I *heart* Bombay (and well..Boston)

I'm urban..in the way other people are mountain-people or tunafish junkies. I love city life...something about dreary concrete blocks and grumpy people totally gets my juices flowing. Ergo, this will be a blog about me, my two favourite cities (Bombay and Boston), my addiction to Vietnamese coffee and my views on Gregorian chant and it's efficacy in curing some types of tympannic membrane rupture. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pride (In the name of love)

Saturday August 16th was Bombay’s first ever GLBT march – our version of Gay Pride..Of course I was there – after agonizing about what to wear. As you’ll see, I settled for dressing like I dress everyday. After all, part of getting people to accept you, is getting them to accept you as you are. Which in my case is "fashion victim desperately trying to hide a 31 year old belly by inhaling and holding his breath for as long as he can – and then finding a quiet corner to exhale where no one can see him".

We gathered at Gowalia Tank – rather grandiosely renamed August Krati Maidan after the Quit India resolution of 1942 that was passed there. The point of having Pride start there was twofold – one; to ask for the repealing of Article 377 – the article in the Indian Penal (heh!) Code that makes me a criminal for loving a man (Which technically means I’m safe – I’m loveless at the moment), the second; to show that even after the rest of India celebrated our Independence day on August 15th, sexual minorities were still waiting the next day for their right to be free from prejudice.

The Maidan was a sea of color. Rainbow mostly – but with a lot of pink by the gay bois and stonewashed jeans for the lesbians. There was lots of speechifying by the feminists and the lesbians and the trans community with a rather valiant effort by S. on behalf of us gay bois. Meanwhile cut to all of us gay bois at the back of the crowd comparing clothes, colors and accessories. Whoever said we weren’t a shallow and vain bunch! We even had a celeb sighting – a C list celeb in angel wings come to “share” our pain. Yikes! Meanwhile, I couldn’t spot a single gay celeb anywhere (Except my charming friend K. M. looking very dapper in his trademark mascara). We tried to gloss it over talking about how if they had come, it would have overshadowed the march itself but it was very disappointing to have no Bollywood or industry support for the march (Yeah, a couple of lines in the Bombay Times don’t count as support!)

Anyway, we marched towards Chowpatty (a fitting location given the “action” that happens here come Ganpati Visarjan) passing a lot of middle class South Bombay (Yes, apparently it exists!). Curious flat owners leaned down to take pictures of the march (and us…)..Little old Parsi ladies at Ness Baug fanned themselves and kept a look out for Uncle Rohinton and Auntie Tehmi..cops wondered what straw they drew to get stuck protecting a bunch of happy, dancing, singing queers. All the way down to the beach where we sang one last “Hum Honge Kaamyaab”, got one last set of numbers and headed off home.

All in all a great time for me. I danced, I sang, I marched, I got dumped by a guy, I got asked out by this girl (“Are you “really” sure you can’t be bi?”) I can’t wait till next year..Inshallah we’ll be celebrating “NOT” being criminals next year…
(Left: Me - exhausted and happy at the end of the day)


  • At 11:11 PM, Blogger Kris Bass said…

    Things are surely coming around aren't they? At least the girls have started asking you out. Now you just have a few more levels

    Girls loving girls, Bois who like girls, Bois who like bois and cute bois who like bois!



  • At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    whats on your head?!!?

  • At 1:33 AM, Blogger Kush said…

    Truly colorful. I am so glad to read your post on the Pride March. I wish I was in the country during this time.

    This is an interesting phase and I am sure, we all will be seeing light at the end of this tunnel soon.


  • At 2:31 AM, Blogger *Aham* said…

    So beautifully written.

    Undoubtedly, the best report that I have read so far.


    especially, Loved the "heh" after penal. lol.

    smiles :-)
    Harish (Aham)

  • At 4:51 AM, Blogger pepe M. said…

    "fashion victim desperately trying to hide a 31 year old belly by inhaling and holding his breath for as long as he can – and then finding a quiet corner to exhale where no one can see him"...this really throw me off from my seat! you are one hell of a guy!!!

  • At 5:04 AM, Blogger Vikster said…

    Kris: Don't be alarmed if you see me with this girl sometime soon..she is hella cute!

    Anony1: It's a mask - the gay bois all had masks which they could wear if they felt uncomfy showing their faces....I didn't but the mask was wicked colorful.

    Kush: you should come for the next yearoe. Would be nice to hang out like Kirs, VisualScribe and me did throughout the march (We're gay and we blog!)

    Aham: Chup. You are biased! Thanks for intro-ing me to your professor though..he was SUPER-PINK!

    Pepe: Why won't your bf reply to my messages?

  • At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    great to hear from u.why dont u get a lil lesson from kris for blogging a lil more frequently. really hope u wldnt ave to do the parade next year n we would ave actually screwed the article 377 by then( luv the sticker .hehe). u dare not think of going back to boston. we need u here.though i have some kind of a feeling that ur better suited with 'mr firangi' than a local boi. hope u find sm1 soon. i think u should really take kris's advice. the net isn't as lame as it seems to be....DelH Boi

  • At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Glad everyone had a good time and hopefully made a few people think about choices and legality and liberty.

    But what is the actual legal and lobbying effort to get this draconian act repealed? Who is actively working on belling that monstrous cat? Or does the buck literally stop at the parade?

    I am very curious about that. Any updates?

    Another Kiran in NYC

  • At 9:09 PM, Blogger pepe M. said…

    oh vick, the twit is married to his job! sigh :(

  • At 3:25 AM, Blogger Rambunctious WhipperSnapper said…

    How can people take something called a "penal" code seriously?

    Plus I'm a 26 yo fashion victim with a 32 yo belly .. and it shows.

    Now you can feel better about yourself.

    You can thank me later. (insert smiley)

  • At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    there's nothing wrong with a natural body, six packs are so 2003 --DH

  • At 6:40 PM, Blogger atavism said…

    What a wonderful post. Glad to see thehotvikster marching in a gay parade, even if it can't compare to that last parade we attended together years and years ago ;)

  • At 11:05 PM, Blogger Vikster said…

    DelhiBoy: I promise to try and blog more often but I work :-) So It's kinda hard to find the time to do that. As for finding a firang, I don't feel like I need to protect us from the competition all the time! So I much prefer someone who grew up here :-0

    KiranNYC: There is a petition by the Naa foundation in front of th Delhi High court right now to overturn 377. Inshallah, we'll hear soon what happens!

    Pepe: I know! Aamir keeps him busy!

    Ram. Whip: Haha. Thanks for the encouragement!

    DH: The problem is it's 2003 in Bombay :-)

    IGC: I'm glad u remembered. That was a very special day. And night.

  • At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    And we in Delhi are proud as well...our march went well and this is really the cherry on top;-)

    Blog on!

  • At 7:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i got the understatment u meanster..DelH BOi

  • At 4:01 PM, Blogger Kush said…

    "...(We're gay and we blog!)"

    Huh! And why did you think I thought otherwise? HA!

    Anyway's you don't seem to have an email link on your profile page.


  • At 12:22 PM, Blogger The Line of Beauty said…

    ahh, I know what one goes thru while deciding what to wear..only hitch is when one really wants be undressed.

  • At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh wow! You look a bit like Barkha in that pic ;)
    I guess it's the smile... and the hair...
    Sowie! *blushes at his own remark, yet doesn't erase it out... giggle*

    There's a Middle Class South Bombay? Now that is new!
    Great coverage :)

  • At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Helena said…

    damm..made me wish GLBT march for Gay Pride in Auckland aswell...although it's legal here...but yet no one appreciates it...so what..once it's legallised you dont celebrate it anymore...sigh!

  • At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    there are probaby a few "firangs" who find you quite handsome and desirable.

  • At 10:44 PM, Blogger Vikster said…

    Anony1: I heard! I saw the Delhi pics..gosh you guys have some hot lookers there!

    DelhiBoi: :-) An intelligent boi aren;t you! Hugs.

    Kush: Email link added!

    The line of Beauty: Always remember, wear clean underwear! (And I wear date underwear whenever I hang out with gay bois..you never know!)

    Unsungpalm: Great! I look like Barkha? Now I w=should have a line of gay bois outta my door :-0

    Helena: Oh, you don't need an excuse to party! Can't you still have one?

    Anony3: Where Where Where?

  • At 11:14 PM, Blogger Kris Bass said…

    You have just been tagged by, guess who, me!

  • At 9:59 PM, Blogger Gagan said…

  • At 3:43 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

  • At 4:09 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

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