Yesterday while watching Masterchef, young Emma was hysterical, almost, as she was pitted against her favourite Ben (my favourite too) in the elimination round. But watching season four of this hit show has for me been less about food and more about emotions. Every contestant plates out a dish and with it they also serve dollops of tears. Either the food reminds them of the loved ones they cooked for - a grandmother, a long lost friend, a sweetheart, a child et al., or they are fraught with too many emotions when making a pie, a cake or a curry. And then they miss their family so much. You would think they were confined in Siberia.
Watching Emma who almost refused to cook against Ben, who she called her brother and mentor, I thought she should be in a crying show. Her tears just did not stop even when she was cooking in the very intense final round. But wry as I may sound, I must admit I was part of the whole emotional drama playing out on the idiot box. The tears were welling up at the risk of being teased yet again. Lolo, my cynical touchstone, kept whispering, “The show is rigged.” I don’t care but people are crying.
And just when Masterchef got over, another reality TV show Bollywood Star was conducting its final elimination round. In this one, the contestants picked from Australia to debut in a big Bollywood director’s film, had to undergo gruelling training in Mumbai to be the winner. One of them Sharon Johar, a Punjabi girl brought up in country Australia, breaks down seeing the slums of Mumbai. Her dancing affected by it, she cries and cries. Shamak Davar, renowned dancer, had to give her a cuddle and a lecture on self training. Bollywood films are full of dramas, this one seemed like a good prelude.
Growing up in a big family of five siblings, I was often teased for my ‘cheap tears’. Well they just flowed at the drop of a hat, more a case of attention seeking! So perhaps not really right on my part to make fun of others.
But on a serious note, while there are tears for every occasion, I have often wondered why the tears flow so readily on some occasions and why they are not so at other times and why we become intolerant about others crying? Some say it is a form of release, others say it is a form of weakness, still others say it is a sign of strength.
Ever experienced deep sadness but no tears, so deep that you feel someone is pushing down the tears from releasing? That is the hardest thing about tears, when they remain pushed down. The loss of a loved one often does that. I am a little spacey now.