A short story by Dr.Prerna Singla
It was a Wednesday afternoon at about 3 pm, the sun was shining with a cruel intention to burn the world. I chose metro for my route. Without wasting any time I seated myself in a vacant seat and continued reading my novel from page 34. Metro stopped at the next station and the crowd of people rushing for the seat started filling the chamber. Just then a voice said politely: “Could you please shift a little??”.. I replied shifting my bum “yes of course.
A guy about 25 yrs of age, athletic built and quite handsome came and sat next to me. Somehow we started talking.
“Hi.. I’m Mr.Ticklupe. What is you name??”
His name as he told me was azure. We talked, asking questions bout wok, family, life etc etc…
“Are you the guy who write controversial articles???” he asked me curiously.
“Yes I am”... I smiled.
“I read them on the internet. They’re good” he said with a tone of enthusiasm.
Thanking him for his generous compliment I added: “’twas good to see that general population has started to understand my perspective of looking at things and are actually coming forward to support sensitive issues like homosexuals.”
A little hesitantly, with a feared confidence in his voice slowly he hissed into my ear “I am not straight; I belong to the homosexual community. In a layman’s language I am Gay.”
For that fraction of second he looked into my eyes as if wanting himself to be understood, accepted and as if searching for the same support for homosexuals which he heard in my words.
I said okay.. and the weirdness of the second paused our conversation for a moment.
“If you don’t mind azure, may I ask you a ques??” I said breaking the silence of the moment that swept in.
“Yes. Go ahead”.. he said with a little smile.
I asked him: “how do you feel about yourself?? Your orientation?? Other people like you?? And about “us” the society?? I felt hesitation and fear in your words.. Do you feel guilty of being gay?? Are you ashamed?? If yes, then why are you ashamed of being you??? Tell me.”
He smiled again, with a breath of relief this time.. and replied: “well!! An easy question with a difficult answer Mr. ticklupe.. Starting with how do I feel about myself!! Well the concept is very eloquent to understand. I’m a grown up guy, coming from a well to-do respectable family, working as a software engineer and earning a handsome income. I take care of my family and even spend time with my friends almost every weekend. So basically MY LIFE ROCKS!! And I feel great as far as career/profession is concerned.
Now my orientation… Being a gay isn’t a choice; instead I’d say that I could never understand why I was more inclined towards guys and men since I was a little kid. I liked them yeah!! Them all!! ..more than any of the girls in the class. It was when I started attaining maturity level and becoming aware of the so called tag “Gay” the society started coining for the people with similar likings as mine, I began to doubt if I was the same… and soon enough I realized that yes, I fall under the so called label though I hate this labelization because above anything I am a Man, a successful man with a rocking career and life.. even if gay but at all I’m a human with a heart and a soul. Look at this crowd, can you tell how many of these belong to general category and how many to Sc/St?? Or how many are Hindu, how many Christian, and how many Muslim???? No you can’t. You label them but above all they are people… people with a heart and a soul.
To be very clear a gay is not just about sexual orientation although I read many articles which says it has genetic origins. . but it is as much about feelings and emotions too.
What I feel about other guys is quite similar to what you feel for girls. Starting with sexuality, as you would notice the curves in a female body, similarly I notice the level of sexuality in a guy. As you want your girl to be like a fairy, with a delicate golden heart and equally strong mind, so do I seek for a man who is handsome, loyal and good at heart, hearty in nature, strong and intelligent in mind.
Just like you dream of having some quality time with her... like a slow walk at the beachside with a hand in hand and eyes in eyes or a romantic night under the starts on some titanic… so do I dream of a silent walk with him, barefoot on the ending waves of the sea.. talking endlessly, cuddling him warmly on a winter night.
Love has no definition, no orientation, Love is love as you do love your parents, brothers and sisters, your friends... similarly you love your partner. .. Love is therefore a feeling, an attachment, above everything that can be owned by money. Just don’t give up on your faith and love does knock on your door.
Talking about the society, so I think it’s a natural human tendency to show dislike for a thing that doesn’t appeal your senses.. I don’t blame any one but yes, I do expect a little understanding, a little love, a little care from them too.. I want my family and friends to look upto me as a human with a heart and a soul, one who could love them in the same manner as they did when they didn’t know about my orientation. I can even give them a baby if its an issue of a baby. All I want is to be loved as a whole, along with my flaws and deficiencies. I’ve known people like me who are beaten, thrown out of the houses and even tortured to death. People don’t even treat animals in this way. So I ask the society, where is humanity?? Where is love?? Just on the grounds of orientation??? What if such hatred and torture existed even for the people of different casts and religions???? How could people label it or even call it a psychological illness when it is not.
And a voice announced, ‘You are about to reach the station.” I had difficulty forcing voice out of my throat. The words of that man pinned me to my seat, forced me to think. The way he presented his view, no one had done so before and it opened my mind towards a new direction, a new path... a new world of possibilities. I finally sought my voice and appreciating him I said “I have got to go now azure, I would like to have your contact number if you don’t mind. I wish you all the very best.” Handing him my contact number I said “I’m always reachable on this number whenever you need me. I’d be more than happy to help you anytime.”
“Sure, It was really great talking to you Mr. ticklupe, wish you luck”. He and smiled back handing me his contact number.
I smiled and walked off with a smile and clarity in my mind about so many of the doubts that had been lurking in my mind. It wasn’t so easy writing bout sensitive matters, but more difficult was to make them felt… by everyone.