Thursday, June 28, 2007
Guest Post: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall...
Guest Post: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall...

I've been toying with the idea of SnowWhite's Stepmother writing a guest post for ages now, and while the thought has appealed to him as well, he's always shied from the task, making up one silly excuse after another ("O, that's too scandalous, I can't write about that!", "O, people will think I'm a horrid person if I really say that!", "B-O-R-I-N-G!" etc etc etc). I could sense the ice thawing though when sometime back the cynic in me surfaced and I wrote a post about how futile it seemed to find love in Bombay, and when SS responded with a "It sounds like I wrote that post, not you!"... And when I saw the looooooong and obviously heartfelt comment in the preceding post, I told him outright: I'm going to copy-paste this onto blogger, and this is going to be your Guest Post.

Aaaa, but of course he finally bit the bait. And the drama queen did his "O, let me spruce it up a bit" line. So here, it is, spruced up and all, with pictures scoured by him, and me retreating to the sidelines. SnowWhite's Stepmother on Bombay and her gay relationships....

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Relationships, eh? Many a night has been spent brooding over this word. CT knows. I sure do. One of my closest friends calls me a relationship junkie. Am I one? *sheepish grin*. So when CT did his little LV bag versus relationship post, I knew it was time. Time to do the Guest Post I had offered to write and promised CT. Months went by. It rained. Relationship status was still the same. The way I seem to be going, it looks like its going to be the same...

*SS ponders, gets pensive, sips hot chocolate, starts typing again*

While CT writes on a myriad of subjects (some very interesting posts, I must say... and some... well... *beatific smile*), I never figured what to do the guest post on. Being the self-proclaimed expert on the subject *SS looks around, ready to shoot anyone who rises to object to the fact*, it just made so much sense, na CT?

I am going to support what I have to say with rhetorical questions.

1. How many of your close friends are in a relationship currently, CT?
Ans. None!

2. How many (completely) monogamous couples do you know, even tangentially, CT?
Ans. None!

Like Samantha once said when she was asked if she was in a relationship, "It's tedious and the sex is dwindling, so as far as I know, it's a relationship." (hahaha)

And about the theorems....

1. All men are bastards

2. An LV will never cheat on you, I promise you that.

3. CT and I are the Nicest and Finest Young Men in the City. We really are.

4. Carrie: "Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the way you you love, well, that's just fabulous."

5. It's ok to be single, but not single AND fat.

6. There are no fine boys/men in Bombay.

7. Chalo Dilli.

8. Samantha (to Carrie, when Carrie asks if she looks back on her old relationships): "Honey, you look back so much, you should have a relationship rear-view mirror."

9. A good b/j always works when you hate being single. If it fails, get a Bloody Mary. If that fails, God help you!

10. One of the sweetest guys I once (kinda) dated, didn't sleep with me saying, "SS, you are not one-night-stand material". I still don't know if it was an insult or a compliment. (And no, I am not asking you what it is.)

And while I’d like to post a plethora of images (full frontals, of course), I am sure CT with his delicate sensibilities will not permit me to do so * snigger* I think I’ll just sign off with a picture of me *chuckle*

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Ummm.. for the record, that is not SnowWhite's Stepmother. Yes, yes, I just had to burst the bubble, didn't I? :)

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Bag It Up
Bag It Up

So I was at my workdesk at the office, and I start chatting with Mahesh. The point of discussion is (surprise, surprise) Relationships, and How We Gay Guys Handle Them. And while that could well be a bona fide Harvard course, for the moment it was just the two of us dissecting. Mahesh happens to be one of those sweet people who used to believe that relationships are the most important things in the world, and he was slowly coming around to the view that, well, some people just aren't made for them.

"O, hell, babe, I could have told you that eons ago," I responded, thinking about all the playas and the One Night Stands I've gone through, "But it's quite alright, you know. I mean, some people are just very comfortable without a relationship, and can really do without one. It's just the nuts like me who want them!"

And then, of course, I'm reminded of SnowWhite's Stepmother's famous quote about relationships vis-a-vis bags ("All you silly boys crying about love! The only thing worth mooning over is a LV bag!"), and I discuss yet another brand of relationship junkies with Mahesh - the kind who hanker after relationships but are actually pretty dismal at them, for whatever reason. It's like a favourite bag you have to have, I chuckle online, a nice big Prada or LV that seems to control how you want your life to be. And getting one from the pavement, even if it is a great imitation, is never good enough!

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Mahesh thinks, there's a weird conditioning that has to be undone - gay men have to understand that being in love is not necessarily the only good thing that can happen to them, and they must be ready to live their lives without the absolute tearing need to find love. A part of me felt like telling him, it's fine for him to talk so, since he's already in a strong 3-year old relationship, but I didn't. Perhaps, he was telling the truth; perhaps some men would be better off, concentrating on their careers and their families and their friends, if they just stopped hankering after that perfect Prada-man.

Later, during lunch, I discuss the idea with my friend the Mad Bawi, who recently broke up from her fiance. "So what's a relationship to you?" I asked her, and pat came the reply, "O, well, the closest comparison I can think of, is a JOB!"

Whoops! So, if you thought TalkingClosets was getting too mushy, here come the cynics! :)

But when you start thinking about it, it actually makes sense. You have to work hard at your relationship, to make it work. Impressions and interviews are equally important in that great job and that great relationship. And everyone wants to dump that old 'job' for that bigger and better one around the corner. If your current 'job' doesn't have those great dimples or that propensity to get you gifts, you want the one that does. And if you thought that those long hours for that all-important presentation the next day are taxing, you won't believe what a rough patch in a relationship can do to you - just ask me and the Mad Bawi. :)

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CT: "So what are the fringe benefits? What about the annual bonuses? What's that in a relationship?"

Mad Bawi laughs: "O, great sex is a HUGE bonus. And then there's the companionship of course. I mean, it feels good to be in a great relationship, doesn't it? That's something being single just doesn't measure up to, sadly...."

CT: "And could we see the gradual stages in a relationship as our 'annual increments'? Like when you pass from the 'dating' phase to the 'seeing' phase, and then to the 'exclusive' phase, and so on and so forth?"

Mad Bawi: "Yep, and there's plenty of scope for a demotion as well. Like when you slip from the 'fiance' stage to the 'break-up' stage."

Ummm... cue for a sympathetic pat in the middle of the street.... followed by both our heads turning after this utterly cute and hunky guy on the street who's walking away from us. You know the type - mix of 'rugged' and 'chocolate boy', fair and big, with wavy hair you'd like to muss...

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CT and Mad Bawi, mouths open: "Shall we follow him?"

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Blind Eye
Blind Eye

In the pilot episode of Sex and the City, the ever-wise seer Carrie Bradshaw has this to say:

"Welcome to the age of Uninnocence. No one has breakfast at Tiffany's and no one has affairs to remember. Instead, we have breakfast at 7 a.m., and affairs we try to forget as quickly as possible. Self protection and closing the deal are paramount. Cupid has flown the co-op."

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It could just as easily be Mumbai as it is Manhattan, hell the two are practically sistahs anyway!

So the other night, I'm on my way for a coffee date with this guy I've been chatting with online for sometime now. He seems fun, witty, educated, has a sexy pic (ok, so the face is a bit smudged with Photoshop, but the pecs are still hunky enough to grab my shallow attention), and we decide to meet for some after-dinner mocha. I sit down at the table, plug in my iPOD and await his arrival. And there he is. All fifty-whatever years of him, with a waist that's 36 at least, white hair at his temple, a wrinkled face that grins when he sees me, chunky arms, and I'm wondering whatever happened to the cute pecs in the pic and the cute hunk I imagined owning them.

So he sits down and asks me how I am. I smile in a terribly self conscious way and answer him. My coffee arrives, for which I'd placed the order before Mr False Snap showed up, so there's no scope for an early exit. I wonder whether I should risk a scalded tongue and just beat it, but then he starts telling me about his old relationship which lasted seven years before his boyfriend decided he wanted to play the field again. Ummm... ok. So I got hooked by the sob story. And I stayed. I didn't scald my tongue and I clucked sympathetically to his story, and I answered his questions about my life and career, and even managed a couple of polite queries about his career. But I also waved at the waiter to fetch me my cheque pronto, and as soon as I paid, I suggested we leave. At the door, I turn around with a false smile, say "Nice to see you, take care!" and flail down a cab. Goodbye and get a more recent pic taken, please.

But the thing is, the False Pic Syndrome is not really as uncommon as we'd like it to be. Every gay boy has been through his fair share of encountering the pest. You're bouncing on Cloud 9, expecting to meet this uberhunk, and instead you meet Mr Perv who's there in his ill-fitting tee and scratching his balls. And slowly, the disbelief morphs into shock, then disgust, then resignation, then a bit of anger. I'd probably feel sorry for the poor sod who has to try these sorry tricks, if it weren't for the fact that he plays it on me! I mean, do they actually think they can pass of as the hunks they portray onscreen???? Are Indian gay mean really that deluded?

OK, wrong question to ask. I'm actually looking for love (of all things!) here! *hysterical laughter*

But the FP Syndrome actually struck me after quite some time. I'm usually more demanding about pics online these days than I used to be, and that's been a life-saver. That used to happen a lot more to me back in Calcutta and Chennai, when hardly anyone used to have snaps online, and so meeting a dud was the expected thing to happen. Most gay boys used to spy out the intended meeting area from afar and run when they saw Mr Ugly standing there, checking his watch anxiously - and of course, the cell phone would be switched off for a good three hours, so that he couldn't call/sms you. And while I always thought this was a very churlish way to act, I couldn't be very contemptuous either, since I knew how it felt to be on the receiving end of the FP Syndrome. To my credit, I've done this routine only once, though - when it was a 45 year old FAT man in white pyjama-kurta waiting at the curb, instead of the cute 20-year old I'd been promised. So... I turned and I left. Switched off the phone, of course.

Most of the times, though, I employed the grin-and-bare approach, and I just tell them straight off: "I'm sorry, you're not what I expected, and you're not my type. Bye bye."

And if they start the "But...", you do like Miranda, and go: "No, no. That wasn't a question!"

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:)

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Sunday, June 17, 2007
Salaam-e-Ishq.. ishq... ishq Indeed. Bhenchod.
Salaam-e-Ishq.., ishq... ishq Indeed. Bhenchod.

I've been feeling kinda low for some time now - this past week. You could call it the mean reds. Strange, because I never thought I'd get them and stranger, because I wasn't very sure what they meant, till now that is. Thing is, I don't really have a Tiffany's to go to now that I have them (possibly), like Holly did. And Benetton doesn't have the same effect on me, as it does for SnowWhite's Stepmother.

Online right now, a friend messaged me with the usual 'What's up?" salutation, and my reply was: "I'm bored. B O R E D. 5 letters in all. C how bored I am?"And yet, boredom is just a part of the dilemma, a part that I can at least decipher. I'm terribly bored of my life right now, despite the hustle an bustle in my professional capacity. I'm terribly bored of men. And now you know I'm serious, don't you. Bored of men. *sigh*

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Suddenly, they're all the same. The assholes who come online and speak bad English and call you 'dear' and want to bed you. The other assholes who ask you on dates and bore you to tears. The other assholes who never really reply when you buzz them and you're left wondering where you stand. The still other assholes who've gone past by without a care in the world for you, while you've stood there on the sidelines, feeling empty and... lost.

I don't think I'm feeling particularly lost right now. A tad uninspired, dejected, frustrated, stricken, limited perhaps. Sunday night was spent on a solitary soup-n-salad dinner listening to sad love songs on my ipod. Saturday evening saw me at Barista with my diet sistah exhorting me: "It's all right, all men are bastards and we're only going to end up alone with no one to love us, so eat, eat. Go ahead and eat all you want." And Friday evening saw me meet two men for dates, have sex with one of them, coffee with the other, and really wish I'd spent my time instead watching a movie.

So yes, I'm bored.

I come online out of sheer force of habit, and and I open my inbox. Damn, the messages have the usual shit, hell, even the damn pictures look the same as the next profile, and I'm much too irritated to bother replying, so I delete, delete, delete, and groan that men are the most bumbling, inept, blind, disloyal, brainless, tactless, beauty-less creatures on the face of the planet. Here I am, on my expansive double bed, resting on squishy pillows, listening to Sway on the music system, with my laptop open to guys4men. Fume, simmer.

Yesterday, I was a great big fan of Salaam-e-Ishq. Today, I want to say: Cheeni Kum, please.

***

Time for some SATC viewing.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Top Draw/ Bottom's Up
Top Draw/ Bottom's Up

Perhaps you can blame it on my Bengali genes, and say that CT from Marxist Bengal sees politics everywhere. But the feminists have argued for eons now that Sexual Politics (Man vs Woman) really exists, and every gay man knows deep down that we have the same thing in Rainbow Land as well. Calling yourself 'versatile' to escape the flak just doesn't work.

:)

Welcome to the Top vs. Bottom debate. It's actually very surprising, but even lots of straight people know what a top is and what a bottom does. There was this friend who recently came out to his straight best buddy, and was immediately accosted about his 'role' in bed. To the utter shock of my frazzled friend, he was heckled, "So tell me - do you take it, or do you give it?!" And though my friend refused to indulge his straight buddy and spill the beans, every gay man knows that this is a label they'll have to stick with, and hence be very careful about.

Admittedly, though, for a lot of gay men this Job Description really isn't absolute. I was chatting with this certain Bangalorean Sex Interest online, who told me that while he started off as a (horrendously cliched term, and hence I will use it) 'hungry bottom', now that he finds himself in his 30s, he's quite the swaggering top who can't imagine bending over. And there are a number of other such people who change their orientation with the company they keep - with the intimate date-type guy they play the vanilla and easy top, while with the anonymous thrilling encounter they're the S&M crazy bottom-boy. If Ekta were to make a serial on it, and I'm betting this would have K.Jo's blessings, it would probably be called....

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Kyunki Top Bhi Kabhi Bottom Thi...!!!

Sometimes, though, you wonder what the big deal is about tops and bottoms, and who's who. Frankly, I'm not sure. But you do have these beautifully etched stereotypes of the muscular Bollywood hero type who comes into the chatroom, and declares that he's quite the cat's whiskers and that he wants 3-4 equally hot (wince) 'hungry bottoms' to service him. The hungry bottoms of course are just waiting for their chance to do so. Reminds one of the old Arab harem fantasy, and then you make a mental note to watch that gay DVD once you finish blogging - oops, that was me. :)

I wouldn't go so far as to say that there's a sort of top-bottom Hierarchy as such, but rather - some very clearly etched suppositions. It's like this: the top is supposed to use the bottom; the bottom is supposed to enjoy being used; a 'hungry bottom' is supposed to have all sorts of kinky festishes, aka the straight man's 'facial-on-woman' fantasy; the top is supposed to conquer and then leave; the bottom is supposed to have a lazy Sunday brunch with his pals and moan about how the hot top used him and left, while the other bottom pals are supposed to tut-tut with him while secretly jealous. Silly little stereotypes, not all of which are untrue, but which do propagate the great big Role Divide.

The misfits are the saving graces of the Role Divide, however. They're the tops who're actually pansy fairies; they're the bottom boys who love sports and we're talking cricket here of all things; they're the tops who take pains to make sure their partner attains orgasm even after he's had his jollies; they're the bottoms who attain orgasm and then promptly get off while leaving the top bone-hard to his own devices (no pun intended); etcetera etcetera. In a world of sexual politics, the misfits are the ones who break the mould.

And what about the others? The ones who scream from the rooftops that they don't fit in the Role Divide either - the bisexual men and the 'versatile' guys? Well, the bi men aren't misfits at all - they either love playing the (wince) 'hungry bottom' because their female partner will fling the strap-on at their face if they ever suggested such an idea, or they go all 'top' just because they think men give better blowjobs that women (which is correct) and offer better penetrative options. And the versatile men aren't misfits either - at least, not solely on the basis of their versatility. The versatile men still gives in to the Role Divide when he's playing bottom, or when he's being the top. When he's embracing the role he's pretty much doing what the role is supposed to be doing.

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Now I just need to type out a script, cast some gorgeous characters, and hand over the layout to Ekta. Patidev (Godly Husband), Dusri Mard (The Other Man) and Sasurji (Revered Father-in-law) at the ready! *grin*

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Sunday, June 10, 2007
Phat Plan
Phat Plan

Friday night, and I'm meeting Gupshup and SnowWhite's Stepmother for dinner, so I slip on this baby pink t-shirt I'd bought some two months back, and turn towards the mirror. Egads. Horror. Shock. Awe. Could it really be true? Had SS' caustic tongue about not not realizing when you gain weight actually found its mark? Apparently, it had. So, off went the slim-fitting tee, and after rummaging through my closet, I was muttering a silent prayer to Fabindia's loose bush shirts.

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:)

So, that night, I announced my new diet plans to SS and Gupshup. No beer that night, only vodka. No dinner after the vodka, only the chicken starters with the drinks. I told Gupshup, I had a new motto: Lose weight now, ask SS how! Gupshup grinned at me conspiratorially and said, it wouldn't work, because we couldn't do what SS does.

"He doesn't eat at all," I agreed, in dismay, but then resolve shone through and I decided, "And neither will I!"

Because SS is one of those people who are never short of interesting mottoes about looking slim 'n' trim. Like "Buffets are Bad". And some others which aren't very nice to listen to, but then we take it all with a fistful of salt since it's SS who's spouting them. When I read a BombayTimes snippet about Posh Spice of the Size Zero frame hating her supposedly flabby arms ahead of her move to the US, I sms-ed SS about it, who was quite sympathetic about Posh's predicament. When we'd gone to a friend's party some time ago, despite the yummy food on offer, SS filled his tummy with cucumber and carrot sticks - and returned home starving.

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So, as can be imagined, he greeted my resolve with approval. *grin*

And on Saturday, I inducted Vivian into my new programme. We were officially, Diet Sistahs. That afternoon saw us at the Tea Centre with chicken salad and a guava frozen tea. After lunch, we walked down Marine Drive to work off the extra calories, to the Gelato shop and opted for 99.9% fat-free Coffee flavour. And that night, we decided, dinner was going to be light as well.

It's another matter altogether that we broke the cardinal rule that 'Buffets are Bad' and headed for the midnight buffet at the Holiday Inn, instead.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007
Passover
Passover

Viraf of F-Cubed passed away last night. The news of his death came only hours after news of his hospitalization first reached me. A mutual friend was sending sms' out, asking people for blood donations for Viraf, and I'd asked what his blood-type was. This was at around 7 p.m., and around 10.30 p.m., I got news that it was far too late.

Rest in peace, Viraf.

In part, I feel a bit strange writing this. Because I'd never met the man. Never even talked to him on the phone. He sauntered over to this blog many moons ago, and I called on his blog in response. We kept commenting on each other's bogs and it was fun. It seems like ages ago, when the gay boys of Bombay first started writing their bitchy blogs - and we groaned, moaned, ranted, vented et al, about boys, life, boys, weight issues, boys, beautiful things, boys... :) O gosh, it does seem ages ago!

And though we chatted through our comment boxes and bantered via our posts, and knew that we had some mutual friends, we never really tried to meet up offline. I'd heard about his legendary cook-ins/outs for GB and really wanted to attend one of those, but something always came up at the last moment.

It's strange, that when you go over his last few posts, there's so much... enthusiasm for what he's hoping will open up for him ahead. And, while I wondered to myself why he hadn't posted for quite some time before that, I never considered that there might be a very serious reason, really - just the sort of blogger fatigue one encounters so much.

I shall stop talking now. Goodbye, Mad Bawa.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007
Danger: Crash Zone Ahead
Danger: Crash Zone Ahead

Watching some more Sex and the City here (Season IV), and Miranda says in one episode, "I'm taking a break. I can't handle any more bad dates." The thing is, I'm getting a whole load of bad dates myself, but don't think I'd ever be able to take a break. Just now, SnowWhite's Stepmother came out out after a phonecall, saw me on one of the gay chatrooms and exclaimed, "O my god, do you never give yourself a break?!" and while I think it's kinda funny, it's also kinda... me.

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Lots of bad dates.


There was this dimpled guy who gave me the blowjob on the friend's terrace. So the other night, we go for some drinks, and then the guy starts yakking about... something. Something utterly beyond my pale of interest, and while I tried hard in the beginning (I really did!) after thirty minutes I was least bothered and just started humming along to American Pie. Finally, Dimples gets the hint, looks at me, and says, "You're very quiet, am I boring you?" And, bitch that I am, I grin, turn around and say, "O yes you are, and I'm glad you finally got the hint. Can we talk about something else?" After ten minutes, I'm rubbing his crotch, and after thirty, we're heading back to my flat.

The next day, over chocolate tarts, I tell NatureBoy, "Here's the thing. Most people end bad dates with quick goodbyes. I end bad dates with quick cheques and a blowjob in my bed. What the EFF is wrong with me?"

NatureBoy cackles because he knows exactly what I mean, and asks, "So are you doing him again?"

CT: "I'm not sure. I don't think I'll see him again, really. I certainly won't call him."

To tell the truth, I really haven't had very many dates of late. There was the coffee date which lasted thirty minutes, after which we were panting on my bed. There was the French guy at a south Bombay hotel whom I stopped to service on my way to work in the morning. There was the cute designer who would like seconds and thirds, but who sent me an sms after the first time, saying "Please don't tell people we met up for fun". Damn... just when I was finalising delivery details for my new tom-tom drum.

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Whatever.

Not really sure what this post is about. Men are not really in short supply. The good ones are. And then, I think, what am I going to do even if the right guy comes along? What if I've already met him, know who he is, told him so, and yet... he's not interested? Doesn't that happen a lot? The guy you want to be in love with just doesn't feel the same way about you?

How are you supposed to change his mind then? Stand under his window and throw pebbles at the glass? Send him a dozen red roses? Suggest walks on the beach with ice cream - strawberry sorbetto and caramel... Or do you just grin, and promise yourself that when things are different in a year's time, you'll be back... and you won't take no for an answer...

O yes, this was a rambling post.

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