Umbartha is one such classic that follows the journey of a woman, Sulabha Mahajan (played by Smita Patil), who defies her conservative husband and mother-in-law’s wishes and sets out to build her own identity.
Whether you’re going on a drive to watch the city lights, taking a walk next to a lake, or even sitting in your bedroom after a tiring day, there’s definitely a Girl In Red song to match the vibe.
After a lot of research and self-exploration, I finally accepted myself the way I am and that was the day the real battle started. I had to face a lot of questions regarding my appearance from my so-called relatives and neighbors.
I personally found the storyline predictable and some of the plot overdone however, there definitely is a strong emotional pull that can capture anyone’s heart.
One night and one conversation
I'd ask you if you loved me
when you were sober
I kiss along her collarbone. She moans when I reach the curve of her neck and gently suck. I cup her breasts and stroke her nipples with my thumbs. I nuzzle her shoulder, breathing in the salty citrus scent of her skin.
LGBTQ+ characters are not Christmas ornaments that’ll get you an easy ‘woke’ pass. The main challenge before creator Mike Flanagan was to weave the romance into the horror without making it look tokenistic.
Upon this realization, I felt like I’d been robbed of a queer role model, and the queer lens through which her poetry deserved to be studied. Moreover, I wondered how years of experts, critics and amateur readers such as I negated the very obvious sapphic symbolism in her nature poetry.
One thing that did strike me personally was a very off-hand, unassuming comment made by Lavanya when Ritu had just moved in with her: “It’s not as if we’ll be bringing any boys around.” “Yeah, for the neighbours, we’re just two friends living together.” The mere fact that women-loving-women relationships aren’t seen as romantic enough or normal enough to be accepted for what they are, that people will always assume two women to be friends and nothing more, has always perturbed me immensely.
Smiling, I turn to face her and interlace our fingers. I sweep my gaze over her; a deep blue bikini highlights her exquisite athletic body. When my eyes meet her striking blue ones, I lean closer and whisper softly, “I am now.”
What started as a mere joke turned into one of the most genuine and inspiring representations of Latinx LGBTQ+ people on TV, paving the way for shows like One Day at a Time and Brooklyn Nine Nine.
Ruhi finally broke into laughter and said, “Okay, fair. You can put me into something from your wardrobe that Shanaya’s distant relatives won’t glare at.”
“I know, Ruhi”, Jhilmil buried her head in Ruhi’s chest, “but lately it's like every conversation with her has become a test. I am constantly listening to decide if she is liberal enough to continue loving me if I come out to her, and she is constantly failing.”
She hit shuffle on her playlist as she walked but the moment she reached the bookstore and leaned in to grab a title, the wire from her headphones got entangled with her bag’s handle and they came off from one ear. The first thing she heard was, “No no, you don’t understand. This is not about my personal preference. You absolutely cannot have Chugtai in the poetry section.”
While Ruhi poured the chai from the kettle into two zig zag mugs, Jhilmil ran around the space picking up random objects and squealing in excitement, “Oh my god I love this!”
The lyrical voice of the woman sitting behind her was rising and falling even when she spoke the most mundane sentences as if she was constantly reading inscriptions off castle walls. No, Ruhi corrected herself. Not reading. Creating.
What I remember is for days, weeks after that, I feared that in my sleep I would be sent away to some freaky conversion camp or something. It got better over some time. But after a few months, the news was filled with reports of a bisexual girl in India who committed suicide after she ran away from a conversion camp her family forcibly sent her to after she came out to them.
Amal's eyes are wide now, her mouth hanging open like she lost the words that she was about to say. She blinks furiously, and Inaya's not sure if they're tears or just raindrops.
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.