For all the love in my heart for him, I couldn’t help but lift my guise.

[Editor’s Note : When we called for submissions for the third edition of Gaysi Zine we received a lot of short stories from writers all over the world – unfortunately, far more than we are able to feature in the zine. Therefore, we are delighted to be able to publish the best of those stories here on the blog.]

So, it all started on this monsoon evening in Bombay. It was that time of the day when the earth seemed to be dozing off for a good night of sleep, and the sun as a drop of sweat shimmers off the waist of this sleepy earth. The drop, red with love, hectic and intense, crimsons the horizon as it falls.

Well, the day is quite romantically engraved in my mind. There we were, both of us, on the roof of his apartment by the Arabian Sea, and on this day of the Monsoons, the winds were lashing my face with droplets as angels cried in heavens far above and my eyes as though in camaraderie, saw the droplets with their own source of epitomized emotions.

For all the love in my heart for him, I couldn’t help but lift my guise. As we sat on this monsoon evening by the bay with the crimson red of the setting sun and tears on my face, I confessed, “I am in love with you”.. And his gaze alternated between the sea and me, shifting swiftly, sinuous with doubt and confusion.

Indeed, he didn’t seem to understand the love I spoke of. Seemingly for him, it was about my bodily desires and infatuations. But little did he understand that for me it was he who had occupied my thoughts, and who was the centre stage of my existence. He was the pivot of my happiness around with I revolved like a butterfly gone berserk by the sweet pollen of an exotic flower.

The ‘confession’ went on for around two hours and by this time, it was already pretty dark. So we went down to his apartment and talked for a few moments and before I left, he handed me his ‘maid of the mist- Niagara falls’ raincoat and sent me home. I knew that the night was going to be hard for both of us. Frankly, some part of me was in fact happy because it knew that I’d solely occupy his mind today.

I came home, visibly happy. It was like a dead weight had been lifted off my chest. Jubilant and jolly, I lullabied myself to sleep. I don’t really know what went through his mind on that day, but we stopped talking after a few days. I protested, but all of my attempts were in vain. Some days, I’d catch him at the pedestrian-over-bridges at Andheri Station, walk with him through the streets of Dadar or just eat at the food stalls near our college, but I could never find the person I had lost the day I unveiled myself. The person I had loved had left me wriggling with pain, twisting and turning, purple and green.

Three years have passed since then. I am not in love with him anymore, although I keep on falling in love hopelessly. There is something in love which burgeoned into an identity for me. Since that fateful day in August of 2010, I have never been in the guise again. I am out and I am proud. The pride of being queer; of being gay which no law, no doctrine and no convention can erase. It’s the feeling of being at peace. It’s the optimism that it all ought to make sense once again. Soon!

For now, I’d just queer my twenties, chic and un-cliched, and be the best at doing it. India, stop me if you can.

About the guest author

Aditya Shankar