First Thought – Freedom at Midmorning

The Delhi walla‘s pretension in writing makes me want to lodge a bullet in his balls – Blogger Nimpipi, the woodchuck chucks
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Somewhere in Delhi

Delhi High Court has legalized homosexuality.

[Text and picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

As the news broke on July 2nd, 2009, that the Delhi High Court has legalized homosexuality, I tried hard to maintain my outward calm of a reporter. Our tribe is not supposed to get ecstatic or heartbroken no matter what’s the breaking news. So here I was trying to write a story as if it was just a story. But when I called gay and lesbian friends who were present in the court, asking them for ‘quotes’, I couldn’t help wishing: “God, I should’ve been at ground zero!”

As I heard their thrilled voices, as I noted down their words on my pad, a thrill ran up my spinal chord, into my brains. It made my heady dizzy and fingers tremble.

Could this be true? After all, this is India. Gay people are a minority so strange that they have no caste, no religion, no race. They are not even untouchables. They are just not supposed to exist. But now, will that black shroud that cover them disappear? Will that refusal to ‘see’ them finally begin to end with this verdict? Will the invisible people become visible? Will they finally be muggles like everyone else?

A court order will not change social taboos overnight. Your parents may still not easily accept your gay sexuality. Your siblings may still be embarrassed about you. Your colleagues at work may still snigger at your back. Strangers may still show disgust. Some may even dare to ask, “But just what do you do in bed?” or “Who plays what?”

Don’t be fooled. Not much will change by next week, next month, next year. Some of you would still be red-faced while asking for man-to-man porn DVDs in Palika Bazaar. Some of you would still secretly search for gay support groups in Delhi. But by God, the sun has begun to rise.

Of course, you know you are normal but let’s face it, how desperately you wish muggles to accept your normal-ness. How fervently you want Bollywood to have a man running around trees with another man. I know how thrilled you were to see Abhishek Bachchan wooing John Abraham in Dostana.

Who knows if that might happen in our lifetime but yes, today we got our Freedom at Midmorning. Tomorrow again the gay people would have the usual discomforts. The same crushed-looking parents, the same dark musty closet, the same discreet cruising in shadowy places, the same Tuesday nights at Pegs ‘n’ Pints. But maybe, one day, their love, too, would become simple and straight.