Sexual Choices!

I’ve been cut away from the external world for over a week now. Comfortable, calm and focussed in Auroville. Post a sustainability workshop, which was rather life-changing; i had a school friend visit me over the weekend that passed by. Amidst many conversations, she mentioned that the Supreme Court had overturned a lower court ruling on Gay / Same Sex Marriages. This now means that if you are in a relationship with another person of the same gender then, you are a criminal.

This got me thinking. In India, the Khajuraho Temples suggest same sex relationships. Which indicate that in India our forefathers were progressive and let people be, without enforcing choices. But now, such matters are more a political agenda then anything else.

I think for years, people in India with the same gender preferences have not come out in the open to declare their choices, but have been left to themselves mostly. This is because of our cultural construct, where two girls or boys hanging out with each other, living with each other meant – safe, they are friends and the thing to do!

Contrarily, if a girl and boy chose to hang out with each other, stay with each other, share a room or even had coffee together – the world around thought something was wrong. A relationship between a boy and a girl was always perceived and still is, a sin / wrong doing (somehow we cannot ever see them as just friends!). As a society we are incapable of looking at the purity of a relationship between folks of opposite genders. There always has to be a sexual connotation to it.

So, if what’s meant to be “straight” has been scorned for ages. And what is meant to be “gay” promoted. How come now, we as a culture have issues with gay relationships?

As we flock mindlessly, following the others’ backs

Reacting to agendas and manufactured alters

We slowly move away from our natural selves

Losing our purposes as humans, more devilish we become!

 

Ismail, you are doing a great job!

Eid Mubarak, all of you! I’ve been wanting to write for sometime now, but guess I’ve been overloaded with emotions, questions and just too much confusion in my mind.

But, while I sat to watch television y’day (which is a rare thing for me to do), I saw this news report on how a black Eid was celebrated across the nation. I saw celebrities who follow the Islamic faith criticize the recent Mumbai attacks; I heard repeatedly that the Holy Quran does not promote harmful acts, bloodshed or terrorism. I read messages of solidarity, peace and brotherhood on the television screen.

All this only reinforced my faith, the faith of being Indian. Not that of any cast, creed, community, religion or economic strata of the society, but of simply being Indian!

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One word unites us: this was an email Natasha sent me last week

Last week, I was in Delhi meeting up with a group of bright entrepreneurs at a popular café in Connaught Place. The café was bustling with life, with many youngsters, tourists and families. The youngsters keeping tables and processing orders wore a welcoming smile as they went about their tasks.

Among them, I noticed one youngster who stood silently, alone in a corner. Wore a sad face, which screamed out “I don’t want to be here, let me go home”. But, I guess he had no choice, but to professionally go about his duties of keeping tables and processing orders. His colleagues spoke to him casually and he responded mechanically. Each time he had to interact with a customer or a customer looked at him, he got very conscious. He stood there covering his hand not to reveal his name tag!

I kept watching him, as I went about my meeting. I so wanted to walk up to him and ask him if I could help him in any way, what his troubles were and perhaps give him a “Jaadu Ki Jappi”. But, I just could not muster enough courage.

Finally, before I left the café. I happened to visit the restroom and on my way out, I crossed paths with him. I smiled at him, but he looked away. I noticed that his name tag read – Ismail.

As I walked out of the café I had tears in my eyes. I so wanted to tell him that it was not his fault that a certain group of people want to cause harm and destruction in this world! Just because he has a name that is similar to those who caused harm and destruction, he does not become one of them! I just could not go back to doing it. I did not want to hurt him more, if at all.

I’ve read a few events of people blaming the Islamic community in India after that incident. I have read of one instance where an airhostess was yelled and verbally abused at because of her name. I’d like to apologize on behalf of all those who may have reacted in helpless anger, without realizing what they were doing.

I am thankful to all those friends of mine who have made me what I am, among other things – a true proud Indian. And to all my friends who follow the Islamic faith – I love you all as much or more than I did before. You’ll are great human beings, many peace loving, many more creative than the rest! Thank you for being a part of my life!

What if the rest of India slapped and kicked Maharasthrian’s across India? What’s your opinion, Mr Raj Thackeray?

Mumbai, the city that never sleeps; the financial capital of India; the one place that, I have heard from times immemorial, let’s people be and live life the way they want…the city of dreams – that do come true.

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Alas! What Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Raj Thackeray and his men have done today in Mumbai is for me a shame. What with the MNS and its goonda’s getting on road and beating up people who were ‘outsiders’ (really wonder how many of these goonda’s were true breed Maharashtrians). Images where MNS were slapping people who were in transit, merchants who were apparently of Bihar and UP origin, taxis which were driven by non Maharashtrians – did anyone stop to notice that it has a MH registration? How could these loyalists beat up Maharashtra registration boards? Hey, Raj Thackeray – is that ok?

As I watched this piece of news, I was flooded with mixed emotions of grief and anger. Grief towards people who fall prey and indulge in activities such as these, grief towards ‘rape’ of democracy and the beauty of integrity in diversity which our nation stands for. Anger towards politicians who choose topics such as these, as their agenda to win elections. Anger towards people like me who elect politicians and give them authority to influence the governance.

Who gives one right to assault another? Who gives a politician and his party worke

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rs authority to vandalize and behave like criminals? Are we who have witnessed this crime, supporters of this crime against Human Rights? Is this the price a nation pays once in a while to maintain its integrity and diversity? Are these issues of caste, creed, origin and city really sensitive issues or are they ‘politically sensitive’ issues?

I am as much a part of the crime as Raj Thackeray, as you or that guy who belongs to MNS or that guy who got hit by the MNS. We fuel the terriorist/criminal instincts of people such as Raj Thackeray instead of helping them tune their energies and intelligence towards positive outcomes. I am ashamed of my electoral right, of my diversity which makes us forget our integrity for a while. Was it not the ‘outsiders’ who stood with the ‘insiders’ in the past, the past that was not so long ago, such as the blasts, the floods, the riots and many more such?

What do you have to say Raj?