Indian society has long stifled the Queer expression and our way of communicating with the world. Therefore, the idea of stand up performances as a medium of expression…the Queer expression… is something I can never give a miss. So, this very inclination led me to Mumbai last weekend where the gorgeous and famed founder of Queer Ink, Ms Shobhna was holding a book fair and a Queer Open Mic event as part of the fair festivities.
I’ve got nothing against Oprah in general, but her advice was for moms of young teenagers, not for moms of twenty-somethings. The entirety of my mom’s “sex talk” that she gave me back in the day was “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” And while I appreciate Mom's efforts, honestly, now it’s too little, too late, and basically irrelevant. Mom-type sex-talks tend to be targeted at straight sex, after all.
As a child post queer awakening, I vividly recall sitting in front of black and white keys and eyeing them with much hostility because above them on a ledge were pages and pages with notes to the Moonlight Sonata. And I did not want to play them. I just did not want to. For they made me cry. Even at that age, I recall thinking I was quickly going to run out of tears if I kept at it. Yet, my first thought upon seeing this specific scene in the movie was – “Oh my god…Mom would have done the same thing” …if she knew how to play the piano.
2:55 pm. Chicago.
“What is the truth of you and me?”
The question dangled dangerously in my now-dotted-with-thunderclouds-chat window. My tease had posed it to me rhetorically. As part of …
“The intensity and scrutiny afforded by a chat window cannot be discounted.”
– Me, circa 2010
This lady made me chuckle in delight. Yet, I was always aware that what …
Love. I very recently in my life believed I was in love. But just as quickly realized it wasn’t love. It was an infatuation with the comfort level this particular person in my life provided me. This individual doesn’t play a role in my life anymore. And she never knew of my feelings. But lets just say I miss the idea of her – what I wanted her to be.
3:00 pm. Chicago. Back home from a hot summer morning spent doing odd chores. A bit frazzled, I walked into my airy studio apartment right by the river…my footsteps resounding …
Being our radical queer desi selves can be exhausting, and it’s always a positive thing to be intentionally taking care of our selves and our minds. When I first came out, roughly four years ago, I was aching so much to become an activist that I really wore myself out, as well as everyone around me! I now have a long list of conditions I have to give myself in order to be radical but still enjoy the world we are currently living in.
I woke up on my sofa in the living room with ten or so of those big, white men looking down into my face. My partner was there and he explained that I had a seizure right after I got out the shower. It made sense – the last thing I remembered was brushing the tangles out of my hair, and I could feel that one side was uncombed. The same thing happened where I could barely talk because I had only just come back to consciousness, but this time I at least understood what had happened whether or not I was able to verbalize it straight away to the paramedics.
Yet, Masturbation is rarely spoken about – Almost as if no one is doing it ? Really ? I won’t lie. I am on a peculiar dry spell and if anyone has been reading my woes, my luck with the ladies is excruciatingly terrible. But I am a healthy, sufficiently randy twenty something with my body parts communicating with each other well enough to ensure that Masturbation is a priority.
Growing up queer means knowing as a wee young one that I was different. Its not so much about knowing what “gay” or “lesbian” etc. means. Its just an inkling that something is not right with your part in the world. At that time, I recall not being able to understand why or how I was different because it was all still ambiguous.
This summer I was part and parcel of the wedding of a person near, dear and true – My sister. With it came all the drama & shenanigans of any Indian wedding. But while I was unfailingly devoted to the cause – Get her and my brother in law married amidst all the ruckus & ballyhoo and come out of it sane ( though that is still debatable ) - I never predicted the varying degrees of discomfiture my queer self would face throughout the entire process that lasted a good 8 months, with particularly brutal intensity in the last 30 days. I say my queer self almost as if it were another part of me.
Must have one f*** buddy, she can reach out to any time of the day, night, afternoon! (Note: Availability is super important!) and one intellectual pinup she can practice verbal foreplay with!
I awoke. The room was still dark. The rain drummed against the window panes with a threatening intensity. A confusing warmth engulfed me… a naked softness that I was unused …
*Based on dreams
I felt her before I saw her. We collided.
“I do apologise… I …”
“No, it was my fault … I was in the way…”
She took …
Initially, I thought I was being a feminist – given that my initial journey was always cocooned and protective and had many rules of no coming home late, always being escorted and yes, always being given money when I needed. The payoff, I realized, many years later was high. It meant listening to rules somebody else had then set – in return for the protection and the financial backing parents/spouse provided.
*Based on partially true events
6 years later…
The Present: London. I was tired. A red eye flight from Chicago had me running on two hours of sleep. The past …
*Based on true events
The Past: India. I was 18 years old. On the verge of turning 19. Sitting at a coffee-shop in a large restored colonial bungalow that sold …
It was a cold February afternoon when I first met The Girl. Three months later, my then husband & I decided to end what was left of our very unhappy …
We have been familiar with this verse since the time we were ready for preschool, isn't it? The emphasis of taking care of our parents and the importance they have in our lives , if not apparent to each one of us, have been etched in our minds since childhood. We have always been asked to view them with a larger than life image. We have been told through tearing and painfully slow soap operas and talk shows, how much they have sacrificed in their lives only to see us through. As if we kids have a Ghajini-like memory. Yet the Indian society finds it a necessity to establish this as a responsibility. Wouldn't filial love be enough for us to take care of them in their senile ages?