April 2010


“Oh my god!!”, barged in Sandy through the open door. We all turned around to look at him. “What a hottie”, he was saying still looking out through the door, swaying and entering into the house, flaunting his Louis Vuitton brown leather bag.

“Rex, you got to set me up with him”, he declared and turning towards us he realized that Rex wasn’t the only one in the room. “Oops”, escaped him as he saw Sunny fiddling with his rubix cube.

“Don’t mind me”,  Sunny said and went out the door into the Garden.

Sunny always has a way of slipping through when he feels out of place. Even when we first met him at the orphanage, he already had learnt to keep out of grown up talk. We realized it one day Rex and I took him out for a movie.

On the way back in the auto, we both were busy talking about something from the movie, Sunny interrupted us and said. “Are you guys have big people talk?”

I asked him “why he feels like that?”.

He said “Because I want to ask a question?”

I told him to ask.

“What is da?” he said looking at us. Rex and I started laughing. Rex uses “da” a lot and we never could trace the orgin of it when we got curious about that word, and between us we would use da to mean “darling”.

The kid amazes me.

Atul followed Sunny in the garden, after saying a quick hello to Sandy and awkwardly avoiding the cheek to check kiss.

Sandy settled next to Rex on the sofa and continued his chatter. “Is he one? I am sure he is one. Have you done him? Do you talk to him”, he was pouring in his questions to Rex about the hot guy he spotted outside.

Rex was laughing at him, while I was perplexed. I know it is inevitable, that an eye candy triggers the hormones, but isn’t there anything like holding off thoughts?

I wanted to change the topic. “How have you been? Whatz latest?”.

“Oh yeah”, Sandy remembered something. Opening the bag, he pulled out an purple card with silver words, pink flower on the top right corner. He took out an silver inked pen. Wrote something and handed it to me.

A wedding card.

What? With a girl? I didn’t let it out. But held out the card to Rex.

“I am getting married next week in Dharmasthala. It was all so sudden and we don’t have any good date till August. So we decided to get married in Temple.”

Here is a man marrying a girl and leching at the boy next door. Are you sure? I didn’t question him.

“You won’t believe this”, he started off. “I met my fiance’s best friend yesterday and he is so hot. I couldn’t stop flirting with him. I am sure he is bendable. We are going shopping later today..”, he said winking.

“You bugger!”, Rex exclaimed. “Atleast leave her best friend out.”

“Why? If he is willing, why not?” was his reasoning and as if he guessed our next question, he offered. “If he is willing, he won’t tell her. If he is not, and tells her, I will say I was kidding”. He started laughing at his smart answer.

“Do you want coffee or tea?” I asked and hoping I would get away from listening more of this.

“Honey! Don’t bother. I am going to Cafe Reo later. They make exquisite Teas.” He was giving his expert opinion, stressing on ‘Reo’ and ‘T’. “You have got to have it there. Thats the best Tea you can get around here. Of course it is expensive” he never missed a chance at showing off how much he liked spending. And then he was divulging into one of his latest escapedes,  “That reminds me, last time i was there guess who I bumped into”.

I didn’t want to guess or be part of the discussion. I excused myself to go check on Sunny and Atul.

As I was walking out the door, I could hear him wishper to Rex, but loud enough for me to hear. “He still doesn’t like me that much. Does he?”

I was out of there.

Another Girl.

I could never figure out how to deal with such situations. After all these years, it still puzzles me when a gay friend decides to get married. Reason, usually one of Family pressure, want of a stable companion, i am bisexual, i only enjoy sex with men but there is no emotional connection..

There are working marriages too. As long as the man is getting what he wants when he is away from the wife, out of town or if wife has gone to deliver his baby or when he is on office trip..

And then there are divorces, some uglier than the other.

Does the girl have the right to know his guys past life or what he does after the marriage? Or is it ok as long as he can keep it out of her and is providing her with whatever she needs?

Should I be calling that girl and informing her?

Sunny and Atul were watering the remaing plants. I went and announced, “Sandy is getting married”. Atul kept quiet.

“To a girl?” Sunny looked surprised. “Is he not gay anymore?”

I had no answer to the kid.

“Party!!”

Sunny, my twelve year old son, startled us, by saying those words so loud that we both stopped what we were discussing and looked at him. He was coming out of his room after long nap, and must have overheard Atul insisting me to arrange for ‘party’ at home.

“That would be cool”, continued, full awake now. His eyes, gleaming with excitement.

“Hmmm. Lets check with dad”, I said.

“You and uncle can convince him.. Rite? Uncle?”, he was searching for an answer in our blank expressions. “Well, I will ask Dad!”, he said running out into the garden where Rex was watering plants like he does every weekend….

I was standing at the window, watching him leaping, in big steps towards Rex..

Atul, came up to me and staring out at them said..

“Aryan, ….”.

The words failed him…

But I could imagine what he wanted to say and why words failed him..

For, what words could describe the sight in front of us. Rex, all loving cheerful dad, listening to the excited child Sunny, walking hand in hand towards us..

For, what words could describe the joy that comes after overcoming the apprehensions of raising a child by a gay couple in India. Apprehensions that were vanquished mostly by the innocent and mature Sunny who turned out to be more than we ever hoped for in a child..

Sunny was seven, when we got him home. It is hard to believe, he is already twelve… It seems like, he has only been with us for a week and yet, we can’t imagine our life without him..

And those two years, spent in convincing everyone that we could adopt him, is like a nightmare that never happened..

“Whatz with the party?” Rex asked, smiling at us.

“Ask Atul, it is his idea.”, I pointed to Atul.

Atul was hesitating to say why he thought I should be arranging for a party, in front of Sunny..

I nodded, indicating him to repeat it..

“I was thinking” he started hesitatingly, “during the next months g… (he was careful to use the word) pride, after the parade, we could have a small party here, play one of the movies, have dinner and desserts, may be a potluck…”

Seeing that, neither I nor Rex were making any comment, he added.

“And more over, you guys are yet to treat us all for getting into a relationship. It is going to be 10 years this coming june.. isn’t it?”

We  hardly had any gatherings at home since Sunny arrived and we never went to any party. Sunny has accepted Us, but is he old enough to face the gay crowd? It will some day face it with or without us, but should we take the chance?

Would be be ok with the overly affectionate hugs and kisses that are inadvertantly exchanged between gay friends? Can we have him around gay friends whose type is young twinks? How would he react to the gay comments and jokes that might be passed at him or around him?

After that long pause, it was not I or Rex but Sunny that said. “Dads, please.. lets have the party. I want to invite my friends, I want them to come and see that gay people have decent parties too.”

Hmmm. Can we have a decent gay party?

I laid down Maurice, and kept looking at the little black book. The characters that E.M Forester found nearly a century ago, still exist in flesh and blood. Time has passed, rules have been altered but the characters remain.

—————————————————————————————–

What is felt, may not be expressed. What is expressed may not be felt.

The clarity that comes through theory, may get crumpled with an simple stroke of practical experience.

Such is(was) the love between Maurice and Clive.

Clive professes “Our love is same as the love in Phaedrus. The love of soul”. He has formulated a clear theory of his being and the nature of his attraction towards same sex, based on his ardent reading of translated works from Greeks passed down through generations of interpretations. His want of the supreme love, the love of the soul, the platonic love between two men drives him to Maurice.

While Maurice, the half-wit who finds philosphical dialogues (or rather monologes from Clive) to be charming nonsense, but acknowledges his unexplainable and unspeakable  attraction and attachement towards Clive as love. His being shatters when Clive doesn’t talk to him. He is overjoyed in Clive’s company, though he doesn’t ascribe or understand what Clive says. He can spend days and nights with Clive. He can abstain and restrict from physical intimacy as long as Clive is with him.

Years are added to their platonic love, in which they are together on weekends and Wednesdays without fail. For the outside world, they are the best of friends, while in private they stroke each others hair and kiss on the cheeks in moments of extereme vulnerablity.

Maurice, the crude and unread revels in the joy of finding an companion. But for Clive, the attainment of supreme love doesn’t provide him with satisfaction as it ought have.

Clive reasons that the answers of his dissatisfaction can only be found in Greece.

As he watches the ruins of Greece that remain today, his theories come crumbling down. He declares, he is not in love and sends his platonic lover a message. “I am normal now.”

Maurice doesn’t comprehend and can never comprehend for the rest of his life.

For, Maurice become normal the day, the guilt of being born with a desire to love the same sex was dispelled by the love for Clive and the love that Clive acknowledged.

He saw God in their Love, and their Love like God is now saying that “he was not normal”.

….

Maurice meets Alec eventually, and finds love in its crudest form which includes the desire to live and lust for, each other. They go on to break the barriers of society at different levels, not to change the world, but to be as they feel.

They discover love, through their basic instincts.

They never looked for answers in the plato or paul.