Thursday, July 02, 2009

First Thought - Freedom at Midmorning

The Delhi walla's pretension in writing makes me want to lodge a bullet in his balls - Blogger Nimpipi, the woodchuck chucks
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Somewhere in Delhi

Delhi High Court has legalized homosexuality.

[Text and picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

As the news broke on July 2nd, 2009, that the Delhi High Court has legalized homosexuality, I tried hard to maintain my outward calm of a reporter. Our tribe is not supposed to get ecstatic or heartbroken no matter what’s the breaking news. So here I was trying to write a story as if it was just a story. But when I called gay and lesbian friends who were present in the court, asking them for 'quotes', I couldn’t help wishing: “God, I should’ve been at ground zero!”

As I heard their thrilled voices, as I noted down their words on my pad, a thrill ran up my spinal chord, into my brains. It made my heady dizzy and fingers tremble.

Could this be true? After all, this is India. Gay people are a minority so strange that they have no caste, no religion, no race. They are not even untouchables. They are just not supposed to exist. But now, will that black shroud that cover them disappear? Will that refusal to ‘see’ them finally begin to end with this verdict? Will the invisible people become visible? Will they finally be muggles like everyone else?

A court order will not change social taboos overnight. Your parents may still not easily accept your gay sexuality. Your siblings may still be embarrassed about you. Your colleagues at work may still snigger at your back. Strangers may still show disgust. Some may even dare to ask, “But just what do you do in bed?” or “Who plays what?”

Don’t be fooled. Not much will change by next week, next month, next year. Some of you would still be red-faced while asking for man-to-man porn DVDs in Palika Bazaar. Some of you would still secretly search for gay support groups in Delhi. But by God, the sun has begun to rise.

Of course, you know you are normal but let’s face it, how desperately you wish muggles to accept your normal-ness. How fervently you want Bollywood to have a man running around trees with another man. I know how thrilled you were to see Abhishek Bachchan wooing John Abraham in Dostana.

Who knows if that might happen in our lifetime but yes, today we got our Freedom at Midmorning. Tomorrow again the gay people would have the usual discomforts. The same crushed-looking parents, the same dark musty closet, the same discreet cruising in shadowy places, the same Tuesday nights at Pegs ‘n’ Pints. But maybe, one day, their love, too, would become simple and straight.


Rima Kaur said...

love this. my mom is all ecstatic. "police wale pta hai kaise inse paise ugalwate hain".. but will this really change things? what if the supreme court comes up with something that clouds this good news? i dont know. i am happy happy happy.

dostana was a pain. it was a joke. but then as the director said in some interview, when dealing with debatable issues (homosexuality in this case), be funny and at least get the idea across.

Ajit said...

With reference to the first line, the news actually broke on the Thursday, the second of June, not the previous day.

Keep your facts straight -- unless you have declared all-out war on all things straight... :-)

As for "freedom", do you really need a court order to feel free to tell your parents the truth about yourself?

LumousP said...

Mayank, Thank You.
i was following the proceedings for days, but always thought it was impossible to happen.
and then, i get to see your blog and then rush off to google about it...its really awesome! i cant even form any coherent sentences!
really, freedom at midmorning!

Anonymous said...


Jai Hind!

(in NY)

Niya Karma said...

You are absolutely right about the it-won't-change-overnight thing, but it definitely is a step in the right direction!

Ajit said...

Rima, it was the Supreme Court that directed the Delhi High Court to consider the matter seriously. (The High Court had initially dismissed the Naz Foundation's petition, claiming it was of purely "academic" interest.)

Prasenjit said...

It surely won't change the social conditions overnight. Will it change in the near future? I doubt. Afterall, dowry is a crime, but isn't it rampant in some parts of the country?

But one thing for sure, the policewalla cannot run an extortion business. Poor chaps, one less source of income!!!

In the end I wondered how could it take us so long to realize that this law runs against some basic tenets of the constitution? Or were we deliberately not looking at it carefully enough?

Rima Kaur said...

ok thanks ajit!

Rajiv said...

Maa ka laadla bigad..NO..sudher gayaaa :D


nw hav fun yaaaaarrrroooo

ab INDIA ki 1 prob to solve...POPULTION,hahaha

Kaushik Chatterji said...

Yes, a path-breaking decision indeed.

Gora Firanghi said...

Great news. Great coverage & photos. Congrats to all. Yay, team!

urbanGYPSY... said...

one great move finally... hope there'll be greater respite soon...

'with hope in the offing,
the walk just gets pleasant!'


nice write-up...

urbanGYPSY... said...

hey rima... sfs...u here too?

Rima Kaur said...

urbanGYPSY - sfs???? how do you know i went there? and your name is very, very familiar!

urbanGYPSY... said...!
surabhi here! ;)
nw...i'll be more familiar! :P:P

Rima Kaur said...

surabhi goswami?