Tag Archives: Family

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…


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…



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…


It says so on the cards

30 Aug

So fellow-blogger FlyGye had come across a Tarot-reader who took his breath away. I extracted her contact details from her and passed it to my Mom, who pretty much neglected them.

Recently, the folks were shopping in a mall, where this lady was reading as she does every weekend. I was familiar, since I’d seen her there on an earlier occasion.
Mom forced pop for a joint reading session.

She told the parents that they’d never separate, inspite of all their efforts, which disappointed them immensely.

She said that my sister was about to enter blissful matrimony and be completely head over heels in love, which is good to here.

About me, she said that I would achieve my career goals, if I remained clear-headed.
She stressed on the fact that I’m a mental disaster.

A “mental disaster”. While I don’t disagree with her for a moment, I must make it a point to note that I’ve genuinely never heard that phrase ever before. “Mental disaster”. Whatever does it even mean???


2 Jul

I’m going mmmaaaddd for some reason. So much/so little is happening and it’s driving me up the wall, don’t ask why. Maybe it’s the heat. Maybe it’s the afternoon heat, since mornings are usually very, very cool… almost like Bangalore. It’s windy and one doesn’t even need to turn the fan on. Then the afternoon sets in, and so does the hot, sultry weather.

A) I’m seriously falling for a fella who’s all the way back in Bangalore (the terrace-guy) and actively wanting a relationship with someone else. I like to think about him before I go to sleep or after I wake up, and I’d give anything to be able to hold and kiss him right now (and bite his neck). And there’s no way I can tell him that.

B) My almost-daily gymming has started showing results, and now I’m paranoid that even if I miss out for one day, they’ll magically vanish. And that I finished my protein powder yesterday is threatening my peace-of-mind and bank-balance.

C) I met this really, really cute dude (I’ve been in touch with for months online) in Delhi the other day. Meeting him again this evening. I have constant urges to kiss him, but I cannot for the lack of private space. And he’s a little camp, so cannot bring him home 😦

D) A fellow blogger-ess got drunk last night and rang me up, just as I was going to bed… My SIM was in another phone, so her name did not flash, and I couldn’t for my life figure out who the hell it was (since we’d never spoken before), and I thought something was wrong with the handset! She’s so cute when she’s drunk! Fun conversation 🙂

E) Spent the ENTIRE day at the hospital where a cousin was recovering from some funny-surgery business. Now he’s one cousin I can simply make no conversation with, but lo behold, I spent the entire day. No, not talking to him but to my sis-in-law, and the occasional visiting friends. A day I was dreading turned out to be not so bad. Can’t imagine I used to be awkward and tongue tied all through my childhood when I’m so perfectly capable of making random conversation. Except with that cousin of course!

F) There are recurring water problems in the society we live in. Infrequent, but recurring. It isn’t because there’s any lack of water, but because the water pump keeps breaking down and the new society admin. is too damn slow to take action. We’ve been waterless since last-night, and will continue to be till around 4-5 today, and I need to go out to lunch at 1!!! And I haven’t shaved in like a century, and I’m really desperate. And all I have to get ready is 3/4th of a bucket of (slightly muddy) water. Gahhhhhh!

Where’d you go?

17 Jun

Is it true what they say? When people die, they become a star in the night sky?
So far out of reach, where even birds can’t fly?

Why’d you go so far away?
When those who love you, keep asking themselves every day…

“Where’d you go?
I miss you so
Seems like it’s been forever
Since you’ve been gone…

Please come back home…”


10 Jun

June 2001

The luxury car cruised beside the vast ocean. The waters rippled softly towards the shore as the waves broke against the rocks and receded into eternal blue.
“This stretch is called the Marine Drive,” she swerved her finger. “It’s also called the ‘Queen’s Necklace’. At night, when the street lamps are lit, it gives the appearance of a pearl necklace.”
He listened quietly and nodded. All of 13, he scarcely thought he would remember the buildings she identified to him. But then, he hadn’t been brought up to speak his mind.
He sank further into a corner, intimidated by the sole company of his affectionate cousin, twenty years his senior. He turned his gaze toward the ocean, watching the waves ripple softly towards the shore.

June 2007

“This is unpleasantly surprising and extremely unexpected.” Her tone was stern and grim. “One always thought you were raised as extremely well-behaved and disciplined. These outbursts at your parents are confusing and unsettling.”
He listened quietly, his insides squirming at the tone of her voice. He himself could not completely understand the reasons behind his outbursts, and what resentment he held against his parents. At that point, everything was confusing; the past, the present and the uncertainty of the future.
Her eyes glared at his face in a feeble attempt to decipher. He looked down at the table, seething. His parents, and all others, sat at the table in uncomfortable silence.

June 2010

“The resentment I held against my father 3 years ago was for not earning enough. It stemmed from the expectations my mother has always had of me. If we were wealthier, she would not hold those expectations and I would not be in a position to let her down,” he said, breaking years of silence.

“Why did you think you would not be able to fulfill her expectations?” he heard her question.

“Because I didn’t know for sure if I would always remain part of the family, once they came to know about me. Because back then, I probably thought most of us walk down that same road. That there is no acceptance. Today, I’m not so sure. Father seems loving and accepting of deviants. Mother may not seem so now, but she’ll understand eventually. Back then, I had no hope. I rebelled because I wanted to reject them, before they could reject me. Today, I’m not so sure.”
More silence followed, interrupted occasionally by the sound of the waves breaking on the rocks.

“I wish I could have told you all of this while there was time.” He turned to where she had sat 9 years ago, and beheld the void. All he had now were memories. Memories of her in her resplendent grace as she had stridden through her abruptly short life, leaving behind a grieving mother, widower, family and an innocent young child. A perfect life. Her perfect life.

“I wish I could have given you 30 years of my life. You had everything; the perfect husband, a beautiful child. A doting mother, a loving family, eternal wealth, a beautiful life. All I have is impending gloom. I wish I could have given you 30 years of my life.”

The luxury car cruised beside the vast ocean. The waters rippled softly towards the shore, the waves broke against the rocks and receded into eternal blue.


7 Jun

I want to creep into this blanket and stay,
I don’t want to face the day,
I woke at the break of dawn,
To realize that you were gone…

And yet, true realization is yet to sink in. Why do I feel there is no grief? Haven’t I been grieving since forever? So why is it that when it finally happens, I feel so empty? So empty…