cat’s Life…It’s a

cat's Life…It's a

On a visit to the grocery store i found these two young ‘uns snuggling…and they weren’t siblings either. Gays perhaps? Well here’s something one ought to know….there’s no sibling rivalry at play here, there’s just love…and in the realm of humans, well, be it opposites, be it male-female, female-female, male-male, it’s all about love…not just sex. so the discrimination is mostly in our heads, and sometimes in our eyes…but what’s all the noise about?

Some of the brightest, most funny friends of mine are gays…and they are warm, fuzzy-logic people who are happy in their own skin. What they may be afraid of is their family…of their disdain, of the derision they have been confronted with time and time again. Some of my gay friends became gay due to lack of love or abuse of the love they offered. They embraced the love they received, and sometimes it was from their own gender.

I know a few women- educated yet trusting, naive even though forewarned, to be raped…and they turned to their own gender for love and yes, all that it encompasses in its human form. So are they to be ostracised for choosing tenderness and  joy? Well, as far as Indians go, the answer is yes. Pity.

I know, i know we’ve gone on about how wrong it is- how criminal it is to pass a law that says Gays are Criminals in so many words- but fact remains that we, as a society are not willing to accept its existence in its purest form. Fact is we need partners- not just for procreation, cause that would make us no better than animals. Are we animals? At a very basic level, we are. It doesn’t sound good, because the act in itself could be so much more- the buildup, the foreplay- all that to separate us from the animal world, but at the end of it, it’s the act, and it IS an animal act. Sex is still a taboo topic, mostly. So Gays! O Lord! Let’s not go there. The sufferers may go on suffering within their dark closets, and may the “normal” keep pretending normalcy. Imagine, were my son to come along to me one day and say, “mom, i actually love boys!” Would i be delighted….? Probably not, but i would accept it and say, okay, so no seeds are to be sowed from your loins, but since you love kids, adopt. That would be sensible. But i may secretly hope that he’s straight and i do see grandkids from him. So far so good.

Our country is still developing, and may continue to do so, at least insofar as it’s EQ (emotional quotient) goes, for another 100 odd years. We are loathe to let go of our bias’ starting with the colour bias, pure racism if you ask me, and then of course now the controversial onscreen kiss- which seems to be finally happening. But same sex love? Oooh la la! And we have an SC slapping a verdict on all our faces to boot…What next!

Maybe we are just not old enough, maybe we are not accepting enough, maybe there just enough of us out there willing to put our money where our mouth is, maybe we could take a rain check on where our loyalties lie, maybe we need yet another period where another country dominates us in a manner such as to shake our united conscience and help us take a stand. Not sure quite where the most painful nerve lies- but someone’s got to spear it very soon. My heart goes out to every gay in this country and i pray for a leader…and for someone who can cure the actual malady of bias toward that which seems ‘abnormal and sick’ in our country. Today it’s Gayhood, tomorrow it could be something else…

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Emergence of a Diary…1st Dec; Place : Pondichéri/Pondicherry

I stand exhausted under the shower, naked, soaking in the fast droplets of water…like a thirsty animal. As the skin meets water, a sudden burst of energy is felt…an onrush of life. I am in a hurry, need to rush out, dress and head to Lake- the Ashram Dairy. I want to, but am unable to. I shut the shower and stand under the closed nozzle for what seems like 15 minutes, but in fact is probably just some 30 secs. The internal clock ticks and the mind is sending alarms. There’s a friend waiting to take me there. Oh all right then. I switch from tired to energetic and get myself together into a tee and shorts. The shower seems to have worked its magic….oh yeah! the spirit is willing and am ready to roll.

Pondy takes a lot from me- i am constantly hyper, in constant need of action, of movement till i hit the Ashram gates, stop to smell the flowers, and then rediscover my regular place, quietly on the stairs by the Samadhi. All is well. Embraced by its ambience, I am also given….Image.

Pondicherry was my world for a long time…and i knew no other. It was my oyster, my cocoon….Now i go back in time…i lumber, i scoot, i banter, i sing, i gaze at the sea and its moods every day as i pass by it, meandering & weaving my way on my hired vehicle. I never have enough rides on the beach road, inevitably coming away with some amount of dissatisfaction….but undeniably happy even so. It does for me what a pilgrimage does for a pilgrim. I come to Pondy when i hear the call and when i can.

I am now at the Lake estate, by the Dairy. It starts to drizzle. We eat under the rain, and it’s dark….the waters bristling, and gleaming with faraway lights. We can barely see our meal, but it’s enjoyable and the rice soaks in some rain before i hurriedly try and cover it with its paper packaging. We laugh. The food is hot. The rain is cold but not so cold as to spoil the prevailing mood and our supper. Afterward we enjoy some Plum cake that was perhaps a pre-x’mas offering at a bakery. Trials on offer, grabbed by some? There is some hot tea that is passed around. It is all the more enjoyable because of the passing rain, whose sound reminds us of its cool character. Sipping on our teas, we reminisce a little, as we keep straying back to the present which doesn’t belong to me. I am still in the past and try hard to focus on the Now. I forget who i was before i drove down to Lake. Then i am gently reminded when the friends’ present is spoken of delightfully. Their voices are familiar, yet distant. Who am i in that now? I remain clueless.

Sleeping arrangements are absolutely delightful, under a humungous mosquito net for 12 people, which we fix with great dexterity. It is under a thatched roof with a view to die for. I see the silhouettes of the Dairy, of the surrounding trees…i hear dogs barking and cows mooing romantically to one another. One calls out, another answers- a Bull awaiting its mate’s word. Hens are also heard, but lightly. Around 4 am the first cock is heard crowing. Maybe only i can hear it…maybe others do too, but i seem to the only one smiling. I smile away as i drift from sleeplessness into sleep and so and so forth. Morning brings with it other pleasures…Pondy’s crisp, cool December air makes me deeply happy. I am eager to get going, but just after a wonderful, hot cuppa…i need to get back to the city for my workshop. The ride back on a bike is heavenly- we pass red earth canyon-like structures and i am ecstatic. The nippy air around is just what i need to be on the go. As the town meets us, we observe the Sunday folk  rousing from their Saturday night slumber. It is already 7.30 am, and i feel joy coursing thru’ me as i understand that i will have to get my act together on my own. After all, i chose to come for the much-needed time away from my familiar routine and work.

At home, i await my Brazilian coffee, made by my host and a friend of many years. Astonishing that i yearn not for South Indian coffee- maybe because i too live in south India, and many yearnings are already quelled. Pondy has so much else to offer apart from its coffee for sure. Eating in the Ashram Dining Room is one such activity that i often yearn for, and that, oh that, is only had in Pondy! It is meant as Prasad, as an offering and as a diet meant for people dedicated to the Ashram’s ideals and work. I absolutely love the food there, simple as it is. It takes me back to the era of simplicity and innocence when i would quietly sit with my school friends and enjoy every morsel, coated as it was with undiluted devotion. It’s easy to return to it with the taste that just belongs, and in turn makes you too.

Yet another day in Pondy- ah the joy, the joy of just being there….no constraints, no pressure..just flow with it. Yet somewhere, i am missing the presence of my kids..my partner. Can that be? How can that be? I am thinking – and my thoughts are pretty loud because i can hear them. Where are you? You must soak in my joy with me…my need to share suddenly becomes evident as i button-start my scooty and head toward the Workshop- i am alone, the air is brisk and there’s  a stray tear that escapes from one eye, then the other. Wish you guys were with me to share this moment of complete freedom. Yet am i free? I guess freedom has many shades, and in that very moment in time, i am completely unfettered and free, unconditionally so. Pondy lends my persona that quality, which leaves me be.

To be continued in another diary, another month…another day.