We went to Madame Tussauds in London last weekend. It got me thinking. Nopes, I didn't think about how lifelike the wax statues of Will Smith or Michael Jackson and numerous other celebrities were. I also didn't think of how in the world they made Aishwairya's hair a shade of dirty unwashed brown, as opposed to the gleaming black tresses of glory, one sees her seductively flicking, on the silver screen.I didn't even think about how Satish managed to make me look like a bloated, blushing matron in a photograph of me posing next to Sallu-bhai ( he blamed it on the lighting and what a coincidence, he hates Salman too!) where as I managed to make him look absolutely stunning in a snap I clicked of him posing next to some feisty, busty 5'10" Barbie doll lady with a waist size of 24", in the very same lighting.
I instead thought and concluded that being born as a man must be tough. It had nothing to do with the feisty busty lady or Sallu-bhai. But what made me reach this conclusion was a section of the museum called Scream. I detest horror movies and I never watch them. There was only one time I have ever seen a horror movie which was before my children were born, and when Satish was travelling. I was all alone in the house and when I switched on the TV, I froze in fright, caught completely unaware. I watched only because I was so petrified, frozen to the spot and could not muster enough courage to grab the remote and switch it off.The morbid gore filled saga that was being shown chilled me to my bones and I continued watching in terror and horror and all such things, my heart pounding as loud as those speakers in a rock concert of Anthrax or Megadeath, when you stand inside the pit.(Somehow Dave mathews would have made it easier to bear). So imagine my shock when I came across this part of the museum all of a sudden, especially after posing for photographs with Arnold and Van Gogh and Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde.
There are boards warning that it is not suitable for children under 12 or pregnant women or for those with a nervous disposition (and I did not fall into any of these categories).The staff too dissuade you, before you enter. Many people opt out at this stage and take the 'escape' route which lets you tour the rest of the attraction. So it is not like anybody is forced to go through 'Scream'. My mother was with us and she and the children decided to take the 'escape route'. I was in two minds whether to enter 'Scream' or not. Finally the masochist in my goaded me and taunted me till I succumbed. Of course, Satish had to go with me.There was no way I was going in there alone.
You enter the chamber and the door shuts behind you. It is completely dark inside.You are warned that there are live actors too (apart from strobe lighting) and you are warned not to touch them. (A good thing they warned, else in my fright I would have probably kicked out in blind terror) I clutched Satish tightly and used him as a shield to navigate around. I was holding him so tightly (the poor guy could not breathe) and peeking out from behind his shoulder. The effects are extremely realistic and you are totally lost inside the maze. There is no saying from where the next murderer with blood dripping, will jump out from. They come really close and they are very professional and do a superb job of scaring you. Even though at the back of your mind, you know it is make believe, yet it seems so real that it is terrifying. I was paralysed with fright. It is inevitable that you scream. (I think they are trained to frighten you till you scream).
Anyway giggling nervously (only me, Satish was unfazed or at least pretended to be) and finally after what seemed like hours (which was in reality a few minutes) we managed to find our way out of the maze and I sighed with sheer relief. Through out the time I was glued to Satish, my nails digging into his arms, so tight was my grip and I was so glad he was there.He was very amused at my fright and terror. I asked him if he was scared and he said "Of course not. It is all very silly. Besides you know it is make believe "
It got me thinking about how much men have to go through, to maintain that macho image which they have to live up to. Women are allowed to scream, confess they are frightened and are allowed to cry at movies, allowed to be moody (and even allowed to blame it on PMS), allowed to be mysterious, allowed to be emotional and allowed to do a lot of things that real men just are not 'permitted' to do. Isn't it strange that crying and laughing are two essential emotions, yet while watching a movie, men and women will laugh with abandon, but at a very moving scene, it is only women who will admit to crying (I cry easily when a scene in a movie has touched me). I think it is because little boys are conditioned from childhood to 'be brave' and 'not cry like a girl' which is a very good thing too. Imagine going into this museum where the guy runs out screaming and leaves you all alone! :-)
So guys, if you want to impress that special girl, take her on a date to Tussauds to the 'Scream section'.(Based on the assumption here that like most women she will hate horror and blood and gory stuff)
But please remember not to run out screaming :-)