I was on a plane. Again.
I was watching a man who was reading something on his tablet. Whatever it was, it didn’t seem to be any good. He was constantly distracted by the movie showing on his small screen.
The movie was the totally underrated, extremely charming Ramona and Beezus.
Finally he tore the plastic and removed the earphones. He started watching the movie intently. And his eyes welled up.
He brushed it off, in a nonchalant, yawning, stretching movement. He seemed to feel slightly exposed at his unexpected display of emotion.
He kept watching. Again his eyes sparkled as tears welled in his eyes. A drop of the moisture escaped over his cheekbone. He looked down, trying to wipe the tear away in the most inconspicuous way possible.
Then he removed the earphones, shoving them in the seat pocket, trying to focus on whatever crappy e-book he was attempting to read. He wasn’t very successful, as his eyes were drawn to the images taunting him on the small screen.
He sighed and placed the earphones on his head again. There was another touching scene between a father and daughter, and this time he couldn’t control the tears rolling across his face, ending up in droplets under his chin. He got up and rushed down the long passage to the cubicle at the end. He was crying.
The movie is a Hollywood version of parenting. A scripted Father-character who says all the right things at the right time. Who does all the things good fathers should. A father who embraces the idiosyncrasies of his lovely daughters. Who accept each one for who they are, enforcing their uniqueness. A father who is strong and wise and loving. Even when he loses his job.
A father who gives his kids piggy-back rides when he gets home. A father who spends idle time doing arbitrary things. A father who supports his wife and kids in every aspect of their lives. A selfless man. The perfect parent. Something you don’t see often enough in real life…
Maybe the man was crying for he remembered a moment when he was a little bit impatient after a long and frustrating day.
Maybe he was crying for he realise sometimes he neglects his kids as he goes about living life, trying to bring home the bacon.
Maybe he was crying because he suddenly longed for them, just to hold them close and tell them how much he loves them.
Maybe he was crying as one of the characters is a perfect resemblance of his own one-in-a-million daughter.
Maybe he was crying for he saw all his own imperfections highlighted by the portrayal of a perfect, even though scripted, father.
Maybe he was crying for he was missing his family and the next five days seemed like a mountain he couldn’t climb.
The man entered the small cubicle and locked the door. He sighed and splashed water on his tear stained face. He was trying to wash away the red, puffiness created by his overwhelming emotions. He stood their holding the small basin, trying to compose himself as best he could.
Then he looked in the mirror. And the reflection looking back, was mine.