Sunday, September 23, 2007

...sealed with a kiss...

I woke up to the chirping of sparrows on the Deodar tree just outside his window. When I crawled out of the bed, he was still semi-asleep. I picked up my clothes and went to the bathroom. I looked into the mirror. I could see at least a dozen hickeys all over the upper half of my body. My head was feeling light but it was a great feeling. I brushed my teeth and then quickly answered nature's call. I took a shower and when I came out, I found him sitting awake on the bed.

He smiled at me and said "So, sweetheart, how was the night?" I replied..."I never wanted it to end..." He said "It'll never."

We met his mum at the breakfast table after he took a shower. I became very conscious of her presence and was trying my best to hide the obvious signs of our passionate love making. But as they say, God made women cleverer than men! She obviously saw the signs, laughed and said..."Jeet, you don't have to hide anything. I am happy that you have brought laughter back into my son's life after ages." I looked up at her, smiled and said..."Your son has made me the happiest too!"

The next one month went by in a jiffy. We used to meet every single day. We used to go off to nearby places on the weekends. We took a weekend getaway to Goa and made love on a moonlit night on the beach. We attended parties together and clearly everyone noticed us together. People used to hit on him all the time but he'd just say "I am already taken."

Things were going on as a perfect dream. I couldn't be any happier. I had finally found a reason to live, not to just exist.

May 12, 2006. He called me early in the morning and asked me about my plans for the evening. When I told him that I didn't have any plans, he promptly asked me for dinner. I agreed. We met at the same restaurant where we had met for the first time. Over dinner, I noticed that he was not speaking much. I asked him "What's the matter? Is anything wrong?". He smiled and said "Nothings wrong. But I have to tell you something." I asked him "What?" He was looking rather perturbed as he said "Remember, I had told you when we met, that I had applied to the University of Ohio while I was still in London." I said, "Oh, yes, I remember that, what about it?" He smiled and said "Well, they have wrote back to me and have offered me a full scholarship." I said "Wow, that's great! So, what are you planning to do? Are you going to take it?" He said "Well, I am really confused. I don't really know what to do. I can't leave you and go to America." I said "Come on, it's not that you'll be gone for a lifetime. Sooner than later, you're gonna be back, right?" He said "I don't know Jeet. What if I don't get to come back? Ever since Mom has heard about it, she told me that she would want to come along with me too. She wants to stay with my aunt who stays in Glens ville, FL."

Then it hit me. This guy could be gone in weeks. What am I going to do when he's gone? How am I going to live without seeing him everyday? How? Why did God give it to me and just take it away like that? Why? Why? Why?

A surge of emotions overwhelmed me. But, then I thought why should I stop him from pursuing his dreams? Why should I stop him from getting whatever he wants out of his life? So, I said "Hey, come on! I think that's a great idea. You should take aunt with you. She would be so lonely without you here anyway. Come on, cheer up! You must take this offer. This could be once in a lifetime opportunity. You could really reach for the stars. And if you think that I am going to disappear, that ain't happening mister!" I smiled "I am gonna be here waiting for you to come back. Who knows maybe in a year's time, I could end up being there too! So, hey, you're gonna reply back to them and tell them that you're gratefully accepting their scholarship."

The dinner ended but I could feel that he was restless. I tried to calm him. But it was becoming increasingly difficult for me too to stay calm. I was just not prepared for such a turn of events. It was not that we had broken off but the pangs of impending separation was too much to bear. It was late at night, when we started walking hand in hand on the Bandstand. We walked and walked without speaking a word. We sat on one of the benches there and soon both of us were crying. We were in each other's arms as tears trickled down our faces. We tried to console each other but the emotions were too much too control. The night ended thus...

June 2, 2006, Mumbai International Airport. We reached the airport well before time. Aunty was consoling me all the way telling me that she would make sure that he doesn't forget me. He was looking pale and sad. I was sad too that they were leaving. Leaving behind memories that would always remain with me. We whiled away some time in the lounge. Finally around 11 PM, the check in started. We hugged each other one final time. We both had tears in our eyes. He just wouldn't let me go. I finally had to push him off me and say "Go!" Aunty hugged me. She had tears in her eyes too. She blessed me and said..."Son, you'll always be happy."

As they walked down the airport lounge towards the check in counter, the airport music system began to play the old number...

Though, we gotta say goodbye for the summer...
Darlin' I promise you this...
I'll send you all my love, everyday in a letter...
Sealed with a kiss...

It's gonna be a cold lonely summer...
But I'll fill the emptiness...
I'll send you all my love, everyday in a letter...
Sealed with a kiss...


...the passion...

From all of my sadness, the tears that I've cried...
I have spent all of my life...
Waiting for tonight, when you'd be here in my arms
Waiting for tonight...

J Lo's melodious voice filled the air as I closed my eyes and started going over the events of the day! It had indeed been a dreamy night! A door clicked open and so did my eyes...and then I saw him...standing at the bathroom door, dripping wet in just a white towel. He had obviously taken a shower and had sprayed a sweet perfume which filled my senses with ecstasy! I watched him as he shook his head vigorously and his long hair sprayed a million droplets of water in all directions. As the water trickled down his head, to his neck, down his chest towards his evaporated! He was looking searing hot!

He had a mischievous smile on his face. He winked at me and came towards me. He was holding the towel with his hands around his waist! The water glistened on his smooth body! He came to me and shook his head again! The water from his head came down in a shower on me and I curled up in the bed. He fixed the towel in place and sat beside me. I could feel my breaths becoming faster and faster as he came close to me. His face was just inches away from mine. He looked into my eyes and I looked into his...and before I could close my eyes, his lips were locked with mine.

Our tongues entwined with each other and our eyes were closed. Without even opening our eyes, we could feel my clothes coming off, his towel flying away somewhere. I was lying down on my back on the bed and he was by my side. His strong arms clutched me towards him. He grabbed my head with one hand and pulled me by my butt towards him, never letting go of my lips. The kiss lasted for a life time!

When finally, we opened our eyes, we got to see each others' naked bodies for the first time. What I saw left me speechless! He could surely put David of Michaelangelo to shame. Yet, what made him even sexier was that he had a heart full of love! David was sculpted out of stone. This David was real! This one loved me!

He too loved what he saw! We didn't say a word to each other referring to each other's bodies. Our actions did all the talking. His hand glided down my neck to my back. Next, he pinned me down to the bed and came over me. He looked directly into my eyes and I looked up to his. He came down on me started kissing my neck, my shoulders. He started to lick every inch that he could reach. He worked his way down my neck, shoulders, to my chest! He bit into my smooth chest and gave me a hickey. He nibbled on my nipples and my earlobes. He licked every corner of my armpits. I clasped him with my arms and my finger nails went down his back. I played with his hair as he made me see stars with his magic.

It was my time to take charge. I rolled him over and climbed on him. He was smiling and it was clear to me that he was indeed liking every bit of it. I started the same way as he did. I started by licking his neck, poking my tongue into his ears and gently nibbling on them. My tongue glided down his shoulders to his biceps and then to his armpits. My hands tickled him on his waist. I moved back to his neck and gave him a love bite! He grabbed my head towards him as my teeth bit into his neck. When I was over with it, I saw that a huge hickey had appeared on the left side of his neck. I went down to his chest and licked every inch of it. He squealed in delight as my tongue encircled his navel. I nibbled on his love handles and it drove him into the peak of frenzy.

What happened next will go down as the most memorable night of my life! We did everything that was possible for two men to do to each other but what made it special was that it was not out of just lust! It was not 'sex'. It was love making. When we were spent, we lay in each other's arms. He held me close to him and my head was buried in his chest! We kissed once more. The CD had come back to the same song.

Gone are the days, when the sun used to set...
On my empty heart all alone in my bed...
Tossing and turning emotions were strong...
I knew I had to hold on...
Waiting for tonight when you'd be here in my arms...
Waiting for tonight!

To be continued...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

...and the night continues...

Love strikes you when you least expect it to! You seem to have lost your faith in the magic of love when Cupid strikes...and you're blown away by its sheer power!

We came back to our senses only when we realized that some car was driving towards us. We settled down in our seats and smiled at each other and then began to laugh and giggle! He started the car and we started to move again. Then he popped a question "Would you like to stay over at my place?" I was totally bowled over by the suddenness of the proposal and even though wanted to say "Yes" a million times over, I just managed to say "Aren't your folks around?" He smiled and said "Oh yes, they are but they wouldn't mind a guest." I still couldn't make up my mind and really began to wonder if it was really a good idea! But his eyes assured me and said "Don't worry, this night is going to be one magical night that you'll never forget." So, I said "OK". Soon our car stopped in front of a bungalow in Pali Hill. As he honked the car horn, a gate keeper came out and opened the gates for us. The car breezed in. As I looked outside from the car, I saw a beautiful building sitting in the middle of an equally beautiful lawn! I thought to myself, this guy surely has taste and smiled at my own destiny!

He parked the car in the garage and we got off the car. I had thought he would probably sneak me in, but no, he surprised me yet again! I could feel my heart beating faster as he held my hand and dragged me towards the main door. He rang the door bell. A few minutes of wait and a beautiful lady opened the door. It was clear to me that she was his mother. She must be in her fifties, her gray hair gave her an incredible dignity, her face had some wrinkles but she was looking as graceful as ever. What surprised me about her is that she seemed to be expecting us! She smiled at me and welcomed me inside. She was being a mother to me too! She asked me if I wanted to have something, if we had had dinner. Then she turned to him and said "Don't keep mama awake for so long to meet your date!!!" I was shocked!! My cheeks turned crimson. I didn't know where to hide. I just managed a sheepish smile. She obviously noticed my discomfort and re-assured me "Sweetheart, it's ok! I am glad that both of you are together. Anyway, I must head for sleeping now. You boys have a good night!" She waved us bye and headed for her bedroom!

He obviously sensed my amazement at the turn of events. He smiled, put his arms around my neck and asked "Are you surprised?" I said "You shouln't be asking that question! I am more than surprised!! This is like the ideal family to me!" He smiled and said "Well, its not been like this always! My Dad disapproved of my sexuality and even turned me out of the house! But my mom's been a sweetheart! That's why I spent five long years away from home! But last year my Dad died...and my mom was totally heart broken! She loved that man!! I thought it was my duty to come and stay with her after completing my studies! So, I came back! She was more than glad to welcome me!" I could sense that his voice choked as he spoke!

Whatever he said really moved me! I had always thought that rich people are probably the happiest people. But then, here was a guy who was hugely rich but had had his share of grief, sorrow and rejection! So, at some level, whether rich or poor, whether black or white, whether straight or gay, we are all the same!!!

Anyway, I couldn't speak much. I just went close to him and gave him a tight hug and he reciprocated too! We stood like that for some time and then he laughed and said "Are we going to spend the night here like this?" I was so lost in my thoughts that it took me a while to come back to my senses and I just laughed and said ..."You tell me, it's your night after all!" He cut me short and said "No, Jeet, it's OUR night! Come, let me show you my room!"

We climbed to the first floor of the bungalow and came to his room! His room was tastefully done! The room had lavendar walls, beautiful curtains, a soft plush bed, a TV with a Home Theatre system, an attached bath, a huge closet, a dressing table and a huge poster of himself just over the bed! Quite contrary to my expectations, the room was spotlessly clean! There were many scented candles of all shapes and sizes across the room! He had put up a chime next to a window and it produced a lovely sound as a gentle breeze rocked it!

He asked me..."How do you like it?" I said "Wow, your room is beautiful!" I flirted "But no wonder, a beautiful guy like you deserves such a beautiful room!" He giggled and said "Make yourself comfortable. You would need some night clothes, right? Let me get some for you!" He opened his closet and fished out a tee and a pair of shorts! he tossed them on to me and showed me the bathroom! "Go and get fresh. I will play some nice music for you..." I walked into the bathroom and began to get fresh!

When I came out, I found, he had switched off the lights and had lit all the candles and had started playing some fabulosly soft that makes you forget everything and dance to its tunes! I came out of the bathroom in the shorts and the tee but he was still dressed as before. I just froze outside the bathroom door. Nothing could be more romantic than this! He looked at me and said "Like it?" I just blushed and nodded my head. What he did next was unbelievable. He came to me, went down on his knees and said, "Care to dance?" Before, I could even say Yes, he took me by my arms and we started to dance! WOw, this was really turning out to be the night of my dreams!!

The music played and we danced. We danced and danced. I looked at my reflection in his eyes and he looked at his in mine. We went on and on for I don't know how much time but soon we found that our lips had locked yet again...

He lifted me in his arms like a feather and put me down on the bed. He kissed me some more and said "Let me change into something more comfortable..." He stood up and as I saw him walk towards the bathroom, my heart skipped a beat! As the bathroom door closed behind him, I could feel that this night is going to leave me as a new person!

To be continued...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The First Kiss....

He was looking as gorgeous as ever! He was a 27 year old bloke. He had piercing dark chestnut eyes, a dazzling smile, an alluring smell, strong arms, broad shoulders, a cushy chest. He was tall and everything else that a guy could look for in another. And most importantly he had a priceless heart which was in love...with me!

It was our first date! We had met in the cyber jungle a few months ago but there was something about him that instantly attracted me towards him. Contrary to my expectations, even though he had greek god looks, he replied to my message and we started talking. In the first ten minutes, the ice broke and it melted away.

Over the next several days we kept talking to each other. He was of course far far away from me! He was in Britain and I was here in Amchi Mumbai! He promised that he would return to India soon and he kept his promise. By the time he got his return tickets booked to India, we had graduated from cyber chats to hour long tete-a-tete on ISD. We were hopelessly in love.

26th March 2006. D-day! I couldn't sleep the whole night! His flight was supposed to touch down early in the morning. I kept looking at the clock and time seemed to stand still! I kept fiddling with my mobile phone begging it to spring to life. And so it did! He had just touched down and he called me right there from the airport. I felt a rush of excitement, a sensation that I had never felt before up and down my spine! His voice, his words - everything he said was etched in my memory for keeps!

30th March 2006. Today! We decided to meet today. The last three days had been really exasperating! I knew that he was in the same city but we couldn't meet up! He was too busy catching up with his folks. After all he had returned home after 5 long years! We decided to meet up in the evening at Bandra! As the appointed hour approached, I seemed to grow more and more restless. I simply didn't know what to do to make it perfect! I couldn't find the proper clothes, the right perfume, the right attitude! Everything seemed to be taking a toll on me!! I was trying too hard! But anyway, things cooled down and I reached the place a little before him!

He had driven down from his place on Pali Hill in a Merc E-Class. As soon as he stepped out of his car, several glances turned his way. He looked awesome! He was in a black lycra shirt that hugged his chiselled body like a glove. He wore fitting trousers that completed his 'dressed to kill' look! He had neatly gelled his hair and was wearing a small pendant in his neck! Even though he had dressed so simple, yet he had something about him that made him stand out of the crowd. He smiled and waved at me and started walking towards me!

I could sense my heart rate going up and my pulse racing as he came towards me! Everybody else around us seemed to vanish! It was just me and him! He came upto me and looked down into my eyes. I immediately drowned in those large chestnut eyes! He didn't shake my hand like most of my earlier dates did. What he did just swept me off my feet! He grabbed me by my head and gave me a tight hug and whispered into my ears - Jeet, I love you!

We grabbed dinner at a plush restaurant in Bandra. Throughout the dinner, we kept looking at each other! Even while we talked we craved for our lips to lock in a frenzied kiss! He told me about how the last three days had been and how much he had missed me! As I was eating, I suddenly felt his leg caressing my legs under the table! I nearly blushed to death! The dinner ended perfectly! He asked me whether i would like to go on a drive in his car.

I readily agreed. We drove round and round here and there trying to find the perfect spot for our first kiss! When we finally found the place, it was almost midnight! It was a small road off the Bandra creek! He pressed the brakes and the car screeched to a halt! As he killed the engine and turned off the car lights, the soothing blue light of the full moon drenched both of us! His silhouette was looking awesome in the faint light.

He turned towards me sitting in the driver's seat. He stretched out his arms, grabbed me by my waist and pulled me towards him. Our eyes met! I could see my reflection in his eyes! I began to lose my senses as he moved his fingers through my hair. His nimble fingers glided down my nape and my shoulders. It was pure ecstacy! I didn't need any aphrodisiac to enliven my senses. His touch was enough! He moved his head down and his lips began to tease me! He started to kiss my neck, my cheeks. He poked his tongue into my ears and I began to see stars! My eyes closed automatically as his lips worked their way across every inch of my neck and nape!!

My lips began to quiver in excitement! I could feel his warm breath on my body! His masculine scent turned me on like no one had ever did before. I instantly felt a stiffening in my loins! He was playing a tease! He would brush my lips with his but would not kiss them! He would lick my waiting lips with his tongue but wouldn't lock them into his own!! Time seemed frozen! Suddenly, in a rush, he pressed his lips against mine and they met for the very first time! Our tongue entwined with each other. I felt completely numb as if he was sucking life out of me! We kissed and kissed and kissed some more!!! I don't know how long it lasted...but when it ended I was ready for more!

To be continued....

Saturday, September 08, 2007


When I was a child, I was awed by one movie - Nagina! Sridevi, the demi-goddess of those times, was an absolute treat to watch. She played the role of the 'Ichchhadhari Nagin' so effortlessly, that it seemed that she indeed was. The way she changed her form from a human to a snake and vice versa can give any sorceress a run for her money! Anyway, the point is that I liked the movie so much that I started to believe that such things can happen indeed. Infact, I still do! :-P

Ok, now let's look at what this 'Ichchhadhari' concept is. This concept is very simple. Apparently if you do a penance for a 1000 years, you can get a boon from Lord Shiva whereby you can change your form from whatever you are into whatever you want to be! Now, skeptics may argue that no one can survive for a period that long to see the end of the penance. But honey, then we are not talking of ordinary human beings. We are talking about a selected few who have the god-gifted power to do a time warp that could condense those 1000 years into something more manageable like 10 years probably!

But, whatever, let's not get into the discussion about the technicalities or the feasibility of such a penance. Let's talk about something more interesting. I guess most would agree that we all think that we as fags are special people. God gifted each one of us with some unique characteristic which no straight person can possibly acquire. Now, let's assume that we are born with the 'Ichchhadhari' ability. That would possibly be the most delightful thing that could ever happen to us.

Imagine, you really like this gorgeous guy, toned and cute, with a smile to die for. But alas! He is straight as a reed. :-( You want to 'do' him and yet you know that he cannot be seduced even after the legendary 6 drinks down his throat. What to do? What to do? No problem at all, ladies! Remember, you have got God's greatest gift. You immediately change yourself to a sexy seductress (Honey, I know we are all sexy and we all can seduce but by that I mean, one who has biolgically the female parts). He is sipping some wine sitting alone at the counter. You slither across to him and strike up a conversation. Your 'puppies' draw his attention and before you know, you are dancing in his arms on the floor. Time elapses and before the night draws to a close you find yourself staring at his nakedness in his hotel room. Your heart begins to race. You can feel the blood pumping harder in your heart. He lifts you in his strong sinewy arms and plants a kiss on your lips entwining his tongue with yours. You pull him towards you and your long nails go down his muscular back. He goes down on you teasing every inch of your body with his naughty tongue. You feel his manhood saluting you. His eyes burning with lust and desire. He lifts you up and you cling to him with your legs around his waist and arms around his neck. You continue to kiss him wildly giving him love bites. He takes you to the bed. And that night turns out to be the most amazing night that you ever had.

Ever given it a thought?? Just imagine how would it be!!! Whose form would you like to acquire to nail the straight guy you have eyed for years or even the cute gay hunk who looks down upon you like worm? Let your imagination run wild! :-P Have fun day dreaming! :-)

The Firm!

No, this is not an excerpt from or even a review of John Grisham's novel. :-) Read on to know more!

When I joined my present company, I had no idea that one day I would find so many 'like minded' friends in here. Much before I joined the company, I came across a group on Yahoo which was a forum for people like us from the company! I joined the group and dropped a message that I would be joining the company's training facility in Mysore. Soon enough, a couple of people messaged me saying that they would like to meet me!

One of them was at an overseas location at that time (he still is) - Sumi. The other was supposed to join the same facility a few days after me! I landed in Mysore on 26th June' 2004. The next two months there were memorable in more ways than one. Ours was a batch of more than 80 people. We were grouped in groups of four. It was work, work and more work all the way. Completing assignments, projects, attending lectures, last minute frenzy all became a part of our lives. But nevertheless it was great fun!

In the midst of all this, I met the guy who joined the facility a few days later. 'Sun' was a tall, dusky bloke. We instantly bonded and began to spread some gay cheer around the campus. Whenever we got an opportunity, we would hang out together! The crowd at the facility was fabulous. Mostly because, there were guys from every corner of the country and hence there was not a moment when we didn't have someone to fancy! :-)

After two months of training, I had to leave Mysore and 'Sun' behind. I was posted to Pune, close to Mumbai, my home! I was thrilled. Life moved along as it should have. I came in touch with a guy 'MB' from Mangalore. 'AB' contacted me on Orkut. He is married alright, but he has his heart in the right place. Both of them soon became good pals. MB soon left for an onsite assignment to the States.

Sometime in early 2006, 'Sun' contacted me from Bangalore. He told me that one of his college juniors SR had been posted to Pune. I met SR a couple of days later. He is from Delhi but is a Bangalorean by heart! Infact, he swears by his Bangalorean identity. He doesn't like Delhi much. Till then, I didn't have any close gay 'friend' in Pune. SR soon became an integral part of my life. I came to know two other fellas from the company through Orkut at about the same time. One was NS from Pune and the other AV from Hyderabad.

Days became months, months ticked into years! SR and I used to hang out sometimes, met often at office. It was fun to be with someone in office who was at ease with what we are! I met NS too in Pune. He is a one of my closest friends and confidantes now. AV was at onsite at that time. I got to meet him only when he returned in Jan 2007. He has grown from being just a friend to become one of biggest inspirations of my life.

In late 2006, I came in touch with 3 more people from the company. One was from Pune - AC and the two others from Bangalore - BR & FM. I met AC in Pune and BR & FM when I went to Bangalore in January 2007. FM introduced me to VV. My circle of gay friends in the firm was indeed growing.

AC and I soon became inseparable! We hang out together even to this day, going for lunch, tea together. We are shameless enough to lech on people right in front of them! :-D Anyways, AC knew a couple of people too in the company. He introduced me to them.

One day, a thought came to my mind and I started a forum online! It was a mailing list. Initially there were about 6-7 people on the same - Me, AC, SR, AV, VV, FM and NS.

Social Networking sites like Orkut, MySpace etc have invaded our lives. This was the first time I actually saw it at work. It was social networking at its best after that! Simply by word of mouth, the mailing list drew more and more people to it. More and more people got introduced to the mailing list one by one! LJ, KOP, MM, RG, SD, SAM, SUM, VM, BR, MB, JF, MK, RJ, SH have joined one by one at different points in time!! It's now a vibrant mailing list of almost 25 people. We have loads of fun on it! :-) We generally swap interesting anecdotes from our lives, coming out stories, travelogues, our photos, discuss anything and everything from our fears to our dreams.

It's really fun to be able to connect to so many people of diverse interests. Some of them are exceptionally talented. Some are good in dancing, some in photography, some in playing the flute, some in writing!!! Everyone has something unique about himself. It's as diverse as the gay pride flag. We have certainly proved that contrary to the stereotypical belief and mindset that we cannot think anything beyond sex, we as people can bond and build relationships too!

This group is now an integral part of my life and I cannot imagine being unable to connect to them even for a single day. I wish that one day, we have legitimate LGBT forums in companies in India as well. Thankfully, our firm in its policies says that no discrimination will be allowed on the basis of sexual orientation. This, I believe is a good sign. At least, the company recognizes that there could be people of alternate sexuality in its work force. However, even though the company thinks that way, since 90% of its workforce is Indian, the stereotypical belief about homosexuality being some form of perversion runs deep. It will take a lot of time and effort to actually convince these people or even the general public at large that most of us are like them! We have the same dreams to be happy, to have a few extra rupees in our pockets, to have our own home, to find a soulmate, to be successful, to be loved and to love someone!

I am glad that the times are gradually changing. Of late I have come out to quite some people and none of them have reacted adversely. The winds of change are blowing. I am really glad that our small mailing list is playing some part in breaking the myths and painting the town with a riot of gay colors!!! Long live The Forum! :-)

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Bong Konnection!

My experience with the Bengali male has been a tad disappointing! Even though I spent a good part of my growing up years in Kolkata, I never really fancied any Bengali guy! There was one exception though! His name was Adhiraj and he was undoubtedly the hunkiest Bengali guy in the school. He was my first serious crush! Even though we became good friends, I could never tell him how I exactly felt about him! Sigh...!!!

Somehow, over the years I have grown to believe that due to some divine intervention Bengalis do not exactly fit the bill of the stereotypical gay! Come on, after all 'we' hail from the land of men like Tagore and it doesn't really befit 'us' to act like normal 'gays' who lust and crave for flesh! :-) 'We' simply have a superiority complex. And that applies to every Bengali, whether gay or straight, whether man or woman!! That's why you would find fellow Bengalis sticking to each other in even the remotest corners of the planet!

During my days in Kolkata, I used to closely observe the Bengali boys! While most other boys (read non-Bengali boys) used to freak out and have loads of fun, our Bengali boy would religiously oil his hair everyday. Then he would comb it until his hair was so glued to his head that even a hurricane couldn't ruffle it. He would then have a sumptuous lunch of 'Maachh Bhaat' and then trudge to school. His mother would arrive in the evening to pick him up from school and drop him to tuition classes and at the end of the day the son, the father and the mother would all sleep happily ever after...This image was so common that it remains etched in my memory to this day. Mothers running after their sons and daughters 24x7, feeding them while the son/ daughter diligently revises his/ her lessons before the 'porikkha', dropping off the kid at the exam centre with the complete entourage of Baba, Ma, Bhaai, Bon, Pishi, Mashi, Mesho, Mama, Kaka, Kakima, Dadu, Dida and even the family pet! Thankfully, the author of this blog was a notable exception! :-)

Therefore it used to be a pleasant surprise to see a Bengali boy who was none of this!! But then their numbers remain dismally low even to this day. Kolkata is therefore definitely not the best place to find guys! During my last few years in Kolkata, I got introduced to a few guys here and there! Through them I came to know that Minto Park and Nandan in Central Kolkata were the gay hang outs! I visited this place a few times either alone or with them but I am sorry to say that no one really appealed to me! It was a hangout for a bunch of fairies who would squeal in orgasmic delight at every passing cute guy! The only people I ever connected to well, while in Kolkata were visitors either from Delhi or Mumbai.

Even when the modelling and movie industries are abuzz with a bevy of so-called Bengali bombshells like Sushmita, Rani, Bipasha, Konkona or the lesser known Koena or Tanushree, the Bong men have never quite commanded a second look from anyone! Bengali men have always been known as the intellectual or communist kinds who couldn't care any less about the way they look or dress! They would rather yell at the top of their voices under the scorching sun about the injustices of the 'kendriyo shorkaar' but never care to do the human race a favor by wearing a deoderant! To expect such men to be even remotely gay would be a nightmare that would last till Doomsday!

Even though Kolkata prides itself on being able to organize gay pride marches every year, it desperately needs a crash course in what it means to be gay! Being gay is not merely about walking down the streets in drag and yelling for gay rights! Darlings, you guys are just reinforcing the stereotypes!!! It's a lot more than that! Guys from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengalooru or even Pune can definitely teach these guys a thing or two.

Everytime I have been to Kolkata in the past few years, I have met people. But strangely none of them originally belong to Kolkata! Like, last time I met this guy Charles who was indeed born and brought up in Kolkata but had Malayali roots! I guess that made him more desirable to me! I met another fella called Bobby who was a Bengali but then he had never been in Kolkata for more than a month at a stretch! He had been brought up in the States! I haven't really come across too many desirable Bengali chaps in Kolkata! Of course, exceptions do exist like Debjyoti or Swapnoneel who can undoubtedly be regarded as the best that Bongs can ever be!

I have met Bengalis in Mumbai and in Pune. But strangely, they have never really lingered beyond a few meetings or ..... A notable exception has been one guy who although born and brought up in Bengal has UP roots! However he himself feels like a Bong! :-) He has been a great friend for quite some time! I really cherish the time we have spent together. If somebody asks me whom would I consider to be desirable, I would reply guys from Delhi / Mumbai / Bengalooru top the list! Punjabis, Gujjus, Catholics, Mallus and now Maharashtrians have always done me in a way that no 'real' Bengali ever has or ever will!

But hopefully, things will change for the better now. With a host of IT and BPO companies setting up their centres in Kolkata and a large population of migrants from different corners of India, the gay scene in Kolkata can be expected to receive a much needed overhaul. Even though Bengalis still form a major chunk of the population in Kolkata, the Bengali gay population is still by and large unpalatable! :-) That's why it's no surprise to find cute looking hunks from Bombay or Delhi who stay in Salt Lake or Camac Street searching fervently and desperately for some 'do'able men on Manjam or Guys4Men. I happened to chat with one such guy called Rohit a few days back! After a brief chat with him, I realized that the IT and Call Centre boom in Kolkata has thankfully aided its gay fauna - we now have cute men from Delhi, Gurgaon, Bombay, Hyderabad and Bangalore in the City of Joy, all trying their very best to spread some gay cheer.

Keep up the good work guys! Kolkata desperately needs you. :-)

Memories from yore...

My life in Kolkata has always evoked mixed feelings. Even though I was brought up in Kolkata and stayed there for a good fifteen years (1984 to 1999), yet I remained relatively unaffected by the stereotypical Bong culture. This was primarily because, I was brought up in a cosmopolitan environment. Since my Dad had a job which could send him off to far flung places, my parents thought it wise to have me study Hindi instead of Bangla.

My school is one of the biggest schools in Kolkata - South Point. At one point in time, it had a student strength of about 13000. My class consisted of a veriety of students from all corners of India. This was the only class which was cosmopolitan. All the other classes had only Bengali students. Ours was the only class in which Hindi was taught as a second language in addition to English. In all the rest, Bengali was the secondary language next to English. We had the most spoilt kids - Marwari brats who had pocket money running into hundreds even in those days, a few Tamils, a few Gujaratis, a few Mallus and us - a handful of Hindi learning Bengalis.

Anyway, the point is that because of such an environment, I never had any Bengali friends except an occassional one or two who were also in my class. So, I never got to interact with any one who actually was bred in Bengali culture. For a good part of my life, I couldn't read or write Bengali. I tried painstakingly to learn the language by trying to read the billboards, the movie posters, Anandabazar Patrika - the leading Bong daily etc and asking my parents for clarifications. After years of effort I finally managed to scroll my first letter in Bengali to my granny. She was more than happy to get it even though it may have been 99.99% wrong in spellings.

Some of my best friends in school were non-Bengalis. There was S. Ramdas - a typical Tamil guy, Kalaimani Kartick - another Tamil, Abhishek Dhingra - the Punjabi 'bong' :-), Nitin Jain - the frail looking sweet Marwari boy, Prakash Parakh - the little girly Gujarati lad, Rashi Agarwal - the ever studious Marwari girl, Rachna Saha, Bijal Kamdar, Arati Bhartia and my only Bengali friend of those times - Priyadarshi Sarkar - the topper of the class. These are the people whom I grew up with. They went out of their way to help me in times of need and I reciprocated in equal measure. Among all of them, Kartick, Ramdas, Nitin and Priyadarshi deserve special mention.

As part of the curriculum, we are supposed to learn Sanskrit for two years in Standards VII and VIII. We, as Hindi students had no option but to choose Sanskrit. But Bengali students had the option to either choose Hindi or Sanskrit. So, we suddenly found a set of new classmates who had joined our class for Sanskrit lessons. Most of them were Bengalis. During the Bengali lectures, they used to leave our classroom and go to some place else to attend their Bengali periods. Even though, we had new classmates, I never was too close to any of the Bongs around. Neither did I feel the need to bond with them.

Around this time, my cousin came down to study in Kolkata. She became one of my best pals around at home. We could discuss anything, we could laugh about anything! It was she who introduced me to the world of English fiction. It was she who inspired me to be confident of myself. She spent a good 3 years with us till her graduation was over. It was her presence at home that made my home life more colorful and cheerful than ever before.

I remember a very funny incident from Std. VIIIth. It was a Physical Training period and the boys were supposed to attend the same in shorts. So most boys used to wear shorts inside their trousers and get them off during the period. I hated the idea of undressing in front of all these guys and girls and so mostly, I used to wear only shorts on PT days. So, anyway, on that day, all the girls had left the classroom as usual and the boys were in various states of undress. Soon, most of the boys also left and only 5 including me remained. I was putting things in place and arranging my school bag. Even I was about to leave. There was this rowdy group of 3-4 Bong guys who had joined recently and they were the ones who used to discuss birds and the bees quite openly in the class. These guys were fooling around and suddenly, their discussion turned to the 'size'. I felt my ears turning crimson in embarassment. These guys huddled in one corner of the classroom and were flashing their 'stuff' to each other. I dashed outside when I suddenly saw a girl running wildly towards the classroom. I signalled to her not to go inside but she didn't really understand what I meant. I waited outside the classroom to see her reaction. She went inside, stood for a second and did an about-turn. When she came out she was visibly shocked. I smiled at her and we started laughing our hearts out. For the remaining time during the PT class, we were constantly giggling. A good ten minutes later when the 4 guys joined us in the PT class, their faces were flushed red. It was a hilarious sight.

Durga Pooja - the primary Bengali festival was spent amidst a lot of fun! We used to run off to our granny's place on most occassions. It was great fun there! We didn't see too many Pujas in Kolkata. We spent most of the Pujas in Midnapore which was about 120 kms from Kolkata - a small idyllic town akin to Malgudi of R.K. Narayan! :-) We were pampered a lot there! Infact, most of our long holidays like the month long summer and Puja vacations were spent in Midnapore.

It seems funny that although I spent a good fifteen years, I seldom went to places of interest in Bengal. We neither went to Darjeeling nor to Shantiniketan, nor to the Bengalis' favorite get away - Digha. Plans were made on numerous occassions but they fell flat on their face! It's also queer that I seldom roamed around Kolkata on my own. Infact, the only time I went to the much hyped Kolkata Book Fair was in 1996 when a huge fire razed it to ashes!! I had just gone there to take a look at the trail of destruction! I never went inside Victoria Memorial. The only time I saw the Indian Museum or the Botanical Gardens at Shibpur was because the school took all of us on educational trips. I visited Dakshineswar, Belur Math a couple of times, Kalighat probably 3 to 4 times!!! And that was all. I still don't know more than 75% of the places in Kolkata. :-P At one point in time, I used to squirm at the thought of going to places like Garia or Behala or Tollygunge! My Kolkata began from Ravindra Sarovar and ended in New Market! :-D

Anyway, back to school days! Things changed in Standard IXth. In Standard IX, all students are divided according to the additonal subjects they choose. Most of my non-Bengali friends settled in for Economics. I selected Biology. So, suddenly I found myself in a completely new environment. We were just 3 or 4 Hindi students in the class of 60. The rest all were Bengali students. For months on end, I felt completely disconnected. We, the Hindi students used to stick together and we hardly made any new friends in the new class. The only guy whom I knew among the Bengali students was Ranjan. I had known Ranjan since Standard VIIIth, because we took the school bus from the same bus stop. We had started talking since then and instantly became good friends. Over the next 4 years, Ranjan became one of my closest buddies. Infact he was probably the only Bengali friend whom I could open my heart out to. We used to go to tuitions together, catch movies together, explore about the birds and the bees together and go for evening walks together and engage in constant 'PNPC' that Bongs excel in. (PNPC = Poro Ninda Poro Chorcha - in layman's terms, it's a polished word for Bitching ;-))

I remember another anecdote vividly. This was in Standard IXth. There was this Bengali guy in our class called Adhiraj Ghosh. He was extremely cute and it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that he was my first serious crush at school. I secretly admired him and wanted to be friends with him, but I didn't really know how to approach him because that would have looked rather silly. Anyway, the opportunity presented itself in form of Friendship day. I decided to give greeting cards to a few selected people whom I wanted to be friends with. This was just a conner. I had to hide my obvious interest in Adhiraj and that's why I deliberately made it look like that I was interested in making friends with some other guys too!!! After mustering enough courage, I finally walked upto him and gave him the card. He accepted it. And soon enough we became good friends as well. I could never tell him what I actually felt for him but just the fact that he was around me made me happy. Since I was one of the brainy chaps in class, he used to come to me for notes etc. I was soon a regular at his place. I got introduced to his mom, his dad and his elder sis who incidentally shares her name with my sis as well. :-) It's sad that we couldn't keep in touch though! He moved to Bangalore right after 10th. Later I heard from one of his cousins that he had gone off to the UK. Ever since that, I have tried to find out about him but to no avail.

Standard XIth and XIIth were a roller coaster ride, quite literally. After scoring moderately well in the Xth boards, the science subjects of Standard XIth were too much to comprehend. So, much so that the 'never happened' actually happened. I flunked in Physics in one exam, Chemistry in the next and Mathematics in another!! But then, I was not the only one. That was the plight of a majority of the students. We were all promoted to XIIth with warnings to improve our performance. A flurry of new tuitions one for each subject kept all of us on our tenterhooks for the next two years. I particularly dreaded Mathematics. It never made any sense to me especially the solid geometry and calculus parts! Ranjan was equally apprehensive of the subject. Both of us had the same Mathematics tuitions. It's a miracle really, how we managed to clear all the subjects with good grades in the XIIth boards! :-)

1999 was a turning point in my life. I finally bade farewell to Kolkata leaving behind a past and looking forward to a future. My days in Kolkata taught me a lot. The trying circumstances at home taught me how to be hopeful in even the most adverse situations and how to make the most of it. It taught me that life is too valuable to be spent brooding over the past. We must live every moment and learn to live every moment like that moment is gonna be the last moment of our mundane lives! If we succeed in doing so, then when we grow old and look back we would not have any regrets! :-)

People say that Kolkata is a dying city! A city full of contrasts - the city of filth, a city where the poorest of the poor live! Yet, it has given us some of the best luminaries of all times like Tagore and Ray to name a few. It is a city where an octogenarian toiled till the very last days of her life to serve mankind. Even though I never had any special feeling for the city while I was there, it is only now that I feel a sense of belonging to the place. I want to go back to my roots over and over again!!! Never have I felt so much connected to the place. It leaves me with a sense of pride to belong to a place which once was the jewel in the crown of the British Empire!!!