“Strong boys don’t cry, tears aren’t for your eyes” is what Deevanch’s family would tell him when he was a child. “No matter how much pain life gives you, you shouldn’t break down and even if you do break down, make sure you are alone in that moment.” He accepted his family’s advice without ever questioning why.
When he and his sister injured themselves when playing games, Deevanch would be there to console her before wiping his own tears. When asked about the incident his sister would cry but Deevanch would hide his torn pants, the blood dripping from his wound and hold back his tears. How could he cry when he was taught that being expressive is a sign of weakness?
As time went by, Deevanch grew up and so did his level of maturity. Although he constantly wanted to play with well-manufactured and high-end toys, something that could fly, float or at least move either manually or computerized, he stayed quiet without being fully aware of his parents’ financial situation.
Sometimes he would wonder about how easily some of his friends could break down in the middle of the streets wanting their parents to buy them a remote car, and some would cry for a talking Barbie. Deevanch, however, could never bring himself to do any of that. All he could do was envy others and the sorrow in him slowly began manifesting into rage.
Anger is the ultimate outburst of every individual’s suppressed emotions. Kids tend to get involved in fights and quarrels out of jealousy, especially over toys, and so did Deevanch. During a fight between him and a bully boy in his class, Deevanch was the one who faced the consequences.
While the bully cried his way out of the situation, Deevanch was treated as the culprit by his teacher. Once again, he was deprived from being expressive, this time about his own innocence.
With time, Deevanch went through both emotional and physical changes. He made friends who would understand him even without him having to express much. He was particularly close to a girl. Although he didn’t share any of his personal experiences with her, he listened to all her problems.
He wasn’t sure how she felt about him, but he was smitten by her. Most of the time, girls are expressive about their relationships and even get support from their friends, but in a boy’s circle, the topic of love and relationships are easily swept aside.
Deevanch, who could never express his feelings towards the girl, could not even imagine sharing it with his guy friends. So he continued his friendship with her, without ever actually sharing his true feelings towards her. His suppressed emotions began to distract him from his school, family and friends.
Slowly, it began converting into rage. There’s a saying that every problem comes with a solution. Had Deevanch’s discussed his feelings with anyone else, he might have gained a solution, but how could he do that when all his life he was taught to be unexpressive? A lot of grief and regret occupy his heart.
A grown up guy like Deevanch mustn’t express his inner-self because to the outer world, it becomes a question of masculinity. Why are boys measured against factors like strength, masculinity and an extroverted nature?
Experts say that anything continued for 21 days becomes a habit. Deevanch’s habit of being inexpressive had been continuing for more than 21 years.
In fact, it had become more than just a habit and a way of life for him where to this day, he is unable to express emotions that are clearly inside of him. Emotions like the immense love for his mother, for his sister, brother, the respect for the sacrifices of his father, the support of his friends, the gratitude towards his teachers, helpers and more.
Humans are called social beings for a reason. Even animals express their love, fear and hatred, so why not us? Why not men? There is a Deevanch in every young boy.
So as a society, we should provide him with a comfort zone he has never been in. The world is big for everyone’s space. Things like happiness and humanity are free, and so it depends on us whether we can to make it costly.
Diwas Dhital is a student at the Himalayan College of Agricultural Science and Technology