Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Why meeting people off internet is good

I find it difficult to make friends in real life. Mostly because I'm too shy to approach anyone.  If someone is sitting next to me, I'll still not talk because I'm afraid I'll disturb that person.

On internet, however, all you need to do is click on publish or send and you have started the conversation with no one and everyone.

I have been blogging/writing online since 2004.  You see, I was alone, lonely and internet was a saviour. This holds true even in 2014. Alone, lonely and internet as my saviour, of course, the internet speed is better than the dial up. And WiFi. I digress.

Over the years, I have no idea how many people have read my blogs (which I have changed a zillion times before zeroing on the most boring name ever, my first name - was crazy dhakkan, chal dhanno and god knows what else) or my tweets. Or any other internet footprint I've left behind.

I don't know how many complete strangers know me better than some people I'm related to.

And how many have read about the struggles and my flawed coping mechanism on how to overcome those struggles.  Or how they have sympathised, empathised or just shrugged their shoulders and moved on.

But when you meet someone, who has been following your blogs and tweets silently for years, but never interacted with you, it makes you feel great that you have been one of the reasons for bringing a smile to someone's face, even if it only once.

You see, we smile so little, and frown so often that hearing someone laugh loudly is a rarity.  But if someone tells me, I have brought a smile to their face or what I wrote made them laugh out loudly, it is such a satisfying feeling.  That my existence, contrary to popular belief, is not complete waste. 

I have met a lot of people off internet, and most of them have went on to become great friends, except for the one strange dude who collected male underwears (new only) for fun. Only problem is the distance because internet blurs the distance, but in real life, the distance is very real. I'd wish the physical distance weren't so much from some of the most amazing people I've known.

I wish I could meet every person who have come to know me, because it is comforting when someone says "oh, I've read it on your blog" - because it makes me feel special that someone took time off their lives to read something about my life.

I also want to meet every person I have admired over internet. And when I do like them, I let them know how I admire them, so much to the point of creeping them out by showering with compliments.  But that's what I believe.  Life is too short not to compliment someone who makes you smile.  We all criticise everyone, why not take that moment out to let someone know you like them. Or love them.

Trust me, a kind word goes a long way. A compliment from strangers brighten up my entire day, sometimes week.

This post is dedicated to all those who've been the silent readers of this blog.  I may not know you, but it is comforting that you guys are around.

Thank you for being there when no one was.

And if you guys are ever in the city, let me know, I'll treat you to drinks.*

*non alcoholic beverages. :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Avatari

I love thrillers.

Even better if they are mystical thrillers.

Raghu Srinivasan brilliantly executes a story that had me gripped to it from beginning to end.  I did not want to sleep because I wanted to finish reading this almost 500 page long story because the suspense was not letting me sleep.

I am not a great reader, so I cannot call myself a critic either.  But as someone who'd pick up Indian authors because I like reading familiar stories of familiar places, I was in for a fabulous surprise because none of the main characters are Indians.

Srinivasan made me want to look up and read more about Marco Polo and about Kublai Khan and about Ghenghis Khan and everyone the book talks about. 

I think if an author leaves you craving for more, the job is very well done.

Raghu Srinivasan, thank you for a brilliant weekend.

Name: The Avatari
Price: Rs. 399
Courtesy: Flipkart

Friday, April 4, 2014

Waking up and feeling sad for no reason?

How does that feel?

It feels, well, sad.

You don't know why you're sad. And you have no reason to be sad. But you are.

Maybe you do have a reason.

You have a reason that for the first time, you tried talking about the demons you've been fighting since you were a child.  They may not be too big, or as important to other people, but for someone who has been facing them, they were and are a huge deal for you.

You always knew no one would understand, mostly because no one tried asking what is wrong with you. Because there is no reason for anything to be wrong with you - you are just a child, how devastating your life could have been anyway?

And for the first time, when you try to open up a dialogue, you don't get any response.

You are left to deal with your issues on your own. However trivial they are.

Doesn't matter that in your eyes your life is worthless.

And that you have always felt unloved, uncared for.

Because it is always in your mind.

Yes, it has always been in my head.

Denial, not laughter, is the best medicine.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Be safe

Disclaimer: sexually explicit content.

Ever since my schooltime friend came out, I have been trying to be as supportive as I could.  In fact, I get very defensive if any derogatory jokes are cracked on homosexuals. Who are we to judge?

In fact, I have started judging people who are in denial about homosexuality.  I feel that as someone entrusted with his biggest truth in life, it is also partly my fight to get people to sensitise about it.  I am not even talking about the legal aspect. I am only talking about the human aspect.

His usual fear is of acceptance.  Especially if I am introducing him to other friends of mine. Straight men.  His first concern is not to make me feel awkward about it. "Will your friend be okay about me?" He has asked many a times.

I had to tell him explicitly the other day that I am not embarrassed of him.  That his sexual orientation does not change anything.  That if his orientation bothers my other male or female friends, then I'd have to choose between them and I would choose him.  My conscience does not allow me to be friends with someone who is an insensitive judgemental prick. 

You do not have to understand homosexuality.  I'm okay with that, just don't tell me that "what if he hits on me". Bitch please, do not hold yourself on such a high pedestal. He has better choice.  Especially in men.  Trust me, he's gay.

Anyway, that's not the point I am trying to make.  The point I am trying to make is on the strange perversion in the society.  It is one thing being gay and married to a woman and having children out of pure societal pressure.  I'm sure it is hard for them.  And I won't judge you, because not everyone has the courage.

But then, what my friend told me today has made me feel kind of sad.

"You know, the top and the bottom? Top is the one who penetrates.  There are lot of men who like to be on top. They even want it sucked.  But, there is no foreplay.  They find it weird to kiss a guy and will never kiss.  It is always about them.  The ones who are married and have a kid or two like to be on top and will never kiss.  I feel so used."

Everyone deserves love, no?  No one should feel "used" after a sexual encounter. Even if it is a one-night stand with a complete stranger.

I don't know what else to say, except that I feel sad for him, for anyone else who is in a loveless relationship with a selfish partner.

Which is not surprising because in India, pre-marital consensual sex between two consenting adults is looked down upon while marital rape is not even acknowledged.

Someday, I would like to wake up to India where discussion on sex is a casual topic and not followed by nudge-nudge-wink-wink.

All I can tell him and everyone else is, well, take precaution.

Be safe.