Sunday, February 20, 2011

A ‘week’ness of yes and weakness of no.

Just when you think all is lost and there’s nothing that can ever go right, life comes, bitch slaps you in the face and tells you that she’s not such a heartless sadist after all.

A week ago, I was convinced that I had everything working against me — a break up (at least that’s what everyone’s calling it) with a best friend; the re-inclusion of an old lover into my private circle, the consequent online fight and the final realisation that he was, as always assumed, just a small little spoilt child, who wanted to be the centre of all misfortunes and couldn’t and I repeat COULDN’T stand, afford and ever allow anything good to ever happen to him; the ignorance from someone much loved that even included, but not just, cutting my calls, not replying my messages and several anonymous hate mails posted here and there. Life, simply put, was being a bitch with me again.

And then came this week, which started on a brand new, almost Harpic clean smelling freshness, nauseating to the old timer persecuted, but new, or at least, new for now. First, a meeting with said best friend, that went really well, in the company of several shared friends, of course, for such is the misfortune of the friend(ed) in a city like Bangalore. Then, an even cooler plan to visit a musical festival, probably the biggest ever yet, where major bonding happened with said friend and several others and then to top it all off a message from said ex-lover, which spoke in the warmest tones and immediately resulted in a return call. “I am not under the influence of anything, I just wanted to talk to you” — and I knew it was all right again. The crowning glory of goodness however was a superb calendar that was gifted to me, consisting of various semi-nude and highly erotic images of my biggest celeb-crushes and various other homo-erotically charged photos, given to me, to keep me from turning ‘asexual’. I love you, my calendar giver and believe me, I am trying...

Let’s hope the coming week has much and such promises for me, considering that post Valentine’s Day, I am convinced a special someone else is also really important in my life. Baby crush, yes! Major crush, no! Potential compatibility, highly unlikely! Love... well, let’s leave that for time to decide now...

Pic Courtesy: Saina Jayapal

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Me, you and the prospective third

Bangalore’s young are experimenting and how! This Valentine’s several young bisexuals will date both their partners and we comment on the trend.

They say you measure the changes in society by how the young behave and this is definitely true when it comes to the young in our city and their perspectives on love. A few years ago, you wouldn’t have ever come across young parents being open to the alternative sexualities of their children, but as Shalini Anant, a clinical psychologist who works with a lot of homosexual and bisexual people, points out, “times are indeed changing, and lots of parents are quite ‘cool’ with the whole idea.”

This year, keeping with the trend, a lot of young bisexual Bangaloreans are all set to ask out both their partners, take them both out on dates, and in some cases, even date them together.

“I’ve been extremely open with my girlfriend about the fact that I have a gay man in my life,” says Aakash, an 18 year old. “We’ve spoken about it a lot, and she’s quite open to the fact that I’m also seeing him,” he adds.

This Valentine’s Aakash plans on taking Neha out for a movie, after which he hopes to; take both Neha and Kishore (the boyfriend) for dinner later, where they will meet in person for the first time.

Roger, 23 and Fiona, 22 are still in love, even when almost a month ago, Fiona told Roger about Swathi, 22 her college friend, who she’s been intimate with for quite a few years. At first, Roger assumed that his biggest fantasy had come true, but when the reality set in, he was quite shocked. “We had to speak about it for a really long time, and we almost broke up. It took me a long time to realise that nothing really changed. We’d remain the same,” Roger shares.

“I guess, it took some time, for him to accept the fact that there will always be another someone, even if it was a woman, in my life, and now he’s fine with it. I’m planning to take them both on a short trip with me to Mysore this Valentine’s and my fingers are crossed. I just hope they get along really well,” Fiona adds.

Prasad, 24 was always interested in women, that’s till he met Zayed. Funnily enough, Zayed was a school friend of Shweta’s — Prasad’s girlfriend of five years. “I always knew Zayed was hot, and I’m surprised I didn’t fall for him myself, but that Prasad would be attracted to him, was something I wasn’t prepared for. I knew Zayed was gay, but Prasad always seemed so straight, sometimes painfully so. He hit on all my friends,” Shweta tells us.

“It took me a while to accept them and I won’t lie, I did want to castrate Prasad at some point of time. But when it meant so much to him, that he even chose to come out clean about it, I knew I had to make the decision. Zayed might just be the fun, we both need, I hope,” Shweta adds.

Shweta hopes to make things work out between the three of them, by taking Prasad and Zayed out on a double dinner date today.

Ajay, 17, has always been attracted to men, that’s till he fell in love with Shraddha, 18, his classmate. “It all seemed fun, till Rahul walked in. He was the man of my dreams and better still was interested in me. We first began hooking up, all through last year, leaving Shraddha out of it. But, Rahul felt that Shraddha should know. He told her a month or so ago, and she broke up with me. I still love her though, and I know it’s not all about Rahul.”

Rahul has organised a date between Ajay and Shraddha on Valentine’s and hopes Shraddha sees the duality of Ajay’s love as clearly as he sees it.

“It’s hard to say where young people are influenced from these days, but the times are definitely changing. Some of them might just be doing it, because it’s ‘in’, while some of them might actually be experimenting with their sexual identities. What stands out however is that when someone’s sexually interested in a person, they’re also friends, and hence they really want to make things work out — even losing out on the much wanted commitment in the bargain. The barter makes sense and I guess that’s how these relationships work,” shares Shalini Anant, clinical psychologist.

Vikram Prabhu, consulting psychiatrist, has seen this happening over the last few years, but is skeptical about how these relationships fare with passing time. “Most relationships are made on the need for filial affiliation. Commitment is of grave importance. While it all may seem amazing at first, things might change over time. That however, does not mean that there choices have to be made. There are quite a few bisexual people who live with this duality of feelings all through their life, but most give in and choose one over the other. Several others are just experimenting and will soon discover what they really want.”

Irrespective of whether these relationships work or not, however society is surely seeing changes and Suparna Khar, sociologist, confirms this. “Identities and how the individual and society at large perceives them are transforming everyday. Sexual identity is slowly being defined by its fluidity and experimentation, even in a country like ours. Alternative sexualities are more accepted, and that is just a reflection of changing societies. It’s easier for someone to be bisexual now, more than ever before. Is this a new trend? Well, if we look at ourselves from a colonial perspective, then yes, else, it’s just a return, almost like a cycle of the sexual ideals we Indians had in the ages past, which is probably why the idea doesn’t seem so foreign to us.”

(Names have been changed on request)

The edited version has been published in TOI, BT, dated 14/02/2011