Thursday, 12 December 2013

Homosexuality: Tabooed in India

‘Public discussion of homosexuality in India has been inhibited by the fact that sexuality in any form is rarely discussed openly.’

I read this line on Wikipedia when I googled ‘Homosexuality in India’. (We really have a Wikipedia page for everything today, don’t we?) The reason behind me, googling this is the fact that it just isn't talked about in this country.

Recently, I saw this interview of Saif Ali Khan on The Front Row. And it jogged my thought process switching it onto a completely different lane. He talked in the interview, about how we Indians aren’t honest. That we portray this image of our country  being progressive because the people are now more open about affection, love and sex, all of which are inter-related and that we are a power house because of our technology and our dwindling economy. This image is an illusion. We aren’t allowed to talk about sex in public and are definitely not allowed to make public our affection for one another, what with all the cops tapping on our car windows. He talked about how our cinema isn’t honest about what love and compassion are about. We live in a society which doesn't accept people for who they are.

In such a society, is it really a surprise that there’s a law which makes homosexuality illegal? When the straight ones aren't given the right to hold hands in public peacefully, the sexuality that is apparently ‘correct’ and ‘natural’ (according to the cuckoos), how can we expect this to be ‘tolerated’?  Love, sex and freedom, is tabooed in our country.

I was part of this ridiculous incident once, something which hasn’t really been talked about or thought about in the way I have recently. My friends and I were one afternoon sitting in a coffee shop in Pune. We had newspapers on the table and had just looked through an article about an adult star being part of a new film. This led to a discussion about her involvement and whether this was something the public wanted to watch. Now my friends, including me, have a tendency to get a little passionate in the midst of a discussion and as a result, our voices were a little louder than they should have been. As a result, the table behind us, with three people, overheard us. One man on the table started to talk very loudly, so as to make a point, about adult starts and making comments that linked them to my friends and me. There were specific comments that were made, intentionally directed at us. Our male counterparts on the table, protective as they are, realized this and turned around to address them. This led to a completely unnecessary and heated argument which comprised of the man telling my friend that she looked like a bedbug and her parents would be ashamed of her if they knew she was part of a discussion such as this. There were threats made to us that they knew Sharad Powar and we were asked where we lived and so on and so forth. This ended with us all being told to leave the shop.    

In such a situation, where our freedom of speech is being taken away by our own people because the subject at hand is not deemed ‘decent’, what is one to do? The problem lies within us, within our society. Our concept of love, passion and what it entails is flawed. And this avoidance has led to ignorance. People are misinformed and misguided. We grow up believing that everyone is not equal. We find reasons to discriminate. If we, the people of India, cannot find our humanity and gain perspective, what is the government going to do? If the way of thought isn’t changing, how will the law?

Did you know that our most beloved and cherished historical texts support homosexuality?  Hinduism has taken various positions, ranging from positive to neutral or antagonistic. Rigveda, one of the four canonical sacred texts of Hinduism says ‘Vikriti Evam Prakriti’, which means ‘what seems un-natural is also natural’ which some scholars believe recognizes the cyclical constancy of homosexual/transsexual dimensions of human life, like all forms of universal diversities. The classic Indian text Kama Sutra deals without ambiguity or hypocrisy with all aspects of sexual life—including marriage, adultery, prostitution, group sex, sadomasochism, male and female homosexuality, and transvestism.

There is a basic rule book, which everyone is supposed to follow. A rule book written by all the wrong sorts of people. This rule book is not dictated by our government, it’s dictated by society, by us. We make the government. We are the government. So what are we doing? We need to sit down and question our humanity and our principles. Question your parents and your grand-parents; let us figure out the problem here. Figure out why this is happening to our country and to our people. Didn’t God make all humans to be equal and have equal rights? Aren't we all his children? They are not mistakes! And if they are, then we all are. 

Friday, 1 November 2013

Hot Chocolate

A sip of hot chocolate,
Does more for us than we can know. 
In the cold nights when there is little light,
That warm cup of brown feels just right. 
With every sip from that steaming tower,
You feel it's overwhelming power. 
That warm stream down your throat,
Helps to set sail to every bad memory boat. 
Every muscle and every nerve,
Loosens and gives you the comfort you deserve.
The chocolatey milk encompassing you,
Wrapping you up in a cozy blanket all new.
And as you sip at it slowly,
You feel 4years old, vaguely. 
As if time has found a way to turn around and glance,
Glance at you in your mother's arms,
Sleeping, while your fathers lullaby disarms. 
The drowsiness that now settles in,
Becomes more forceful and compelling. 
Compelling you to leave all your worries behind,
To let go of the weariness and to become kind. 
Let the warmth and comfort of sleep and dreams,
Send you to a land filled with fantasies. 
So put down that mug and put down that book,
Get into bed, get under the covers, close your eyes and look.
Because a sip of hot chocolate,
Does more for us than we will know. 


Turn back the clock please,
I just need some relief. 
Rewind it a bit or a few years,
Back to those couple of beers. 
The sunny happy times,
When we hadn't drawn all those lines. 
Lines that shouldn't be crossed,
Or else everything is lost.
Bring back that time to me,
When we were full of happiness and glee. 
Time that darn precious thing,
Can't even compare it to rare and expensive bling. 
Tide that impatient thing,
Waits for no one and acts like a king. 
Maybe if we made different choices would we see,
It's not about who you want to be. 
It's about those decisions that get made,
In haste and silliness destroying all the plans you laid. 
If I met god today,
I would ask him for one thing for every day. 
A second chance to make those choices again,
A chance to stop and enjoy the rain. 
To let the person know,
That the storm ends. 
That the sun can shine again. 
To at least let the person know,
Where the future for him is going to go. 

Post Nh7 Withdrawal

Let's go back to that time,
When we felt young, free and fine. 
When all that mattered was the here and the now,
People have forgotten that feeling, how?
Let's go back to that time,
When everything was sunny, bright and it shined!
With the music engulfing us,
There was absolutely no drama or fuss. 
The excitement and the passion,
Lasted only for a fraction. 
Lets go back to that time,
When the feeling of ecstasy and the high, were all mine. 
When the artists and audience were one,
Each one became the other one's sun. 
The trance and the atmosphere,
So captivating, one forgot all their fears. 
Let go back to that time,
When all inhibitions were left behind. 
No control and no power,
Individuals sprung and blossomed like flowers. 
For it was that time of the year,
When everyone shifted to fifth gear. 
Let's go back to that time,
When there was an absence of lines,
Oh! How for that time I pine. 

Friday, 18 October 2013

The Jazz Blues

My favorite part of the year is here! Nh7! And in that spirit and mood, here's something I'd like to share.

It takes over you, feeds on your soul,
But replaces it with so much more.
As the first note strikes,
You feel a change in your psych. 
With the guitar strumming and the beautiful drumming,
Your heart starts running. 
Every beat, every pitch,
Is so very rich. 
Her voice fills the air,
Like magic, she traps you in her lair. 
A wonderful spell is cast,
One, you feel, will forever last. 
The sound is so glorious,
You feel surprisingly victorious. 
A melody so sweet,
It's where the Gods come to meet. 
The overwhelming feeling of awe,
With energy so pure and so raw.
You near your own emotional climax,
Ever so slowly, your patience starts to lapse.
As the end of the solo begins,
The feeling of withdrawal sets in. 
Take a moment there, my friend,
Stop and let it sink in, till the very end. 
These moments are sacred and rare,
Cherish them, for their loss if more than you can bear.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

One Day At A Time

One day at a time,
I'll push myself across the finish line. 
The day will come when it's done,
And it will feel like the burn of a rising sun. 
The ashes of an old cigarette,
The last drops of rain,
Will feel like an old debt,
But there will be lots to gain. 
As the world turns to rust,
You feel the lingering lust. 
The lust to discover something new,
To watch life from a different view.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Lootgayi after Lootera

Today I found out what being speechless, really means. To experience something that sinks into your soul so deeply that you discover a depth to your being that you never even knew existed, forget being touched.

That is what I felt after watching Lootera. A film that creeps into your system shot by shot and by the end, captures you entirely. She is unbelievably simple yet expressive. Her beauty is one of uniqueness and a rarity, and you don’t even know why you find her so breathtaking. You fall for a character that you don’t even know yet. Her grace, her charm, the expression of slyness is all wrapped up perfectly in just her eyes.

I still don’t know what exactly has moved me so. But I feel like I lived her life, I felt her joy when she first laid eyes on him; I felt her childish excitement every time she saw him; I felt her anger, her desire, her love, and then her feeling of utter betrayal. Then I experienced her confusion and her love being reborn, rising from a dark grave of anger and hurt.

I feel like I’ve known her all my life and even then, she confuses me and bedazzles me at the same time.

He is the picture of the untypical angry young man. He’s bad but not by choice. He loves her, but not by choice. He rips her heart from her chest, but not out of his own accord. His entire life is dictated by him not having the power of choice. Yet, you don’t know whether to feel sorry for him when she unleashes her anger on to him or to hate him for being the cause of that hurt and anger.

Now, I feel its grip and the trance wearing off, as I type every letter, its fading. A part of me wants it to go away and give me back my heart and my head, but another part of me wants to hold on to this feeling of….being so overwhelmed.

Lootera stole something from me. What I have no idea honestly, but I feel as if a part of my soul has been taken from me. Not ripped from me, but given unwillingly. As if I had absolutely no choice in the matter.