Thursday, February 26, 2009

An Equal Love


[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Gay couple walking down sidewalk

Another Valentine’s Day is here. A day to honour love and lovers. A day when many couples exchange flowers, romantic notes, gifts and cards to each other. A day when many lucky ones go out and celebrate their love. It’s a nice feeling to love and be loved, to feel that you mean everything for someone, to feel that you can count on this one person to share your innermost feelings. And there are many of us who are still hanging on to that “single” – tag, waiting for love to happen or just enjoying being single. But even then no one can deny the fact, Valentine’s Day is that day of the year when love overshadows any other sentiment.

But this year’s Valentine’s Day is not just about love alone. Many of us are surprised and angered to hear from a bunch of narrow-minded goons that spending time with our lover in open places and celebrating Valentine’s Day is wrong, that it is against our “culture”. Many of us are raising questions about who are these people to decide on what we should or should not do and what right they have to interfere in our personal lives. It is so ridiculous for someone to dictate that we will not be allowed to celebrate our love on a Valentines Day! This all seems so absurd, right?

Now just think about a small percentage of population who always has felt this unfairness that you are all feeling right now, every single day! Yes I’m talking about gays. For us gays, we could never think of celebrating Valentine’s Day with our special person in open places because we never felt secure to express our love. There is this fear always echoing in our minds (and not on Valentine’s Day alone) about what others would think and react if they see us holding hands or sitting across a table looking into each others eyes or giving a peck on the cheeks. It is not a good feel to always search for a secluded place to exchange such small tokens of love.

[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Gay couple at resturant

[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Gay couple at park

[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Gay couple romancing

What is it that makes gay love be considered second class by many? Why does it face so much scorn? Why do some feel the need to preach hate and pass judgments? Many of us enter into gay relationships knowing the bitter truth that this could be ephemeral because sooner or later, we will be forced to marry someone whom our folks have searched and found “suitable”. And that true love yields to parental and societal pressures. Many gays prefer one night stands because they know gay relationships do not stand a chance in our country. Why does it have to happen this way? Why do we have to forfeit our happiness for the sake of gratifying a society who by the way, doesn’t care a hoot about us?

I say it is high time to realize that the love between a man and a man, or a woman and a woman is equally sublime as the love between a man and a woman. Because we too nurture that concept of growing old together. We too dream of waking up beside our lover. We too enjoy walking on beaches and parks holding hands. We too desire on introducing our sweetheart to friends and families. But this all can happen only if you accept us; if you accept us in the same way we are accepting you. Love is not something that should be forced to hide. It deserves to be respected and acknowledged. And we should be able to express our love with no fear or shame because it is after all an emotion we feel for that special person whom our heart beats for.

[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Gay couple on beach

This was the guest post I wrote for Blogbharti which was published on Valentine's Day. Click here to know more. Shaheryar Ali at Sherryx informed me that this article became the main inspiration for him to write this outstanding piece. I'm glad!

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Monday, February 23, 2009

That Hunk On The Men's Health Cover!


Even though Farhan Khan was the cover guy on the November issue of Men's Health India last year, it seems now only his hunk-effect is spreading contagiously over the gay Orkutsphere when guys are busy adding his photo shoot video to their profiles.

The following video is available in HD (press HQ button to enable) which means, you can put it full-screen (press Full-Screen button) without losing much clarity!

I know with a body like that, it's kinda difficult to focus on his face.. which by the way, is equally worthy to get every ounce of our attention.

I especially liked his advice on quitting cigars to achieve a smoking body like his. In fact taking puffs is not only unhealthy, but also a mood-killer when you are passionately entangled in kissing. One time I was with a guy and during the whole make out session, the only thing I could think was how charred his tongue tasted! So that's it! Never again I'm gonna kiss a smoker!

By the way, the photographer fella is Subi Samuel and he is one of the busiest Indian photographers. They say he is a man of few words, but his photography is one that speaks for itself. The end result of this photo shoot as you can see below, is a testament for that.

Click on them to fill your screens with our yummy
Farhan Khan!

Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Farhan Khan Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Farhan Khan
Video and image source: Men's Health India.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

If Slumdog Millionaire Was Unfair To Mumbai


Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Slumdog Millionaire

Yes I saw Slumdog Millionaire. A good movie, but highly overrated. Although it had a Bollywood feel to it, I enjoyed a lot because unlike the usual Bollywood movies, it didn't overdramatize situations and had a punch of raw feel to it. An Oscar material? I don't think so. But then if all the hype helps in getting global recognition for few Indian talents, who am I to compain! But Slumdog Millionaire changed the way I think about myself. Whenever I grumble about my not-happening life, I should remind myself to thank God that I wasn't chosen to be born in those slums, and that I'm not one among those numerous unfortunate boys whose eyesight is taken away with red-hot spoons or whose limbs are cut off so that their masters can get more money.

But this post wants to talk about an entirely different topic. Recently, the director Priyadarshan was bashing Slumdog Millionaire as a mediocre trashy film. Although I do not agree to his views at all, I couldn't help relating his thoughts to what I once wrote about the movie Dostana. (I know! I need to move on, but this is the last attempt. So please bear with me!)

Priyadarshan's remarks about Slumdog Millionaire are put in quotes and my take regarding Dostana is explained after each quote.

"The West loves to see us as a wasteland, filled with horror stories of exploitation and degradation. But is that all there’s to our beautiful city of Mumbai?"
The Indians love to see a homosexual man as limp wristed foppish flamboyant weirdo who walks and talks like a woman having extraordinary penchant in fashion or dying of AIDS. But is that all there's to portray about gays?

"It should have been made by Mani Ratnam. Then you’d have seen what he would have done with Mumbai."
Dostana should have been made by some female director, like Reema Kagti (of Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. fame) or Parvati Balagopalan (of Rules: Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula fame). Then you'd have seen what they would have done with homosexuality and gays.

Priyadarshan is surprised that Mumbai is celebrating a film that shows only the city’s underbelly. "Why are we taking this treatment? Just because a white man has made Slumdog Millionaire, we’re so happy with it?"
And I was surprised about many Indian gays taking pride in getting homosexuality featured through Dostana. Just because homosexuality became the core-theme in a bollywood flick, why were many gays celebrating a film that only enforces every conceivable gay stereotype!

The angry director wonders why there isn’t a single shot in Slumdog Millionaire that shows the more aesthetic side of Mumbai?
And the angrier I wondered why there wasn't a single shot in Dostana that shows the more usual behaviour of gays?

Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Slumdog Millionaire

If you feel Slumdog Millionaire makes Westerners think about India as "a wasteland filled with horror stories of exploitation and degradation", I say Dostana was equally destructive towards gays. I was then told that Dostana should not be taken as a documentary and it was just a fiction, so chill! Then why now are we not having the same attitude towards Slumdog Millionaire? At least Danny Boyle didn't exaggerate unlike many of our Indian directors do.

Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Slumdog Millionaire

Rant: Anyways, since I brought up Priyadarshan to this discussion.. Man! He is just butchering all those beautiful Malayalam movies that we Keralites cherish in our hearts. His latest offering Billu Barber is just another remake of yet another Malayalam movie, Katha Parayumbol (translation: When Story Is Told). Although I haven't seen Billu Barber (Why should I?), I'm definitely sure that it will once again not be a match to the original. I was moved to tears seeing Mammooty's efficacious acting in the climax scene of Katha Parayumbol and here I guess going by the standards, Shah Rukh Khan must have got yet another wonderful opportunity to ham!

And to the Westerners.. Let not Slumdog Millionaire scare you from visiting India, especially Mumbai. What shown in the movie is one reality. But now, why don't we try to see Mumbai through the eyes of an eight-year-old to get a different perspective!

The following video is available in HD (press HQ button to enable) which means, you can put it full-screen (press Full-Screen button) without losing much clarity!
This song is from the film, Taare Zameen Par (translation: Stars On Earth) and you can find it's beautiful lyrics and translation at here.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Guest Post At Blogbharti!


Crazy Sam's Bloginess: I Love You

The guys at Blogbharti, Jo and Kuffir, thought it would be cool if I could write a guest post about Valentine's Day from an Indian gay's perspective. As much I considered it as an honour to write for a web space frequented by countless Indians, it was also that much scary to think of exhibiting my mediocre writing in front of that vast audience. But we felt, this time is the most appropriate to address the dilemma that every gay faces in our society. Because on Valentine's Day in India, straight couples are warned against hanging out in public - a synonymous situation that gays confront not just on Valentine's Day, but every day in this multicultural subcontinent. Since I'm always looking out for ways to cure homophobia, I realized Blogbharti is giving me yet another opportunity to do exactly that and I didn't want my diffident thoughts to stand in the way. Blogbharti has now put up my post, An Equal Love. [link] I request my readers to head to there and have a look at it. Hope you all like it!

Thanks Jo and Kuffir for bestowing me this privilege.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Being Gay


Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Starbucks Cup Quote: My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it for so long. I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don't make the mistake yourself. Life's too damn short. - Armistead Maupin

Many a times I have asked myself what if I were not born this way, what if I had only the usual feelings that a guy has to another. My life would have been different for sure, I would not have undergone many chapters of confusion and pain. I would not have felt the need to suppress my emotions. I would not have had to choose living a closeted life. In short, I could have been living a life much free of insecurities and confusions.

Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Handsome Face

During my school days, there was this boy whom I used to find really weird. He always behaved as if he were a girl. I found his feminine conducts not befitting to a male. I guess he was ignored by most of the boys and he had only girls for company. I too used to think low of him, used to look at him with contempt, even finding difficult to give a smile. My eight year old mind didn't want to understand him. Many years later, I realized I'm gay and the path towards that realization was very trying. I found myself asking questions unable to find answers. I felt like I was the only one feeling this attraction towards men and I couldn't find anyone to ask for help. Then through the internet I understood there are many who feel the same way and I also became aware that most of the people do not see gays as equal to them, often gays are looked down upon. I read many instances of homophobic attacks. I felt this was all very unfair.

That's when my mind spoke to me, "Now how do you feel when you are on the receiving side of this hatred and contempt!" I then realized what I did to that guy was also unfair. It was not his fault that he became transgendered, but people like him too deserves to live a life with dignity. But I admit that I'm still not ready to befriend them.

Being gay is not easy path for most of us because of our social setup. But we still travel that road no matter how bumpy it is. Would anyone pick hardship over easiness if given a choice? No. But we continue to be gay because it is not a choice. Living a gay life was not supposed to be hard, it was not supposed to be kept closeted. But it became that way, only because many people didn't want to accept differences which sowed seeds of hatred in their minds.

Crazy Sam's Bloginess: Guys Holding Hands

And I feel there is nothing to be proud about for being gay, just like what it is for being straight. But I will say being gay broke open the mold of closed-mindedness I was living in, it taught me to accept differences, it made me tolerant. And I believe that in return, it made me a better person.

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