Sunday, 27 July 2014

Queer Pride - Kerala - India - July 26, 2014 - a welcome change

It is a criminal offense to be gay in India. Even then, a gay pride rally happened in Kerala, the southern most and a quite orthodox state of India. So things are changing, bit by bit. This time, the pride was definitely better as there was sizable participation from our heterosexual counterparts which is commendable because those straight people who participated in the pride will be labelled gay and most probably get bullied later. Still, they showed the courage to come out for the help of their friends, to voice for the rights of their friends. Special kudos for those brave hearts. Previously I had reservations about the pride rallies which often turn  very loud  and slap straight at the face of society, now I think, such rallies are needed, because society will not take notice. 

Some snaps below....To see more go to this Kerala Queer community in Facebook named Queerala

Love to see the kid, at least he learns tolerance.

 Photo: Our youngest pride supporter!
5th Kerala Queer Pride March, 26th July.
#KeralaLGBT, #Queerala #KeralaQueerPride2014



 Photo: And the rainbow flag is in Kochi !!! yay!!!
5th Kerala Queer Pride March, 26th July.
#KeralaLGBT, #Queerala #KeralaQueerPride2014

 Photo: Bikers are all set !!! 
5th Kerala Queer Pride March, 26th July.
#KeralaLGBT, #Queerala #KeralaQueerPride2014

 All images from Queerala 

Celebrate tolerance and diversity. Make the world a better place for everyone.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Who will give a seat to a hapless mother in an Indian bus? No body !!!

an Indian woman carries a child as she queues for an overcrowded train at a railway station in New Delhi.

Just a day after the horrendous and inhuman Delhi gang rape incident, I was traveling via bus to my work place. It was amazing to see that on that particular day, the ladies enjoyed a rare privilege. Usually when a lady enters the bus, she is welcomed by prying eyes and a mixed bag of emotions. But on that day, men were actually competing for relinquishing their seats for ladies, chivalry was the only thing in the air, men very cautious to keep their distance not to touch or everybody was looking with such care whenever  a young girl steps in to bus. Some people even willing to take their luggage, I was totally stunned to see all this. What a wonderful world!! After a few days, everything went back to normal - the usual scanning process and the suspecting looks. 

 Another situation you can see while traveling in Kerala is when a mother carrying a child enters in the bus. Usually when the ladies with kids enter the bus, first they will look at the ladies section with the hope that some other ladies will give them their seats, but in reality it will be mostly men giving them the seats. Now ladies are wise enough not to enter through the front door (the seats around front door are reserved for ladies in Kerala buses), instead they will enter via back door bypassing the ladies section. The other "mothers" and "grandmothers" didn't even care to look at them but they will look at the men with a question in their eyes "why you guys are not allowing the lady to sit" and men in question "fathers and grand fathers", especially those who sit near the door will be enjoying the scenery (which they will otherwise ignore) or just stare at the lady, expecting the lady to pass their seat. The lady with the kid will have to spot a suitable person, better a man, who they believe will stand up. Usually it will turn up to be some young men, "unmarried men", yeah, correct choice, they will stand up. Well, bachelor men/women are supposed to be unruly, selfish and irresponsible, but in they bus, they are chivalrous than the "unselfish family men" and women" !! 

 I have some reservations on why ladies with their kids are entering a "crowded superfast bus"? They should apply some common sense there. Most people are long distance travelers in a superfast bus;  it is a herculean task to grab a seat especially at weekend days and they expect men to stand up under those circumstances let alone the women seated!! Other women also know men will stand up and thus it is not their duty to stand up. After all most women  know the pain of standing with a kid in a fast moving bus and most of them may have enjoyed the privilege before by grabbing a seat vacated by a gentle man, but still they don't consider it to be their duty to stand up for their own species when the need arises. Well, being said all these, there are exceptions. I have seen some girls instantly giving up their seats and they are bachelors...........bachelors rock!!!!

I am not a sexist. But I think both men and women have the same resposibility to stand up when a mother carrying a baby steps in a bus. I have relinquished my seat most of the times. I haven't done that when some ladies who carry grown up children just to get a seat. If it is a genuine case, I usually gives up the seat. Not because I consider women to be weak, but I feel that it is the right thing to do, a random act of kindness. Recently, supreme court, the highest court of India, gave instructions for reserving a seat for mothers in superfast buses too. Well, I think that is the best move to ensure that some justice being done to the hapless mothers. But we need to see how well it is implemented. 

Image credits: 

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Pink paintings - Part 1

There is a big list of gay artists. Somehow being gay and being a painter is so connected and correlated that many of the great men like Da Vinci, Michael Angelo and Caravaggio give a rich legacy to gay men all around the world. Here are some of the paintings by the masters and contemporary artists with a gay theme or male nudity for that matter!!

Micheal Angelo - The magic of gigantic male figures in virtually all possible poses!!

Joseph Christian Leyendecker - Commerical Gay American  art.

gay art 

Richard Bruce Nugent - The explicit African American gay art pioneer 


Charles Demuth, Distinguished Air, 1930.

Leonardo Da Vinci - the master of all times

José Manuel Hortelano-Pi - earthy humans


Ralph Chubb - Contemplation,  1925 


Claudio Bravo - hyperrealism


bravo02.jpg  bravo07.jpg

David Hockney - not so straight world

Sunday, 6 July 2014

you are being so much macho - a story told by Harish Iyer

Sharing a status update by Harish Iyer on facebook...

("Hijra" is the term for "transgenders" in Hindi)
("BAHUT MARDH BANTA HAI" - Hindi - "you are being so much macho")
Image credit: Indiamike

"A blue collored worker in the train bullied a hijra while a couple of others were laughing at his "jokes". i watched like a mute spectator waiting for once for someone to raise a voice of dissent. none did. most of them who were offended, turned to the hijra with a sympathetic eye. i waited for the crowd to respond, and the crowd waited for the crowd to respond. All this while, the hijra who was hanging by the footboard symbolically, (half of hir body hanging in the sky, half on the train) kept a poker face oblivious to the jibes directed at hir. I waited for another couple of stations like a mute fucker in a colony of impotent spectators. The jibes intensified, the look on the hijra's face got even more intense. I always wanted people to fight for their own rights, I waited for a response as another couple of stations went by. Then the nice blue collared man went up to the hijra and started prodding her. Too close for comfort, the hijra person pushed hirself to the corner of the footboard to give the Lord of Fuckland more space. Again, kind hearted and sensitive people watched with a sympathetic eye. I waited for them to respond, they waited for someone to respond. So, in effect no one responded, as a couple of more stations passed by. Time had kind of stopped to watch the man stoop to new lows of disgrace. It was vadala road, I had just two more stations to alight. I decided to speak up. I gathered all my pent up anger, and screamed "BAHUT MARDH BANTA HAI. What the fuck did the hijra do to you, why are you troubling the hijra". There was pin drop silence in the otherwise chaotic train. The Hijra was still poker faced, acted as if she didnt hear a single word of support. The asshole charged at me with rage, and his friends held on to him to prevent him from doing any drama. He went " what the hell is your problem you homo". At this point, the silent empathizers spoke up, not for me but also for the hijra "Dude, behave yourself else you will be thrown on the tracks with your two friends, dare you fucking speak to THEM like that. APOLOGIZE. APOLOGIZE NOW." In the meantime, the hijra alighted the train, silently, oblivious to all that was happening around her, not a word of thanks, not a word of hatered, not a pinch of any emotion on her poker face. The asshole was silent now, guess he was overwhelmed by the crowd that joined as the chorus against him. He rendered an apology to me. "sorry boss, said what i said in anger". In the meantime, there were some phone cameras that were out clicking pictures. (Who doesn't like some good drama, yeah?). In the meantime, it was time for me to alight too, guess the asshole went further to VT.
I alighted, and my first reaction at Cotton Green station was of anger at the hijra, "why cant they fight for their rights", i thought. But soon, it changed to that of empathy and evaluation - DO WE REALLY GIVE HIJRAS A VOICE?"

As told by Harish Iyer............touching, right? I wish I had half the courage he showed to respond in such situations!!!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A message from Transgender community - Video by Ryan Mendonca


Trans-genders are an extremely marginalized community all over world, especially in India. They are born that way (most of them) and society considers it to be their fault. We should better blame "god" for making them "in-between". They are considered a "nuisance" by the society and largely abused. The men who verbally abuse them during the day will sexually abuse them at night. Whatever, they surely can grab attention, whenever a transgender steps into a public space, people turn their heads and stare. Stare and laugh are part of their lives. They don't care and they embrace their unusual self wholeheartedly. They should be praised instead of showering abuse on them. In this video, Ryan Mendonca beautifully utilizes their attention grabbing ability to good use, to convey a socially relevant message, a simple message of wearing seat belt and abiding to traffic rules. Kudos, Ryan!!


The message is in Hindi, but subtitles are hard-coded in English.