Friday, April 29, 2005
End of the affair
End of the affair

I've finished reading The Boyfriend. Thank heavens. It finished off abruptly enough, and I think that's my real grouse against it. Not so much that it ends off in a supremely pseudo-ironic-tragic mode. I've come to expect that of gay novels. Come to expect that gay novels are all about doom and gloom, and people never end up happy together.

Bunkum.

That was the case with Hollinghurst as well. Lovely character, interesting times, and by the end of it, one lover has become old and balding, and the other dies of AIDS. It's like something that all these gay writers try to drill into your head: gay love is unsuccessful. There's no such thing as gay love. It's all about 'wham bam, thank you, man!'

Sigh... and that's when I start to have doubts. About the ex, and whether I shouldn't have stayed with him, because, hell, so what if I felt that I wasn't in love LOVE with him, he always said he was in love with me, and he cares for me, and he would be there with me, and...

It's an awful road. Of being scared and wanting to make compromises. It's a road of a quarter-life crisis, and the only way to deal with it, is to go to sleep, and go out on the town the next day with friends you trust. So I did that, and I'm ok.

It's obvious, R Raj Rao doesn't have many good friends.

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Thursday, April 28, 2005
A break from boyfriends
A break from boyfriends

I went to the gym yesterday for my first full-blown workout. I need to do a lot of things:
(a) build up arms from scrawny limb-like appendages
(b) get rid of hair on biceps, before wearing sleeveless Reeboks
(c) build up butt into something firm
(d) can I expand my chest further? I mean, other than when blowing a balloon?
(e) seduce the hunk in the white outfit before the month is out - steam or massage?

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Mahadik Maha-dick
Mahadik Maha-dick

It's strange to look at the class characteristics of the gay community in our cities.

In Calcutta, people ask you with tremulous breath whether you are, indeed, Bengali, and then say with an air of assured good fortune: O, you don't look like a typical Bong! It would be so much better (for them) if you had been Marwari or Punjabi or Gujarati. In Chennai, if you're a Tamarind, it's met with a grimace: Kannadigas, Sri Lankans and the odd Bangalorean-down-for-the-weekend are 'preferred'. In Bombay, the Marathi gay boys have a reputation of being ghaati, and are too easily associated with that seedy little gay bar down Gateway-side, Voodoo's.

Delhi must be probably the only city in the country where being a so-called punjab da puttar is viewed with favour - but only if you're tall, fair, have light eyes and hairy arms, and are non-Surd. The rest (especially Surds) are an alien species, denounced by the rest of Punjabigayland in Delhi.

Yudi in The Boyfriend falls in love with a certain Milind Mahadik, a Dalit Marathi who lives in a chawl near Mahalaxmi. And the book critics in India hail it as a bitter-sweet reflection of caste politics in India. I don't know about caste-politics in India, but, yes, definitely in the gay world of amchi Mumbai.

I haven't been around with many Marathi men, these past few months in Bombay, and I'm not exactly sure why. One Marathi guy I was chatting with online, suddenly thought that I had an unquenchable hatred towards Marathis, and he simply tuned off. For the life of me, I can't figure out what gave him that idea. And after that... no, there have been no Marathi men who have been in my bed or entertained me in theirs, other than that proverbial one night stand when it was raining and two horny gay men faced each other...! Gujaratis, Parsis, Punjabis, Tamarinds, Bangaloreans, Bengalis, Sindhis, UPites, Goans, Anglos, yes. But no Marathis. Could it be because of the ghaati complex?

Let's be honest. Ghaati simply doesn't mean 'poor, low-class marathi mill worker' any more. It's become a nationalised term, meaning just about anything low-class, pretentious, or gawdy. (In Delhi, the corresponding term is LS, from low society.) However, try to explain that when you said ghaati, you were talking about the poster on the wall and not the big burly Marathi wrestler in his chaddis in front of you, and you won't have much success. Chances are, he'll hand you your balls in a neat black plastic bag.

And in some way, that has had its impact on the mindset of the gay Marathi man. He is naturally a bit shy to approach you or even respond to you, when it's known that you're not from 'these' parts. He'll smile shyly and perhaps even permit you to touch him, but he'll always have that nagging idea in his mind, wondering if you're calling him a ghaati while you're screwing him.

Pause for thought.

Yesterday, I went out on a delightful date with a delightful young man (well, older than me!) who speaks and behave delightfully, and who is an Amte. He has dimples, he touches my hand, he rubs the insides of my leg, he whispers sweet nothings in my ear, and he doesn't seem to care a fig that he's Marathi and I'm... not from 'these' parts.

I'm hoping that things go further now. Like a true diva, I'm hoping that I can do my bit for fostering ethnic peace in this country.

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Monday, April 25, 2005
To(i) Let
To(i) Let

The Boyfriend saga continues...

The other day, I went to see a movie at Eros, and in the intermission decided to take a leak. Of course, as it turned out, half the male populace of the hall also decided the same, so the loo was quite 'housefull'. Rows of occupied urinals, each with candidate no 2 standing right behind the incumbent, and no 3 and no 4 and...

R Raj Rao's novel begins with the Churchgate loo, and he shows how the place is a hornet's nest for gay men in Mumbai. Personally, I've been to that particular loo a couple of times, but have not seen any of the frenetic activity that Rao describes. (Of course, I admit that I was once molested on a train by an old man who hissed that I should follow him to the Churchgate loo, but I was understandably not inspired enough.)

So, WTF is it about loos and gay sex?! Personally, I feel queasy in crowded loos, and even more so if there are no partitions. One Friday night, some friends and I had gone to Polly Esthers, and after a coupla hours of dancing, I went to pay heed to the call of nature. The loo was tiny! And crowded! No, packed!!! Picture two urinals set close to each other, no divisions, and a line of well dressed and hunky men standing behind each of them, quite close to each other! True, it was one of those scenarios that develop into a full-blown orgy if you're an avid watcher of gay porn, but though I smirked at the thought, I felt thoroughly uncomfortable while peeing there! It took a whole lot of bloody effort to do it, knowing that both the guy standing behind me and next to me, could probably see my dick.

In a word: yuck!

But of course, I'm gay. And I was young once (!) upon a time. So, yes, I have cruised in a loo, once upon a time. But there are qualifications to be made here, against Rao's sordid drama of toilet sex:
(a) my loos were always empty, save for the object of my attentions, and
(b) I've outgrown that phase, while Rao's 40-odd year old protagonist still seems hell-bent on going the George Michael way.

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Saturday, April 23, 2005
How about a 'boyfriend'?
How about a 'boyfriend'?

Strange to think that there are so many people out on the street who I wouldn't mind 'doing'. I was walking down to work today, and there I was, eyes revolving, lips smacking (though not very loudy), and saying to myself: Doable.

Young man, strong muscles, black-and-blue tshirt, strand of sweat running down his neck, lovely haircut, showing a good skull, good ass too: Very doable.

Executive type, parking his car, lovely red tie with silver stripes, no paunch (hurrah!), crisp cotton trousers, can't make out asset class, but hell, I love the smile: mmmm, doable.

College kid (I think), resting on his haunches, sitting with his friend, red kurta, beads around his neck, and I wonder if he could be gay (it's the beads!), cute face, true he's fair and o-so Punju, but the Dilli hangover is still present: doable.

***

I've been reading The Boyfriend by R Raj Rao, and that's why I'm talking about the men I notice. Depending on your own sexual experiences, or your taste of the seedier sort of life that Bombay represents, you may like it, or you may think it's a tad too silly. I started off in the latter category, but am still unsure of where I am.

Have to finish the book, to make up my mind. So this is the first post of the ongoing Boyfriend Series.

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Thursday, April 21, 2005
Talking to myself
Talking to myself

I know someone who got locked in a cupboard by mistake once. She was about seven, at the time. She's still prone to get herself locked in a closet, though, at the ripe old age of 28 - if she could ever find one to fit in. Does Godrej come in economy size?

Am trying to think why they call it being 'in the closet'. Hell, I mean, why not 'under the bed'? Why not, 'on the roof'? Why victimize the poor closet?

Alright, am rambling now, so shall stop.

Sigh, have no exploits to brag about now, so that's why I'm rambling. I don't count casual sex as an exploit, per se, unless there's something horribly wrong with it that keeps it from being casual: either I fall in temporary love, or it's a singularly horrible casual thing, or it's a singularly great casual thing (which basically means I fall temporarily in love), or it's too strange for words, or he has divine strawberry handwash.

Nopes, that's all, really.

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Monday, April 18, 2005
About fatalism
About fatalism

Gay men have a fascination for straight men. In a word, that's called 'fatalism'. In an idiom, that's called 'moths to a flame'. In a nutshell, it's a recipe for silliness.

How do you explain it then? Something stupid about wanting the 'forbidden fruit'? God, that sounds corny. There's a challenge there, somewhere, says XYZ to me. XYZ is this person I used to know in my earliest gay years, who practically raised me to my heights of gay proficiency, and who devotes himself nowadays solely to the pursuit of straight men. If I were to believe him, it would seem that his run rate is not too bad, either. But then, I saw one of his intended victims the other day, and judging by that specimen, I would prefer being run out for a duck had I been in his position.

In a word: fatalism.

As any gay man will tell you, there are countless straight men out there who will turn homosexual for an hour. They're not closet gays. Not even remote. What propells them to turn gay for those few minutes? The idea of a blowjob? The curiosity of a lifetime? I'm not really sure. But that's what drives straight-aholics like XYZ, that's what incites them.

Let's be clear: straight men like being the object of unqualified admiration, be it by a woman or a gay man. How else do you explain that gorgeous creature across the bar from me last night who kept on staring at me and my friends, while it was utterly clear that we were discussing the texture of his chest hair?! He smiled at us a couple of times, and then turned deadpan, a sphinx who thinks he's something special, a straight man who's out to fox his gay compatriots. He would have died a slow, excruciating death of embarassment, had he known that this particular bar is full of curious young men like him who taunt and smile at happy young men like me, always sure to never do anything more, freeze up in response to anything remotely like a pick-up...

Aaa, well. I suppose it's fatalism on both sides.

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Friday, April 15, 2005
'Dancing Queen'
'Dancing Queen'

So I find myself a willing partner in the Gay Party thing, and we're off, after a coupla beers at the Sports Bar. I'm confident now - this is not going to be like the last time. The first sign of good things to come is when I get a few appreciating nods in my direction, while standing in the line before the club, and a stray hand actually brushes across my ass. I'm not the kind who would turn around and wink, but the beer made me do so, nonetheless. I'm not in, but I'm already high...

Enter club and enter butterfly slut. Would love to call myself a million things and would love to morph into all of them. Did I airkiss? No, I don't do that. Did I beam? OF COURSE. Did I say hello to my ex? Perfectly. He was nice to me, too, and for at least half an hour, we were dancing together, even with that friend of his, who had given me the persona non grata treatment a fortnight ago.

And then, like the quintessential butterfly, I switch partners. Yes, they played ABBA. Yes, they played Madonna. I wouldn't be surprised if they'd played Cher next, but they didn't. There was this creature next to me, who was quite bare-chested, but had his torso painted in bright red and blue. Welcome to the Gay Christmas Tree. Have your eggnogs free! They played my ultimate diva number, Superstar, and of course I was dancing like mad to that. I met friends, one-night stands, fuck-buddies, cherished items and the objects of my affection. I chilled out with a friend I hadn't met in ages. We yakked with his friend, and decided that at the next party, we must bring our women-friends over for a few laughs. The lesbian populace in Bombay is actually quite sharp - not as frumpy as the fat dykes that traipse into Pegs and Pints in Delhi.

Shush, Closetalk! You're not really drunk now, anymore. You just pretend awfully well.

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Thursday, April 14, 2005
Bloody hell
Bloody hell

The bloody party is just hours to go.

Number of friends who have cancelled: 2

Number of friends who have parked their asses on the frikkin fence: 2

Number of friends who say they will come, post 11.30 pm: 2

Number of friends am supposed to dance with: 0

Why do I do this to myself?

Do I even need an answer???

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005
That's the way - a-ha, a-ha - I like it!
'That's the way - a-ha, a-ha - I like it!'

Twinkle Toes is slightly jittery. There's a party tomorrow, and I'm not sure if I'm going or not. My supposed date for the evening chickened out, and I'm hemming and hawing, with the obvious intention of going, but still hemming and hawing with the consummate ease of a diva balancing a dainty tush on the fence.

Let's face it: I'm a sucker for GB parties.

Flashback: my first GB party. Full sleeve crinked shirt in grey and blue that a friend had commented earlier looked 0-so gay! and black drawstrings. I enter the disc, and nurse my drink lovingly in my hand. Gorgeous men milling around. Some stare at me, and I'm a bit shy, though I've done this dozens of times in Delhi. But this is Bombay, and Bombay boys stare at you and smile at you and dare you to come over to them. It's not like Delhi, where everyone's a snob or a muscle mary, and as soon as you get on the dance floor, there's a hand grabbing your crotch or a tongue in your ear. Bombay plays it cool. Bombay makes me sweat.

Eventually, though, I find someone to talk with. I flirt with him, compliment him on how good he looks, how sexy he dances, and I press myself up to him, while the DJ plays Kevin Little. At the end of the party, I leave with him, and we screw till late in the night. Yes, that's the way we false Punjus do it in Delhi.

Flashback: to the last GB party I went to. Recently broke up with boyfriend, I'm the only singleton amid a gaggle of friends who are all couples, and I feel like the proverbial kebab mein haddi. Recently recovered from jaundice, so I can't even get drunk. I stand like a wallflower against one of the pillars, nursing a glass of suddenly insipid pineapple juice in my hand.

It's bloody hot in here, too many people have showed up because it's the Holi weekend, and I'm sweating bullets just standing. A couple of jocks passing by flash me a grin or a stare (mostly, a stare), and I try to sip my pineapple juice as seductively as I can. Not happening. Outside, it's cooler, and while there are a whole lot of guys lounging around, I know none of them, so going out to gawk and be gawked at is simply not an option. They're playing another chhammak chhalo number, and I yaawwwwwwwwwn.

Yawn disappears, when ex-boyfriend passes by, with friend. I grin and say hullo, how d'y' do? and he looks at me intently, as if looking for semen stains all over my body. His friend, who was o-so chummy with me, till the other day, now looks through me. After a couple of minutes' freezing conversation, the duo depart, leaving me to my solitary non-reaping wallflower act.

And then it hits me: OMG!!!!! Have I lost it??!!!!

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005
The art of restraint
The art of restraint

It's a strange thing, making love with the intended purpose of not making love! It is strange, meeting a man whom you are wildly attracted to, who's funny and sweet, and an excellent home-maker to boot! Yes, I admired his flat, his furniture, his kitchen and his liquid handsoap, which smelled of the freshest strawberries this side of New Zealand! I did the whole gay diva act. And he did the whole gay diva mommy act. And we listened to some amazing music and took some fun pictures.

Then came the making love part, and that was what was really interesting. I'm a great kisser (I don't believe in modesty), and it was hard at first to kiss and not climb the steps to the next level. It was strange, laughing and groping and touching, and always stopping just in time. There was a need to rein ourselves in, if only for the sake of a few Hindu rituals - but those rituals were important to him, and I respected his faith too much to shatter it. So, though I teased and played and probed, I stopped just short. He told me: he would probably have broken, had I pushed a wee bit harder. I'm glad I didn't.

But it's an art, I think. Making love with the intent purpose of not making love. Touching hands and fingers, licking and probing, and you realise that the most homely parts of your body, if stimulated in a particular fashion, would soon have you ripping your clothes off like a sexy gay version of The Hulk, (minus all the green thingies!) and grunting like your average Tarzan on an ape hump. Bad picture. I meant to make it seem romantic and tender.

You know what? It was romantic and tender. ;-)

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Sunday, April 10, 2005
Post 1: Staightening it out
Post One: Staightening it out

The straight and narrow was never really for me. I realised that from the time I was 12 years old. Perhaps, even younger. Let's be honest. When you start paying more attention to He-Man than to Teela, there's something fishy going on here. All it takes, is a matter of time to find out what.

This is my gay blog. It seems funny to put it like that. This is my blog where I post about myself: the emotional, ethical, sexual, spiritual, hilarious parts of being gay. An overall experience that is so intrinsicaly not just a matter of sexual preference, but so much a type of being. When I ask my friends whether I sound gay, and the answer is in the affirmative, I panic. It hurts, really, to think that I may be identified with a certain 'type' of person. That's the complication of being in the closet.

You get hurt if you stay stuck in your closet. I remember what happened to Polonius in Shakespeare's Hamlet, when he did so. You laugh at silly jokes that you would otherwise find stupid and perhaps offensive. You brush away silly little tremours, and wonder whether anyone else in the work place or your friends' circle knows that you're gay. Most of all, it's the suspicion, the extra care that you tell yourself you must take.

I must be getting tired of that. This blog is evident enough proof of that. This is not my first gay blog - (there I said it!). I killed the earlier one, after about five posts, because I felt I had nothing more really to say in it. What? That I was gay, and that I was in the closet? That took about two posts. The rest was hot air. The rejuvenation of the gay blog for me at this time is a statement: I have things to say. Being gay is not just about having sex at night with men and then running away for cover. It's about being open - most of all to myself.

Most of all, the gay blog is a statement to myself: I'm gay. I like being gay. The closet is another matter, altogether, however.

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