Thursday, March 30, 2006
Worli
Worli

I remember sitting out on Worli Sea Face with Boy one night. Back from a movie and dinner and suddenly he gets the urge to drink something 'cold' (always something cold) and since I don't have a fridge at home, the only two options are 5 star hotel or Worli Sea Face: already did 5 star hotel the night before, so my miserly brain urges the case for Worli.

One of our happiest times together. ;-)

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Sitting and counting the silly rats scampering about below the sea facing balustrade. Boy refused to sit there and we found a bench for ourself. Holding hands. Singing songs. He loves this one in particular: Piya tose naina laage re, and I sit, listening, spellbound, as he sings to me. He makes me feel special. He always does. I've downloaded the song onto my computer system now, to listen to, when he's not here. And I kiss his photograph on my shelf. I wonder what I'll say to bro if he ever comes visiting and sees that photograph atop the shelf: Boy and I hugging, in front of the door.

And then there was the paanipuris. Even that late in the night. Boy is crazy about them, and now, whenever I see a paanipuri wallah, I feel tempted to eat some - and then I decide to wait till he comes back. I told him about this urge I get the other night on the phone, and he laughed. I love the sound of his laughter. He says I giggle. Damn. I was hoping I have a chuckle. (Old joke.)

And the vendor girl, too. There was this young girl who kept on walking up and down the path. We had come to Worli Seaface earlier in the evening as well, and she was there, and when we came back late at night, it was the same. Boy was interested and we motioned her over, and bought his 'cold' drinks from her. We chatted about her job and her life. How she had given a Rs 100 note to a guy by mistake, when she had had to give him Rs 10, and how her mum would scold her because of that. We felt very sorry and offered her our condolences, and she grinned and walked away. We saw her again twice more, and then walking away to cross the road to a woman on the other side. Must be her mum, Boy whispered, holding my hand.

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Sunday, March 26, 2006
Straight-laced?!
Straight-laced?!

Every gay man alive will tell you about that strange phenomenon that is a cross between a straight man and a gay man... that epitome of brilliance that is (at times) lauded to the skies and every gay man aspires to be, and (at others) is condemned as the lowest form of hypocrisy a homosexual can be capable of. On his own part, however, that Subject of Much Debate thinks not in the least that he is anything spectacular or unnatural - merely that he is what he is, and he tries to make the best of an unfortunately embarrassing situation - the ubiquitous Straight Acting Gay Man.

Take a case in point. Online chat happening between Strapping Young Hunk With Muscles And A Call Centre Job - let's call him Man A, as it's much easier than referring to him continuously as SYHWMAACCJ - and Younger Hunk With Not Too Many Muscles And Just Passed Out Of College, who can be Man B. Man A feels that he's quite God's gift to gay men and so he flirts his virtual muscles online with much elan, to the delight of an enamoured Man B on the other end:

A: So... I'm hot. I hope you're hot too. I work out regularly.

B: Really? You work out? That's great. I love well built guys. Wanna have hot fun?

A: I dunno. What do you do in bed?

B rattles of a number of interesting activities that would make a biker bear blush!

A, slightly interested now: OK.

B: So? You wanna hook up and have fun?

A, now getting ready for the kill: Maybe. Are you feminine?

B, a bit confused now, as to what would make A think he was (gasp!) feminine: No. why?

A, sticking his virtual nose up in the air: I don't go for feminine guys, ok. I'm very straight acting.

B is, at this line, completely bowled over. He must have A in bed with him this very night, or his life till now has been a complete waste, so he hurriedly proceeds to tell A that he is as straight acting as straight men can possibly get, and no one would even guess that he was gay (if he didn't give it all away by opening his mouth and talking in his sing-song drawl). A match is made, and the happy couple has (presumably) good sex.

Actually, let's not jump the gun here: the Straight Acting Gay Man is not completely shallow, nor completely obsessed with Muscles (capitals, please!), nor even ashamed of his homosexuality. He just doesn't find it necessary to act gay even if he is gay,... and we all know that being gay isn't just about what gender you're humping against the wall. But in most cases, the Straight Acting Gay Man takes his act a tad too far: while even the most straightlaced (no pun intended) of us Gay Acting Gay Men would make a concession for not acting overtly gay in a predominantly heterosexual work/personal environment, sometimes it smarts when you come across someone in the gay environ who simply refuses to acknowledge his gay-ness as anything other than his sexual orientation.

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The question is: why does it smart? Why do I snicker when I come across a person on the chatroom who asks around whether his chat partner is 'straight acting'? Why, on earth, do I find the term so ludicrous? Is it because that I happen to be one of them who tried acting Straight and just gave up, (I mean: cricket???!!!), deciding instead to just be myself? If that's the case, then why do I also snicker when I see the Decidedly Pansy Gay Man at my office flounce past in his coloured scarf and tight t-shirt?

I would be one of those dainty people sitting on the fence, advocating moderation: not the Bobby Darling way, and not the Gruff Man Who Refuses to Be Gay way, either. But then, that's my point of view. No Straight Acting Gay Man I know of has a blog to argue out his case.

Pity.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006
Roundup
Roundup

So, I was googling randomly this morning, and decided to see what the Great God Google (News) says about 'gay'. Here, in a nutshell, is what's been sparking across the globe in the last 24 hours...

Church walkout on gay marriage issue
In Toledo, Ohio, US, the local chapter of the Cleveland-based United Church of Christ voted to break ties with the parent organisation. Last July, the UCC endorsed same sex marriage and this prompted several local chapters to review their ties. Since then, 43 congregations have left the UCC, while others are still reviewing the situation, and have stopped sending in funds.

Leprechauns allowed, but no gay men please
St Patrick's Day parade in The Big Apple, and the chairman of the parade reportedly said that allowing gay groups to march in it would be like inviting the Nazis to a Jewish parade. The NYC mayor has apparently asked the parade organisers to lift the ban on gay groups. Not much hope of it, though.

HSBC says NO! to gay traders
HSBC is in the news, and the London courts are due to give a ruling on whether the bank is in the wrong for firing its former global head of equity trading, Peter Lewis. A coworker of Lewis says, he tried to 'come on' to him, but Lewis says, the allegations are a case of pure homophobia. The trial has been going on for the last 2 weeks now.

What is it about gay men and sailors?!
Also from London, the Royal Navy may go in for special classes to sensitise its personnel even more towards their gay colleagues. In 2000, the British armed forces lifted a ban on allowing gay men/women in, and since then, gay rights pressure group Stonewall says that the Navy ranks 75th in tems of gay-friendly employers! Happy change of affairs?!

Will and Grace?
In South Africa, the Pretoria courts will deliver judgement on a case where a gay man has challenged that he should be allowed to inherit the estate of his dead lover. The two men lived together since 2003, built the house together, and after the death of one of them, his parents have moved in and removed items from the house.

Homophobic riots vs Football
Football is hoped to ease some tensions between gay and Muslim groups, according to a Dutch multicultural group. Am sure we all know the colours of the home team!

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Sunday, March 12, 2006
I, Audience
I, Audience

The funny thing is, my straight older brother saw Brokeback Mountain before I did. He called me on the phone to kill time while waiting for his colleagues from work to come by, and informed me that he had sold off some extra tickets to "some very gay looking chaps". I smiled on the other end of the phone while he said so, and the really hilarious part was that, on Saturday, when The Gang and I went to see the same movie, this utterly delectable boy comes over to us and asks o-so-confidently, "Hey guys, you're going to see Brokeback, right? Would you have an extra ticket?"

Flabbergasted, but the situation was wildly funny. Guppie kept nudging me and asking "Why? Why? Why is he asking us?" Emily giggled and snickered, Penguin chortled and it was left to ex-d/d to grin back and say, "No, we want another one, actually", following which Utterly Delectable Boy smiled sheepishly and went back to join his (male) friend waiting for him on a bike.

CT: "Who did you want the extra ticket for?"

Ex-d/d, preening: "For him - to join us, of course!"

Anyhow, how was the movie? Not bad , actually. But no, not the great monument it was billed to be. Not what all the hoopla and hype promised. Some have praised its simplicity, saying that it's all a Simple Love Story, which incidentally happens to be about two men. But then, if you take away the 'two men' thingy, what exactly is so great about the movie? I'm not exactly sure on that score.

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I mean: yes, the movie has all these great inputs from gay life. Like the fact that "a couple of high altitude fucks aren't enough", or having sex with a hooker in Mexico, or not being sure about living together and what it entails, or even Coming Out... All great stuff, but as a gay person watching the film, I wouldn't think of any of it as really huge stuff which is inspiring... just something which I've been through, and which so many other gay men have lived through.

But then, an afterthought: maybe the really inspiring part is the fact that Jack and Ennis sustain their relationship (in whatever form) for twenty years. Now, how many gay men can boast that?
Suddenly, I do feel inspired.

***

And then, the weekend also saw me finishing the debut novel by gay author Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, The Last Song of Dusk. Both Emily and ex-d/d went ga-ga over the book, and so I picked it up at the Strand Book Fair. While I found the beginning of the book quite Mills-and-Boon-ish, I've eaten my words since then, because it ends on a beautiful note. It progresses on a beautiful note as well. Poetic? Yes. Lyrical? Yes. But perhaps the most endearing fact of all: eccenteric.

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Of course, I can't deny that I found myself giggling every time Shanghvi describes a male character in the book. The best description was of course the first:

As he ran the white cloth around the bend of his muscled calves, the limp leg hair rose again. Then he daubed the delicious dimples of his buttocks, the incline of his back, the coltish nape of his neck, and with every movement over his lovely form, bath water found itself slowly exiled to the lobes of his ears. The mirror revealed a fine specimen: a tall, muscular specimen with broad shoulders and a gallant puff of chest, a jaggery-brown skin, and a member between his legs that was lonely and strong willed and uttery gorgeous inside its own confusion. (pg 10)

I mean: now, really! ;-) But the man is brilliant also in his conclusions of life:

We'll probably never save our souls - but hell, at least we'll get our hair sorted. (pg 247)

And, o yes, the man is cute.

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Saturday, March 11, 2006
Cut and Run
Cut and Run

I've never smoked up. How strange that makes me seem sometimes. Never even had a puff of the stuff. No one at school or college ever offered me a take, and I came through to my twenty-second year quite free of narcotic infuence. That seems a mite absurd now, when I listen to some of my friends rave about how great the occassional puff is, and I sit silly, smiling ignorant.

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I've had a brush with the stuff, of course. One of the people I used to date was quite an addict. The Peacock (all puns intended here - meaow!) was quite addicted to the stuff. I found that out, the very first time I met him. In the PVR Saket complex, behind the McDonald's store, with some other wild and whacky friends of his. I'd met him online just that evening and he'd told me to rush over for a night out - I was bored, horny and bored, so I went. Went and met The Peacock and his gaggle of 'pals' whom he bitched about at length after they'd gone.

The Peacock was a beautiful specimen in those days - tall and strutting, fair and pink lips, pretty pout, beautiful smile, and I was smitten. So I didn't really care when he puffed up in front of me. He was the first person who ever offered me a puff, but I refused. I refused over and over, for the three or so weeks that he and I dated.

One night, I asked him, why he took the stuff.

Peacock: *snigger*

CT: "No, really... why?"

Peacock: "Well, babe, I'm just staying healthy, you know!"

CT, stops dead and shoots a highly skeptical look: "You stay healthy by smoking weed?"

Peacock: "Of course! I don't do cigarettes anymore now, do I?!"

And that was followed by a gentle tug and tumble in bed, so I dropped the subject then and there. Eventually, though, we broke up, rather, drifted apart, and I could never get over his need for the weed. After a while, it hurt the Ego in me, and we all know how big that thing is...! It kinda stung that this guy would be morose and moody before he took the weed, and after a coupla pulls of the stuff, he'd be amazingly mellow and romantic and cutesy. I found him funny and sexy and cute, but I also found him demented at a level. And not the kind of dementia that Boy and I share...!

(Thank God, or else, I'd have to be wed to a fading, aging gay Peacock in Delhi!)

;-)

My second brush with narcotics was in Delhi again, but this time on a visit, after I had moved to Bombay. The guy in question was this acquaintance of Architect Ex-cum-Friend, and we met up at his absobloominutely amazing apartment in Greater Kailash, sprawling rooms, huge verandahs, yards and yards of fabric everywhere, and we had this very amazing session in the middle of a hot sweltering Delhi afternoon. And that's when he took them out, the Poppers. hell, Poppers are considered baby stuff by those in the know, but to me, they seemed wild and exotic... and when I got them offered to me by this hot naked guy on a hot afternoon, I decided to shrug off my prejudices and take a snort.

Ummm... nothing.

Not even a teensy-weensy, itsy-bitsy, polka-dotted or even bar-striped little relative of a high. While he went gaga over the stuff and took loads more snorts, dissolving in orgasmic groans after each sniff, I thought Vicks inhaler was probably ten times stronger than the Poppers, and I kept on wondering how such a great looking, hurly-burly Punjabi dude could turn out to be such a... umm.. pansy!

;-)

I mean, hell, even The Peacock behaved with far more self-respect for a tiny little snort!

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Pshhhhaaaaaawwww!
Pshhhhaaaaaawwww!

I think I have a fever coming on. That's the good news. Because that means, I'll be able to bunk work tomorrow because of a valid reason. Not very nice an ambition to have, but at least that's better than bunking work on a not-really-valid reason, something which I did just last week. Boy has given up on me: he says, both my flatmate and I are itching to get fired from our jobs, because we have this penchant for not showing up at work, or showing up very late. That's easy for Boy to say, though: his work is dancing!

Damn, I'm jealous.

;-)

Not really any bad news in this setup of things. I haven't been blogging for ages now (not really ages, but it just seems so!) because quite honestly, not much has been happening. Keep making plans and castles in the air about somehow making it to live with Boy within three years. Strange stuff like GREs and GMATs, about which I'm a completely dunderheaded gay Alice in Wonderland. Don't even have a Cheshire Cat to show me around. D/d grins like one, true, but he's completely no help. O, by the way, that's another thing: d/d and I talked about it earlier, and he must be given a new name. Something nicer and truer. The persona of d/d is so... cliched, and we both agreed that my best friend is anything but.

So the hunt for a new name for D/d is on.

Yay: Activity!

PS: I'm also thinking of options like moving to Dubai, heaven forbid, to be closer to Boy. Now, while the idea of those yummy Arab princes is quite, quite, quite seductive, I won't have ex-d/d and Emily breathing down my neck all the time, like they do here, as soon as they spy me getting along nicely with a goodlooking boy: "O, hello, isn't the weather nice today, O and CloseTalk, you have a boyfriend!"

I know: let's call d/d BitchyWitch!

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Thursday, March 02, 2006
What's a bird in the hand worth, really?
What's a bird in the hand worth, really?

Infidelity is probably as old as love. Back to when the caveman dragged his cavegirl out by the hair, then came back and decided that her mother was pretty hot too, and so he decided to go fetch his club again.

;-)

And infidelity in the gay world is often taken for granted. Hence, the very convenient definition of an 'open relationship'. That's when you get to tell yourself that hell, he's gonna cheat on me anyway, so at least this way, I know who he's screwing, and I get to have some fun on the side, too. Seems simple enough.

And then, there are those poor sods who think that cheating is a grievous sin, and of course, it could never happen to them. And when they discover that Adam has also been screwing the snake behind Evan's back, there's a fountain of tears. Naive, naive tears.

(Step back: Adam and Evan? I like that!)

Personally, I've never been cheated on, either physically or emotionally, though I've been in the role of the cheater. I like to tell myself that being a physical cheat is much better than being an emotional cheat, but that's the MAN side of me talking, and not necessarily the gay side. Most men think it's cool to fcuk, as long as you don't spend the whole night in bed. Most men think cheating is quite, quite inevitable. I've felt that myself, and when I have, I've realized that I'm not in love with this person, as I profess to be. Who were the people I cheated on? Mmmmm... Well, there was The First One, after the first break-up we had; then Architect Ex-cum-Friend who's now in the Middle East chasing Arab princes; and Cute but Unattractive (d/d's name, not mine!). But that's all. No other cheating. No cheating on Nature Boy, for instance. And I don't plan to cheat with Boy, either.

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Not knowing how it's like being cheated on, though, I have little idea what it actually feels like. That is, apart from my conversation with some friends. I mean: was a situation when I had a great date with Airline Boy and expected good things to follow, but then he slept with someone else and not me, was that a situation that qualified as being cheated on?

I see you shakes your heads to the contrary.

Aaa well, I tried.

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My love stays in a beautiful city on a river, surrounded by lakes.
My love stays in a beautiful city on a river, surrounded by lakes. He goes walking in forests covered with snow drops. He sighs at the window glass and it frosts over. He drives past the boats and the sails. He smiles when he knows I think of him every moment.

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My love stays in a beautiful city on a river, surrounded by lakes.

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