Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Coming out of the Closet

Watched Milk (oscar nominated movie) yesterday. Such a beautiful movie, and an inspirational one too. Yes, I have been inspired by it a lot, and the flow of emotions in me are currently running so high that I have finally decided to come out through this blog, lest I again revert back to my shell. Yes, you read it right. Come Out.

I had been deliberating over this matter for a long time. Each time I watch such a movie or go through some one's coming out experience, I feel like breaking the veil myself. But, its never easy to come out and say, "I'm Gay". But I partially broke this veil a year ago, when I came out to one of my best friend. That was also after much thought, and when I could no longer bear the fact that he "didn't know me completely". I always thought what if he says "Dont talk to me again!". But, I mustered enough courage to break the news to him. Though quite shocked ( and I had to explain him a lot), he finally said- "It doesn't matter to me what your sexuality is. You are still the same friend to me." That gave me some courage and then I came out to my second best friend in Dec 08. He too has been quite supportive. But still, I had asked them not to tell it to anyone and so, I am almost suffering from the same plight.

I never had the courage to tell them in school, and I broke the news to them through chat, since it's simpler to do so as you won't have to see the reaction. And it is the same reason that I am coming out through this blog to the 2 followers of this blog. Now, let me just point out a few points why coming out is so difficult:

1) First of all, while growing up, its always confusing not to share the same feelings as others. You can't talk to others, cause you don't know why or what is happening. Once you realise the fact that you are gay, you realise that it is not something that would be accepted.

2) The worst fear is that of being ostracized. You suddenly become untouchables for many homophobics or ignorant people. You would be the butt of each joke, looked down upon, teased and discriminated against. And for what?

3) Coming out to the family is the most difficult. More so, cause in India, it is the duty of the son to carry the family blood ahead. Each mother wants to have her grandchildren. How are you to shatter the dreams of someone you love so dearly? And then, given the generation gap, you are never sure if your parents would be able to accept it and not force you to go against your will. This probably could explain why in India, there have been cases of lesbian girls eloping, but never any case of gays. I accept, men are coward not to be able to break free of these social bondages.

I know, if this news spreads in the campus, probably my life would become a living hell. Each of my action would be scrutinised and misconstrued, but I can't take it any more. It kills me each day to be someone I am not. I don't know how I would be facing others, but I know I must. Thanks to Harvey Milk to give me enough courage. Thanks to the speech of the director of Milk in the Oscars. I am finally out to at least two more people (with the potential of this news sprading faster than wild fire). For the homophobics, I just have one question- Don't you have left handed persons in the society, though majority of us are right handed. If you could accept them, why not Gays? Heterosexuality is not normal, its just common.

P.S.- If u would no longer like to talk to me and sever all your ties, you can directly tell me on my face. I would appreciate it and respect your wish.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why India lacks a Young PM

This question has always intrigued me. Movies like Nayak and Love in December somehow touched the subject and some issues connected to it were portrayed that probably a young person would face. Elucidating more on such small, but definitely impactful things, I decided to make a list.

The second most populated country of the world with a largely young population hasn’t been able to produce a young PM till now. With elections round the corner, both the aspirants remain generations apart from the majority. Rajiv Gandhi at 40 has been the youngest till now (but will you call a man in his 40s as young!). Let’s delve deeper into the reasons of this aloofness.

1) Testosterone runs high when you are young and accordingly the chances of affairs are high. But then, how will a PM shed his security to meet his love? Moreover, love affairs aren’t treated with the best of respect in Indian society. One picture with his girl-friend, and the “moral police” would run riots on streets. If he is married, he won’t be lucky to remain unscathed if he does a Nicolas Sarkozy here.

2) There won’t be any hanging around with friends and neither would they be able to meet him so freely. No late night parties, no boozing or hitting the dance floor. All these are the very essence of youth.

3) A relatively older President Obama couldn’t come to terms with the fact that he would have to part with his Blackberry. How would a young person survive without his mobile? No showing off the latest gadget, because he won’t be allowed to have one. Can’t say about ipods, as none of the current lot of politician seem to enjoy this marvel. But it’s for sure, he won’t be able to plug it in his ears and enjoy the music as and when desired, especially in the ruckus of the parliament.

4) No longer would there be a first day first show enjoyment. On the rare occasions when he would wish to watch one, special screening would be held. So, no peeking around other couples in the darkness or sharing pop-corn with your own partner.

5) Another intriguing question is that he would probably have to give up wearing those T-shirts with some explicit quotes. Politicians have taken up some traditional dress(and its true for Rahul Gandhi too). His spouse would also be expected to wear “Indian Dress”. Pant- shirts for her would be a big no-no. See what happened to poor Sonia Gandhi!! AN italian, who is now always Sari -clad. Or for that matter Jemima Khan(when she was the wife of Imran Khan). She would never be spotted in a western dress, though both were western. This society would never allow a modern Indian Bahu.

Keeping in mind all the austerity measures that a young person would have to take, the youth of this country probably thinks it best to venture into this territory when he is ready to become a sanyasi and has little desires left. Unless the society changes itself radically, there seem to be no hope of having a young PM.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A fucked up year for me- monetarily

This year has been a tough one for me financially. The year didn,t start on a high note though. I was with DD and Vijit on 31st Dec 08 when I received a call from home asking me to come early. Though my sister sounded a bit tensed, I thought it to be the usual "come home early" call coz my mother wasn't allowing me to go out on New Year's eve. On returning back, I encountered a deadly silence. I knew it couldn't be due to me. I asked my sis and there came the shocker- my father had been hospitalized. He had fallen down from his cycle and broken his ankle and was going to be operated upon. 1st Jan thus began on a dull note. I went to the cafe to reserve ticket for my Mom online under Tatkal quota, while we were calling dad on phone and enquiring about his health.

Thus began my new year- on a sadistic and money-spending note. The ticket cost me around 500 and was the first in a series of expenditures that have followed me since then. The very next day I spent another 160 bucks for my own reservation to Dhanbad in the same train as my Mother said she would remain tensed for my well being since Coalfield reaches here at 10 p.m and Dhanbad is unsafe.

Once here, I had to see a dermatologist. This cost me another 600(100 as his fee and 500 meds). I didnt have 500 bucks, so asked for an ATM. The pharma man told me its nearby. I went there, the SBI ATM wasnt working. I saw HSBC one with that Maestro logo. I thanked the stars that now, I wont be charged those 25 bucks. To my dismay, when the slip came out, those charges had been applied. I found out that HSBC charges everyone irrespective of the logos on your ATM.

Next up was my trip to Kolkata between 24- 26. I had to buy a 1 GB RAM for my lappy(thats another painful story as to why?). I had planned to go on 25th(sunday) and then came to know that the market wud be closed. So, decided to start out early from my home on 26, do the necessary shopping and then catch my train. As it turned out, our patriot shopkeepers decided to keep their shutters down. The few that were open didn't have a RAM for Laptop. Dejected, I was going to the bus stop, when I decided to give it one more shot. This time, I was lucky though(and it was short lived too). I bought a 2 GB pen drive too for 250. Together, they burnt a hole of 1100 in my pocket . I asked him to attach the RAM too. It was past 4 pm, so in a hurry I didnt turn on my lappy to check whether it was working properly. And yes, you guessed it right. Once I reached the hostel, the laptop just wont show anything on the screen. Once the Ram was taken out, it started.

So i decided to continue with 512 MB of my RAM for the night. But to add to my woes, my windows showed the message- "Your windows is not genuine. You may be a victim of software counterfeiting". It wont allow me to access anything. Frustrated, I went to sleep at 10:30 pm( dont remember sleeping so early since first year). Next day, I went to the service centre. He asked me to keep my laptop there and apprised that it would cost me 400. With no option left, I decided to go ahead. When I went to get it back, he told me there was some problem with my RAM.

Luckily, Divir and Apurv were going to Kol that weekend. So, I gave them the bill and RAM to get it changed. But, he refused to change it telling them that some componenet was missing and it had probably got damaged while attaching it. They came back with it. SO, the next week I decided to go myself and bring MD t-shirts too. I got a ticket from Barrackpore till Dhanbad. Couldn't get my RAM changed, he kept it saying that he would send it to the company and if it gets changed he would do it.He asked me to contact after a week. I moved from there, and while on my way to the next destination checked my pocket to have a look at the ticket. Oh God! it wasnt there. Searched all my pockets. But couldn't get it.

My other destination was Esplanade. I had to meet a man who was to deliver t-shirts to me.I was asked not to pay more than 2500 for the t-shirts to him(they had decided upon 2750 initially). And all my attempts to do that remained futile( another monetary issue) and had to pay the whole amount. Finally, I bought another ticket from Howrah for my journey back to Dhanbad.

The fate of my RAM( and my 850) still hangs in the balance. I am to visit the doc again tomorrow. And there have been a no. of other small expenditures which came out of the blue. Dont know how much more will I be screwed this year. Just wishing that this tryst with bad luck ends soon. Otherwise I am soon going to become bankrupt!!

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