Sunday, November 17, 2013

Why would girls like him? He's gay!

A year ago when Mahesh (name changed), a former classmate of mine from school, who I had not seen or talked to in almost 10 years, asked to meet me for the second time in a week to "tell me something important", my heart skipped a beat.

On my way to meet him, I kept praying, "oh, please don't let him tell me he "likes" me".  I was meeting him for the second time after 10 years and "something important" immediately set off the alarms.  Nothing against him.  He's a nice guy, but to put it across without intending to be rude, "not my kind".  I was at a phase where all my friends had moved out of the city (I'm still in the same phase, I really am left with hardly 1/2 friends in the city, who don't meet often) and I didn't want to make it awkward between us by telling him "no", however politely.

The moment of truth had arrived.  As we left the cafe ("I will tell you after we're done with the coffee", he said) he asked, "How would you feel if one of your friends is gay?"

What? What did I just hear? What?

Wait, so he will never have a crush on me? Well, that's a relief.  Really? Oh god, did I just turn him gay?

Jokes apart, I replied, "Well, I don't really know.  To each his own, I guess.  Who am I to judge?"  These were my exact words.

"Why? Are you gay?", I asked.


That came as a shock.  No matter how much you've read about LGBTQ community, when someone you have grown up with tells you he's gay, it shocks you.

It is only when Mahesh, someone I knew personally, came out did I start noticing the undercurrent of homophobia prevalent.  Especially amongst the educated, internet savvy crowd, who think Neil Patrick Harris is awesome, but VJ Andy (one of the contestants on Bigg Boss, and whose sexual orientation is not known to me) is "baaylo" (derogatory Gujarati word for "feminine").

"Why do you have such friends only? Why do you hang out with him so much? Itna kyun pasand hai usko milna? " asked Kavita (name changed).  Of course, gays do not deserve to have friends, because "woh log hote hi aise hai".  "aise kaise?" you ask? Well, I really don't know. 

And then there are the curious ones.  Like the common friend with Mahesh and I, Meena (name changed) who probably hasn't heard of internet and Google, and chooses to ask awkward questions to him, despite not having met him in last 10 years either.  Only because I meet and interact with him often.  Because I distinctly remember Meena being curious on "how can gays satisfy themselves sexually? kitna ganda hota hai. How can a guy kiss a guy?" Erm. Okay, then.

How do you even go about explaining things to them?  And if they have such thoughts, is it even worth it to explain things? Or just let them spend the rest of their lives in blissful ignorance.

Oh, and how can I forget the quip by a male friend, who had known of Mahesh being gay, and I asked him to join Mahesh and me for a coffee that, "Why should I meet him? What if he hits on me?" Um. Okay. 

And I'm not even telling about the homophobes Mahesh keeps encountering on a daily basis.  From getting looked down upon by complete strangers to the parents showing horoscope to astrologers to ask what is wrong with his stars. 

But Mahesh is taking it well.  Which is funny, because growing up, (and I have told this to him too) that of all people, he would be the last person I would expect to stand up against the entire society and fight for himself.  He always came across as a weak and meek person who would cry at the drop of the hat.  Mahesh tells me, "When my dad showed the horoscope to astrologer asking for when the stars will change, I told him, 'what is the point of asking the astrologer when I'll stop being gay especially when the astrologer never managed to tell you before that I am gay'?"  Point well made, Mahesh.

I'm not writing this post to create any sort of awareness or campaign for equal rights or anything.  It is just that it pains me that people could be so insensitive.  For any human being.

So when two of my male cousins were making fun of Andy for allegedly being gay, a cousin asked, "I don't get it, why do girls like him? He's gay." I asked, "But then, so is Neil Patrick Harris, and you are his fan yourself."

"But NPH is awesome.  Andy is gay.  Look at how he crosses his limit in Bigg Boss.  And he is gay." he tried to reason.

I didn't argue.  Not because I agreed, but because you cannot reason with people like that.

And even though I am not a fan of Andy, I still like him.  He is entertaining.  And most importantly, when he realises he committed a mistake, he apologises.

Most men I know don't.

Maybe that is why girls like him. Whether or not he's gay.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thol - Bird Sanctuary

Relatives.  They are all weird.  There is no escaping them.  So when a cousin messaged the entire "family group" on whatsapp last week, "let us go for a picnic and dinner during Diwali", I was almost sure that the plan will never materialise.  But eventually, plans started to shape.  Only problem is, multiple plans were shaping at the same time.  You have no idea how insane it is to deal with people who have extreme temperaments.  Anyhoo. Without getting into how many times I had to control myself not to yell at people, let me just talk about Thol lake and bird sanctuary.  (ps: I am extremely cool and seldom lose my temper.  It takes tremendous amount of provocation to make me lose my cool.)

There was a convoy of 4 cars and one car killed a bird, a cuckoo, who thought it was a chicken and decided to cross the road.  No, I was not driving that car.  I am a very safe driver.  The same car also almost killed two kites who also thought they were chicken, and one cyclist who thought to save himself from one car, he should ride into another car from other direction.  The point here is, drive carefully on these roads, because even though they are in good shape, animals and people and birds do not follow traffic rules.  Go slow.

Kindly click on image to see if you can spot anything. If you do, leave a comment, Lord Vayu will bless.  This was the first picture I clicked.  We wanted to catch the sunrise at the lake, but everyone else wanted to leave only by 7, and the lake is about 20 kms on the outskirts of the city.  I'd suggest poop well before you leave, mostly because the roads are pretty bad the last 1-2 km stretch.  And you don't really want to poop at the loo there.  You never know which animals inhabit those open door toilets and which one will come and bite you on your behind.  I'm sorry, I just like to give people honest advice about pooping and toilets. 

Moving on.

 Basically, that is the lake. Or as I now call it, Gogaland.  That's the lake.  You can spot birds there, and a lot of migratory birds come there.  A cousin tried to point a pelican to me, but I'm pretty sure those were ducks.   There is a stretch on walkway (uneven) around the lake, which you can walk and try to spot birds.  However, be careful about the thorns.  I have a few scratches on my hands.  A cousin tells me he has spotted flamingos and all also there, but as I said, I only saw ducks.  And while I was sitting on my own, on a log of fallen tree and taking in the beauty of nature, I saw some hooded figure in the water.  I thought it was something, but was not sure.  Few seconds later, the same hooded figure popped up again.  This time I was sure it was a snake.  So I warn people around there there may be snakes in the water.  Cousin confirmed of presence of water snakes in the lake.  But they're harmless.  Okay, then.  But in few minutes, I saw another hooded figure coming out of the water, and few minutes later, it got its entire body out.  IT WAS A FRIGGING DUCK.  So now I was not sure whether I saw a duck or a water snake.

After an hour, I was sitting on another log of fallen tree and I hear a splash nearby.  A FRIGGING SNAKE FELL OFF THE BRANCH IN THE WATER. DUDE. 

Yaar, even if the snakes are nonpoisonous, they are still snakes and they give me the creeps.  After that, I was extremely alert about the surroundings.

4 year old niece was walking too close to the lake where her father, my cousin, tried to warn her by saying, 'beta, udhar mat chalo, udhar goga rehta hai'. 

#FunFact Snakes are called "goga maharaj/goga bapa" by some Gujarati communities who worship snakes.

For reasons unknown to me, I find this incredibly amusing and cackle up every time I think of it.

Point is, be careful, and be alert. You never know when you come across a goga.

 Exotic birds spotted. Almost sure they're crows.

 Dora, the explorer.  4 year old niece. Please note the elephants on her night suit. I want a night suit just like that.  Also, so proud of the fact she's holding binoculars properly.

 I'm such an amazing cameraperson. I clicked this while putting my hTC phone camera on binoculars.  It was blue, and looked like kingfisher.  However, I won't be surprised if it's a stupid domestic sparrow.  But I'm pretty sure its kingfisher.  Maybe he also spotted a goga.

Making noise here is an offense.  Considering how loud our family gets when we laugh, we may have been blacklisted by now.

And we got back an hour back.  And now even though I'm sleepy, I decided to put up this blogpost because I don't want to nap now.

Anyhoo.  Good bye and kiss to all those who have read all the way till the end of this post.

Goga Maharaj will bless.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

7 problems people with short nails will understand

Now if I were buzzfeed, I'd have amazing gifs off the internet or at least picture representation for each of the problems we face.  But since I'm not, I'll just use words to express.

I wish buzzfeed picks it up someday and takes this post on their website.

Problems people with short nails will understand.

1.  Untangling entangled drawstrings.  Especially when your bladder is bursting and you *HAVE* to pee.  It's like, your drawstrings will get tangled in the messiest of the knots when there is super emergency because you held your pee because you didn't want to venture into unknown loos in government offices with lizards (and sometimes other unidentifiable creepy crawlies) staring at you when you do your thing.

2.  Opening tins/boxes.  You do not have claws that can act as your weapon in time of need and rupture other people's body parts.  So you cannot open supremely stubborn stainless steel dabbas your mom's kitchen is full of. So you starve.

3.  Picking your nose.  Now, I know this is gross, but c'mon, who doesn't pick their nose? How else do you clean your nostrils from all the goo that block free flow of air which is essential for your survival? Everyone picks their nose.  Some of us even wash our hands clean after the act, but if you have short nails, you cannot go aaaaaallll the way inside your nostril and get that rebellious booger out of your nose. (I've learnt a trick, I snort some water and then blow my nose to get rid of such stubborn boogers - what? I'm giving survival tips.)

4.  You cannot use your nails to clean your keyboard off the breadcrumbs which have lodged themselves between two keys.  Your only option is to turn your laptop over and pray that the crumb doesn't go all the way inside.  Or you know, ants. #nope

5.  You cannot rub your nails on surfaces like blackboards and annoy the shit out of people.  (while wearing soundproof devices over your own ears of course)

6.  Finding the evasive starting point of adhesive tapes (see my posh usage of adhesive tape in place of the brand sellotape? *raises collar*)  Anyway, the point is, the ever evasive ends of adhesive tapes are even more difficult to find when you have short nails. Adhesive tapes suck.

7.  Scratching that spot on your back which you cannot reach because you don't have 7 inch long nails and you have to find yourself an isolated spot with a rough surface so you can scratch your back and attain nirvana.  Usually, the spot where you want to scratch is just 1/2 mm away from where your short nails could reach. Murphy uncle was a wise man.

Now, it is Diwali already and I had started writing this post 3 hours back and I took a few breaks and now I've lost interest because I got distracted.

But I'm gonna post this anyway because why not.

Anyhoo. Happy Diwali, you all. Be good. Send me anonymous gifts and love letters and flowers and everything else you think is moderately creepy. I love getting creeped out. <3 p="">