toxic masculinity

In view of the ugly and much-accentuated coercion and pressure from the family since 3 years, the couple finally decided to acquiesce and give up.

DuhThat unfortunate night when they decided ” Ki hume ‘do’ se ‘teen’ ho jaana chie!”


Myself, Ah! I don’t have a name yet! Conceivably, I might be tagged only after a weird pratha or ritual, where the priest will be entrusting my parents, some alphabets and manifest with a fake smile, “Naam ‘R’ ya ‘S’ se rakhna hi shubh hoga!” and suddenly the entire universe will start conspiring about, all the possible designations for me! From ” Saath samundar paar ki maami,” to ” Pados wali bhabi”, each will accord with a (not so) valuable suggestion!

Oh well! Prior to this entire dung, my grandmother has already initiated her expensive rituals with our family pandit, because, ” Ladka hi hona chahiye”.
I call it expensive because, he is being paid 2K for two hours of sacred spells (which even daadi doesn’t get it. But oh! she has to appear serious. After all “ladka”!) and a lavish lunch for five consecutive days! Damn, that’s huge!

It’s the fifth month and I have been promoted from the first trimester. I’m seriously bored yaa! Ugh! What’s up with this white sticky fluid all over my body, seldom hampering my vision and movements inside the womb. I’m sorry Ma. It is out this frustration that you have started feeling those bouts from my tiny legs now.

Since, three months, I have been yelling at the top of my voice and nobody even cares!
“Can you hear meeeee? I feel awful here! Mujhe bahar nikalooooo ab!”

After the tedious wait, the famed day has arrived. 5th of September. Maa is squawking and weeping at the same time. Her water has broken. Dad is trying to comfort her right there, kissing her forehead at regular intervals.
Meanwhile, I have turned my devilish mode ‘on’, something similar to, ‘ Haha! Mein itni aasani se nikalne nahi wala’.

After two pathetic hours, I’m finally pushed OUT with a lot of aggression and force! Believe me, when I say, ‘A Lot’. My vision seems blurry at first. Yuck! There’s so much blood all over my body. I am having a tough time catching my breath. Mom seems tired and fatigued. Dad has a proud smile all over his face. Concurrently, my family has started rejoicing after the delivery of the very filmy discourse by my doctor, “Badhai ho, Ladka hua hai!”
My grandmother has gone into a crazy and happy trance. She is seen repeating “Dekha, maine bola tha na. Itni puja karwayi thi. Yeh toh hona hi tha.”

After every 10 minutes; I’ve been given a decent name, ‘Sarthak’. No point, feeling exclusive when all I am called is ‘Goluuuu’ finding it utterly embarrassing. ( Every ‘Goluu’ will relate to this)
Each day, I’m pampered and loved a lot, showered with gifts and blessings.
‘Maami'( Wahi, ‘saath samundar paar’ wali) has gifted me a pleasant gold chain worth 10k and is seen ranting about it, to all my relatives.

Wuhu! I feel pretty expensive and attended all the time.
As a toddler, I’ve mastered the art of getting what I want.
Its simple- Just start bawling and let your eye glands start secreting, hot teardrops like a surging torrent and flood. Instantly, everybody will be seen at your service!

Oh well. I’m a BOY! And I deserve everything. After all, I’ve been made to believe that way, all my growing years.

Hello again!
Spare me from calling “Goluuu” at least in front of my friends (females especially). I’m 13 now. Call me SARTHAK, please.  Occasionally, aunties display their affection by tightly hauling my cheeks saying, “Kitna bada hogya hai Golu.. itna chotasa tha jab paida huatha” followed by my counterfeited and absolutely fraud smile!

Why don’t they understand that my facial muscles hurt?

It was when I was 15, that two crucial events ruined all my gratification and self-esteem related to being a male. My vocal cords and larynx have grown deeper and longer, followed by the cracking of my voice! Facial hair has started developing indicating that puberty has hit me well!

Oh! Coming back to the events, I was travelling on a bus to the nearby theatre, catching up with my friends for a movie when suddenly the bus jerked. An ugly jerk! I lost control over myself and was about to fall over the person standing in front of me, with no fat chance of knowing that, she was a young female, clad in a crisp white salwar suit, with a messy bun and bright face!

My mother always taught me, I should not even touch a female! Not even accidentally! Huh!

But, how am I supposed to control the wrenching bus and my involuntary physical movement due to it? Consequently, my mind and my body were doing this mini ‘question and answer’ session, fighting between, ” Oh shit!, I’m falling. Oh noooo! I can’t fall over her. No way!

Sad! My prayers were unanswered straight. I “very much unintentionally” thrust on her. The very next second, I was heard apologising to her.

“I’m really sorry Ma’am. Very sorry! I just lost control”, I said in a convincing voice.

“Shut up. I very well know your intentions. Disgusting!”, the girl screamed at me.
“Move away”, she said at the very next second.

I was flabbergasted, awkward and uneasy at the same time.
Ironically, both our faces had turned red.
The only difference being, hers was due to annoyance and vexation and mine was due to shame and embarrassment. I literally felt like crying. I felt like crying like a baby at that moment.

“It was not on purpose”, I said in a stern voice.
“Shut up I said”, the girl was about to burst into resentment.

I moved away from her, realising it was futile to argue. I consummated that when the opposite gender yells at you to “SHUT UP”, one actually has to execute her decree and I did the same. Flouting her can lead to lethal events!

What if she would have convened all the ladies in the bus and turned them thoroughly against me.
This brooding thought zoned me out for few minutes and scared the shit out of me.

My integrity and disposition had been debriefed for the first ever time! I could hear my heart breaking into small pieces and fragments. It was thumping fast as if it would blow any moment.
There was a strange adrenaline rush through my body to no longer stand and get down on the bus.

I affluently managed to ruin the temperament of each of my friends in the theatre as a result of my own dilapidated mood.
On returning home, I threw myself on my bed. My eyes had reddened as a result of the canned heat within my body. It appeared as though I had heavily intoxicated myself that led to the blood vessels on the surface of my eyes to inflammation and look bloodshot.

I remember my sister interrogating me, ” Why are you crying like a girl?” and that hit me hard!

That night, I cried myself to sleep.

I am 20 now. I’ve made myself a girlfriend. SHREYAAA! I love every ounce of her.  She is my best friend and my sweetheart! From romantic short dates to ugly random fights, we had been through all. Very soon, we had to move to different cities for higher education.
Nevertheless, Skype dates were always on!

It had been a quarter since we had seen each other physically but our hearts were strong.
It was in the fourth month that the foul smell of falling love had set in.  “Good morning” and “Goodnight” texts had become redundant now.

“Do you like somebody else there?”, she suddenly asked me one fine morning.
“No”, I swiftly replied.

“What if I ask you the same? We have hardly spoken to each other in 10 days! You did not even wish me luck for my midterm tests.”, I said sheepishly.

“Oh fuck!, I completely forgot! How were your papers? Are they over now? I’m really sorry.”, she replied in a staggered tone.

“You know that fellow, I was speaking to you about. My college friend Aakash. It was his birthday two days back. We were kind of occupied these few days due to his birthday preparations.”, she sounded euphoric.

“Oh, nice! You’ve finally started liking your college now!”, I replied. in a smirked tone.

“Well yes!

He kind of…actually he…he likes me!

He likes me a lot. And I have started liking him too. He genuinely feels for me.”, she said a bit agitated.

A horrendous hush and stillness followed.

I broke the silence trying to sound more exuberant and quickly responded, ” So that’s the reason, you weren’t available for me these days haan! ”

It’s ok Sarthak!You don’t need to sound extra sarcastic and treat me culpable each time. Grow up! Even I don’t like your being extra cordial with your college girls!
Where were you these 10 days? Did you even ask me, how was I doing? I’m not a piece of knick-knack. Do you understand?

“Haah! whaaat?”, I felt fuddled hearing this!
Have you lost it? My midterms were on and I had very well intended to pass them. How the hell do you think, I would have been able to speak to you?

“Holy shit Sarthak! We used to manage to speak to each other for two hours or more even when our boards had proceeded. Should I make you remember everything? Strange, Its been few months only and you happen to forget everything! Quite nasty it seems to me.
You have ample amount time to hit “LIKE” to the pictures of your silly ‘so-called friends’ from college, but you can’t even spare an hour for me!”,
Let’s just break-up,” Shreya gave in with a lot of indignation.

“Haaaaaah!  Do you even realise how lame you sound right now? Of course, I have friends, but they weren’t as important, as you are to me!

Break up? Really?
Who has driven you this insane?
Are you breaking up with me, just because we couldn’t speak to each other for a couple of days?
Your mind has demented Shreya!  You can’t just leave me this way!”, I shouted at the top of my voice.

“You don’t own me.”, she reciprocated and that hit me hard again!

A few days later, my mobile had inundated with calls and messages.

“Heard you guys have broken up!”

“Why did you break up with her?”

“Sarthak, what made you cheat on her?”

Followed by rumours like,
“He was an ass! I had already warned Shreya about him”

Arey, tha to vo kamina hi! Shreya always used to sob for him! Such an idiot she was!”

I had turned quieter and confidential. Not that I had not attempted to those ‘After breakup rituals’
I had cried myself reprehensibly beneath the shower.
Punched my wall and my pillow and also hit the gym, that burned my agony out.
Behaved like a robot, rubbing off all her thoughts and memories.
Kept stalking her online, until I realised that it was adding to my torture!
Swearing “Never to date again!” At the same time, I just need that one person to understand me.
Promised myself repeatedly, “I am not answerable to anyone! I never cheated on her!”

I missed one!

I still cry myself to sleep some nights!

Hey! I’m back again. I’m 28 now! I have a loving wife, a job and supportive parents.
Life seems perfect. (Not so perfect too!)
It’s been two years since our marriage. My wife is the most beautiful woman on earth.
Mom is a little upset with me since a year. She has been forcing us for a child.
“Aakhir ab do saal hogye hai! Baccha kab kroge?, heard every day at home while having dinner.

I do not have a handsome income yet. My career still hasn’t sped up really. I can’t afford a child until 32.

Until one day, Maa started mourning loudly, “I’m already so old now. And they can’t even give me the satisfaction of playing with my grandchildren before I leave for my heavenly abode! It’s too much now. I don’t want to live here!”

My wife knew I was terribly upset seeing Maa this way. Hot tears welled up in my eyes.
She sat next to me saying, “Let’s just do what she wants for us. She is old now.  Since two years, we are hearing the same thing.”

I can’t afford a child right now! Why doesn’t she get this? I just can’t. Giving birth to a child needs prior planning! Expenses are so high.”  I shouted almost in tears!

“Koi baat nahi Sarthak. Too much stress is not good for her health. We have our savings. After all, anything for Maa right!”, she said convincing me.

That night, I was immensely tensed and cried myself to sleep once again!

Every boy or man must have gone through a “Mard ko dard nahi hota” syndrome many times in his life!
Our toxic patriarchal society conditions men to be ‘strong’.
They can’t afford to display their emotions or be expressive about them.
Heck, that equates them to be a girl.
They are not supposed to like pink, for obvious reasons!
You can be physically assaulted, slapped or domestically violated by the opposite gender, yet, you can’t afford to even speak in front of her, even if she is hailing abuses! Mind you!

“Arey tum ladke ho!”

If he ever consumes alcohol – “Shit, he drinks too! Alcoholic toh nahi?”
If you do the same – “I was just trying for fun.”

Done with education? Get hired by the multinationals soon with a decent 12 lakh P.A.
A huge income is an answer to “Ladka kamata kitna hai? Abhi bhi struggle kar raha hai?”

“30K mei kya hoga? Ladki toh milne se rahi. Shaadi kaun karega? – The society bellows from

FEMINISM – A high-end mortal word, which has different implications for different people on our planet earth. Certainly, women are supposed to feel powerful and strong and brave! Your sacrifices can never be accounted in words. Although, fighting for women rights do not correspond to Man-Hating.

A few days ago, I came across a beautiful quote which urged me to write about the contributions of men.

It says,
“Feminism is not a dirty word. It does not mean you hate men, it does not mean you hate girls that have nice legs and a tan and it does not mean you are a ‘dyke’, It just means that you stand for Equality.”
– Kate Nash.

Our fathers never miss to call up every day, just to assure himself that we are fine, no matter how awfully busy he might be! His love has no conditions.
We often hear our brothers telling us – “Main chor doon kya? If we happen to go out somewhere at night. He isn’t unduly possessive. He simply cares!
I’m sure your partners, do apologise, even if they weren’t at fault. Love wins each time.

Toxic masculinity

Above girls and boys, men and women, we are Humans! Mundane Humans!
All humans are bound to feel sentiments such as love, sorrow, dejection, hatred, anger etc. with all rights to be expressive and talk to each other about them.
They need to be loved, cared, respected and valued each moment.

Dear Men, You might want to be handsome, strong, brawny, muscular, hefty and robust! But we don’t mind your noses and cheeks turning red, being demonstrative and sentimental at times. That won’t make you look less any time.


Jyotika - The Yellow Wall Author

Jyotika Sabharwal

Second Year Economics Hons., Symbiosis College of Arts, Science and Commerce

Author: Guest Submission

The aim of this section is predominantly to provide a platform for The Guest Post submissions for The Yellow Wall. And also to introduce new contributors and establish their credibility.

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