Prologue

...There are times in the wee hours of the night, when I lay wide awake following the rotation of the ceiling fan, visible through the faint streetlight seeping in through the window. These are times when something inside feels like its fleeting away. Like sand from between the fingers. These are memories of many a years since the day I learned to remember. Memories that are slipping away slowly with time. These are the times when i feel a weird objective swelling within me to keep something of these memories as the residual of all the times that brought me where I am today....

I am starting this blog as a biography of my life, as a gay youth who came out at an early stage and as a person who has experienced too many things in too little of a time...

I don't expect or desire any likability with my readers. My intent is to tell my story. If you like it honestly, then i sincerely thank you for understanding me.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Door Creaks Open

1.1

Being from the creative field, I have always cherished an affiliation for collecting meaningful artwork. Since I never had the perfect income I resorted to rather inexpensive modes of collecting different kinds of artworks like paintings and photography through the internet. Majorly of the ones relating to different expressions and perception of the homosexual love. One of them is a really beautiful painting by a popular contemporary artist. It shows the unclothed back of two men sitting side by side on a bed in a room dimly lit. The one on the left holds the other by the shoulder wrapping him around with his arm and the other one simply leans towards his love and rests his head on the other one’s shoulder. It is obviously hard to express and explain the beauty of a visual art in words. But for some reason this painting always captures my attention. There’s this fragrant enigma to it that simultaneously relates you to itself defining the loneliness you face while on the same hand like the dim light, it throws a faint ray of hope amidst a seemingly hopeless life. There’s sorrow to it, yet the beauty of togetherness supersedes any other negation that may afflict the lives of these two innocent lives. Just the way one feels vulnerable and insecure because of the constant persecution held out by a rigidly unaccepting society and the other one who is scared and desolated himself summons all the strength to embrace the other one in a silent way of saying, ‘Don’t Worry. I’m here. I will protect you from whatever may harm you ever. My love is always with you.’ I don’t know. That’s my interpretation of an art because maybe at some level I myself desire to be loved and protected. Whatever maybe the reason, the painting is certainly an example of nostalgic beauty. Just for the invisibility of their expressions, there’s so much versatility to it that I always ending staring at it for a succession of moments whenever I’m feeling sad and lonely or too joyous to miss the absence of someone to share my joy with. I have saved it on my computer and cell phone. I even keep a printed copy of that painting in my drawing file to stare at in my idleness.

I have recently joined work at a call center. Everyday we have to commute to Gurgaon (from Delhi) in company cabs picking up everyone from different residences. We obviously mostly get similar routes with people residing closer to each other. So in a repetition of similar routes I made friends with a certain group who belong to a batch which joined before us. Friends. I still wonder sometimes what exactly is the meaning of friendship. We gab along the way having fun, teasing each other and gossiping about the work day. It was a pretty nice association until one evening while going to work, I was sitting beside one of them. After I used my cell phone for some reason, I kept holding it in my hand as usual. So this guy takes it from my hand to use it. Amongst friends it’s okay to see each other’s cell phones in our culture. But that is the question. I’m still not clear with the meaning of friendship. It totally slipped out of my mind that there were some of those coveted art collection in that phone, apart from the fact I doubted that he would look into the pictures as just the other day he asked me for some MP3s and assumingly I took it for granted that he would just look in for some music. And trust is the delicate thing that you can’t afford with just everyone and anyone. So this guy has enough indecency to look into my personal pictures, receive the shock of his life and in a cheap and sarcastic tone exclaims ‘tu aisa hai? Aisa hai kya tu?’(You’re Like this?) pointing at that same painting and presumes the audacity to fling it up to display it to other people in the cab. Embarrassed and perplexed initially I managed to conceal the cell phone and in spite of his attempts to keep a hold of it I sternly told him ‘Give the phone. Now’ so strict and serious, he let loose of it and I stuffed it into my pocket. The feeling of embarrassment vanished within seconds maybe because to be embarrassed was a sub-conscious stimuli to the demeaning reaction of this person. But it was rather an assertion of a conscious mind that I had been out for last four years and that there was nothing to be embarrassed about anymore. Its not that I have never faced such situation before. I obviously have. However for the first time ever this particular evening I felt anger well up inside of me from I don’t know where. Within seconds I was fuming red. Like a typical Capricornian, I have always known the art of putting on a fa├žade over my emotions. But yes, I did make that person realize that I was deeply enraged by the cheap thing he did. The point is I never knew I was capable of getting angry at such a situation. I never knew that I had the authority to be angry over such invasion over my privacy and a stab at the name of friendship. Someone told me once, that we gays are destined to live a submissive life in an undeveloped country like India which is ruled by the barbarian politics. We don’t have the authority to stand up to our rights and dignity and compromise with the majority of the society. I had right away refuted these words. Now I knew why I did so then. Not once did I feel ashamed of anything. Even if I had porn on my cell phone no one has the right to point out about my sexuality and make a public joke about it. I resolved to my dignity. Had it been two years earlier, I may have tried to explain the situation. I may have had gone through another tumultuous process of coming out to this particular circle. But for some reason I didn’t. I just didn’t feel the need to. I just didn’t feel that they were important enough for me to deserve my testimony. I don’t owe anything to anyone so im not answerable to any one. And on the same hand I wondered why. I just couldn’t understand where was I deriving this strength from. Something had definitely changed in me in the recent times. What was it, I wasn’t sure of.

2 comments:

Yadhu said...

I just read your remark on gays and India. But from what I read from blogs all round the world, it is more or less like this anywhere on Earth. Incidents like Prop 8 simply shows that. I used to think of getting out of India inspite of all patriotic feelings just to be myself; especially when I choose to study engineering.

Now I think I must gather some courage to be an openly gay man here in India itself. If not us, let our next generation live in peace and with heads held high. This social stigma on us will disappear.....

Remember.... once they thought earth was flat and killed those who said it is not!

The Bong said...

I appreciate your motivation Yadhu. Yes, we do need more and more pioneers to lead the community as a whole out of this large size Indian closet....
I somehow can't see myself getting out of India. Although my profession flourishes more in European countries, but I feel a loss of identity outside this country. Its like my home. You fight with all your family members until they learn to be happy with what you desire for yourself. I've come this far, not to run away from what lies ahead on this way...