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Rish
01 January 2009 @ 08:46 am
Adding up a couple of eggs and hatchling for some clicks. Do oblige.

A winter
Adopt one today!

A silver
Adopt one today!

A silver matured hatchling
Adopt one today!

An Xmas hatchie
Adopt one today!

Well, a little updating.

I had a quiet New Year's at home - well, relatively quiet. :) A few friends who were not out partying, joined the family for dinner. We danced a bit on some cool songs. Then when the clock struck twelve - the wishing was heartfelt. I was at home on New Year's after 10 years. Come full circle I would say...

I think I managed to recruit two more people to Dragcave. :D So that would bring the total of people I have given dragon fever to to 5. lOl

Things have been okay with me - no great shakes though I must say, looking back over the year's events, I got rid of a lot of unwanted stuff. And it is always cooler to travel forward with a lighter heart and a mind filled with lessons learnt. So onward to 2009. :)

My latest incubator:
Photobucket
 
 
Rish
24 December 2008 @ 07:25 am
Aaaaaaaaaargh! Not a single silver one. Not a hint of gold. Paper whooshed by. And I didn’t want a chicken one. So basically I ended up with not a single egg that I wanted. Hehehe talk about fate. And this isn’t for the lack of not trying.

This was the night when people on the DC put out their rare dragon eggs out for grabs...and there have been 800 – 1000 people online to do the grabbing.

Been at it for seven hours straight (no, no – ah, I'm quite manic when it comes to doing something I really want to do and around midnight I set out to get meself a silver dragon egg. :-) ) However, it's just not a good day, er, night for me. Though I did manage to wrestle a Christmas one which I gifted to my sister who I also talked into joining this site. :) I bet she'll be pleased.

Now that my eyes are seeing dark green eggs as dark blue ones, and the dark grey ones look like silver, I think it is time to wrap up.

Though one good thing happened, a dear person, named Arly, tried giving me a couple of the hatchlings that she was going to put up for adoption. But as fate would have it, both the times she abandoned them, both the times, I couldn't get them. How sad is that, eh! But what I am really feeling bad about is that I abandoned a matured female hatchling of a water dragon and a cracked egg to make room for the silvers I was going to get.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
 
 
Rish
26 November 2008 @ 03:38 am
Well, I don't know what the site is about exactly, and I am sure with a little bit of reading Ill be able to understand it pretty well...but right now I am just too exhausted. What took me to the site were the lovely dragons Mon had, and when I clicked on one I was taken to a cave where I could get a few dragons for myself.

Now I am in the middle of writing something (Monica, Dina, if you are reading this I would really like your inputs on a couple of ideas because I don't have a lot of fantasy readers around me...I am writing up a background mythology for a piece of fantasy fiction - just completed with the rough drafts of the maps, and then I'll move on - but I am moving ahead of myself - so do get in touch whenever you have a little bit of time - er, and if you are reading this... *sheepish smile!*) and this something has dragons in it - and I am wondering or not to keep them. Because as all fantasy fiction fans know, dragons are truly done and done and done. And I was told by someone who writes to create my own creatures - which I am doing BUT I WANT DRAGONS TOO!!!

Ah, well, so coming back to the Linkie, well, clicked on it and it took me to a place that gave me this code Adopt one today! (if you are seeing the code here then I dont know how to use codes on LJ and if you are seeing an image here with a link then I did it right) Rolling eyes right now.

Ah well, Mon, help!
 
 
Rish
07 October 2008 @ 06:00 am
I completed reading 'Brisingr' and I was surfing the net, and suddenly, the urge took me to write something within my journal here. It has been ages since I have done so and I don't know what brought me here. I mean, I have around 4 blogs, a facebook profile that has a note-making facility and quite cool status updates (succinct and wit-inducing), so what brought me here? I have no clue. Maybe I regard this as something closest to a diary and I know that this is where I can mull over thought and put - er, type them out... 'Type them out' - hmmmmm - look at technology now, it makes phrases like 'pen them down', put it down on paper' sound terribly old and clueless...

However, I have been busy with a lot of things. Friends have come and friends have gone, since I last wrote in here. (Again, strike 'wrote' and understand 'typed'.) I have come to understand and accept the fact that everyone I meet in this life does not have to like me. If they do not (and there will be some idiots like that who are warped in the head for they are besieged by irrational thought processes and foolish feelings - so there!) then it is their problem and NOT mine!

There has been a book printing with some of my poetry - so now I am kind of published. (Don't ask me how I am 'kind-of-published'.)

I have been going through certain ups and downs in life. I have been going for a lot of day outings and they have done me good. I have stopped attending parties - partly because I feel I have grown older and partly because I look older!! (grin - does that sound superficial? Fine, give me some slack - I can't always be an Elf, sometimes I need to be a 'hatchling'!) And being old in the gay world is terribly cruel - so I have taken to channeling my energy into reading, sketching, writing, going out for picnics with friends, and other social gatherings.

I have taken the plunge and confided some of my heartache to my dearest friend, Poonam. (I had not earlier, for I thought she would leave me. She didn't - and that sort of makes me realise what true friendship is all about.) My sister, as we speak, is in the hospital - a lump was removed from one of her breasts - an earlier test showed that it was benign. It has been sent for a second biopsy - but I am sure that it is going to be non-malignant.

Quite a lot else that I seem to be forgetting at the moment...but I am sure if I have forgotten, then it has less to do about me growing senile than the events just not making a suitable impression. Humph! Anyhow, I have moved away from Harry Potter and surprisingly, still find myself wanting to read the Lord of the Rings again and again. I am not interested in the upcoming Harry Potter movie, but terribly keen to watch the Hobbit!! And to give Rowling her due, I was wowed by the speech she gave for the Inaugural celebration of the Harvard Class of 2008! The Benefits of Failure and the Need for Imagination! A brilliant, brilliant speech!

Tarot sessions have picked up greatly - touch wood. Though my classes have dwindled this year because I mentioned to my students last year that I shall be moving. Me and my big mouth - the result of it was that some didn't return thinking that I'd break the continuum of the teaching process if I had to shift in the middle of the academic year! More fool me, since we didn't move!! Argh!

In all, I find that I haven't changed that much since the last time I was here - though that just proves my own point that people intrinsically do not go through change. They learn from the lessons life teaches and adapt their reactions to stimuli - feelings essentially remaining the same! So in the case of overt reaction, the change occurs, but truly - deep within - the heart still suffers.
 
 
Current Mood: introspective
 
 
Rish
26 September 2008 @ 06:43 am
If you're on my friends list, I want to know 36 things about you. I don't care if we never talk, or if we already know everything about each other. Short and sweet is fine... you're on my list, so I want to know you better!

Comment here and repost a blank one on your own journal.


01) Are you currently in a serious relationship?
02) What was your dream growing up?
03) What talent do you wish you had?
04) If I bought you a drink what would it be?
05) Favorite vegetable?
06) What was the last book you read?
07) What zodiac sign are you?
08) Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Explain where.
09) Worst Habit?
10) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?
11) What is your favorite sport?
12) Do you have a Pessimistic or Optimistic attitude?
13) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
14) Worst thing to ever happen to you?
15) Tell me one weird fact about you.
16) Do you have any pets?
17) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?
18) What was your first impression of me?
19) Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
20) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
21) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
22) What color eyes do you have?
23) Ever been arrested?
24) Bottle or can soda?
25) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
27) What's your favorite place to hang out at?
28) Do you believe in ghosts?
29) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
30) Do you swear a lot?
31) Biggest pet peeve?
32) In one word, how would you describe yourself?
33) Do you believe/appreciate romance?
34) Favorite and least favorite food?
35) Do you believe in God?
36) Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?
 
 
 
Rish
15 February 2008 @ 06:18 am
14th feb at 12 am, Nand gave me a couple of cards. :) A certificate saying I was the best boyfriend ever - with sexiest ass. ;-) Hehehe.

The day was spent teaching. Waited for the evening since I was going to go and watch “Jodhaa Akbar” with Nand in the night. We reached on time, though the movie being a preview started around 15 minutes late. The movie is made on the scale of a classic, but it falls short of the mark because it needs crisper editing. On the whole, it surely leaves a mark! No doubt.

I am not a historian, so I cannot mention how accurately history was depicted in the movie; but the feel of the movie – ah, the feel! – is surely something that takes you to that Era. The clothes, the sets, the jewellery! Let me get rid of the flaws first: Ashutosh Gowariker is not an action director, so the battle scenes and even the action sequences lack panache – when they could have been executed brilliantly – especially since Hrithik Roshan can do action fabulously well. The first battle scenes are reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings, down to the swinging of the swords in linear movement, much like the Elves did when the Orcs attack. The march of the elephants is much like the Mumakil that come out to crunch the riders of Rohan in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

Some of the lesser character actors have terrible dialogue delivery. And in most cases, the dialogues themselves get weighed down by verbosity – and surprisingly, the characters who speak Hindi sound more uncomfortable with it then the ones who have to deal with Urdu diction.

Sonu Sood who plays Sujamal, Jodhaa’s cousin, enacts his part with restraint and he kept reminding me of a young Amitabh Bachchan. Suhasini Mulay as Jodhaa’s mother, Padmavati, is apt for the role, in fact, her stature was wasted in Lagaan and Ashutosh finally casts her perfectly. Kulbhushan Kharbanda as Jodhaa’s father, Raja Bharmal, does what he did in Lagaan. This felt like an offshoot of the same character he played there.

Nikitin Dheer who plays Mirza Shariffuddin Hussain has done a good job for a newcomer and he suits the role of a solid warrior who thinks Akbar unfit to rule. Mrs. Punam S. Sinha, who plays Akbar’s mother, surprisingly carries off the role with poise – despite a strong accent in her voice that interferes with the use of the Urdu dialect. But Ila Arun performing the role of Maham Anga is someone to watch out for. Her intensity vibrates from the screen as she plays power games with the new woman in Akbar’s life. The jealousy she exudes is almost tangible and the pathos of the character’s end is touching indeed – she truly deserves a reputable mention.

Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan is – well, Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan. She fits the role because she is usually stiff and aloof. If anyone was to play a queen she would be it – so her role was well-cast. She has worn brown contact lenses for the role, which shows that Indian film-makers are now thinking of certain details that need to be thought about.

Though I am a fan of Hrithik Roshan, I felt that the role of Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar did not suit him to a tee – like say, for instance, a Krish or an Aryan Singh. I cannot pinpoint the reason for this, maybe it was the bad moustache sitting above his lips, or maybe because I never pictured Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar to have such a beautiful body. Maybe. But I did say, ‘did not suit him to a tee’ – which leaves me room to add further, that he tried his best and that shows in his acting. Also the director’s vision was to show the Mughal Emperor as a sensitive soul and that is what Hrithik evocatively brings about either in the vulnerability he portrays, while apologising to Maham Anga, or the passion tinged with restraint he exhibits when dealing with his distant wife.

The cinematography by Kiran Deohans is fabulous. The scope of most shots is all-encompassing – but somehow the feel of an epic lags behind. The feeling that one gets is something that closes inward rather than something that opens outward. And in some scenes, the lighting could have vastly been improved upon. Neeta Lulla’s costumes are fabulous, too – and the jewellery provided by Tanishq is awe-inspiring. They, combined, bring about the look and feel of the movie more than what actually should be created by the story, the actors and the director.

What touched me most within the entire movie was the picturisation of the song “Khwaja Mere Khwaja”. It was completely surreal - the melody and rhythm in this Sufi song mixed with the pristine costumes and depiction of the scene completely enraptured me. Much like the character of Akbar, I felt like standing up and joining the singers in this moment of rhapsody! Truly a delight!

Apart from this, I cannot say for certain, I liked this part of the movie or that part. They are parts which have been put into a whole and made coherent, somehow; but yet, I will go back to see this movie one more time. I feel it is a movie that needs to be viewed more than once in order to grasp the different nuances that are spread throughout. It ebbs and flows with its own life and at places, the creators of the movie themselves lost control over it, and that is noticeable. But one cannot blame them for that for that is the wont of any creative process. Although perfection comes when restraint is used over unnecessary unravelling and digression.

In a way, I am glad that the director hasn’t used much restraint within the movie, because it would kill this feeling of ‘je ne sais quoi’ that flows through my enjoyment of this movie.

Aishwarya as Jodhaa Bai
Hrithik as Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar
 
 
Current Mood: highhigh
 
 
Rish
07 February 2008 @ 12:39 am
Naturally, then, a lot has happened since I last wrote in here. I don't even remember when was the last time when I wrote in here. Well, to mention a few of the things that I have been catching up on:

1. Imagining.
2. Writing.
3. Sketching.

Put up most of my sketches on deviantart. If anyone is interested, do check it out whenever you can and share your opinions about the work put up there: http://dadaprof.deviantart.com/

That is a little of my art work. This blog: http://eachdrop.wordpress.com/ is a blog with most of my poems and a few short stories. It is still in the process of being updated so bear with me if you find any glitches.

I will be shifting come this May; so that is something that I am looking forward to. I am a bit tired of the place that I live in. The mentality of the people who live in the neighbourhood depresses the hell out of me. But then again, it's happening coz new buildings will be made in place of the old ones and I shall be back living with the same set of people in a few years' time - but then the house will be new so the feelings shall get compensated. (At least that is what I am hoping for.)

Harry Potter is now over and done with. Tolkien still exists, and carries on - probably because I started this wonderful RP set before the first age of Middle-earth and about to start another one, since I have grown desperately fond of RP-ing. :) Been reading a lot. Loved the Dark Materials Trilogy, by Pullman. Been seeing movies too - but mostly catching up on a spate of serials on DVD: Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Medium, Supernatural, Hotel Babylon, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, and a couple of others whose seasons I am still waiting for.

That's about it more or less: work is still the same, so can't say much about it. Family is fine, Geeta has a new job. Mom is still part of the Committee that helps run this colony that we live in...which is a job I certainly don't envy her for. Anand is still with 3g - the company he has been working for since the last three years...That is about it. :)
 
 
Current Mood: artistic
Current Music: Enya's The Promise
 
 
Rish
14 August 2007 @ 04:37 pm
On July 30th, at I 2 BST (British Standard Time) there was a live chat with JK. Rowling.. I was a part of it and any who were i'm sure will agree with me, it was awesome! Here is a transcript of it...

Chat TranscriptCollapse )

J.k. rowling said in another interview that there is definately a religious undertone to Harry Potter, hmm.. something to think about...

For those that have read HP 7-------------
J.k. rowling said in an interview that Harry and Ron are now heading up the Auror department of the ministry of magic and that Hermione is heading the magical law inforcement area and they have initially created a whole new world and ministry by the end of the 19 years...

Other things said in interviews (if you have facts i do not feel free to message me or post it on the discussion board for me to post)-

-Fred was killed because he was the stronger and more "leader and crueler" of the two twins

-No death was taken lightly and all were consider "up for grabs"

-Arthur Weasley was originally due to die in book 5 but then replaced with Lupin and Tonks in book 7

-3 weeks before OOTP was due out on books she found a fansite dedicated to Sirius Black

-Also short time before OOTP came out a little boy came up to her on the street and begged her not to kill either Sirius, Dumbledore, or Hagrid (the boy had had fatherly troubles himself)
 
 
Rish
I finished reading the book. Though I wanted to savour each word knowing that this would be the last of the series (I guess, because one can never be sure with Rowling), the book just couldn’t be taken slowly or in small doses. It had to be gulped down. I do plan to read it again.

The plot is tight! There are no loop holes left. Each idea and each unexplained sequence from the previous books have been taken together and cinched tightly into place. There is a whole onslaught of dead bodies to step over as a reader, but the way the book leads to a crescendo that is inevitable.

New elements such as the Hallows and Dumbledore’s past are brought in, but this only makes the world of Rowling an increasingly grey one, where there are no clear shades of black and white – perhaps, just one shade of black which would be Voldemort – but none that is white. This would be a wonderful analogy for real life however convoluted it may be with a world that isn’t real in the strictest sense of the word.

I think, on my second reading, it shall topple my favourite Prisoner of Azkaban in the esteem issue and quickly become my favourite of the series. It feels as though it was written with this particular intention – such is the mastery of prose that Rowling uses.

I found myself crying when I read the close of the chapter titled “Malfoy Manor” and while reading “The Prince’s Tale”. I also come to realise exactly why JK bestows the honour of the title of just one another character filling as the title of a book – because this character shows true evolution. He is one of the most tragic characters I have read – as Dolores was one of the most hateful.

There are elements of clear ‘inspiration’ – from Tolkien and to a certain extent from Pullman as well. The most apparent being the wearing of the locket – which acts much like the One Ring from Tolkien’s universe! Most of the theories that I have heard regarding the final premises, have mostly come true. Two of my very own were bang on the nose – for which I can immodestly gloat about! The duelling scenes in the climax are wonderfully executed and everything is brought back to the place where it all began.

Full circle! And as Luna says, “a circle has no beginning” – well, it stands to reason that it neither has an end.

So what’s next, Ms Rowling?
 
 
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
 
 
Rish
08 May 2007 @ 12:18 am
As I said, I like writing, so yep! You’ll surely get a mail from me in reply to yours. ;-)

How are you doing by the way? How are things around you? I am just generally asking - though I know that you are feeling a bit low of late. So let me jump in immediately and address the letter you sent my way.

When I was young, I was incredibly effeminate as well. :) It is only when I am really close to someone that I behave in a carefree manner, and sometimes, the way I used to be pokes out its head. Not because I don't want it to or that I am uncomfortable with it – but because after so many years of realizing who I am, I really do not care about what other people think.

No! It is because now I am conditioned in behaving like the 'normal' stereotype ... when I was a teenager, I was the object of ridicule, and in more ways than one, I have changed accordingly to suit society's norm. Eventually, I realized it was just not worth it; because I changed to suit other people's demands of how a guy 'should' behave. In effect, I realized also that I would only be lying and hurting myself, for I would never get any recompense from society.

I found, as I grew, society never returns any consideration. I also grew enough to think that if I keep changing as per the standards of this hypocritical society that we live in, then soon enough, it would expect me to change my sexual orientation and not just my mannerisms. This was when I had reached my twentieth year, and that was when I decided enough was enough! So, I chucked the way I used to think and emancipated my thinking further. I am an individual. Made the way God created me so why, in God’s name, should I change, according to the whims, fancies and prejudices of human beings?

This is one of the foremost and main reasons why I never look down upon effeminate guys. Mainly because that is not something that they do purposely, they are just made that way. And I certainly expect gay people to understand this, because if we start discriminating against people of our own orientation, what understanding do we expect from the straight world? It just relates to my theory of being confident about what you are and what your place in this beautiful world of ours is.

Secondly, and just as important, it is the effeminate guys who have the biggest balls. :) Truly speaking, it takes guts to sashay down a main road, dressed in flamboyant red pants with an orange scarf around your neck, declaring your taste in guys for the world to see. If it were not for them, all gay men would be in the closet – technically, homosexuality would never have gained the attention and the legal rights that it does now the world over. Don’t get me wrong: there are ‘straight-acting’ gay men who have done their share for gay rights, but the Queens are the ones who have done the most to bring our world to the level of acceptance.

Why do you think gay men are called Queens in the first place? Because of the pride that we inculcate in ourselves. Why do you think our Movement is called the Pride Movement? Because we should be proud of who are – not ashamed. Why do you think our flag has the colours of the rainbow? Because it goes to show that humanity comes in all colours and put together they appear all the more beautiful.

If we want to be ‘straight-acting’, when we are not straight, really then, why are we even interested in men? I always believe that if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well! So if one wants to act straight, go right ahead and marry a woman and produce children and stop sleeping with men! That is how straight men live their lives and that is how a gay man who wishes to act straight should be.

Regarding the bitching, running down each other's character, fashion talk, celebrity assassination, plotting against buddies, back stabbing: does it not happen in the straight world as well? Oh! It happens in the straight world, believe me! Intrinsically, it is not sexuality or sex that makes one into a bitch. A straight man can be just as big a bitch as a gay man or a woman! I have known straight men like this and can give you a few examples right from my family. :)

We talk of fashion because gay people are – let’s admit it – leaders in the fashion industry. ‘Few industries are seen as gayer than fashion. Stereotypes aside, the world of couture has indeed been molded by the vast numbers of gay men and lesbians working in the industry. Yet Seventh Avenue and its European counterparts remain strangely closeted. We’ve charted some of the brightest lights who’ve made no secret of their sexuality.’ They are: Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein (bisexual but mostly leaning toward homosexuality), Christian Dior, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Domenico Dolce, Giancarlo Giammetti, Giorgio Armani, Norman Hartnell, Rudi Gernreich, Stefano Gabbana, Valentino Garavani and Yves Saint Laurent - to just name some from the bigwigs of the fashion world!

Richard Lippa has repeatedly shown clear central tendency differences with respect to occupational choice preferences between homosexual and heterosexual men, which are similar to male-female differences with respect to occupational choice.

In a sample of 363 homosexual men assessed on sexual behavior, Götestam also reported a high involvement in creative endeavors: music (11.2%), composing (2.2%), creative writing (6.0%) and painting (2.8%). The prevalence of left-handedness, stuttering and dyslexia is higher among males compared to females and higher among homosexual men compared to heterosexual men - but this does not mean that Hrithik Roshan is gay, since he stutters!

In one classic Mel Brooks movie, set during World War II, Mel Brooks’ character says, “Without gypsies, jews and fags, there is no theatre!” :)

I remember reading a wonderful essay by a very cool writer, Peter Tatchell titled “What Straight Men Could Learn from Gay Men” – I shall quote a few paragraphs from there for you to read:

“The vast majority of violent criminals are men. Blaming men is, alas, a little too simplistic. When it comes to crimes of violence, it is not men in general who are the culprits; but a very specific type of man. As well as being mostly young, poor, uneducated and unemployed, violent criminals are overwhelmingly heterosexual.

Although not all straight men are thugs, nearly all thugs are straight!!

They are the ones who go on the rampage terrorising women, smashing up council estates, robbing the elderly and getting into drunken fist-fights.

Gay men, in contrast, rarely participate in such belligerent behaviour. Usually more gentle and refined, most of us queers prefer to love men rather than fight them.

So why are straight males different? Macho attitudes begin in childhood, with boys’ toys and games that encourage competitive, domineering behaviour. Not surprisingly, many young men end up viewing rivalry and aggression as normal male conduct.

This normalisation of the macho mind-set is reinforced and legitimated by cultural icons of masculinity, such as tough-nut football stars like action-movie heroes like Bruce Willis. These symbols of modern maleness link being a 'real man' with machismo and womanising. Their public personas promote the idea that a hard, uncompromising masculinity is not only sexy and desirable, but also part and parcel of the socially-prized state of male heterosexuality.

Gay men deviate from this masculine norm. We are generally (though not always) less fully masculinised than our straight counterparts. This queer 'unmanliness' is, in fact, a great virtue. It is precisely our incomplete embrace of masculinity and our unwillingness to 'act like a man' that - thankfully - makes so many gay men disinclined to violence. Looking at gay celebrities like Boy George, it is difficult to imagine them terrorising anyone - except perhaps with their make up. :)

The contrast between hetero and homo behaviour is not, of course, absolute. There are exceptions. Straight men have increasingly embraced the New Man ethos, rejecting traditional machismo in favour of a caring, sharing (and more queer?) notion of masculinity. In India, we have the term 'Metrosexual'!

Gay men, too, don't always conform to type. Although large numbers rebel against machismo, a small proportion (often straight-identified and those who are insecure about their homosexuality) behave just as belligerently as their heterosexual mates. Rape and violence are not unheard of in gay relationships. And who can forget homosexual mass murderers like Jeffrey Dahmer and Dennis Nilsen?

Nevertheless, despite the existence of macho queers and non-macho straights, the general rule still holds true: hetero men tend to be the most aggressive and gay men the least.

Wouldn't life be dull without the flair and imagination of queer fashion designers and interior decorators? How could the NHS cope with no gay nurses, or the education system with no gay teachers? Society should thank its lucky stars that not all men turn out straight, macho and insensitive.

The fear of being labelled 'queer' can be part of the reason some heterosexual men adopt an extreme form of machismo. They deliberately choose to be unruly and loud as a way of asserting their heterosexuality and distancing themselves from any taint or suspicion of queerness. Their hyper-masculinity is projected as 'proof' of hetero identity. It ostentatiously disassociates them from the perceived effeminacy of the homosexual 'other'. These insecure straights reassure themselves of their heterosexuality with the simple-minded syllogism: 'Straight men are tough. Queers are weak. I'm tough therefore I can't be queer'.

Because they see aggression as normal and legitimate, it weakens the restraints against violent outbursts. Mugging, rape and vandalism no longer seem so taboo. When this mind-shift occurs and straight masculinity is allowed to run riot, the whole of society suffers.

Some gay men may be 'sissies' but, unlike straight machismo, a bit of camp limpwristedness harms no one. It can even be fun and enjoyable. (I completely agree with this because my best friends in the gay community are the effeminate ones!)

The social menace of male heterosexuality is all too familiar. While most people (especially women) walking alone at night in a dark secluded street would feel threatened by the approach of a loud, boisterous group of young straight males, no one ever feels endangered by the sight of several obviously gay men coming towards them in similar circumstances.

Likewise, police invariably report that the big difference between gay bars and straight bars is that there are rarely any fights in queer venues but often punch-ups in hetero ones. It is also entirely exceptional for gay men to slash bus seats, riot on football terraces, burn down community centres and graffiti subway trains. Such behaviour doesn't appeal to us.

(That is why I detest the idea of gay men trying to assimilate themselves with straight behaviourisms!) Assimilation involves the social acceptance of queers on the condition that we conform to the dominant heterosexual values. It is, however, crazy to want gay men to act like straight men. That would result in more violence and loutishness. Instead, it is in society's interest for male heterosexuals to behave more like queers, the vast majority of whom dislike machismo and thuggery.

When it comes to positive role models for young boys, gay men set the best example. Compared to the mindless he-man violence promoted by straight super-stars such as Arnold Schwarznegger and Sylvester Stallone, the thoughtful artistic achievements of queers like Rupert Everett, David Hockney, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Elton John seem infinitely preferable.

While gay men are generally less aggressive than hets, it is not impossible for us to be violent. If threatened or provoked, we gays can lash out too. But it is rarely instinctive queer behaviour. Confronted by a queer-basher, for example, most homosexuals run instead of bashing-back.

This is no accident. Compared to hetero youths, gay men usually have a gentler, more emotionally-open temperament. That is why straight women love our company. The gay sensibility is a pleasant relief from the dominating, bellicose behaviour of many (not all) husbands and boyfriends. The majority of women don't like that macho nonsense, and neither do most gay men. Hence the enduring love affair between hetero girls and gay boys. Women feel safe with us, knowing that our friendship is genuine and not simply a ploy to get them into bed.

Gay men do, indeed, have a lot in common with heterosexual women. Apart from our mutual interest in men - and our shared obsession with shopping, dressing up, cooking and interior decoration - we both get shafted by straight male machismo. It is hetero men who victimise women and queers. Their misogyny and homophobia causes us suffering. That gives women and gay men a mutual interest in sticking together and challenging straight male attitudes.

Surveying late twentieth century masculinity, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that heterosexual men are frequently a social liability, whereas most gays are a social asset. Compared to straights, we're not so desperate to conform to masculine stereotypes. Less afraid to express our feelings, we tend to be more in touch with our emotions. This gives many of us a sensitivity that has enabled homosexual men to play a disproportionate role in the creative arts and caring professions. Whether consciously or not, gay men redefine what it means to be a man. We show that maleness need not involve machismo.

But not all homosexuals are hairdressers and the like. Some work in masculine jobs like oil-rigging, lorry-driving and coal mining. However, even in these manly occupations, gay men tend to lack the hard-edged masculinity of their straight colleagues. They may do jobs that are dirty and physically demanding, but plenty still know how to bake a quiche and sew a pair of curtains.

This subversion of male orthodoxy is also at work when fashion-conscious gay men don the macho attire of motor-bikers, soldiers and construction workers. They undermine and transform these symbols of straight masculinity by discarding their aggressive connotations. No one really feels threatened by a tough-looking gay SM leatherman (whose hobbies off the gay scene probably include bonsai and opera). We all know his butchness is a pose. The masculine image of contemporary queer fashion thus embodies the eroticism of maleness without the violent menace of heterosexual machismo. It is the triumph of style over pathology.

Who can doubt that life would be vastly more pleasant if straight men had the pacific inclinations of their gay counterparts? There'd be much less gang warfare, wife-beating and late-night brawling. Were hetero males to embrace the less macho ambience of queers, society would end up calmer and more peaceful, not to mention caring and creative. The homosexualisation of male culture is, quite obviously, in the public interest. Where are the politicians with the guts to say so?”

So you see, there are gay people who do talk about sport and topics of reforms and budgets! But you have to understand, R, that gay people, who are assured of their own sexuality, have other wider things to talk of as well – like gay reform, for example. We, as a community, have our own reforms to look forward to – tell me, do you know how far the Lawyer’s Collective in India has reached in its fight against the bill to decriminalize homosexuality? Or that in September 2006, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and acclaimed writer Vikram Seth came together with scores of other prominent Indians in public life to publicly demand this change in the legal regime. The open letter demands that 'In the name of humanity and of our Constitution, this cruel and discriminatory law should be struck down.'

During a recent visit to India by the Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was asked by a journalist what he thought of the new law allowing gay marriage in Canada. His reply was that "there would not be much appreciation for a law like that in India," and he went on to talk about how they were culturally very different societies.

The supreme Sikh religious body, the Akal Takht, has issued an edict condemning gay marriage and has Sikhs living in Canada not to support or allow gay marriages in gurudwaras. In 2005, two unnamed women in Hyderabad asked the Darul Qaza, an Islamic court, for a fatwa allowing them to marry, but permission was denied with a rebuke from the chief qazi. None of the principal Christian denominations in India allow same-sex marriage. There have been a few cases of gay and lesbian marriages being conducted in India by Hindu priests as far back as 1993. However, these marriages have no legal recognition under Indian law, and are often meet with societal disapproval.

Gay marriage is not a debated issue in India, a country where homosexuality is still technically illegal. Except for a few sporadic incidents, homosexuality or same-sex marriages are almost never discussed in public though the situation has changed significantly. And why has it changed? Because of pioneering efforts by a lot of gay-acting homosexuals. ;)

I have never thought of being married. I don’t believe in the institution. That is my perspective and my prerogative – but in the same vein, I do not look down upon friends who do want to get married and I respect their opinion. So humanity is a very, very wide spectrum – the theory of relativity applies to it exceedingly!

‘Ironically, while the British drafted Section 377 of the IPC, while replacing a previously tolerant Indian attitude towards sexuality with a highly oppressive one of their own, this law was repealed in the UK in 1967. A recent study conducted by the UNFPA in rural India has found that male-to-male sex is not uncommon. ‘‘In fact, a higher percentage of men reported male-to-male sex than sex with sex-workers. Close to 10 per cent of unmarried men and 3 per cent of married men reported sex with other men in the past 12 months,’’ says the study.

Yet, India remains untouched though literature drawn from Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and modern fiction testify to the presence of same-sex love in various forms. Ancient texts such as the Manu Smriti, Arthashastra, Kamasutra, Upanishads and Puranas refer to homosexuality.

But finally, it is not a war between straight and gay. It doesn’t have to be. Each world has its positives and each world has its negatives! Surely being a mature man of the world, you will agree to this. A new mindset is the need of the hour! Otherwise, human beings will continue to suffer inhuman exploitation just because nature has nourished them with the need to be different. And it is the difference that makes us all unique!

You say that you have nothing to look forward to: well, I don’t know about other people, but I can say that if I die tomorrow, I will die without regrets. Life to me is not about looking forward to something that is monumentally varying – because one never know whether the change shall happen for the good or the bad – it is merely living day by day and saying thank you for the things you already have!

To me, the new release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is something that I eagerly look forward to. And then of course, the release of the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Then – who knows? Perhaps another book. Or writing an essay. Or Anand sending me a poem. Or just receiving a letter from you. :) I live day to day. I don’t think about the future, R, because believe me, it comes soon enough.

I do not think you are being melodramatic when it comes to talking about the wounds that you have received from people. We all have our own share of scars. Someday, when we sit to compare them, you’ll realize once and for all, that everyone goes through shit and some point of time in their lives. I have also learnt – and this is thanks to my mom – that one should not look up and compare, but look down and do so. I may not have a dozen Corollas in a bungalow worth 20 crores in Malabar Hill, but I do have the ability to jump into a privately chauffeured auto rickshaw from a comfortable flat in Versova. Besides, when has having money been equivalent to having peace of mind? When has having scores of silly friends been equivalent to having one true friend?

BLOODY HELL, my “letter” has turned into a short story! God, you asked for a long letter, but I went overboard! So to quickly end my letter, I shall say, yes! There is a silver lining to every dark cloud. But I shall also say, open your mind, be true to yourself, rely on those who love you unconditionally and whatever happens, it will be for the best.
 
 
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