party


“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?

The angel was still around when we got back in, and the place was still crowded..

I couldn’t help but notice that some feathers from angel’s wing had fallen.. and he seemed a little tired.. and there was an thin layer of dried sweat.. it was very tempting to go and feel him.. and may be pluck a feather or two..

He found some guy he met before and so we were going towards that guy. That guy was very cute.. wore a tight t-shirt that showed off his well built muscles and the v-neck giving an glimpse of the trimmed chest.. he had a nice smile.. and that sexy stubble.. That v-neck guy was with another guy who was relatively quite.. and kept to himself..

I was stealing some looks of ‘v-neck’.. and it seemed like he was returning them.. we were flirting with our eyes.. my fantasy for good looking guys with beard was taking me over….

I knew I wouldn’t be able to make any reasonable conversation with them.. without making my interest obvious.. so I ended up taking the only way out of those two very interesting choices, abandon both of them and look around..

1am.. It is that time of the night where some people indulge in hunting..

I relaxed myself by putting my back to the bar resting my elbows on the bar table where they serve drinks. After 1am.. not many people come to take drinks and it is a cool place to hangout..

I started wandering around the room with my eyes.. At the left corner of the dance floor Drag Queen was leaning towards the DJ… it was kind of dark in there.. the bright TV screen above grabbed by attention..

It was displaying messages sent to some number via mobiles…

User 819> Ron needs it badly
User 820> Can you please play something of P!nk?
User 821> The guy in the straw hat is very sexy..
……

After a quick scan.. I wandered my sight towards the guys on the dance floor and like always that guy in white shoes, skin tight jeans, funky shirt and his ears pierced was in the front.. dancing and looking around the room to see who was watching him.. These days I almost look for him as soon as I enter, as if he is part of club cafe..

The new waiter at club cafe.. the tall one who goes around with a tray of glasses.. was now performing an sleezy number on a pole in the right corner of the dance floor.. There was drunk guy trying to touch his arse, while the waiter was trying to avoid it..

Some guys and girls sitting in the chairs cheering them up…

There was a bunch next to them.. who were just standing and involved in a very serious conversation…. laughing every now and then..

Next.. one guy in late fourties.. short.. and chinese.. looking at no one in particular.. and everyone..

Then that tall guy with a bag hanging around his shoulder, he is another guy I have seen so many time and he is always with that bag even outside the club..

The black guy and his white friend.. the guys who I have noticed together since the time I entered.. the white one seemed to follow the black one.. all around.. and i could not tell if the black guy cared so much… what struck was that the white guy had followed the black one to the rest room and there was some kind of a murmur…

Then a guy in a black athletic jacket, folded hands.. no drinks..

My wandering stopped.

He was looking at me and I hadn’t realized that I was staring at him and I had a smile on my face.. He was still looking at me.. I moved my eyes away from him..

After giving a decent gap of two seconds, moved them back in his direction..

He was still looking in my direction.. he wasn’t smiling.. it was just a stare.. a cold stare…

I made a quick turn to see if i could indulge myself with the company that I already had.. The v-neck was looking at me.. he had that smile.. “i know what you are upto” kinds.. and he looked in the direction of the guy i was looking.. Damn! he knew i was looking at him. I gave him an “Oh well!” smile… We were communicating with out words.. and it did not feel strange..

I turned around to take another quick glance at the black jacket guy..

He was standing next to me on my left.. I looked at him with slightly enlarged eyes.. and the next moment when I regained myself.. I said “Hi”.. or probably i just bowed my head..

No reaction.. he was staring into my eyes.. He was looking much hotter from near.. a well exercised body, clean shaven face.. soft blond hair.. the jacket fit him so well…… just like a mannequin… I was starting to blush a little..

“Hi”.. he said. it was so sudden and quick that i would have missed it if I wasn’t staring back at him.

“Aryan”.. I extended my hand.

“Tom”.. he returned…

“Having fun?” I asked

“Ah”.. he shrugged… Was he or was he not? Well. may be he wasn’t. after a few more seconds of blank stare I introduced him to the guys on my Right..

“These are my friends”.. I said. All of whom I had met a few hours ago…

He moved a little towards them.. and said “Tom” to them.. looking at the extreme right guy.. That guy said “Alex”.. he turned to v-neck.. “Alex” and then he turned towards Him.

He did not say the name. black-jacket waited..for a couple of seconds and was getting impatient… “What is your name?”. he demanded.

“Why do you want to know?”  was His response and after a long pause said.. “What is the point in knowing my name? This will be last time we will see each other..”

It was true, if he went back to India this will be the last time.. but there was certain coldness and certainty in that tone that startled me..

Is he always this blunt? I remembered the way he responded to Willy.. when asked about “type”.

He did not tell his name.. and black-jacket wasn’t pressing it any further..

black-jacket moved back and stood in front of me. And we were back to blank stares…he was starting to annoy me…but his hot fit body was very attractive.. even though he did not have a beard…

why today? May be I could have taken his number and sent him away or I could have probably just excused myself to another room.. but i didn’t.

I was clearly interested in three people to different degrees at the same time.. What a mess!

“Do you wanna dance?” I asked to cut through the awkwardness..

He moved backward, away from the bar.. signing me to move towards him…so I guess that was an “Yes”.

I moved closer to him, away from Him.. Them..

DJ was playing… “I .. just a little bossy… ” or something like that.. I didn’t care much for the music anyway.. But black-jacket was mouthing them.. and he was pretty good in his steps. I was moving along, making random movements..

at some point.. he held my hand.. lifted it up..  gave me a slight push to and turned me around.. and as soon as i turned back towards him.. he started to turn around.. and when he came around to face me.. i lost my balance and pulled him down…

he held me and pulled me back from falling.. that was the first time i saw him show some expression.. he was smiling.. doesn’t matter if that was the expense of an clumsy feet..

i knew that move.. and this time with prior notice.. it was more elegant.. and as if i was to be rewarded he hugged me..

he body was still moving to the music… mine was moving along with his rhythm.. not necessarily in tune with the music playing in the background..

we swayed anyway….

we were of same height… and i could feel my lips trembling with tension.. i couldn’t see his.. and i did not want to.. i was exploring his greenish eyes..

he kissed.. and instantly pulled back his head..

“Sorry”.. he said. still holding me..

“What!”.. I asked…. distancing myself a little from torso and tightening the hold a little..

He shook his head side ways..

After a couple of moments, he looked back into my eyes.. and kissed again.. and this time it was longer.. and his tongue was trying to break in.. and it did not face any resistance from mine.. it was welcomed with a wet tongue..

He did it again.. He pulled back and said “Sorry!”..

I waited… and it repeated again.. and this time when he started pulling out.. i pulled him back in. We weren’t dancing anymore… our hands were feeling each other and the tounges exploring the deepest held secrets..

When we finally parted…. I waited..  He did not say sorry this time.

“Why did you say sorry earlier?” I asked.

“Because I kissed you….” he replied.

“It was good”.. I said. and we kissed again. It didn’t matter that I did not know anything about him.. He was a good kisser. He was mumbling in between the kisses something to the effect that “you are a good kisser”.. “you kiss good”.. “you are beautiful”… and I was shutting him up with a kiss… and sometimes mumbling the same words back at him..

“Do you live in boston?” he asked.. a brand new sentence.. “No”.. I said and it struck me. I was the prey! He hunted me down… and I let him.

I realized I was still in Club Cafe.. It was too late now.. It did not matter if I was being watched….

We kissed again.. and again.. till the lights went on…

We walked towards our company.. I noticed that v-neck was giving his cell number to another cute guy..

The v-neck gave me that “you are mischievous” look.  I returned it with “you too”…

I looked at Him, he gave an very casual indifferent smile…

The club closed…

We said good bye to v-neck and his friend..

“About tomorrow.. Salem.. I will call you…”, he said before taking the cab..

black-jacket and I walked towards my car…

Will he call me? does this change our plans?  of Salem… Photographing Boston skyline… May be I should have not kissed…

Wait.. why am I even thinking about Him and what he thinks about me? Why am I not thinking about the black-jacket….

Was that a wrong turn?

And I was still going the wrong way.. I have to turn around.. at some point…

It was a long drive home… It is two states away from where I live, more than eight quarter miles..

I would have never imagined myself being there on the last night.. the last night of a long weekend and the last night of a short romance… It is, the only four day weekend, I have in the year. Thanksgiving. It is a tradition to spend time with family and friends.. and I choose to spend it with friends and Him.

I broke the first rule. “Never offer yourself for a guy who is out of town”. Oh, and when one rule is broken.. there is no point in maintaining other rules.. and so I found out, however painful it may be.. I can’t have rules! at least not when it comes to gravitating towards a Guy!

the drive was slow.. ten miles per hour on an seventy five mph inter-state highway, there was slush all over from the first snow of the season.. and the cars were following each other very religiously. they were following the tracks laid down by the vehicles in front of them.. and in turn reinforcing the track they just followed.. a slight diversion from the track, which was now marked clearly by the layer of snow and ice that was untouched by the brutal black tires.. will send the car off the road and possibly into the valley.. or will just make the car turn around and block the entire traffic following it…

on one side of the road was a mountain, the rocks frosted with ice and snow. On the other side.. the snow capped hazy blueish pines glowing in the misty moonless night.. i would have enjoyed the peace and gloominess of the sight.. but tonight, it was very painful…

painful to have an empty seat next to me.. i turned on the radio.. and quickly tuned it to a different channel.. i could not bear to hear the same songs that i heard with him moments ago…

I looked towards the empty seat…. as I reluctantly followed the tracks..

It all started a month ago..

He was sitting on a tall legged bar chair, right across the entrance of the dance room in Club Cafe..long slender legs.. one stretched out, surely touching the floor and the other folded in.. one hand on the round table and the other holding a glass. dressed in full sleeved, round neck blue sweater.. tight jeans..  white and yellow stripped shoe..

he stood out in the crowd… an east-indian face amidst caucasians, blacks, asian and hispanic…that was the first time I saw him..

It was boys night out.. we moved to friday instead of our usual saturday to watch the Halloween Costumes.. another colorful night, that brings out the creative best..

There was an angel with only feathers, an underwear, more like a thong and of course a fine chiseled body. I don’t remember how long we stood around him.. but when we finally made to the corner which was the only place with some space.. the extreme corner where there is a tiny dance floor..

There was something unusual about Club Cafe that night, it was as if Club cafe had put on new costume, it had shed its typical snobbish self.. there were exchange of pats.. flirts.. smiles.. and numbers..

we saw a guy dressed as Nurse, two guys in bath robes, navy men, police officer, a greek noble with a golden crown. and there was a monkey, an corrupt politician. and the best of all Ellen DeGeneres.. she was so Good she could fill in for the real Ellen.. (later I was told she got the best costume for the night…. )

I saw Him again.. he was going for another drink.. he wasn’t smiling.. neither was he not smiling.. there was a certain indifference in his presence..  it was as if he was there and also not there..

One of the boys.. decided to go into the front room and the rest of us followed.. we stood there watching people walk in.. I was still intrigued by the look on his face.. was he new to Boston? does he have friends? Should I go talk to him?

It started to itch..

So I set out to scratch it… back into the dance room.. squeezing my way through the crowded room.. I am sure I must have stopped to see the angel, but I don’t remember anymore….

He was sitting alone in the chair with his drink.. and I walked straight to him.. he looked up at me..

“Hi, I am Aryan”… I said…

“I know”.. he surprised me.

Surely, I don’t forget people.. I sat next to him, waiting to hear more..

“G Aryan.. I have seen you on my friends list on Facebook.”.. he offered as a way to bring me out of puzzlement.

“Which friend?” …. and so we got to talking…

The next thing I remember.. he was hanging out with me and the boys in the front bar room…. It would have been hard to tell that we all had just met him..  He still intrigued me, but he didn’t seem like a stranger or a like new face..

He felt like someone I have known for a while..

Have you ever met a guy for the first time and have felt that you have known him from a long time?

I can only blame that familiarity on the trust that gets attached to a person who gets introduced through a friend. OK.. he wasn’t literally introduced, but he and I had a common friend.. a friend that I trust….

With total awareness of AIDS and STD in the media, a random sex hookup has become a taboo, or at least an apprehensive venture. Random hookup which was once an integral part of the gay-culture is becoming something of an exception rather than the rule..

May be it is a good thing or may be not…

The Park on Boylston Street and Fenway is known for random sex hookups and the petty crimes. There has been some effort in making the place safer by installing emergency helplines, those blue slim phone poles. I avoided being seen in the area after the mugging encounter last year… For the record, I was just passing by the bolyston street with my ex. Really!

Anyways, there is Machine close to this park, which is good place to hang out on a friday night.

Last night I was there, going to machine. I didn’t realize it was a game night, there was a flood of people coming towards boston from fenway and needless to say, it was safe to pass…

I got out of the club around 1am and had to walk near the park to get back to my car.. Was a little tensed, but dismissed the thought of taking a cab.. I set out to walk. I could see a couple walking out of boston towards fenway, that is a good sign.. even though they were on the opposite side of the road. I soon saw another guy, join the Bolyston from the Park drive. I walked as fast as I could to just tag along and yet maintain some distance so he doesn’t get scared of me..

Crossed the park, and couldn’t resist my curiosity to take peek into the park as I walked. May be i was expecting something to happen, there certainly was a thought to quickly get inside and check it out.. but couldn’t gather the enough courage to do it. Wish I knew kum-fu or karate. Damn!

I was now almost in the city.. and the first soul from the opposite side was now walking towards me. He was young, in his early twenties with one of those sexy scruffy looking hair. He was carrying a back pack, seemed like he was dragging his feet, may be he had a few drinks….

I didn’t realize I was staring at him, till he startled me with an unusual gesture. He rubbed his dick. I looked into his eyes and he was staring back at me.. and my eyes immediately dropped down to where his hand was. It was right where it was, cupping it and I felt as if he was telling me he had something i might like..

I looked back at him once more and.. and this time I was as close to him as I can get while crossing a person from the other side..

I passed, walked a few steps and when I knew what just happened I turned around just to make sure it really happened. He was looking towards me..

I walked towards my car…

He will remain that kid I wish I did with.. or may be not..

Ah this reminds me of cubbon park in Bangalore. Have you had any such experience in cubbon park? Did you go through with it?

Do you wish you had random hookup despite this whole health-scare awareness?

It is one of those beautiful warm winter nights, when you can stroll on new york streets to your hearts content.. I would have been at chelsea on a night like this, but instead i was sitting at an dinner table in an upper east side italian restaurant. it is my friend that i am visiting, who suggested i accompany him to this dinner gathering.. recently i have seen a lot of photographs of such gatherings in new york in my orkut updates.. the merry photographs.. either someone’s birthday or a festival party or probably just to pass time..

today was a pass time gathering and i was more than willing to make new acquaintances. so i sat there next to my friend, on a table being served for eight. we were waiting for the eighth guy to come.. it was a very cozy restaurant, with mostly waitresses except for one hot waiter and a cute young kid at the coat checkin.  it wasn’t until later that some nice mexicans came to the table for serving. every now and then i would steal a look at the hot waiter who was now at the bar waiting for new customers to come in..

after the initial niceties and introductions, i found myself drawing back and becoming an observer.. i wasn’t listening to what they were talking, but just watching their expressions.. and i went around the table…

starting with my friend on my left.. he was looking at his drink (may be a vodka) with cranberry juice, cute, intellectual, a movie buff and an analytical person..single.., next to him was this guy who is in an open relationship… or was it long distance relationship.. anyways.. i know that his boy friend is back in mumbai.. he was almost done with his cranberry drink..

and next to him was a guy, who was answering questions about how his new boy friend couldn’t come tonight.. etc., and not sure how but the conversation now seemed to move towards cosmetic stuff that his boy friend had..

the one next to him responded to that saying, ‘i don’t have any cosmetics, except for a shampoo’.. hmm at that point i was looking at him  and if what he said was true, then he has the most naturally beautiful skin and hair.. hmmm.. he is handsomely tall too, trendy t-shirt.. little talkative.. and also busy on the phone.. texting..

next to this ‘all-natural’ guy, were two guys who came in together.. i assumed they were in a relationship.. but later i was told that they were just friends.. they paid little attention to the talks on this side of the table, but they had their own conversation going on..one of them was ‘silent’, only responding once in a while.. mostly nodding.. while the other — visibly femme was doing much of their private conversation…

except for that ‘all natural’ guy, i have met the ‘open-relationship’, ‘newly-dating’, ‘silent’ and ‘femme’ on some previous occasions..

after all it wasn’t really that much of a stranger gathering..

“are you from bangalore?”

i was brought back to present with that question. and what followed was the usual exchange of names of friends that we might know in common.. and after that i was really no stranger to the table. that seemed to have made a connection.. and it got further established when i found that one of the guys lived in boston and knows most of my friends from there too..

it is amazing how connected we are, across professions and across places. oh well.. may be not so well connected.. i wish there was some way to find a connection to that waiter who was now explaining the specials in an italian accent.. i had no clue to what he was saying.. and all i could see was his lips moving and i was staring into his eyes.. ended up ordering the only special that sounded vegetarian..

“is he part of the family?” someone asked as he left with our orders and everyone said yes.. and one went on to imitate the way he was using his hands..everyone bursted into a laughter.. and we established the fact that we were the only loud table in the room.. rest of the tables were mostly occupied by couples or atmost three.. people.

by now the eighth guy had arrived and was the focus of discussion.. he was just stepping into the queerdom, there was pressure at home to get married, has an fling with an girl at work.. and has crush on his straight colleagues.. (or straight until found out..). that was the topic everyone can relate with and he was being bombarded with suggestions and stories..

it wasn’t until we almost finished our main course, someone brought up the topic of gay hang outs in bangalore.. and which turned our attention to the recent raids in a mumbai gay party. there were several stories floating around and the one that was told tonight was….

a bunch of under age guys purchased a lot of booz from a bar.. and this came to the attention of a cop who just happened to be there.. and he followed them to another store where he found them buying a ‘loads’ of condoms.. and then cop, now cops, followed these guys to to an remote farm house.. where they caught hold of 15 to 20 guys.. indulging in an orgy..

now is an orgy illegal, even though everyone involved has consented to it?

at that point, as if the ‘silent’ guy finally found his voice (may be he did from the drinks), started to passionately and loudly describe the indian sodomy law.. how any kind of anal sex is illegal.. and right at that moment.. the waiter was approaching the table to take orders for the desert….

he decided to come back later..

everyone nodded to the sodomy law.. but it was more of an accepted fact and it was like someone else’s war.. now that no one made a comment, the topic was set aside.. and someone quickly pointed what had just happened behind his back.. another round of laughs.. and we were ready for the deserts..

as we enjoyed the delicious chocolate and cheese cakes.. and while others were checking out the photos of the straight colleagues of the new guy on iphone, i was again back in my thoughts.. is sodomy law really someone else’s war? we seem to have so much to talk about the coming out or relationship crisis…. is sodomy law just like other laws.. which are only discussed when faced with an charge?

It is still mild summer, flowers have bloomed, pollen has dropped and birds busy protecting their nests.. It is sunday, I am sitting in my backyard, cracking and munching pista, still savoring those morning moments..

How amazing it feels to wake up with that soft touch instead of a buzzing alarm, the energy that builds up through sensuality rather than caffeine….

And it happened. I had just cracked a nut that I shouldn’t have and it was too late to get it out. The bitterness took over the sweet and salty taste I was enjoying…..

Some will never get a bad nut, lucky for them. Some might have the bad one the very first time, sorry for them. And for some it does happen once in a while.. i wonder what i feel for them stupidity or pity.. They are smart to be watchful but not smart enough..

It feels like ages, but it has only been five summers since.. I took a ride to the not-so-pleasant side of the bangalore queerdom.. After which I wasn’t the same person anymore..

I had a few good friends by then through chat. And it just seemed like everyone kept warning me to be careful about the people I meet, which of course didn’t make much sense. How difficult would it be to handle a stranger? If one is cautious about STD and is taking it easy, what else could go wrong? How naive could I be?

I met him after work for coffee in koramangla 1st block. Yudhistir, he told his name was. Mangalorean but raised in Mumbai. His was staying at his uncle’s and was working on a Hotel Project. He seemed to think that Koramangla had a scope for a new cafe coffee day. Wonderful thought, and he was right koramangala is one of the well developed blocks in bangalore with more and more IT folks settling in. Vanity seems to flourish.

The week that followed was very eventful. I started sneaking out from work for long lunches with him talking about his plans. From lunch, it was time to spend the evenings. He was going to that gay bar on residency road.

I had never been to any club or bar and I wondered if I should say no. The next moment I was going with him anyways. After all going with a friend is better than going alone. Also he mentioned his friend was going to meet him at the bar.

The smoke, sound and the smell was all very suffocating. It was a strange feeling to see so many people, some gay and some just here to have some cheap drinks. His friend seemed a little mellow and seemed to feel sad about something. Yudhistir whispered he is going through a breakup, while he was away in the rest room.

Later that night, it was too late for me to go back home so he said I could crash with him. He was taking me to the medical college hostel and as we were stepping in he said, he had a clash with his uncle and is staying at his friends place today. How do you know this guy at hostel? He said the room belongs to his cousins friend.. (apparently his cousin is doing his internship.) That night I stayed at the hostel with Yudhistir and his mallu friend..

The next couple of days were same, lunch.. bar and then sleep at the hostel. And one evening he took me to the park near the state house. I don’t remember now which day of the week it was, but apparently that day was a queer day at that park. This was a little too much and too soon for me.. Before I knew I was meeting people – half of the names I don’t remember anymore..

The following saturday trumped everything that we had done during the week. It was a house party. We were the first ones to go there and he suggested we do that to get me familiarized with the host. It was thoughtful since I was getting apprehensive about being in another big bunch of strangers.

Soon, the house was filled. And to my shock I learnt that they have this house party every saturday night. And as people started coming in, I could recognize some whom I had met earlier that week at the bar and at the park.. and some whom I had met through chat earlier and never wanted to meet them again.. I had a feeling this was going to be one long night..

To my relief, just before midnight a car arrived and that was filled with people I knew and whom I could relate to. I wasn’t in a strange land after all.. Once in a while I would watch Yudhistir dancing but it wasn’t like I was with him that night. And I felt that was a relief…

It was sunday and I was already getting a little irritated with lack of sleep and the overwhelming activities. We met for lunch that day and bumped into someone who for some reason was unexpected by Yudhistir. “Hi Vikram” – he said. Yudhistir is Vikram?

A week followed with similar pattern but I skipped the lunches and some evening parties. I was finally catching up on my sleep. In the middle of the week, he got me to buy an new expensive cell phone on my credit card and he dropped a cheque for that amount..

I did go to the next house party and it was rather fun this time around. I started to notice and meet new people and after all partying is fun.. Yudhistir’s friend I met the previous week at the bar was here today. We started talking and he seemed a little himself today. Yudhistir was checking in on us every once in a while and making sure everything was ok.

It was sunday again and we were going to the park. The friend was there too and Yudhistir had a new visitor today whom I recognized from last nites party. Oh yes, they were dancing like a couple last nite and they looked very cute.. So they were riding together while I drove to the park with Yudhistir’s friend.

The friend started to get a little watery eyed. I was wondering if the new guy that Yudhistir was going with was his ex boy friend. As it turns out, the one on that bike was indeed his ex. But it wasn’t the new friend but Yudhistir himself. It started making sense why he left me to be myself the first night at the house party while, he was checking on me the next time around. In fact he was just making sure that his friend and I din’t get very personal.

That evening I got to know from others at the park that Yudhistir has the habbit of taking money and not giving back. Some seemed to think he was vikram and was from punjab while others thought he was from mangalore. That night I went home.

I called the bank next day from work and found out that there was no cheque dropped last week.

That evening I met him with his friend from hostel. Took the cell phone from him and walked away. That was the last I saw him.

Later I learnt that he had no uncle in Koramangla. His parents lived in bangalore, but he was staying away from them, changing boy friends like clothes. Trying to extract as much money as possible from each of them. (He never asked for money, but made them spend it on him.) The friend at the hostel was no friend of his cousin. He was his ex too.

A lesson learnt. It is not just the STD but there are people out there to take emotional advantage. The bitterness remained for longer than I had wished for. It took me a while and a few friends to get back together. For what it is worth, I was now part of the queerdom.

Well, it was indeed a long time ago.. but if it wasn’t for him, I would have never gone to any clubs (or may be I would have eventually). And in one such club nights I met him.. Ateet. And in another one such club night I met the guy I am with now..

A perfect get away for those friday lovers. It was at HK Lounge, 405W 39th Avenue, New York. This was my first time to an lounge party where I could meet a lot of Desis (south  asians). I loved the ambiance of that slight dim candle lights, constant flow of water around the corners and cozy little gatherings.

As it always is the case, there were well formed groups and a crowd near the hot studly bar tenders.. After the usual formalities of coat-check and a usual gaze through the room for the prospective new contacts, I settled near the stairs. A spot to get a good view of people coming in and those who are already in.

As my friend Arvish settled himself with a drink, I saw my object of curiosity for the night. He was standing at the bar in the middle of the crowd, but not attached to anyone. Had a perfect body and a calm composure. A face with defined lines, happy though he wasn’t smiling at all. His eyes seemed to move from one direction to other in a very animated fashion. Neither too fast nor too slow. When he looked out, he looked as if he had all the right to look. (Usually I would call that a stare.. but there was something about the way he looked.)

I was pretty sure he caught me notice him. But his emotions indicated otherwise. Arvish was back, and was introducing me to his friend. There was that usual social talk, but my attention quickly drifted to the boy standing next to me. A twink with his ears pierced with studs.  He had a drink in his hand, and he seemed to notice that I wasn’t drinking. After a couple of stares, I leaned over him and said.. those are beautiful studs. Well he was himself nice too. He gave that smile.. and he said ‘Are you afraid of drinks?’. ‘Do I look like that?’. He startled me with his response, ‘Never take the book by its cover?’. I had no words to defend myself at that time.. and I just slipped myself into the crowd.

It is interesting to see these groups form (which I have done in the past couple of years).  For instance, I walked by Nicky and Micky whom I had seen as single last time and had noticed them leave the party as a couple. And today they were here as a pair. Just friends .. maybe. And there was this crowd surrounding the Hi’B. (Hi’B started coming to the parties just over an year ago, but now I could see him attract a good amount of crowd. More about him in a different post…). And there is always that person who comes to the party with a new group every time.

But, my favorite groups were those sitting in the slightly dimmer lights sharing jokes and seeming to have a lot of fun. The aura floating around them was that of friends who have known each other for quite a long time.

By the time I went around, I noticed my curiosity standing in a corner.. and so  I approached him and said ‘Hi.’ I had no idea what I was going to say next, but I just had to do that. ‘I am Aman’, he said and then after a couple of moments of awkward silence.. I enquired.. ‘Do you come here often?’ He said ‘Yes, but I usually am not on the dance floor without my shirts?’.

I wish he did that though, he had this great body which I later found out was due to his passion for health. He said, ‘everyone should take care of their bodies, a shirt should look good on the body and not the other way..’ As I sticked along with him, I started to like him more and more.

But, it wasn’t a hookup night, but a social gathering. So I did move around catching up with old friends and meeting some new and interesting ones on the way. I did bump into the ‘boy’ again, who whispered ‘I still think you are afraid to drink’ and left with another boy.

As I involved myself with a group of friends and listening to one of their comic stories, Aman passed by me. As he made his way out, he gave that pat on my shoulder. The one that meant more to me than anything else that night.  Looking back, I wonder if I should have taken that moment to give him a good hug…..

It was around midnight, before we got out. Arvish had left much earlier.

1am friday night. As I walked out on the streets,  there was a sweet feeling in the night. As I passed the restaurant around the corner, I noticed a few people from the party continuing there conversation at a late night dinner.  I waved my hand at them and walked through…

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