The first time I saw her was during a school assembly, where she was nominated to hold an important position (she won later on), and so needless to say she was famous.
I boarded the Queer Express in June 2016- it was the first time I considered the idea that the reason I felt nervous around pretty girls, and always felt a guilty excitement at the thought of reading lesbian fan-fiction- was because I experience attraction to women.
Tae smiles and shakes his head at his lazily advancing feet, hands sunk deep in his pockets. He’d dressed himself in a suit for this date, wearing his best cologne and setting his hair with a lot of care and attention.
In person– or on the laptop screen as we talk– Sufi is warm and brilliant, much like her Instagram username, @sufi.sun. She is articulate and reflective, determined to say the right things, thinking over her answers carefully each time.
Tick-tock. Two decades ago when Tickticki wasn’t born, Mr. Nair’s son left for the United States. One decade ago his wife left him forever. When she left, the son returned to Delhi briefly with his New York this and New York that, complaining about the heat and humidity of the city that once loved him.
It is words strung together
trying to make sense
of what I want to tell you
and what I need you to understand.
The attack on Jamia was not only a politically relevant event for me, but it was also a personal trauma caused even in absence. I was not inside the campus when the incidents transpired, but from what I have heard from friends, it violated the right to safety and equality.
I started college and along with that came new people, new stories, new ideas. Suddenly I had a friend who was thinking about transitioning, exchange students who didn’t fall into the binary segregation and even a gay couple in their fifties giving us a talk about gender and sex dynamics. But this isn’t when everything changed, it changed when a girl with dimples and superhero t-shirts told me she liked me.
She stayed quiet for a few seconds, before sighing, "I just– I thought they'd call, I suppose. My parents. It's silly to hope, but I couldn't help it."
She spoke of songs, music, rock and Cobain
She spoke of boys, home, and love
when i joke and ask her/ what if i was in love with a girl,/ it is not a joke either.
I gathered a little courage and kissed him, afraid that he would push me away. On the contrary, he hugged me and kissed me back. It was a relief.
He felt completely at ease now and lay down comfortably. I sat down beside him and he promptly started showing me photos on his phone. The very first one he showed me was of his nephew – sister’s son – who was born that very day!
You are the object.
She comes and asks me who I am
Asks me to grip harder.
When the moon is unreachable
I push myself into the breachable
Her eyes feel my insides and suddenly
I am nobody.
This time I was not surprised. I was stunned. Who in their right mind would travel 70 km to meet a man they had never seen or met before, except on a dating app? Definitely not me. And here he was, a crazy young lad, who kept his word that he would come to meet me that very day.
While Ruth Vanita makes it clear that the book is not an exhaustive history book of same-sex unions, she belabours the point that same-sex unions are not (and never were) an exclusively modern phenomenon.
You come in less than a minute after I do
But always after me
And I wish you'd stay for a while and talk about the day- your day with me
But the line goes dead soon after
An idea dawned on me. I asked him if I could call him via the app, without making it a video call, so that we could talk to each other. He immediately agreed. I remember thinking to myself: how can someone be so accommodating?
At 43 years of age, I did not have much to boast of in terms of a personal life. Here I was - a single, gay man living away from my family for nearly 15 years, with many unsuccessful attempts at finding love and some unremarkable short flings.
Two people came along that sparked off another incredible alchemy within me. A messy change that scooped the confetti off the ground and merrily tossed it into the air again.