World Through Rose Coloured Shoes.
This is the story of someone I once knew. His name has been changed for all obvious reasons. But I don’t want it to be. I remember when I first met him, we all knew he was gay, he never came out to us. But we knew. The concept of homosexuality was relatively new to us. It was there, but we were only getting to know about it . And we were suddenly amidst people who were living the life. We knew him as an eccentric individual. We only got to see the real side of him after a whole year of being with him. Homosexuality meant being attracted to someone of the same sex. We never knew it could also mean sometimes feeling like another sex altogether. In some cases it was just a phase. A chronic cross dresser like him, I never imagined this to be a phase of somekind. I knew about his whereabouts through social networking sites, but I didn’t know who he had become anymore. This openly gay man had now become sober. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying he no likes women, but the eccentricity in the individual, the positivity he once had towards life, while it may still be there I believe the older him could have probably taken him elsewhere. Homophobia is a disease. It has become the sole reason for homosexuals to go back to living in a hole and not express themselves. Hate crimes against them by family and others have intensified so much that we might as well go back to living in the old ages where our brain was yet to develop and everything then was considered normal. I know someone who calls himself asexual even though deep down he knows what he is but is too scared to admit it because he has no other way. If differences in culture and ethnicities are all a thing, why then is difference in sexual preferences frowned upon? Cross dressing, Transexuals, Homosexuals, Heterosexuals imagine what a rich culture ours would be. Chapter He got off the auto rickshaw, his saree trailing behind him sweeping the floors. He was glad it was all over, the last minute cancellation of his cab had got him worried, but he was lucky enough to find a ride back home. Not the most comfortable ride because he had to endure the drivers stares through the way. He paid the driver and walked up the stares. It was 1.45am, the corridors were lit with a red zero candle bulb. Such a shady place to live in he thought, but he could only afford this much. His lifestyle had become too extravagant lately, with all the shopping for clothes, jewellery and wigs. He got his keys out of his bag. The key chain was a silver peacock with tassels made of beads. It had always fascinated him, he always thought that when he made enough money, he would make gold earrings just like the peacock and give it to his mum. He never got a chance. It was the last thing his mom had given to him before he was thrown out of the house by his father. It was the last time he had seen her. He remembered the day his sister called him up from Kolkata, sobbing loudly. He had just then snorted his fix. He barely heard anything right, on top of which she was being incoherent. It had irritated him. He yelled at her, asked to shut that mouth, gather herself and then speak right. She did that. She barely managed to utter the last few words,“she died today, you left me and now she did too”. He said nothing, his world was whirling around, his head throbbing, the drug was taking effect. The last thing he heard that night was his sister saying “Hello, hello Kiran bhaiyaaa..say something. Come back home. Please. Hello?? “. When he woke up the next day he was on the floor, his cellphone was ringing, his house was a mess. There was water overflowing from the kitchen. The sink was blocked and it was spilling all over the floor. The supplies he had got for the month were all in water. His head felt heavy. He never had felt this way before. He had used cocaine several times before but it had only made him happy. The batch must have been bad he thought to himself. It was only after he saw who was calling him did he remember what had happened last time. He answered the call, it was his sister. She asked him if he was on his way home. The last rights had been performed because they could not wait for him. He cut the call, walked towards the kitchen, turned the water off. He stood there motionless for about ten minutes before he screamed loud. He was screaming, crying, he flailed his hands and feet, he hit himself with whatever he found. His mouth felt paralysed, he only felt his lips quivering. He was calling out for his mother. He was on the floor, he could feel the water on his skin, his cheek on the floor. He slept there crying for hours until he didn’t know if it was his tears or just the water. He never went back home. He had nothing to go back to. He was still the same person they had last seen. He still felt like his mother, he never understood his father. He loved the big bindi on her forehead. He loved her jewellery. He once wished they would all become his. But he knew it would only remain that. He entered the house, turned to the picture he had stuck on the wall. A picture of Goddess Durga, known for her beauty and strength. It was Durga Pooja that day, he had spent the whole day in prayers, he felt at peace. He had his mothers picture right next to it, but he never looked at it. He went straight to the mirror, took out some cotton and started wiping off the make up on his face. He looked closely, he needed a shave . He removed his saree, folded it neatly and put it on a hanger. He removed his blouse and the padded bra exposing his bare chest. He took a pair of shorts and a t-shirt to change into, when he heard a thud against his wall. The beating increased. It was his pervy neighbour. “ Daarling!! he said, in a thick south indian accent, “Are you back home?” . Can I come over, I’ll let you do what you want. If you don’t like that I’ll do whatever you want”. He ignored. He had been doing that since the time he had moved in. Every night he would yell out, saying he was thinking about him and touching himself. He had once dropped in an envelope through his window. When he had opened it, he was disgusted with what he had found inside. It was an album full of pictures of his privates. He had gone to the extent of stopping him in the middle of the corridor not letting him leave and insisted on watching him touch himself. Kiran knew he shouldn’t be staying there. He knew it was only a matter of time before he would make a pass at him and he knew it wouldn’t be as subtle as the previous ones. But he was only a student, with a part time job that paid him enough to get by. He couldn’t afford a better place. And he had moved into the city hoping to find freedom away from home. He wouldn’t let a horny man stop him. He put his saree and blouse into his cupboard in between ten other sarees he had bought with his own money. He grabbed a bottle of water and laid on his bed thinking of nothing until his eyes closed. His semester exams had just ended a month from the day of Durga pooja. He needed to get out. He had been busy with studies and papers for an entire month. All of this he had to do with his boy clothes. He had to dress up and head out to party. He hadnt gotten around to wearing skirts and a nice top yet. He thought his arms were too manly for it. He was only comfortable with sarees. He went home to find his friend waiting already. They went in. After a cup of coffee and some banana chips they got to work. Kiran had to shave that day. So by the time he shaved and took a shower his friend was ready in a pink saree with silver embroidery. He only got more excited. He went to his wardrobe and picked out a red banarasi saree and a gold blouse. He matched his jewellery and started with the make up. By the time they left the place it was already 8.13pm. They were going to a Gay bar. Now that he had some time off he wanted to socialise and find himself a partner. The bar was full with all kind of guys. He found his girlfriends sitting at the corner booth and rushed to meet them. He knew he was prettier than most of his girl friends. He just didn’t have a vagina. “That guy at the bar in the black t shirt has not stopped staring at you since you got here, said Preethi his best friend.” “ I know, but babe he doesn’t look like my type. Very tacky for my liking, whats with the brown boots? replied Kiran. “Shut up, this way your never going to find someone, now go buy me a drink”. Kiran stood up and went towards the bar, ordered for a drink and stood there. As expected the guy in the black shirt went up to him and asked if he could buy him a drink. And we all know how the rest of the story would go. Except that it didn’t go the way its meant to. Kirans friends left calling it a day, leaving him alone with his new found interest. Kiran, spent an hour more and decided to get home as he felt dizzy and sleepy. He stood up, but sat right back as his head was spinning. He had stopped using. He was only three drinks down. It had to be something else he thought. His dizziness only got exxagerated. He had to find a ride back and get home safe. That was his only thought. He still had to withdraw some money on his way back to pay the driver. He could only think of all these things, he never got around to do it. He checked his watch, it was 12.58am. The next thing he knew, he knew by flashes. He was in a room, he didn’t know where. He was surrounded by two men one of them who he recognised from the bar. He had a few beer bottles in their hand. When he realised what was happening he resisted and he felt a loud thump on his head. It hit him after a few seconds, the pain, and then the buzzing. It was loud and only growing, he knew he was being beaten many more times but the pain of the first one overpowered everything else. As he was thrown face down on the bed, he saw his saree through the corner of his eye on the floor. But then he bit his lip tight making sure he wouldn’t scream or he knew they would hurt him. Or even kill him perhaps. By the time both were done with him it was almost 3.00am. He saw them both fast asleep. He knew he had to get out now. He grabbed the mans pants and shirt, opened the door and ran while trying to wear whatever he could. He knew he was safe when he got out. There was noone on the roadexcept a few street dogs. He had no money, no shoes, he wiped off the makeup with the shirt and walked home limping with pain. He got home at around 5.40am, took the keys he had hidden under a pot. He opened the doors, and got himself out of the clothes and rushed into the shower and sat there naked. He wanted to cry but nothing. He just felt dirty. He scrubbed until his hands and body got red. Went out, wore his clothes and sat on the bed. He couldn’t sleep that day. He didn’t know what to say, he didn’t know if it was his mistake. He didn’t know if he had to file a complaint. What would his friends say, he was convinced that it was his fault. He dressed up like a woman and asked for trouble. It wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. The next day when he met his friends he did tell them, but he never really got around to hearing what they had to say. He knew he was abnormal. He was a man who liked other men. Who liked dressing up like a woman. He knew things would happen but was too naïve to believe it would ever happen. He never complained to the police. Because it would only mean telling others what he was now ashamed of. He only knew he had lost everything.