Am I Sick?

“I’ve been embraced by a new community. That’s what happens when you’re finally honest about who you are; you find others like you.” – Chaz Bono

I have a husband and a baby on the way
But I don’t understand why
I don’t love him anymore
(or if I ever did?)

There is a lady I know
Who feels the same way as I do
But I don’t understand why
She’s the one I want

They call it a sickness
And that I’m a sinner
It’s written in the Holy Books
And it’s Punishable in the eyes of the Law

Is there a cure
Of this crazy disease
That makes me love someone
Who is made like me

What can I do except try & forget
This feeling growing inside me…

Don’t look out the window…

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” ― Carl Sagan

The world is cruel place now. Let’s not look out the window because you’ll see massacre, tear gas & shots being fired left & right. Don’t look outside as all you’ll see is children lying on different body parts of their own parents & a mother holding on to a head of her three month old baby.

There are men & women who say they love their country but would kill the men from the same country because their thoughts about religion or a separate state didn’t match.
We live in a world where a young boy kills another because he accidentally scratched his bike, women are raped or have their faces scarred because they hurt some young man’s ego, girls belonging to a particular religion can get married by the age of 15 & there are towns that have banned non-vegetarian because it goes against their culture (& this is celebrated!).

Instead of making the world a better place to live in & improving the overall conditions of the society, the number of corrupt people are only increasing; many don’t even care of the consequences of their actions anymore.

You’ll see thousands practicing a culture that teaches us that the preserving the virginity of a woman until her wedding night is considered of utmost honor, that a real man never cries & has to be the bread winner of the family, that one’s values comes before another human being’s feelings.

Apps, Porn & Alcohol are banned instead of actually understanding the core issue & eradicating that problem.

So Baby, dance with me one last time. Hold me in your arms & don’t let go. Look at me the way you always do, as though you could x-ray my soul with your gaze.

Don’t look out the window because this world won’t accept me & you anyway. Our relationship doesn’t resonate with the “values” they (we) have been brought up with. You can complete my thoughts without me having to say a word. I want to see that love you have reserved only for me in your deep brown eyes.

I want you to hold me like you mean it. Your hands on my waist & mine on your shoulders. We move to the beats of our song, played on repeat till the first ray of light enters our dark lives.

Time comes to a standstill yet the world moves ahead leaving us behind. All there is left is just me & you.

Just hold me till they get us too because I want our last time to be spent in the place we both cherish – in each others’ arms.

Hold me tonight because there would be no tomorrow…

An Extra-Ordinary Love Story?

“I finally understood what true love meant…love meant that you care for another person’s happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be.” ― Nicholas Sparks, Dear John

They were two ordinary individuals who attended a marriage function. Alex was the bride’s best friend of 8 years & Sanjay was related to the groom.

This wedding was a little different. It went against the cultural norms of both families. The bride was Italian & the Groom was Indian.

They decided to get married in a little hall in a country side in India. The wedding was going to be a little different. It would be a part-Hindu & part- Christian wedding. Yes, there was a priest from a nearby Catholic church & the family “Maharaj”. But that would be described in another story, the one of the Bride & Groom.

This story is about Alex & Sanjay.

During the Sangeet function, While Sanjay was serving cold drinks to the red-faced relatives of the bride & playfully flirting with the bride’s sisters, he caught Alex staring at him who then quickly looked away. Sanjay decided to ask Alex to dance with him who agreed in a jiffy.

While they danced, they were so awful together that the whole hall ringed of laughter rather than the music being played. Embarrassed, they decided to run away & explore the country side the rest of the day.

They roamed around & climbed a hill nearby to get a better view of the place. As they climbed, they spoke to each other as though they had known each other for years. They felt as though they finally met that person everyone looks for to spend the rest of their life with. They felt an instant connection & a spark that fueled the love they had within themselves.

What came next is predictable; just like in any other love story.

They reach the top of the hill, look at each other & realize that they have fallen in love.

You would now be wondering why I typed in another love story. And why do I call it extra-ordinary? I could have described the wedding; at least that would have been more interesting!

But because the society deems this as unnatural, I would have to say that this is not your ordinary love story because the protagonists in this tale are both Male. Yes, they are Gay/Homosexual/Queer.

Here is where I would like to ask does that make this Love story any different or extra-ordinary? What makes this love story any different? It is love after all. The only difference probably that is Boy meets Boy & they fall in love. How does it matter that both the protagonists in this story are of the same gender?

When two souls find each other, their connection can never be broken, even after death. No amount of hate, lashes, taunts or brain-washing can break it. The soul would stick to that body till the very end. When two souls connect, the love they share is pure & beautiful.

These souls sing songs written by the Gods & Angels in heaven. Yes, the same God, you, the society, fears so much. The same God, whose name you use to defame the minority.

Instead of thinking of whether it is immoral or not, you should look inside of yourself & ask your own soul if it really matters what body or gender these souls are in.

When a Man says this to a Woman (in Notebook), “The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that’s what you’ve given me. That’s what I’d hoped to give you forever…”

Why do we categorize it to be different, unnatural or weird when a man says this to another man?

Nancy Garden has rightly quoted in her book, Annie on My Mind “There’s a Greek legend—no, it’s in something Plato wrote—about how true lovers are really two halves of the same person. It says that people wander around searching for their other half, and when they find him or her, they are finally whole and perfect. The thing that gets me is that the story says that originally all people were really pairs of people, joined back to back, and that some of the pairs were man and man, some woman and woman, and others man and woman. What happened was that all of these double people went to war with the gods, and the gods, to punish them, split them all in two. That’s why some lovers are heterosexual and some are homosexual, female and female, or male and male.”

It really shouldn’t matter that they kiss or have a sexual relationship with someone of the same gender. Ultimately, “Gender preference does not define you. Your spirit defines you.” (― P.C. Cast, Awakened)

So I ask you again, Is the story of Alex & Sanjay an Extra-Ordinary Love Story?

The Beautiful Blue Dress

Never be bullied into silence.– Harvey Fierstein

Once upon a time, there lived a boy. He was an ordinary person, like you & me. He loved to read, play, talk & do most things every person does.

But he had a secret. It was a secret that initially baffled him to the core. He never knew he felt that way. He realized he was not an ordinary boy who only loved to play sports & wrestle. He also enjoyed so called “lady activities” like craft, cooking, playing with & making dolls. And no, this wasn’t the secret.

He didn’t just enjoy doing those things, but he also loved to wear sky high heels, apply nail paint & wear his sister’s dresses as he felt fabulous in them – especially her beautiful blue dress as it brought out the color in his eyes.

One evening just as the sun was setting leaving behind a red-orangey sky; his mother caught him in one of his sister’s dresses & went berserk. She nearly brought the whole house down. She wailed & cried & shouted at the gods asking what did she do wrong? His father, red-faced & angry, went to his room with a belt in his hand & the buckle gleaming almost as though the devil himself had polished it clean.

His father locked the room & his sister could hear blood curdling screams that would later be a part of her nightmares for many years to come.

The next day he was found by his sister cowering naked under his bed, covered in bruises & lashes that glittered red in the morning light. There was blood splattered all around the room & stains of dried tears tracks mixed with dried blood could be seen on his cheeks. His sister took him in her loving embrace & all he could ask her was, “Didi, what is it that I did wrong?” He cried till all his tears soaked his sister’s pajamas wet.

That was the day the little boy in him died. He was 12.

She told him that it is important that he keeps this a secret, a family secret she called it but was in fact called a family shame by his parents.

They called the holy priest in the temple & asked him to pray the devil out of him. They sent him to a place where they guaranteed to drive this evil out of him but everything they tried was in vain. After 14 months of hell, he came back home to his father who constantly tried to beat it out of him & his mother who prayed & fasted for the gods to come & save him.

The boy who once showed potential in excelling his school work now struggled very hard not to fail; the boy who could once run faster than most, now walked slower than a snail; the boy who once painted pictures with Orange & Pink now held empty bottles of black & grey in his bag.

His friends tried to speak to him & teachers tried to coax it out of him, but he was bound by this family secret. He had to hide his true self from everyone around him. Only his sister stood by his side but after constant berating from their parents, she couldn’t stand with him anymore.

This young boy who always had at least one person speaking to him at any point in time, now stood all alone with just his shadow by his side.

Then came a day when he looked at his reflection in the mirror & asked himself, if there was any point in living anymore. The ones he loved more than anything in the world, the ones he looked up to, the ones who loved him like there was no tomorrow, now look at him as though he was the devil’s avatar sent to them just to destroy their lives.

He had no one to turn to.

So he decided to end his life. He knew where his mother kept the sleeping pills (which she had to take because of him) & he knew where his father’s secret scotch stash was kept in the house (Religion forced his father to hide this from his wife).

The opportunity to do so presented itself when his family left him home alone on the eve of his 14th birthday to visit a temple. As he ran to get the alcohol & the pills, he tripped over his sister’s glittering golden shoes. He took them in his hands & stared at them for a very long time.

He thought about his sister & the love she had for him. He could see her crying & wailing over his dead body.

He entered her room, went through her wardrobe & found that beautiful blue dress that brought out the color in his eyes. He stripped & took a good look at himself in her mirror. He touched the gash on his collar bone & his arms & the “almost-stab” wound on his stomach. He saw the lash marks on his inner thighs & legs & the burn wounds on his palms.

And that’s when he realized he didn’t deserve this. There was no devil inside him. He didn’t deserve to have those marks on his body, each one that left a million irremovable scars on his soul. He deserved to wear this beautiful blue dress that brought out the color in his eyes & he most certainly did not have the right to take his own life that was given to him to live the way he wished to & he definitely had no right in taking away that piece of his sister’s soul which was reserved just for him.

He understood what he needed to do.

He took the dress & hid it in his cupboard, cleared up the mess in his room (hoping that it would clear some of it in his life), cleaned the dust off his books, placed them on the table & started to study & also completed his homework, for the first time in many months.

He knew that only he can face his own battles & heal from the scars that showed on his body. Only he can stand up for himself & no-one else can do it for him. He knew who the ones who would help him through this difficult period time of his life were & he also knew that they could never fight his wars for him as they were fighting wars of their own. He knew that there are so many others just like him & he needed to reach out to them.

He knew he needed all the strength he had to fight the wrong done to him. He had to leave his home & a country like his & move to a place that would accept him just the way he is.

And when he reaches that place & heals himself from the wounds inflicted on his soul, he would gather all the strength he possibly can, not just his own but also of those who support him and he will return & fight. Fight harder & stronger than ever seen before.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter if he wins or loses but he will wage this war that would shake the very core beliefs of the close minded & of those who think this as unnatural even if it would be the last thing he does.

That beautiful blue dress that brings out the color in his eyes is now his uniform that shows who he truly is & he is no longer afraid to flaunt it…