Subramanian Swamy’s homophobic tweet is making rounds. No one knows how he thought to share a piece of filth from the past. It’s posted two years ago, when Section 377 was read down. No one seems to learn from their mistakes, certainly not Mr Swamy.
I always wished there could be as many books by queer authors or books on subjects concerning queer lives, but after reading The Other Guy (Leadstart Publishing, 2017) by Aakash Mehrotra I don’t know if this book, and its likes, help us achieve the function of literature.
The opening shot couldn’t have been more dramatic. Waseem is waiting at the platform for a train to come, he looks left and smiles at a woman who leaves; the next moment his phone beeps.
Today, I’m out to everyone; except my mother and grandmother (for reasons I wouldn’t like to share). My brother thinks that homosexuality can be treated. Thanks to Baba Ramdev, who, according to him, has a cure for everything. I do know, as a matter of fact, that my brother and my sister-in-law did go to watch Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan; however, I don’t know what it taught them.
Yesterday, I finished reading this in an hour, and basis my current political understanding of the feminist and queer discourse, I thought to again indulge in a conversation with this book and assess the magnitude of its contents.
When I finished browsing through this heavy pink-covered hardcover book that has Paolo Sergio de Castro’s image on the front – who died of AIDS and the book is dedicated to him – with “wish you were here” in golden color, I was overwhelmed with emotions. These 128 pages, cover to cover, carries the making of someone; multiple landscapes that change as abruptly as does the subjects of assessment of Sunil.
Being a collection of vignettes doesn’t mean that this book doesn’t have a structure. It does. Divided in three part — bucketing several private events that happened between 1968–1997, 1997–2006, and after 2006, and juxtaposing them with the social reality in France — this memoir takes us through the author’s internal dilemmas and struggles.
There’s a way in which nation works. And some nations believe in their “greatness.” They believe in their masculinity, their powerfulness, their unbreakability, their purity.
It didn’t take me a while to understand why this tweet against him started trending. Now I can connect the dots: Kaushal made them — the upper-caste, heterosexual and patriarchal regime — uncomfortable by being a Dalit, queer and, on top of that, being from JNU, now DSE.