just like snowflakes, every tear has a different formation.
Tears are always an emotional thing but if we look at the scientific aspect of tears, we cry three basic type of tears that are, Basal, Psychic and Reflex Tears ranging from one that keeps the eyes lubricated to the ones that are the outcome of emotions such as happiness and sadness and finally from response to reflex from things like Onions or certain gases respectively.
This is what is said to be a scientific fact but you and me, both know that tears are much more than something that can be put into few words, I, at least cannot fathom to summarise tears in a small article but I am giving it my best shot.
Tears mean so much to us, and tears change with age. For instance, a li’l baby cries, his tears imply very basic needs like hunger or sleep while when a toddler cries it is usually out of fear or stubbornness. Fast forward a few years and the tears change meaning, they indicate anger or disappointment while for a teenager tears don’t need to have a reason, they can cry for anything at all because they are touchy and highly temperamental at that age. A plus two student cried because of pressure from parents to get best results and a fresher in college can cry because he was ragged and bullied. At the wedding, the bride cries because she is overwhelmed by the amalgamation of emotions of making new bonds and finding a new home while leaving old bonds and home behind. A mother can cry when she is too angry on her child and she can even cry when she is overcome by love for her baby.
Woman cry more than more, much more than Men. Everyone cries when it pains, be it man, woman or child so why men hold back that flood of emotions? Maybe because they are stronger at handling pain or maybe because we expect no tears from men and look up to them as the pacifier. Or is it for the fact that our men are hard-wired into believing that ‘Men don’t cry’.
There are numerous times when crying makes us feel lighter but we are discouraged not to cry because we are told they are the sign of weakness. Do tears always signify suffering, a broken heart or a unhappiness? Why has it become so god damn embarrassing for everyone to cry?
I have cried all kinds tears. My father used to say as a baby I never used to cry while going to school but used to cry going to Dr’s because I feared the needle. I cried when he used to leave me for days at a stretch and went on tour. I cried my hardest when he passed away. That time a read a lot about the Five Stages of Grief. Did it help me? No! I was not crying to that pattern, I still cry for him but with a smile on my lips because it has become a bittersweet pain now that keeps aglow inside of me. I silently lay in my bed or sit in front of my laptop and cry silent tears that flow like a river soaking my pillow but they help me, they make me calm down after several minutes. I listen to his favourite songs and laugh and then shed a single tear. I smell his cupboard and feel the softness of his hand in his shirts and soak them in my tears.
I have the power to cry intentionally, not to torture or manipulate someone, but to feel lighter of the burden on my heart. There are several days a month every woman is hormonal, at PMS, I cry for smallest of reasons those days. I tell people overly emotional things and make promises hard to keep, just because I am overcome by emotions. My eyes well up upon listening to certain songs that don’t just pass through the ears but through the soul as well. The last song I cried to was “Tu Maane Ya Maane Dildaara” By Wadali Brothers. I cry while reading books that are not written to be bestsellers but written to be best stories. The last book I cried to was “Me Before You”. I cry to watch the films that imbibe me with the pain of the characters. The last movie I cried to was “Life Is Beautiful” and trust me I would read, watch and listen to them again and again because it felt good to cry.
I once heard someone say that when a heart is too full of love it turns to tears and overflows from the windows of your eyes, like rain on a lovely day. It made me feel good about my tears, I am not weak, I am not embarrassed, I am not hiding my tears. But every time I am ready to have a round of those priceless tears I keep several tissues handy because, after each good cry, I have learnt to wipe my tears off and get back to life.
Remember Tears are always purer than smiles because it is easy to fake a smile instantly but tough to fake tears.
“That same night, I wrote my first short story. It took me thirty minutes. It was a dark little tale about a man who found a magic cup and learned that if he wept into the cup, his tears turned into pearls. But even though he had always been poor, he was a happy man and rarely shed a tear. So he found ways to make himself sad so that his tears could make him rich. As the pearls piled up, so did his greed grow. The story ended with the man sitting on a mountain of pearls, knife in hand, weeping helplessly into the cup with his beloved wife’s slain body in his arms.”
― Khaled Hosseini,