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The Right To Choose

1 Nov

Dear Father,
Yesterday, as I sat before your siblings, constantly being insulted over and over… on the charge of having my own priorities, or for daring to speak and not just listen as I was categorically insulted in bullet points… as I sat there, in the face of your brother’s blatant, disgusting, foul hypocrisy… for not conforming to some standard template as expected of me (but surprisingly not his own children)… As you sat there witnessing all of it, and not uttering a word, who knows, maybe enjoying every minute of it, you made a choice, then and there. A choice to limit our relationship to one of cordiality.

I’m no poorer with one less aunt and uncle, but I certainly find it ironic that I’m poorer by a what could have been a strong bond with my father, of who I thought I was a carbon copy. But is now reduced by your actions, your priorities and your choices, to a mere formality.
But am I an image of you, I wonder? Would I fail to value the dignity of my wife and own children, before the ego of my siblings and their offspring? Would I turn a blind eye to the pleas of my own creation? Would I value tradition over emotion?

For all that you’ve been to me, over the years Father, none matter as much as this betrayal…

Fun days, suspicious mums, Arbit chuntering

17 Jan

I don’t know what’s gotten into her off late, but the mother always wants to know “who are these friends” that I’m hanging around with now and then. And giving that I’m expanding, though slowly, my circle of gay friends, coming up with fake names is so trying!

Speaking of which, life is decent. I got converted into a permanent employee (albeit on probation) at work, from a trainee. And got a jazzy new phone that the co. recently released!

The weekends have been kinda eventful. All of last-to-last week was Tanuja week, and was tremendous fun! The weekend before that, I went for a most divine dimsum-lunch with a fag-friend, and today, I spent literally the entire day travelling the streets of old Bangalore with 2 very cool and very fun fag-friends, who I HOPE will be coming over to my place next weekend for more fun-gay-friend-company.

Last night, I had the strangest dream. The sister had apparently hired (or something to that extent) someone to take away all the “accessories” that I wear (which in reality is just a silver, custom-designed thing given to me by Hagatha, because I liked the design so much… which the sister hated, of course) in an effort to straighten me out. Clearly, the person she hired, in this dream, was sort of extreme, because I recall explicitly cursing her, and telling her I never wanted to see her, or speak to her again. This dream was moments before I woke up, because I recall my sleep being broken by the sound of her arguing on the phone with my dad. As I lay there in those hazy moments one experiences being woken up prematurely, I wondered if I really did hate her so much, or it was just in the dream.
Clearly, she shouldn’t be introduced to the gang of folks I had the briefest cup of coffee with last evening. A friend that I made recently was in town, and I went to meet him. He said he had some 2 friends with him, which turned out to be five. That’s five very stereotypical young gay boys, with more coming and going, sitting in a public cafe (reputed to be a gay hangout on Sundays) wearing loud clothing and bitching in a rather typical fashion about others’ fashion sense and all things young-and-gay. Boy was I uncomfortable, though occasionally amused. I’ve not been so self-conscious in a public setting with a gay person in this long.
I was too uncomfortable sitting there, that I left within 30 minutes. As my friend was seeing me off, I encountered 2 college juniors (one of whom I would’ve never recognized had I not seen him with the other) and wasn’t I thankful that I wasn’t sitting AT the table when they saw me!
So I had my gay-rista (pun on Barista) experience that I’d been so curious about, and that too from the front-seat. And I think I’m quite done with that, TYVM.

Sadke

1 Jan

Before my sleep broke for the last time this morning, I had a very moving dream, one in which I could truly not distinguish from reality.

In my dream, I was sitting in my old house, in the study with my grandfather before me. Somehow, I was congnizant of the fact that he was about to pass, and sitting there before him listening him to talk of his days, I wanted to keep sitting instead of politely listen and subsequently sneak away upstairs to the solitude I loved so much.

As I sat there, I was aware of the fact that those were his last days. Five minutes later, he had moved to his bed, to rest a while, and I stood around, filled with fear that he wouldn’t rise again. I was almost outside his bedroom, and I could see him taking very deep, uncomfortable breaths. And I was torn between wanting to stay there, with him through his last moments, or run away and not have to witness one of the most painful events of my history. I was conscious of the fact that should I happen to preempt anything that happened then, it would change the last 4 years, some for good (possibly my cousin’s subsequent passing) and some for bad (none come to mind, but who wants to risk waking up one morning and knowing a part of their history’s been rewritten overnight?)

Eventually, I decided to somehow try and preempt the incident. I ran beside him, asking him loudly if he was okay, and he wanted something. He asked for some water, which I ran to get. By the time I returned, I recall him clambered on a wall, and as I brought the glass of water to his lips, he babbled like a child. I screamed for my mother, and that’s when I woke up.

Ironically enough, none of what I had seen in the dream was actually true. My grandfather had passed away most unexpectedly, in the midst of his morning walk one day after my birthday, when my parents were travelling between my college town and my sisters, and both my sister and I were away to college. Only a day before, he had called me to wish me a happy birthday and tell me that he’d transferred some money to my account (which turned out to be unusually large). After his passing, people would say he died a saint’s death, at the time that he had wanted to… having sent away everyone around him, in the middle of his walk, all by himself. At the same time, he had left quite a few things undone.

All said and done, this dream gave me, if nothing else, a few very precious moments with him, prior to the chaos, when we both sat in our old house, he on his standard chair. Except instead of reading as he always did, or watching television, he was playing with plasticine, which in hindsight makes no sense, but in the dream, I had interpreted to be some hobby of his generation of folks.
His voice was clear as crystal, as melodious as it always sounded to all of us who loved him, and that moment… brief as it was… was so valuable.

I was afraid that in these last nearly 4 years, memories of him would fade, and he would become less significant in my daily life, which is true. However, this dream reinvoked his memory and reminded me of just how broken I was… we all were… when he passed away so suddenly; and of how fiercely I loved him, and always will.

A regular dose of chic-lit

9 Dec

So this time, since I had decided to travel to Delhi super light, there was no laptop in my luggage at the airport and, in fact, no hand baggage at all… Like really, OMG!

So what does one do on a 3 hour flight, in a low cost carrier devoid of any inflight entertainment?

Why, the good old fashion reading of course! And thus I risked picking up a book at the airport with literally no recommendations… Wanting to play it safe, I had to pick up some racy thriller or something equally “me”, and stay away from the intellectual gibberish.
So it came to a choice between “The Lost Symbol”, and a random bit of chic-lit that I came across called “Keep The Change”. And lo-behold, I risked taking the latter!

Since it happens to be the second chick-lit I’m reading in the last 6 months, and the third book as a whole, I cannot help but occasionally compare it to Almost Single, the last book I was gushing about on this blog.

Sure, so KTC scarcely comes close to the literary brilliance of the narrative of Advaita Kala. Does that change the fact that the story is extremely amusing, the character is a tad easier to relate to, and the book itself is thoroughly enjoyable? No, it does not!

To sum it up in short, the book is about an ordinary, conservative Tam-Brahm girl who migrates from Chennai to Bombay in order to get a life, and halfway through the book, is coming close to it without “losing herself”. Yes, that’s right… I’m just a little beyond halfway through. HOW I’m enjoying it though! Yes, it isn’t as hysterical a read as AS (there I go off again), but it sure has its own charm to it.

I think the time has come to embrace the genre, and go all out in investing in every chic literature there is, and pretend it’s “my sister’s”.

Speaking of my sister, she got engaged yesterday. It was a decent affair, I had two bloody drinks and was extremely buzzed all evening, the evening seemed to last the shortest time, and I’m hopefully in a lot of snaps. For the occasion, pop bought me a nice, sleek and trendy, somewhat unusual western suit, that I cannot possibly fathom when/where I’ll be able to wear again.
Oh yes, the sister’s engaged. The ring is deliciously fabulous. I’m very happy for her. The entire family’s damn happy with the guy too. I am not so much… a tad too conservative for my tastes… but well, he’s completely her choice and she’s apparently more than happy to oblige, so what can I say?

So I was really buzzed. The only saving grace was that my most senior aunt too fixed herself one-too-many gins, and got so woozy that she hugged and greeted her own son’s domestic help!!! Oh, how I laugh at the thought of it even now. Didn’t get to see it, but heard about it. What a RIOT! 😀

I used to be intimidated by her all these years, but I’m really starting to like her now! She’s bloody elegant in her own right… Wish I’d been around in her prime.

Anyway, damn sleepy now, so gonna crash.

This is Unsung, signing off from a cold-but-going-to-get-colder-long-after-I’m-gone-and-that-just-sucks Delhi…

Cheers!

 

PS – And from those who have read either of the 2 books mentioned here, I invite recommendations!

Support Group

3 Oct

It’s extremely touching to see Hag and Hag boyfriend, more so the latter, sit your own sister down and try to explain to her that her brother’s sexuality is not his choice.

Yep, the sister holds on to her belief that my sexuality is entirely a “choice” I make with regards to who I sleep with, and is purely determined upon the basis of factors that surrounded me while I was growing up. That it’s not how I was born, and that I chose it. And that she has to accept me for a brother upon her choice.

And she also feels it unnecessary to do any kind of reading up on the subject, because she’s so convinced of her beliefs.

And hag-boyfriend attempted to convince her for hours that there were experts out there who had spent more time in researching the subjects than she had, which she should look up if she wants to understand me better. But she’s confident of her source of knowledge (which is her “value system” and beliefs)

I really don’t care enough to try and make her understand, or enlighten her in any way. But it was extremely touching to see 2 friends care so much about me to literally be at loggerheads with her, in attempt to make her look at a larger and possibly more accurate picture.

Friends truly are the family one chooses for oneself. I may or may not have the family I was born into, by my side tomorrow, but I hope I don’t do anything to lose the family that I chose for myself.

And it becomes worse, and worse…

30 Sep

So the sister revealed another tiny detail of her conversation with Mom before I came out to her… When she expressed to Mom that she had “concerns” about me, and Mom said “What? The gay tendencies?”
Turns out that Mom subsequently asked her, “Is he active?” hopefully not in the sexual sense, but in a manner of actively interacting with the community. To make it worse, the sister just responded with a “I’m sorry, I can’t discuss this with you”!

Though Mom and Dad don’t actively discuss everything in their lives, I’m sure they discuss their kids. So it MIGHT have been shared with Dad. And incidentally, Dad’s coming to visit us for a whole WEEK next week… which means that

a) I have to get SOME action before he gets in and

b) I’m probably going to have to try and avoid some uncomfortable questions. Or be honest with him. What with the night-shifts, it’ll be just the two of us during the afternoons…

HELP ME!

The Confrontation with the Prude

26 Sep

So unknown to me, the sister went through my phone’s messages a few days ago. And came across some messages that made her uncomfortable. And didn’t bother telling me about it till AFTER I’d come out to her this evening.

That didn’t stop her from conversing about her fears with her boyfriend and my own mother. Both of whom, she insists, would be supportive if I were to come out to them.

But that didn’t save me the ordeal of having to deal with HER! Oh lord, the waterworks… Now she’s pretending that her entire life is crumbling around her because I’M gay! Like Hellllloooooo… any consideration to the fact that I’m sitting here stone-faced, least bothered about my OWN life?

So I have to deal with an entire evening of her wishing this was a bad dream, and her trying to convince me that “sexuality is uncertain until one finds the perfect person, and that could, for me, be a woman” and how I ruined all her plans for my wedding, and that she feels like killing me or killing herself, but since her life isn’t threatened and I have no future, it may as well be me.

Like seriously! OH MY GOD! Can anyone SAVE me from her?

Oh and after telling her ten times not to tell her boyfriend, I BET she’s in her room weeping into her phone and telling her boyfriend. Gah!