The boy whom I loved

“Why don’t you get married” asked she suddenly. I was not prepared for this question from a total stranger yet I fumbled through an answer to put down the lid on the old lady who was grilling me on the subject which I thought people have forgotten. She seemed a jolly old lady who dared ask me about my single status and seemed satisfied with whatever answer I offered and so I asked her the story of her love and marriage. She gave me a tricky answer which I could not comprehend. She said “Though I never married the person I loved but I lived with him all my life.” She laughed mischievously as I gazed at her in my stupor. Old lady is entertaining me with stories I thought. Before she rolled out another bouncer “and you know his wife too approved of our love and never complained my living with him.” “Have you seen Titanic” I asked. She winked in affirmation and said “Do I remind you of Rose in her old age”?
I smiled as that was what I was thinking!
“My story is similar only the setting is different,” she said getting up to leave as she saw my friend coming.
“Your granny is simply great,” I said to my friend when she showed up. “She is not my granny she is my grandfather’s girlfriend whom he did not marry,” came another bombshell. The old lady was indeed in love with my friend’s grandfather when the country was going through the cruel period of the partition. They were drifted apart by cruel tide of time which spared no one in those difficult times. They ultimately met again when the dirty dust of bloodshed and violence had settled. But by that time her grandfather was married and settled with two kids. Her grandmother also a victim of the pitiless rioting preferred to have her home than live with the guilt of thrusting a hapless lover of her husband in the ruthless world. Such was the time and so deep was the love that though my friend’s grandparents have passed away she lived with the family loved and revered as any granny in a family.
“And you know why she is here?” my friend asked. I shook my head to indicate ignorance. “You know my brother and his wife were heading for a divorce.” “But theirs is a love marriage, isn’t it?” I intervened “As if love marriage is some guarantee for happy marriage,” she protested. “ But now this old lady has settled the issue by citing example of her love for my grandfather and importantly my grandmother’s tolerance”. She continued “For years I did not know her exact relation to our family but never was she despised by my grandmother and they lived like best friends always.”
“It is sad that we the present generation which has every comfort and security keep forgetting the good things and harp on bad things to draw daggers on the boy or the girl whom we love while this old lady in her late eighties still relates stories of her love and charms us with her love life.” my friend said moodily as the old lady came with cups of hot tea to relate another story.

Decriminalising homosexuality in India…. A Welcome Change

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The recent Delhi High Court judgement that decriminalised homosexuality has created a hue and cry amongst various organizations, communities, intellectualls and many, but i feel its a welcome change, a wiff of fresh air to call a spade a spade and accept things as they are by shedding off masks of hypocricy.

Leaders of various religious groups have however described this judgement as shocking, deplorable and unfortunate and an attempt by various quarters to encourage and popularise “unnatural sexual behaviour or perversion” and a “calculated effort” to impose the western value system into a country like India with strong and rich cultural lineage. I however beg to differ.

I feel, sexual preference is an extremely personal choice and there should be no interference of the court into it. Moreover, It is we who determined terms as “sexually straight”. For homosexuals, the other part of the world may not seem ,”sexually straight”. Every human being has a right to his  or her sexuality and just because of someone’s preference one cannot criminalise him or her. We live in this society where homosexuality was existant since ancient ages. We know stories of homosexuals being employed by kings to protect queens in their harems.  The statues of the ancient monuments of  Konark, khajuraho etc of India has projected homosexuality present in those ages in India. The moral police opposing this judgement cannot call this as a western concept thus.

India, the world’s largest democracy, one of the most tolerant countries of the world, which together unites different castes, communities, creed and religion had to take this step ahead to live to its true sense of tolerance  against this minority community. This decision will help people not to be forced to feel ashamed for something which they cannot change. It is the way they are, and we have to respect them for it rather than criminalise them. Homosexuality is not a diesease or a disablement. It is there in our society and its high time we accept it and respect them for what they are. The very hypocricy and hush hush with which this topic is handed in our society have led to cases of forced marriages of homosexuals to a person of their opposite gender. This has ruined the life of so many young men and women. This decision will prevent unfortunate cases like this where at least such couples leading a false life can file for a divorce and live with partners of their choice.

I believe in respecting an indiviual for the way one is and giving him his rights to live…. right to sexuality is just one of them.  Lets have mutual respect and tolerance for everyone in the society we live in because every one is special in his or her own way and hence has the right to walk with his mind without fear and head held high. In the words of Gurudev Rabindranath Thakur,

“Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”
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