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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…


A happy gay family!

16 May

So when I woke up this morning post dreams of performing “experimental tasks” on insects for some project of which an aunt was the “Chief Security Officer” and another uncle was the Head, I thought I’d had the strangest night’s sleep.

That’s before I sat down with my mom, who was telling my aunt of her dream last night…

She starts it with the prologue, in which she tells us about this man who used to work at a bank where we had some accounts. He had long hair which he used to tie in a ponytail (that I clearly remember) and do his eyebrows with a pencil (that I do not recall). As my mom nicely summarised it, everyone knew he was “a gay” (Gahh!!) and I thought of protesting at the stereotype, but I liked where the story was going and did not want to interrupt.

So then she continues about how she dreams of my father (Yes! My father!!) growing his hair really long, similar to that of the gentleman who worked at the bank. And when my mom asked him (in the dream) of why he was doing so, he remarks “Every one knows you’re a “bin”. [At this point, I have to interrupt her and ask her what she means by a “bin” where she casually fills in saying “lesbian”. People, is this true and valid? How come I never knew about it?]
She summarises the dream with my father telling her that the man from the bank is coming upstairs to live with him.

As a closing comment, she swears she’d be best of not telling dad about this dream, because he’s sure to grow his hair long just to annoy her (Oh, and I so love him for being as jovial as that, even though it gets annoying at times).


Long weekend, in more ways than one

2 Mar

Yes, I knew it was going to be a long weekend… For one, I had taken a day off from work. After all, Tanuja (Hag No. 2) was coming in from Singapore, and we had Monday off for Holi (yay!) so it was amounting to four days off consecutively, which I wouldn’t really frown upon after spending 12 days in office non-stop. But I never imagined that the week would be as long as it turned out to be!

1. Pop called on Friday and discreetly gave me a heads up that Maa was coming in to town the next day to give us a surprise, and asked if there was anything he wanted sent through her. That peeved me a bit, because I had specifically told her NOT to come on this weekend since Tanuja was coming in too, and instead on a different weekend so that I’d have time to spend with her. Which I told him in so many words.
A few hours later, sister called and informed me that it was Dad was coming in, actually, and only for 3 days. He’d be coming in 1 day after Tanuja and leaving almost at the same time. So suddenly, my 4 day break seemed even lesser now!

2. I was at HardRockCafe in Bangalore the other night, and extremely bored owing to the number of people I didn’t know over there, so I moved base outdoors, and over a casual SMS conversation, came out to Alika, the homophobic hag. In fact, Hagatha and I came out to her together. Over SMS, of course 😛
She initially thought I was joking. In fact, for a very long time, she thought so. Post that, she was mostly silent, and we’ve practically not spoken since. I cannot imagine what’s going on in her head, because she hasn’t shared any of it with me, but I’ve heard nothing from her since. An extremely long silence… No word of support, reassurance or anything at all… and frankly, I’m not even bothered to find out why.
I didn’t think she was deserving of knowing, but Hagatha and Magatha (the Male Hag, Hagatha’s boyfriend and my best friend [I think I can safely call him]) pushed me into telling her, saying I owed it to her. Well, I certainly disagree presently.
And Alika being herself, I wonder how many people, and who all, know by now…

3. Last night, I was at the sister’s, with dad and sister’s friends. Two of them very shyly stepped out for a smoke, and Dad decided to join them. And so did I. And much to my sister’s discomfort, my father and I shared a cigarette, while my dad told us the history of the emergence of ciggs. The friends are in total awe.

4. After the drinking/smoking binge with sister, friends and pop, we went to dinner at a nearby Punjabi restaurant. The restrooms there were distinguished by plates that read “Kings” and “Queens”, and I was literally uncertain for a moment. Very misleading. What’s wrong with the conventional and unambiguous “Men” and “Women”?

5. I dropped in at the Bangalore Queer Film Festival on 2 occasions, once to watch a few films before I joined the lot at HRC, and another, for a discussion on 377 on another day (a few hours before Dad got in). The former, India’s premier of “A Single Man” was very enjoyable, while the latter unfortunately wasn’t. A few very long speeches, very few questions entertained and practically negligible responses offered all owing to shortage of time (caused due to the long speeches) Oh well, another time then!
And as always, whilst at the festival, I sat in a corner like a touch-me-not, giving bad vibes without intending to, and feeling very awkward and asocial. I’m not going to blend into the Bangalore crowd anytime soon, evidently!

A long time has passed since. Tanuja has boarded her flight, and pop will return tomorrow. I return to office after 4 days away. Life is going back to normal at a pace never imagined before.

And my Google Reader is bursting in the seams.

Darn It, He knows…

18 Jul

So I’ve been writing about it for quite some time now, how my pop’s surely aware of my sexuality, and being all supportive about it. Whether it would be in terms of calling Baba Ramdev a total idiot (and me Dad’s a huge yoga fanatic) to several other comments he’s passed against the homophobic lot, dad’s wearing rainbow colours for his son.

I was trying to be in denial about it all, but I think it’s starting to sink in.

Earlier at dinner today, he and mom were having another tiff. I eventually concluded, “You two are just a disaster together…”

To that he responded in a somewhat soft voice, “When you’re with your spouse, 20 years from now, you’ll know.”

“What did you say?” I asked, thinking I hadn’t heard him properly.

Turned out that I had. “You and your spouse.” SPOUSE!
Who uses the word Spouse anymore! Why not “wife”! Ohh no, it’s Spouse! And he said it both
times! I had to bow my head down to suppress my embarrassed smile.