Of plastic smiles and crocodile tears

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Of plastic smiles and crocodile tears

Of plastic smiles and crocodile tears

Brian Fernandes   ¦    May 25, 2021 10:57:48 AM (IST)

Of plastic smiles and crocodile tears-1

Plastic is crowding our seas while any BODY, our rivers! And so, it is banned in the breach; we cannot do without that ubiquitous petticoat-shaped semi-translucent piece of daily jewelry in our hands, now, can we?

Same with the smiles these days, the ones that adorn our pretty faces, the black and white fungus notwithstanding; they are full of polyurethane, and naturally so? given the quantity of time we spend in front of the screen for selfies, online meets, performing for Videos including CoVideos, and of course when appearing on Television - the king, or shall we say Queen of all screens. (It is interactive and attractive at once!)

The screen has replaced the mirror, where the smiles were genuine feedback of how you were feeling on that day and not of, how you are supposed to feel! And sometimes they were absent or replaced by a grimace. But today, nobody even says, "mirror, mirror, on the wall, am I the fairest of them all?" because today, they know who is the fairest and a mobile or television screen helps them prove it for posterity!

None of that is possible on a screen - a display of genuine feeling has no probative value, and a plastic smile is the only way to bag it! But let us not be so negative - though it is good to be called so these days.

Plastic smiles have many advantages too; they cover up mistakes that have caused heartburn, help make new friends and rebuild broken bonds with fellow men that break again when the plastic vaporizes in the heat!  However, plastic, even a plastic smile, has only so many uses - you cannot use it once rigor mortis has set in... unless it is to bag it!

Do Plastic smiles accompany Crocodile tears?

I would say no, based on empirical evidence. One must look appropriately stricken, if not by Covid, which is quite unlikely these days, then at least by Covigrief, of which also, there is plenty going around, so there is enough of that - I meant empirical evidence.

As E-commerce grows, and E-Governance picks up - mostly in collection of dues to the government - not the other way around - E-motion seems to have caught on. Like Motion, it requires a place to deposit its displays of variety and what better place than on a screen? 

The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance that are a part of the framework that formats the way you are learning to live with the one you lost are well-known and prime candidates for E-motion, with the last stage best suited for smiles and tears…

E-motion's USP is free tear delivery - it's fast and effective; some have associated it with the thick-skinned crocodile - a most unlikely match, or maybe not -  and called it crocodile tears - but like (or unlike) Plastic smiles, the term is a misnomer. The phrase derives from an ancient belief that crocodiles shed tears while consuming their prey (Wikipedia). To that extent, they are true to form.

These tears flow, sometimes gently, sometimes freely, depending on how hard the vinegar dipped sponge rubs your wounded hide, and thus, your pride. You cannot hide, you cannot slide, so you tend to describe, choke when you see a Mehul - not often seen these days - and cry to vibe... 

E-motion tends to ebb and flow like the waves, and it is important to display it at its peak - for as Matshona Dhliwayo says “If you cry in the rain only the sky will see your tears.”

On the flip side, there’s also Santosh Kalwar who says, “If I can see the pain in your eyes then share with me your tears. If I can see the joy in your eyes, then share with me your smile.” 

But what if you cannot see either, only the smile and the tears – that too simultaneously?

Do give it a thought a day, until next week same time!


This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to unmask your smiles despite social distancing, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you perceive a connection with any such real-life event or character, you must rest assured it's purely coincidental.

Image by RitaE from Pixabay 

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