Friday, October 31, 2008

Documentary On Gays – A Media College Project

i made it a point that i speak to college students, about me being gay. i'm sure some thought of it as being over-the-top flamboyant, but it doesn't bother me. i stand by my beliefs. how can we expect the society and people to change and count us as a part of the society, when we all sit hiding behind veils?

secondly, i feel relieved that i don't have to make any make-believe statements; i don't have to fake instant "see-a-woman-and-feel-orgasmic" moments; i could find a lot of love with the all the women around and of course have the privilege of crushing big egos of straight-men and galling their ire with by being the man-midst-maidens.

i don't believe that gays are a sexual minority. count the many closeted, married-yet-looking… and some who live confused all through about the path that they need to follow!

oh! i'm diverting. let me get back to the topic of the student project.

yogesh, with a flock of 3 other young vivid minds, vernal & thriving media students from a veteran yet modern institution touched upon the issue of homosexuality as in the state today. i find this an honest attempt, quite a contrary to the clichés that the movies of today depict. this is a 9 something minute documentary that includes me, parmesh (author of gay bombay), vivek patil (artist, and mis officer from humsafar trust) and volunteers from humsafar trust. though much of this was edited to fit in his time-limit. (even i didn't get much screen space, he edited me off, lol). i believe though, if the intent is good, the content follows. please take a peep.



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Me, The Author. God, The Trickster!

“what you abhor, you eventually adore” that’s the irony of life. at least that’s how it is for me. as i rejoice over the fact that i can still count the strands of grey hair on my head, i see my life taking a happy turn. in retrospect, i have tasted the waters that i once said “come what may, i wouldn’t”

i believed and believe that god is a trickster. so i made sure that all my pleas were in pronouncement and in complete seriousness with no prospect for any dubiousness. but still, she is god. she found her way often to trick me to not taste merely but to dip and plunge into the deep.
i remember the days my aunt used to sit with a stick in her hand “calyx”, “corolla”, “sepal”, “petal” and i engaged in pitter-patter “i love plants, but how could anyone possibly study botany”. her tyrannical ways to woo me made me vow against it. and today, i flaunt my bachelors’ degree in botany. similarly, i had said once, “oh! my god how can someone possibly stay in government quarters” and i ended up staying in one for 13 years without an iota of nitpick. so is the case with my new abode in the farther end of new bombay, and this is the same me who bellowed that id not set foot on a home outside my beloved bombay no matter how low the circumstances. agreed this was as good as being in bombay. but it’s still a make believe; aintit?
i might sound like a little boy with a ninety year old perspicacity, but nature bestows opportunities to soothe or seethe your life. it’s up to us to either burp in softness, vivacity and happiness by choosing the former, or pant in recklessness by choosing the latter. i look back at the wallop of happiness and the smirk of pain that gave happiness a new high.

fathoming back to the memories that changed me, i arrive at the days when i detested dogs, i was very compassionate towards them, and believed that quite understand their emotions. i used to sit with my white underwear and baniyaan in my balcony looking at momma dog visiting our building, leaving her babies in the custody of our building watchman and then setting off to dig the nearby garbage bin. (and before you start thinking of me as a flasher; be informed that i was a kid thenJ) one day, the baby dogs were there alone, momma was missing. i ran down to scout around for momma dog, with my mom to tag along. and saw her lay in a heap of garbage with froth dipping off her mouth… i looked at my mom and asked her with utter innocence “why is momma doggy sleeping over the dust bin, why didn’t she wash her mouth after brushing”. mom wanted to break the news to me that momma doggy is no more. and knowing mom, she didn’t mince words, said she “she has died, and all will die. one day”. mom expected me to feel bad, but i instead smiled cheekily at the fact that id be seeing momma doggy when i die. i looked at the pups and felt sorry. my happiness turned pale. what will happen to the little ones i wondered? then a little pup came close to me. i fretted, in fear, took a pebble and pelt it on the pup. i never have aimed so well ever. it hit the pup on the forehead of his. and the pup squealed in pain. so strident was the squeal that i can hear its echo still screeching the daylights off me. i stood there scared, that the pup would bite, still ignorant of the fact that the pup has just been orphaned. i justify my grisly act saying “but… but… but i was scared”
even today i fret i condole thinking of the orphaned pup… the thought of the nest with 3 sparrow chicks that i took to the ground so that i could see it fly, but ended up as a meal for a hungry cat… the thought of the many lizards that i loved to torment just because i wanted to see it drop its tail… the thought of the parrots i loved to cage… the thought of the sick and mauled cat that i rescued just after i turned 23, just to crush it to death by putting my leg over him when i was sleeping. years later, now, i am working for the cause of animals, tooth and nail.

“my parents should have stopped me then. my mother is the most empathetic person, but she didn’t put her foot down, she might be my mother, my loved mother, but she has wronged here” i protest in retrospect, quite happily washing off the guilt from me on to my moms shoulders.

why am i suddenly thinking of animals? i mean, i think of animals often, but why so profoundly? well because, i am reading this book. marley and me by john gregon and reading is not my habit, the only books that i have read (in bits and pieces, not completelty)are shobhaa de ka naya book superstar india, and parmesh shahani’s gay bombay.the only book that i have read cover to cover is maneka gandhi’s heads and tails… and that’s because i was in that activism spree. this book was gifted to me by friend rusi. thanks rusi…

now, post reading my first ever book, promising admiration from a celebrated author my blogdost de and above all the pillar of a support of my sexy girlfriend (of course you are my girlfriend re… rajesh watch out) in minneapolis rekha, i have started writing a book. which i will complete in a years time. it took me a lot of time to understand that i am doing something that i once detested.

i often wondered how people found the time to flip through pages and still remember the trail of the story. i was so damn intelligent, that i often lost track of the story that the book followed. but here i am, confident and flagrantly state that my book will be a bestseller. that’s why i call god a trickster. a real chaalu cheez.

im going for it. and i will win it.
…i mean a booker. why do you feel I cant. I can. And will.

Come on… what are you reading still…jaldi karo… wish me luck, tell me that I will see this happen for real.

(however clichéd this may sound) I need your blessings, wishes and affirmations


Monday, October 06, 2008

Hail NDTV!

recently the suicide of a 17 year old boy was in news. he mentioned in his suicide note that this was due to psychological abuse meted out by his friends in college who teased him for being gay. this one came out, i know of many who are silent sufferers and many go unnoticed as when they decide to end their life they fail to muster the courage to mention that that’s because of sexuality discrimination in their suicide note. i wouldn’t take names, but post my abuse, suicide attempts and being a survivor, i made it a point to go to colleges and schools and speak to them about how i had been through it and how i am now through it. i cried everytime i spoke about my episode. but put up a brave face in front of the kids, as i knew that i needed to be noticed as a survivor and not a victim. i believe in the ripple effect. (ripple effect: courtesy: madhusudan ) not to my surprise, most of them who came out and spoke tto me privately were boys. we are most ignorant about the rights of a male child. protecting the male child is equivalent to tiding against the waves, men have to protect women… we are told from childhood. even mythology is interpreted as per our whims and fancies. but what about the average young boy who peddles through the muddles of trivia that life poses? what about the “strong young boy” is simply the reverse of what he is “weak, old man”. growing faster than what the world could imagine.

in a parallel plane, minister, amburami ramadoss(i love this guy. i will dedicate a separate post for him later) has been fighting tooth-and-nail for the decriminalization of homosexuality. (there exists a draconian law, section 377, which punishes anal, oral and sex “against the order of nature”.)
(rearing to go??? no no!
even man-woman anal/oral sex is punishable with life imprisonment. so… no back door entries. rear end is the dead end)
and by the way as vikram joshi puts it in his blog indian penal (huh!) code. lol.

ndtv had recently interviewed me on the issue of sexuality discrimination in educational institutions and also the broader issue of rights of sexuality. i have spoken about the fact that sex is not only meant for procreation, it’s natural if it’s for recreation also. i have asked the government to rather impose heavy criminal charges against any man who marries a woman despite being gay and thus endangering her basic right of sexual liberty.

i’m out on media, now, with consent. and am glad that my debutant public acceptance of me being gay is on ndtv. vikram doctor had asked in the recent parents meet if id like to volunteer to speak about the episode. i readily agreed. and shai venkataraman, the editor/director is super sensitive about the issue. so no melodrama. no emphasis on extra emotions et al. i am sure this program will look wonderful.
i thought it will be right at this juncture to share my previous posts with you. which speak about my life
does being on tv it warm the cockles of my heart?
yes, definitely it does. who wouldn’t like a transition from being a victim who is looking for hope to a survivor who is the hope.

do i like being on tv?

of course i do. i love being known.

did i do it for publicity?
if you think that i could use something as sensitive as sex abuse to garner publicity. you either don’t know me or are a freaking asshole. it makes me happy if people recognize me. because then, i could reach out to many more. it will help the cause. i am not doing it for publicity. but id be lying if id say that i donot like it if i get publicity. had this exercise had no publicity, then too id have done it.
any ways, can you answer a simple question about how many times you masturbate on tv. many will freak out. and here i was reliving something that’s gory, dreadful and long past.

for more watch my tough and blunt interview with shai venkataraman on ndtv 24x7 on 05 october 2008. i received many phone calls about people expecting to hear and see more of me, and this was one-two minute clip. but this was not about my activism portfolio, it was for a cause, and shai has represented the cause very well. she has not glorified the sadness but has been factual.

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