Chandigarh Pride 2013 Snippet 8

The last snippet in the series of Chandigarh Pride 2013 is in succession of:

1. Foreword.

2. It Better Be Worth It.

3. Would You Take A Stranger Home? 

4. The Fleeting Glimpse of sweet sweet Pride.

5. Face, Friends and Souvenirs.

6. Someone’s Watching Over Me

7. I. Miss. Her.

8. Nothing but Bittersweet Experiences.

 

~Dear Life, Bring it On!~

 

One thing that pride did to me was that it gave me the confidence to be myself. I want to educate my mother about homosexuality. Regardless of what I decide to do with my life, I would want my family to accept and respect LGBT community – as allies, as equals.

 

Also, I am a little bit more inclined towards coming out. Perhaps already did, with walking the pride without any veils or masks. Will my mother accept me when I tell her even I am suffering from the same “disease”? Will I be able to walk out on her if she doesn’t? I have realized just how much I love her. Why do I have to make this choice? Why can’t I have both? The life that I choose to lead and the people I love. Why do they have to be mutually exclusive?

 

I have tried and failed incredulously, trying to find a family outside of where I was born. I am a strict supporter of blood relations – or so I believe these days. Friendships being an exception, I don’t really believe that any other bond exists. What my mother or brothers would do for me, no one else would…ever! But will they still be there once they know what I am, underneath my skin? Why do I have to be the one to cause them pain? Why do I have to be the one to disappoint them? Why do people get disappointed when they find out their family members aren’t straight? Is sexual orientation that much a powerful tool?

 

I don’t know what will happen in the next 3 years. All I know is amidst the chaos and conundrums revolving around the lives of bisexuals, I have had the rare moments of love, peace, and tranquility and I owe it all to the brave self of mine, who put me across Chandigarh pride. The pride of the LGBT community is bigger than me, bigger than the love, the hate, the daily quarrels. I am glad I assembled myself, remained focused and worked for something which was so much bigger than me.

 

So, a journey ends, leaving me enriched with memories, experiences, and quite a few friendships to look forward to.

 

I await another journey.

 

Dear Life, bring it on!

Signing off,

Yours,

Alive and Kicking, Anuj.

Chandigarh Pride 2013 Snippet 7

The seventh snippet will make much more sense to you, if you have followed the previous ones in the series; here is a quick look: 

1. Foreword.

2. It Better Be Worth It.

3. Would You Take A Stranger Home? 

4. The Fleeting Glimpse of sweet sweet Pride.

5. Face, Friends and Souvenirs.

6. Someone’s Watching Over Me

7. I. Miss. Her.

 

~Nothing but bittersweet experiences ~

 

I haven’t seen a woman as beautiful as her in a long long while. Her eyes tell me that she has been crying a lot. Her stance informs me she has been hurt and abandoned. I want to comfort her, perhaps give her a good bear hug, let her cry all that she wants in my embrace, but as a stranger there is only as much liberty that I can take.

 

So I sit and listen instead. It seems like she can do with a patient ear. She shares her story. I feel a jolt of hatred for the man who abused her feelings. Are you proud of yourselves, dear so called pure straight guys? How do you match an eye with yourself after hurting the sentiments of a trusting beautiful woman? She speaks about love and fidelity. She wanted her man to stand up for her, be brave for her, and protect her from the harms. Of course, he was not a man enough. She cannot figure out why he said whatever he said and yet did what he did. She speaks in immaculate English, seemingly is quite well versed…quite a smart girl, but alas! She fell in love.

 

My inner self smirks at me. In the recent past, not so much a while ago, I thought I loved someone. I thought I had a companion. I thought there was a man in the making who would stand up for me, be with me, and be my companion, my lover, my best friend. Of course, my eyes searched for him before, during and after the pride. I had to force myself to not to respond to phantom rings when I thought he perhaps would call once the pride was over. He did not.

 

Of course, my blunder, error-some dating experience is nothing compared to her sorrow of being abandoned out of the blues. Besides, I am much better at handling all this than she is at this moment; lot of experience you know! Life has time and again made me practice being deserted. I might just run a workshop on that…perhaps that would help us get good funds for Jub We Talk.

 

I tell her his guy isn’t a man enough. That he only stayed with her out of guilt and not out of love. Now that there is a little distance between the two of them, he is finally rationalizing his feelings and hence, has finally decided for him. She agrees. I want to add that he is not a bad person, just not the right one for her, but I know from her countenance that she will need a bit more time to get to this point, and hence I remain quiet.

 

As humans, we tend to get carried way. Love or the very thought of it, has the way of making us feel an exaggerated version of reality. But when the augmented sense of reality clears the way for the actual, backstabbing, cryptic and unnerving reality, it does not mean that anybody lied, or that anyone is a fake or a cheater. It just means that they are good people, who wanted to fall in love there in that moment, but later realized that they just got carried away. People change. It’s up to you whether you want to still love them or not. And a certain heart ache which a few of these people cause us… well we need that, in order to grow.

~Dear Whatever,

Thank you, for the experiences. ~

 

I have nothing against the guy I was seeing, for not turning up, for not being by my side. I know I will be good and cordial with him whenever I see him, but will I love him now? No! I know we don’t deserve to be made to feel this way at the hands of each other. He won’t be able to miss the accusing looks in my eyes, holding him guilty for deserting me, and that would just be unfair, to him. He never promised anything…he dint feel the love enough for me to actually show up, and that’s okay, really!

 

If this pride had taught me anything, its just a simple fact…this life is something bigger than just falling in love. There has to be a bigger purpose to life than that…at least to my life…I don’t know what it is, but I will know it when it will happen to me. The same way I got to know what peace and pride was in this journey of mine, I’ll discover my purpose as well.

Someday I will fall in love; someday the love would not disappoint, but until that happens, let’s achieve a dream or two, right?

 

However, it is the condition like that of this woman which worries me. 31 and deserted by the so called lover? Will I be able to take it if it happened to me? Will I be able to face myself if the guy I left my family for, would walk out on me later in life? Well…talk about insecurities and fears!!!

 

I do not have the answer to these questions, but I know I feel good when I work for a goal that’s bigger than me. And here, during the Chandigarh Pride Walk, when I caught the fleeting glimpse of pride, peace, love, joy and tranquility, I think I will get by, even if love continues to leave me cold, empty and bereft. Only if I remain brave enough to follow the voice of my heart, I will get by. There comes a point in our lives when pain or pleasures, love or hate, hurt or comforts cease to matter that much. A point when nothing matters and all these experiences remain exactly that – experiences! Bittersweet, nostalgic, enriching and expanding experiences.

 

I feel a change in my perspective. I understand at a deeper level the reason behind my be-ing, my existence. I feel a sense of self confidence, self love and honor, and yes, life is beautiful!

Chandigarh Pride 2013 Snippet 6

Please ensure you have read these before proceeding with the 6th Snippet: 

1. Foreword.

2. It Better Be Worth It.

3. Would You Take A Stranger Home? 

4. The Fleeting Glimpse of sweet sweet Pride.

5. Face, Friends and Souvenirs.

6. Someone’s Watching Over Me

 

~ I. Miss. Her ~

Staring Across Horizon Missing Her
I Miss Her

 

The early morning chills woke me up. The clock is still beeping at 6:18 am, but it feels like I have slept for an eternity. My bladder is about to burst, it is causing acute pain in and below my abdomen. I have to pee. I rise up to see the chap who let me crash in his place, is lying by my side in a rather awkward position, and the blanket is trapped underneath his other leg. No wonder I was shivering, but he is fast asleep. Thank goodness he is not snoring anymore! :p

 

My pee has that pungent smell that alcohol often gives it. Once out, the day looks optimistic and warm. I hug myself while soaking in the comforting warmth of the early morning sun rays. It’s a strange feeling which I am getting here in the morning. I think the latent child inside me wants to shed a tear or two. Without much contemplation I realize it’s because I miss her. I had grown so much accustomed to waking up next to her; patiently listen to her complaints from life, her scolding, her nagging and taunts, and the yummy bed tea I would get sometimes, especially after a day of such sheer labor.

 

It is peaceful here, but it’s not home…

 

Distance makes the heart grows fonder. But often, we take this feeling for granted. We take comfort just in feeling the love for someone, and seldom do we confess the love – the fondness. What’s the fear? Of sounding too feminine, too indiscreet, too docile, too gay?

 

~ I love you Maa! ~ I whisper, more for myself than for her, acknowledging and accepting the feeling, the fact that there is this tie binding me to her, which wont ever go away, no matter what. When all is said and done, when I have traveled, made friends, have had the time of my life, I know she is the one I would have to come back to, because that is how I function.

 

~ You better keep my Maa safe and in good health! ~ I shoot a warning to the heavens up above.

 

The chap is still wasted, in the same position. I think the cold will catch up on him too. Somehow, after a great deal of effort, I am able to remove the blanket from the almost dead weight of his over bearing and tenacious knee. I put some blanket over him, some on myself and lay down to rest a little, every limb in my body now about to crumble.

 

In an almost natural, subliminal, effortless way, I slip back into a memory from my childhood. As a child, I had my own little share of love and pampering, and as kids often as, I was always hungry for more of it. Often I demanded to get to sleep tucked between my parents. And so I would often jump off between the two and would sleep comfortably – like a prince. However, as a child, I used to kick a lot in my sleep, and the kicks were so severe that I, not only would pull the blanket down off myself and parents, but also would end up hurting them at times.

 

The child has grown up now, to bear those kicks from others and yet put blanket back on them.

 

The tear which I was perseveringly trying to suppress, now finally find its release.

 

~ Miss you Maa, I wish I were there! ~

Chandigarh Pride 2013 Snippet 5

 This snippet is in succession to: 

1. Foreword.

2. It Better Be Worth It.

3. Would You Take A Stranger Home? 

4. The Fleeting Glimpse of sweet sweet Pride.

5. Face, Friends and Souvenirs

 

~ Someone’s Watching Over Me ~

 

While I and other volunteers are running back and forth, trying to coordinate the Pride walk, a guy approaches me and asks whether I have any face masks with me or not? My inner self, always the idealist, snaps back at him “YOU NEED TO HIDE BEHIND A VEIL IN ORDER TO SUPPORT LOVE AND PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE? WHY CAN’T YOU JUST BE PROUD OF YOURSELF OF HAVING SHOWED UP HERE AND WALK WITH PRIDE?” But my practical self empathizes and apologizes for not having the masks with me. Jub We Talk had donated 100 masks to the pride walk, Saksham trust has bought another 100 for the same, and I know this because I bought and brought those 200 masks from Delhi to Chandigarh with me, but what I don’t know is where these masks are hiding right at this very moment when they are needed the most.

 

Some volunteers are on the truck, enjoying themselves and managing the walk too. So I rush to find other volunteers from in the crowd, who might know about the masks. This one chap is busy with the pride too, perhaps is talking to some journalist or a blogger maybe, and of course has no idea where the masks are. He directs me to some other guy, who might know where the masks would be. Of course however when I find him (NOT in the crowd, but on the front seat of the TRUCK) I discover even he is as clueless as the rest of us.

 

We are stuck here, our lack of pride experience, coordination and organizing skills are now hitting us right in the face. While I am jostling all these feelings, fighting the urge to not to blame someone for this and let it slide somehow, I see the little twinky chap who asked for the masks has already found himself one and is participating rather fervently in the pride.

 

Suddenly, I am reminded of the stories from Mahabharata, which my father used to narrate every night before the slumber could catch up on me. He once told me about a warrior or a king, I am not too sure what, who wanted to watch the ultimate battle of Mahabharata at Kurukshetra, and said he will be on the side of the team which is about to lose. And he had some of these magical superpowers that Krishna knew, if he were to participate from the Kaurava’s end, the Pandavas would most certainly lose. Cunning and clever Lord Krishna did one of his tricks and separated his head from the rest of his body, to prevent him from being a part of the battle. However, his head was put in a fashion that allowed him to be the spectator of the battle.

In the end, when asked about the battle, he confessed he did not know which side was better; all he remembered was watching this giant Sudarshan Chakra taking the charge of the entire battle.

 

Okay, I get it, my father was a much better story teller, I am not…but you get the picture right? No?

 

Well, it’s simple! God watches over us, all of us, all of the time. And while he allows us to fight our battles, learn our lessons; we should always know that the almighty is watching over us, all the time. There, in that moment, I learned – everything falls into place, only if you have enough nerve to follow what your heart says. :)

 

~ Thank you God, for always watching over us. ~

Chandigarh Pride 2013 Snippet 4

Yeah, you got it this time, but just confirming if you have read the prequels to this snippet: 

1. Foreword.

2. It Better Be Worth It.

3. Would You Take A Stranger Home

4. The Fleeting Glimpse of the sweet sweet Pride

~ Face, Friends and Souvenirs ~

 

*Slow motion fades out*

 

Whatever I said in the previous diary entry, sounded quite full of an impact in my head. However, the speech has now ended and it’s time to snap out of the unicorns and rainbows filled fantasy world and get back into action. I am not here to pose for the cameras, or to get any lime light etc. I am here for work, and hence I should better get back to the job of Just Me Anuj.

 

I embrace the crowds, request people to pose for the cameras and they happily oblige. Except for the seemingly obvious trans and cross dressers, I really have no idea whether anyone else is straight or homosexual, and while I wonder about the same, my higher self slaps me at the back of me head and hisses “We just decided, it doesn’t matter, did we not, you fool?” I agree and apologize “Oi, but no need to hit me that hard, buds,” I cry in protest.

 

In the crowd, I remember a few faces, from the documentary. I immediately get chatty with them, compliment on their guts and bravery to come out, to shed light on the actual lives of LGBT people. Simran, the trans I already talked about is looking rather graceful in a green Sari and her hands are stained in Henna. She adjusts her long shiny hair behind her ear and shakes my hand, which I had offered as a token of my respect and admiration to her. The hot chic lesbian girl is here too. She looks quite spectacular, but I refrain from flirting. Only congratulate her on her guts and interact just a little.

 

I want to step forward and capture more pics, but there are not enough people holding the pride flag. In fact, the flag is being dragged on the road. Obviously, I rush to pick it up, and well well, I am glad I did.

 

There is a cute girl walking behind me, holding the gigantic velvety flag. Being the chatty self, that I sort of am, and that I should much rather be when I am out touring, I quickly get acquainted with her. She is studying Human Rights and also, is a supporter. As the conversations unfold and we get a bit candid, she also tells me that she will be willing to accept the bisexuality of her boy friend, only if she had one! :p

 

We also discuss about polygamy and monogamy, she believes monogamy is a bit overrated, I tell her it’s a dream of a lot of gay chaps that I know, to enter into a monogamous relationship, but often, it is the ordeal of the same that prompts us to rather be polygamous. I know these are my own personal views, and I tell her the same. She smiles back, a sort of impish, naughty and quite a winsome cute smile.

 

The conversation does not end, and before I could realize, I know I have made another friend in the city beautiful – Chandigarh.

Chandigarh Pride 2013 Snippet 3

Hey, dint want to bugger, just wanted confirm that you are following the right sequence: 
1. Foreword.

2. It Better Be Worth It!

3. Would You Take A Stranger Home?

Now, please continue. 

 

~The fleeting glimpse of the sweet sweet Pride ~

The walk has started and we have finally managed to reach here on time. Well, not really. The pride got late, and hence by default, we are here on time. Lucky us, right? We are surrounded by curious – even baffled and startled gazes, yet mostly, everyone seems to be rather amused! “YES!!!!!!! WE PULLED THIS OFF!” I scream and do a little jig and a cartwheel in my head; on the outside I am still my characteristic pensive and quite self. I wish I had my Digi cam with me,  I don’t. But I have my phone, and more than that my own eyes, I am going to let myself by open and vulnerable and allow my first brave outing to a pride walk, leave its permanent imprints on my soul.

Weirdly enough, the thought sounds quite poetic in my head. And I know I suck at poetry! ;)

 

I am standing at the student center and I am wondering why did the DCW of the university did not give us permissions to start the pride from here? What was the logic behind students not being ready for “all this” when the students themselves have claimed that they have nothing against LGBTQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuals, Transgenders and Queers] society? Did the DCW forget that these are the same students who can legally cast votes and select the government? Or perhaps it was the aftermaths of the ultimate choice of the government, which prompted the DCW to deem these students unfit to decide for themselves…

 

Anyway, the pride has not started…yet. Various media channels and journalists are running haywire to grab the media bytes. As expected, the trans gender community is leading the way – unabashed, unapologetic and unashamed! How many of us have the guts to be exactly who we are in the broad day light? Not many, my inner self hisses again in my ear, with a characteristic dry and sarcastic under tone. I check my phone again…he dint even wish me luck for the pride. He knew I was coming all the way from Delhi. 

 

Chandigarh Queer Pride 2013

 

I smile, as the walk commences and open myself up to just let it all go. Suddenly, an unidentified wave runs through me, and before I realize, I am walking right in the front, holding the banners, standing tall and poised in front of the cameras, with a mystic smile (yes mystic! No matter how stupid I am looking, smiling like an idiotic hippie, the smile still is mystic!). As I place one proud step after the other, unabashedly taking the charge, a deeper emotion fills up my heart, makes my palm sweat, my eyes wet and my chest swell. Without a word needing to be said, my inner self and I realizes this feeling. It is the PRIDE! Sweet, radiating, unnerving, inspiring, uplifting PRIDE! Altruistic, benevolent, considerate, subliminal, humble PRIDE!

 

I am proud to be here. I am proud that I allowed myself to be brave enough to be here. I am proud I took a stand for what I believed in. I am proud that I took the charge, stepped outside the clutches and stood up for the only thing that has ever made sense to me – love and equality. And there, in that very moment, amidst the phantasmagoric company to brave kaleidoscopic strangers, I caught the fleeting glimpse of an ever elusive, tranquil PEACE!

 

I did not back down, I dared, I stepped up, stood up for what I believed in. To love is a human right. To spend the rest of your life, with the person you love is CORRECT, and anything that says the opposite is shame-worthy, conceited, ignorant and incorrect.  Listen to what your heart is trying to tell you. :* 

Chandigarh Pride 2013 Snippet 2

Before reading this, ensure you have already read:

1. Foreword.

2. Chandigarh Pride Snippet 1.

~ Would You Take A Stranger Home? ~

 

How many of us would take a person we hardly know home? This chap, who came to pick me, did. We were stuck, as the Dharamshalas did not let me in, because I was late, and hotels? Well, in care you weren’t paying attention, I am quite broke and yet suffer from wanderlust. You see, we at Jub We Talk and my Just Me Anuj are yet to start making any money out of it, so till then, it’s all going to be the cheap local buses, and Dharamshalas, or getting indebted by people who are kind enough to do us favors. No, I did not message him. The guy who claimed to be in love with me, who I thought I loved. I knew he could not have helped, and also, I refused to get disappointed and disheartened all over again.

 

A few highly awkward moments later, the slumber prevailed.

 

*****

 

I am sitting in a studio, giving the final touches to the documentary. These two volunteers from the Saksham Trust have really done a fab job – taking the interviews of straight crowd in the Punjab University, shedding light on the lives of lesbians, trans, gays etc. and assembling the snippets of what the famous celebrities like Obama, Gaga, Anne Hathaway etc feel about homosexuality. My very own colleague and friend, Admin Saz has also prepared a PPT meant to educate people about the homosexuality. The PPT is scheduled to be played in Sector 17 Chandigarh, while we would be walking from the student center of Punjab University to the Sector 17 market.

 

I check my phone again. It’s already 4 and we are running far behind the schedule. The documentary is awesome, there is no way we should be missing it, yet however, the stupid computer would not work its fat ass on time.

 

Just 15 more minutes to go, I am ready with the first part – the part that consists of what the straight crowd of Punjab University feels about LGBT. It was quite baffling to see hardly a handful of them knew the expansion of the term LGBT. Though it felt nice to see how most of them were the supporters of sexual minorities. My heart went out to a girl who said she would still support her gay brother, because that is what sisters do and that she cannot abandon her brother just like that, and finally I was comforted by the words of a wise old man with a rather long beard and a mystical persona and serene aura surrounding him, who spoke in immaculate English and said Homosexuality is a personal choice, which needs to be respected and he would still treat his son as normal, even if one day he turned out to be gay. That pretty much sums up the first part of the documentary.

(And well, these are their opinions so it’s not like I can perhaps fine tune them.)

In the next part these people have put together the lives of people from the LGBT community. There is a sexy female, a lesbian, who speaks with confidence and élan and is proud of herself – a sexy, bright fabulous lesbian girl – hawt! I do feel a little but sad when I hear her say that she has no interest, what so ever, in boys. Bisexual blues you see! :’(

Next is a gay guy who speaks about the bullying in college and also how his female friends always come up to rescue him, and treat him as equals. All hail the female power!!!!

Then there is a seemingly effeminate male, I am not sure what tag to put on him, but I have a smile on my face as I hear his experiences of leaving his family, settling down here in Chandigarh, and how the people from the community helped in rehabilitating him.

Lastly, there is a beautiful female – no wait! She is a transgender – but still, really graceful and beautiful. She is dressed in a simple Salwaar Kameez, with really long and beautiful hair and is talking about the ordeal that trans people face – being bullied at streets, doctors delaying medical aids to them in the hospitals etc. Finally, she strikes the right cord when she says “agar maangane se haq nahi milta hai toh usay cheen lo!”

 

I see the chap, who let me crash at his place, fuming over my head. Of course we are late for the pride. He has my bag. I think he expects me to change here in the studio. And I think I am right! He really does! Being fully aware of the fact that arguing would only be a waste of time, I grab my bag and change behind the slider door. For a brief moment, I feel anything but the pride. ;)

writings of Delhi queer | about men, music, movies, money issues and other mindless rumblings

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