This article may be taken in lighter veins, I do not intend to hurt or comment upon anybody’s feelings or sexual preferences.
There were times when we Indians were more conservative in our approach. Should I call it hypocrite ? I still remember in the early part of 90s there was a national uproar when a cabaret dancer played the role of Sita. Today, an Indo Canadian pornstar is selling like a hot pie in Bollywood. Times have changed. With time the sexuality and the expression of it has become more vocal.
One tribe which is looked down upon, is a subject of joke and taunts and at times physical abuse are the minority fringes of gays, transgenders and transsexuals. To some extent though, these people through their body language, clothing, demeanor exhibit that they are not from the mainstream society. One finds himself very uncomfortable with such people for this reason. I have seen many a times in crowded compartments the bizzare acts of gays, their attempt is more physical in nature and many a times invite opposite reactions from the person who is getting perturbed. I have seen these people getting thrashed for the fault of their own.
This July when I alongwith three friends of mine went to Ladakh. We had a similar experience, that will remain with us forever. As we crossed Jammu and reached Srinagar, we were greeted by “Bandh” (Closedown) in protest of the killing of one terrorist by Security forces. There was total shut down and we nearly panicked. To add to our woes, the driver waylaid, he was unable to trace the hotel, it was not his fault anyways, the tour operator had spelt the name of the hotel wrong and we were scouting for a hotel that was not there. The security forces were staring at us with great deal of suspicion, their eyes told that. Finally the tour operator sent one sms which spelt the correct name and we could reach our hotel.
As we entered the gates, it was closed, and one guy out of it, from the way he was walking and his hairstyle we laughed, we understood that he was a gay. As we went into the parking lot, the manager came greeting us. Oh no, his hairstyle, the “surma” in his eyes raised doubts in our minds. The guy wasted no time confirming our doubts though. As he greeted he asked whether there were any girls with us. We said no. He said, wow, i like when only boys boys come together. We grinned looking at each others.
As we went for the dinner, we told our driver, Manoj, who had gelled with us quite well, he was a 23 yrs old simple Punjabi lad. When we inquired with him where he would be sleeping in the night, he said that he would be sleeping with the hotel staff and manager in the hotel basement. Hearing this we all laughed and warned him be be bit cautious. He did not understand, one friend of mine, explained to him and hinted that the manager and his cook were gay. The driver thought we were kidding and pulling his legs. That was the business we were doing all the way in our trip, so the driver did not take the suggestion at face value. We all wished him best of luck and asked when to assemble the next morning.
The next day when we went near our vehicle we found our Driver in a pensive mood, his eyes were bit swollen as if he did not sleep the whole night. We jokingly asked did u enjoy the last night. The driver was bit angry, looking at my friend he said, you were right sir, those **** did not let me sleep the whole night and i had to run out of the room and sleep in my vehicles, here the mosquitoes did not let me sleep. We laughed, the driver made faces.
We stayed in the hotel for four nights and ensured we were at safe hand distance from this particular guy.
Next time we visit Kashmir we would be dead sure that we do not stay in that particular hotel, lest the manager of the other hotel be different.