“Delhi is known for many things – its food, monuments, fashion, archaic government buildings, charming trees, tiny old lanes, Sufism and even its eclecticism. Just not for its queerness. But there’s something about its own puzzling eccentricity that sets it apart from the other cities of India. As a city, Delhi is fluid, multidimensional and yet, sometimes very rigid and uncompromising.
Dilli – a 5000 year old city – continues to carry the scars of her own history even though it has been rebuilt many a time. Its breath smells of patriarchy, consuming even its most liberal inhabitants, and actions continue to endorse a heteronormative mindset.
Recently, I met a young, bright girl who appeared to have done a deep and tedious study on the capital akin to the many PhD students that call it home. She asked me if there existed other queer women in the city. To me, she may as well have asked, “Do you see mulberry trees in Delhi?” We know they exist. We have tasted the fruit. Perhaps the real question is “Where do you see them?” I found myself smiling at that moment – I don’t know if it was because of the naivety of the question or the memories of childhood spent sitting on the branches of delicious mulberry trees…”