Riya enters the cemetery, dressed in a white summer dress with a basket full of scented candles and her phone. She walks calmly through the cemetery and places them in front of a head stone that read, ‘Bellah- Forever in your heart.’ Riya falls to her knees and takes a moment.
It has been almost two years since then, and a lot has changed for me. I have since been on dates with women, made a lot of queer friends, completed my Master’s degree which focused on queer literature, and came out to my parents. And yet here I am, trying to write this piece, not feeling at all like these were victories – my victories, our victories, or any victories at all. I think my queerness was theoretical up to that point in my life, and so my struggles were too.
Five out of six filmmakers were women. The odd one out, and first in the line up was 6:23 am by Geoffrey Breton (please note that the ‘Boys Shorts’ film category didn’t have a single female director, which is: not surprising).
For a community that struggles to be recognised as valid by external actors, more often that not, queer relationships feel the pressure to be portrayed as perfect, in order to increase that claim for validity.
predictably building up to a steamy lovemaking scene,
marked by the male gaze
and then there's the inseparability
I wasn't good
You weren't all bad
But that wasn't love
And that I understood.
You were like the grill of a window and me, a mere droplet of water trying to hold on but ultimately falling to the cold hard ground. Letting go was better, lest we should have amalgamated into one rusted being.
I know this is anonymous, I know this might never reach you, but just to throw this out in the universe, I am saying this, I saw you crying in the corner on the day of our cultural festival, and I hope whatever is troubling you, ease up soon.
She wants to weave a sentence with her feelings. Wants to use it as the thread, the needle, and the cloth. She wants to make it into ink and write it with the pen of her heart, spilled onto Jun’s paper. She wants her feelings to become not words but fact–unnecessary to be read or spoken, simply known without much thought.
Everyone was in their dormitory but loud whispers in the dark carried out through the hostel corridors. The warden had just retired to her room, and from there she bellowed out names, calling for silence. And I? I was there watching you. I was perched on the bathroom slab; of marble, cold and flat. I remember that. I sat on it unflinching still because I couldn’t allow myself to seem fragile. You had just finished washing your undergarments, and were slowly clipping them up to dry at the other end of the washroom.
I had read a lot of Urdu poetry and prose from this time for my 2012 book Gender, Sex and the City, and had discovered that several major writers from Lucknow, Agra and Delhi (but also one from Hyderabad) wrote in the same range of tones and with equal ease about female-female, female-male, and male-male erotic relationships, as well as about all kinds of friendships, including female-male non-sexual friendships.
The journey we’re leading will always be riddled with hurdles and more often than not, we’re going to find ourselves at odds with our own thoughts. So today, I write to you solely with the intention of letting you know that it’s okay, everything you’re feeling is okay.
I was 14 years old the first time I came out. I was scared and dreading the fact that my then partner’s parents were going to ‘out’ me to my father. I came home prepared to end my life and wrote a letter to my father explaining how I had kissed a girl and her parents had made me feel fear for feeling what I felt!
The kiss is returned tentatively, but Gee returns it just the same. She finds the ball of boldness in her to do it.
As our friendship developed, we felt transported to our own magical world; where, in being our true selves, there was no denying the powerful energy connecting us to and the love we had for each other.
For you made my world a little happier,
Made my heart a little full
Made my life a little brighter,
Love used to be a mouthful.
Tae would always watch, after her husband left for the day and the house was quiet. Empty. Lonely. She would simply watch. They would not meet; they would not talk.
I always say that before I met Spoorthy, I did not understand what love was. Her love changed me, my anger, Casanova-nature, rudeness, and my all-time decision of not marrying anyone. I never used to believe in any relationships and always said that money could buy anything and everything. Her love taught me to smile, care for everyone, listen to others, and give other chances too.
Our first date was a dinner that lasted 3.5 hours; we were both amazed by how easily the conversation flowed and that our interests, values, and humour aligned so well.
She ignores my remark and continues to dream about her second daughter marrying an upper caste boy and raise sons. The last time I let the truth slip out, she laughed it off as a cruel joke.