Real men do not cry...or scream :-)

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  :-)


  1. Ha Ha - we macho men :) Can I escort you to the London dungeon milady. That is, if you let me hide behind you ......

  2. Ramesh, I am sure my screams will deafen you :-) I saw the promos of London Dungeon. The Children keep nagging me saying "mama,please take us there, we will protect you." I was tempted initially but after Tussad's Scream i have just changed my mind :-)

  3. This is sooo true Preeti. I always think it is tough being a woman, but tougher being a man. I wrote a post on similar lines a year back. "Big Boys Don't Cry". I think that was the title. But honestly, how muchever we talk about the new age sensitive metrosexual man, I would be embarassed to see a guy bawling. Welled up eyes will earn my sympathies, but wailing will make me run :D

  4. Anonymous3:45 PM

    Hi preeti, agree that most of the men live up to this macho image.. But personally, I really enjoy when my Husband and I cry together seeing some emotional stuff.. I feel good as that give me the feeling that he's an emotional guy and I should respect that always.. Besides, this let me open up everything I have in my mind and can feel that he's truly empathising.. I really love that he pours out his tears when he's not happy but ya those tears are only mine and I shield them from the world.. Coz how much sensitive my man is before me, for the rest of the world he's the strongest... :)

  5. I had a similar experience y'day when i watched a 4d Movie at GVK one mall here in hyd. Though i did not prefer the horror movie, i watched a movie on ENVironment which was scary. When my chairs shook my mind was thinking it could be a bomb blast. MEn and women are both stronger in their own ways.

  6. Heeheee...that must've been a great experience for you. :P

    Anyways...what you concluded was true enough.:)
    Advantage Ladies :P

  7. I so emphathise with you...when I was a kid I once watched some horror movie and didn't sleep after it for days together...and even after that shivered in my sleep :P

    Yes, I agree, to preserve that 'macho' image of theirs men would do just about anything...but they do cry...and the only time I saw A crying was when we had our son...he had happy tears rolling down his sweet no :D

    By the way...I bought your book today...will start reading it soon :)

  8. Hey priti



  9. Yes, men do cry.
    There is definitely sometimes a fight against tears, but no, I don't get scared in the horror chambers either :).

  10. You are absolutely right Preeti! Forget horror movies, I run away screaming or jump in fright even when I see a dog 15 feet away giving me a menacing look(not to mention, even get away with it all b'cos I'm a girl)!! Men have a hard deal, poor things. I could just imagine the entire scene while reading this post. Enjoyed it immensely, am afraid at ur expense mostly;)

  11. Totally true :)

    Men I guess make it a point to not cry or show any form of excessive emotion... the sad or happy kind... Very sad for them indeed...I think feeling and expressing what you feel is such an integral part to being happy in the long run!

  12. gosh! that sounds terrifying :) i hate horror movies too :)and i have a cousin who loves watching horror stuff...spending hols with her was tough, when it came to movie watching...

    and lets have a dekko at that picture of yours, i'm sure he couldn't make you look matronly, even if he tried :D

  13. Anonymous3:58 PM

    True, every bit of it.

    A few months back, I went with 2 friends to the newly opened Oberon mall in Kochi. They have something along the lines of the 'Scream' there. I suppose it wouldn't come anywhere near the Scream in terms of effect but it was still pretty good for something which looked so make-shift. We made the decision to try it after we saw a couple running out of the exit door, screaming their head off.

    Once inside ,one of my friends was a total anti-Sathish and screamed his head off at every creaky,slimy,wobbly thing that came at us and the other remained stolid throughout. I was neither here nor there, giggling uncontrollably - with nervousness at first and relief, after - at some places and smirking in disdain at some.

    They were pretty good for the most part though, there was one with an emaciated body chained to a cot which cornered you in a room and then screamed at you and stamped around your feet, not with its feet, but the COT. Ran out with dear life.

    The mystery of everyone running out of the maze with terror was solved when we found that there was someone near the exit door who stamped on the floor just as you opened the door.

    The hyper-friend ran out of the maze and dashed at least 20 metres to reach the opposite side of the mall, dropping his bag midway. :D I followed him out but stopped after a few paces. The other guy walked out. :|

    Soon after, my cousin came along with a few of her friends and started chatting. The girls asked how the maze was, I said it was pretty realistic though a bit silly.

    That was when a voice behind me piped up, "A bit silly? He was screaming all the way" Sounds worse in Malayalam "Enna Alarcha aayirunnu" :x . I was subjected to a giggle-fest and worst of all, the perpetrator was none other than the Screamer who had just returned after picking up his bag.

    So much for boys not screaming and winning hearts. :D


  14. I sometimes feel, guys are left with no much option. How can a guy be scared, when, we he sees you clinging onto him with all your life?
    Faith is the mother of bravery ;)

    But, well, just because we girls get scared when we see dolls soaked in fake red bloodlike liquid and heads rolling out from the torso, doesn't mean we are not brave! You see, we are brave in a "non-show off" kinda way. :P

  15. As opposed to Real men don't cry, I'd like to think Real men aren't supposed to cry. I've seen exceptionally strong men fighting to hold back their tears at the loss of their loved ones. Not fair at all. They should be allowed that freedom too I think. How else do they reach emotional catharsis!

  16. Tranquility: I guess they can cry in private.It's ok to fight back tears. I too never cried (in public) when my dad passed away.

    MS: Of course we're brave :-) Its the fake blood that is scary--it is the element of surprise that startles you :)

    Raouf: I laughed and laughed throughout while reading your comment. I could picture the whole scene so well! Your description was too good!Oh yes--that Cot moving around, i too have seen in pune :-) It seems so authentic.But I was also worried whether the idiot would crash into my feet with the cot. :P Thank you for making me laugh. i needed that today :)

    Aathira: i guess they do in private :) In fact I am sure they do :) How can anyone NOT cry? if they can laugh!

    Lostworld: yes--it was meant to be a funny post :-) Label says 'funny/amusing' :-) happy u found it so :-) Dogs I am not scared of at all.

    Suma: Omg--do people actually like horror movies?! Matron photo--just take my word for it :-)

  17. Brown phantom: :-) what do u get scared of? :P :)

    Surhuda: Coming from such a fine writer as you ( always admire your pieces in TOI), I take it as a BIG BIG compliment.

    Varsh: Really very sweet! They were of course tears of joy.

    Anu: :-) :-)

    Asha: of course they are. post was light hearted only!

    Roohi: Hope he does not know you have said this :P :) but macho is also nice :-) Post was mant to be funny :P :)

    Poinblank: My views entirely u expressed in this comment :)

  18. You actually went in? Oh Preeti, you would never NEVER get me in there. I'm too scared!!!!
    My heart couldn't take it. :)
    So proud of YOU for going in at all!!! xoxo

  19. hehehe...i actually went to my husband and asked him if he ever felt like screaming/ crying :P

  20. LOL.
    good insight!
    talking of women crying, this is something i just wrote about here
    do tell me how you find it :)
    LOVE your stuff!

  21. Sucheta: heheh Thank U thank U :)Read and commented too :)

    Raam Pyari: What did he say? (curious moi) :-)

    Gillian: Yes i did and i survived to tell the tale! :D :) xoxo

  22. This post reminded me of my experience. We were group of four friends (2 girls & 2 boys) who went to the scary house in the Garuda Mall here in Bangalore. Me & my friend hid behind the guys. While the first one was leading the way, the friend behind whom i was hiding was screaming, shouting & what not (he even shouted mummy!!!). I was so engrossed in watching him shout that i didn't even see what was in there. LOL
    I have many friends who are emotional but still pretend to be macho man..:)
    I'm sooooooo glad that i'm a girl coz i cry for the silliest of scenes in movies :)

  23. Aksha: hahahahaha..i'm finding that really hilarious (screaming "Mummy") :-)
    Same pinch of crying at movies. Only sensitive people cry--a quality hard to come by these days :)

  24. Goodness all I can say is tht u r brave....I too stay away from slasher and horror movies. Even for a mild thrilling scene[esp if hero or heroine is in danger] I place my hands on my eyes and peek thru it every 1 minute and close my ears too...honest I'm tht chicken;-(
    Last year the kids and husband went thru the veegaland pansy horror show but I just wdnt budge. And cry for most melodramatic scenes. Imagine crying for Mohnish behl in Hum Saath saath hai;-/...and I realise I've become like this after having kids.
    Ummm.....I know u were asking another question but I just cdnt help focussing on myself;-D

  25. Reflections: LOL :-) crying for monish Behl?! U are kidding right?! :-)
    Its ok--love the focus on you! I do! :) Not kidding :)

  26. Hi, that was an insightful post. I believe that real macho men do cry. That proves they are macho despite the tears or because of the tears.

    Ah, finally I am able to post a comment here! I have been visiting your blog ever since Vinni told me about it, but have somehow not been able to post a comment.The posts are so nice and worth commenting! I am new to all this blogging and so may be excused, i guess. Better late than never, right?

    Please visit me at

  27. Hahaha!!

    So finally some one makes and attempt to understand the lesser sex. :)

  28. husband puts on this facade too but i know tht he's as scared as i am whenever we see a horror movie...


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate your leaving a comment! Okay--I appreciate your leaving a comment if you have something nice to say ;-)