Friday, January 09, 2009

A Matter of fags and friends

To all beloved Indian parents awaiting to get rid of your daughters, with a ceremony gloriously called Marriage - PLEASE BEWARE. Please be notified, the days when a boy loved a girl and vice versa are a passé. The sexual orientations of men and women have changed of late. Don't be surprised if your son denies all the marriage proposals no matter how good a girl is, for all you know, he may have a boyfriend. And boyfriend is no more a friend who is male...it means much more! Earlier, typical questions to the suitors concerned about job, salary, education, subcaste and family. But a new field needs to be added now: Sexual Orientation. Something that was a taboo in India all these years, Gay Pride March in India might have spread little enlightement among the older generation.

This one is yet another "put yourself into others' shoes" kinda story. It happened to a friend of mine, which I shall be presenting in first person.

My name is Rukmini (name changed) and below is the narration of my story, fortunately it had a happy ending. I met this guy (mind "u") immediately after my college days and we were good friends for a long time. Manju (name changed) used to call me, we used to go out and stuff. He used to visit my place and was a real, warm person to be with. My parents liked him too and after a while, it was found that his father and my father were classmates. And when such a thing happens in India, parents would somehow want to turn the friendship into relationship; our case was not an exception.

Things started taking obvious turns and the matter was formally discussed between two families. I was glad too, I thought it was way too better to marry a person whom you know than those unknown mortals which your parents would search. Everything proceeded in the right direction - parents were fine, I was OK and Manju too nodded in agreement before everybody, but it had not yet reached the stage of engagement. Days passed and Manju's demeanour began to slightly change and he started maintaining some sort of a distance from me, which was not too common after all that had passed.

One fine day, he took me by speechless surprise when he asked me to, infact, REJECT the proposal...
Manju: Rukmini, I don't know how to put this across you.
Me: Hey come on, we've been so close. Hit me straight.
Manju: We've been so close, that's the reason I'm finding it hard to say.
Me: Whatever it is Manju, speak out.
Manju: Is it possible for you to...err...I don't know...err...hmm...
Me: Say it
Manju: Is it possible that you...hmm...reject this proposal?
Me (surprised): What???
Manju: I know how it feels, but, please, for heaven's sake...
Me (angry): Do you have any idea what you're talking? Are you our of your senses o-something?
Manju: No Rukmini, I'm sorry, but is it possible for you to do so?
Me (angry): But why? We've been going really great...did I do something wrong? Did I misbehave?
Manju: No-no-no...you're absolutely great. Nothing wrong from your side, but I can't marry you...
Me (still seething): But why? Why on this damned earth can't you marry me? Have you found someone better than me? Am I not good enough for you?
Manju: No Rukmini...nothing of that sort. It's hard for me to explain, but I beg you to reject his offer...
...and he walked away

I was hurt, I was surprised, I was broken but I obeyed him. I rejected him before my parents and it was conveyed to his parents too and there was cloud of melancholy in both families for sometime. I recovered faster than others and days started getting usual for me, though at the back of my mind there was slight gloom.

One fine day, in the wee hours of the morning I recieved a call. An unknown, hurried and panting, voice introduced himself as Manju's brother, asked me if Manju had told me reason for rejection. I answered him with a plaintive no. He asked me if I knew something more about Manju, something unusual, something weird, for which my answer was yet another no. He revealed me some horrifying facts about Manju, he said that of-late they've observed that Manju was spending too much time with his friend Rajesh (name changed). They had also observed both of them holding hands and going around, which was very unusual among the youth of his age. He reasoned his call for noticing some kind of teeth-marks on Manju's body, as though, someone had bit him or something! He tried to dig in more information from me, but I didn't have any and was very disturbed with the call.

My parents asked me about the call, since it was received unusually at 4 in the morning. I just blabbered the entire conversation to them...mom was as blank as an empty page and dad got the point and he whispered something in her ears and they walked out of the room.

Then, I was just a college passout and I was completely ignorant about homosexuality; hence I couldn't make much sense out of Manju's brother call. But as days passed, I got enlightened about such "world matters" and realized that Manju was a gay (now it's "a" in place of "u"). I'm deeply grateful to Manju for making me reject the proposal back then. Sometimes I keep pondering, what if I had married him. The very thought is so damn dismal.

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