Tag Archives: India

Mumbai Queer Pride ’16 : Don’t Rain On My Parade!

 

12647327_202138840140489_3026371843633173786_n

What: Queer Azaadi’s Mumbai Queer Pride 2016

When:  3:00 PM onwards, Saturday, February 6th, 2016.

Where: August Kranti Maidan, Mumbai.

Why: Because one never needs a reason to walk the Pride, and hey, what would you rather spend your saturday doing?

So let’s walk the talk, shall we?

Number Thirteen: The Doppelganger.

 

13 Doppelganger
Art Work: Siddha Kannur.

Churchgate

It’s a blind date, but I can recognize him anywhere. I’ve been told we look alike, but Thirteen, a writer with twinkling eyes is younger, brighter and happier. How do I know?

He’s waving at me across the station – dopey grin with a cornucopia of curls – and also I’ve only spent the last two days guiltlessly stalking him on Facebook. I laughed out loud with his status updates, sighed at his vacation pictures, pondered over his notes, judged his check-ins, scrutinized every freckle on his face, every friend on his list – well, you know the gist. His life is an open book. I am surprised by how minimal his privacy settings are. Do you know that one quirk we all adhere to?

We keep our friends close, our enemies closer, and our Facebook friends closest. Do I want other gay men to know who else I am flirting with? Our friend lists are like our little black books: full of old conquests, exes, one-night stands and those standalones whom you occasionally flirt with on messenger but have no intentions of meeting. Would I share my address book, lay it out bare? Not at all. It’s an unspoken rule: Hide your friends like you hide your prescription meds.

‘Hi!’ says the boy, he sounds breathless. How long was I breaking the fourth wall?

‘Hi!’ I grin back, full of hope. He was in the neighborhood, I was in the neighborhood – we decided to make the most of it – plus it makes a great story to tell. The greatest love stories begin at train stations.

‘Do you want to take this one?’ he asks, pointing at the train that’s just pulled in. Waves of people rush past, but we don’t lose each other. At least not yet.

‘Lead the way,’ I say.

He grins.

Grant Road

His work as an intern with a reputed tabloid – writes blurbs and whatnots – helps him earn a byline every now and then. There is a lot of ‘go get-me-some-coffee’ and ‘did-you-call-that-celebrity?’ or some ‘have-you-written-the-review-I-asked-you-to-write?’ if he’s lucky, but he’s always wanted to be a writer and he knows that’s how writers start. I cough involuntarily. Is that what he really wants to do?

No.

He wants to write stories about food – talk about it the way people talk about love – all-consumingly. Taste is an emotion – can a bit of chocolate tart give you butterflies in your stomach? Do you whimper with pleasure when you dig into a portion of freshly made Eggs Benedict? If your answer is yes, He is the right question.

Wait. Has he seen Ratatouille?

‘Everyone asks me that,’ he sighs. He loves food and even though he’s only a home baker, it is – hello, when do we get married?

He laughs aloud, and tells me I am funny.

Bombay Central

He’s telling me the perfect way to bake brownies (Let your eggs sit out of the fridge for a half hour before baking. They ensure that the brownies are gooey, and have a delicious crust) when –

‘You should come over for dinner sometime, I cook really well.’

Would there be brownies? I ask. We both giggle. A horde of travellers gets off the emptying train, but we don’t move apart.

Lower Parel

It’s difficult to discern whether you’ve made an impression on someone when you are being closely watched by everyone around you. A hundred pair of eyes. His are large and expressive, full of hope that I am too scared to crush.

‘Can I tell you something, you promise you won’t tell anyone?’

Uh-oh. I don’t like secrets that I can’t share.

‘The last time I went out on a date, I almost got mauled in an auto rickshaw,’ he blushes. I laugh loudly. The men around us are not amused. What did he do then?

He pushed him away (The him-in-question being a feisty television producer quite like number Eleven), jumped out of the rickshaw and never looked back once. Every gay man is a collection of short stories. Snippets shared over unlimited sangria and cigarette breaks or discussed behind dinner plates and closed bedroom doors. He is an anthology.

The train ride ahead is full of them – an S&M loving architect who designs celebrity homes. A thirty-something media mogul who has a weakness for twenty two year olds. A young fresh-faced doctor who had his first kiss at the age of twenty-one. If I weren’t in a northbound local back home, I would have thought I was auditioning for an episode of Gossip Girl. I take my chances and tell him so. He scrunches his eyebrows. Did I say something wrong? Did I lose my chance?

‘Are you team Blair Waldorf or team Serena van der Woodsen?’ he asks. I sigh. I think I should just go buy him a ring.

Mahim

He’s heading off to London in two months. Is he now?

Yes, for a writing program – and then he can kiss the internship goodbye. It’s going to be so exciting- the pubs, the food, the clothes, the English life, the aww’s instead of the aah’s – can you believe all the tea and scones I will have?

‘You should come visit if you are in that part of the world,’ he says to me. The train screeches to a halt in unison. I’ve never appreciated a signal so much.

It might be too soon to tell him that I am broke, but I know that he’s going to go places. Over the next couple of years, he will finish his Masters degree, work with a popular food magazine, start his own blog and get his heart broken multiple times. But where do we start?

With me.

On cue, a disembodied voice tells us that Bandra is next. Are we there yet already?

Bandra

It’s time. One of us has to go. ‘Do I see you again?’ one of us asks. It’s a pity that the two of us have different destinations to head to. The other one nods.

He beams as he gets off the train, and waves at me through the sea of faces that separate us. I wave past the faceless men and women, as the train pulls at my heartstrings. The others fade away, he doesn’t.

He texts me later, saying that I had him at hello. So did he, I almost tell him.

I never hit ‘Send‘.

 

The Date-o-meter: 8/10

Does this have a sequel? : Yes.

If this date were a song, it would be: ‘Wonderwall’ By Oasis.

 

 

 

 

Salvation Star’s Taboo Soiree: Saturday Night Fever.

12239161_560023720818443_3967150086033697294_o

 

What: Salvation Star’s Taboo Soiree

Where: The White Owl Brewery and Bistro, Lower Parel

When:  9:30 pm onwards, Saturday, 21st November 2015.

Why: Cute boys, great music, and these beautiful cocktail deals that make us weep with joy and break into Broadway performances of ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’. What else can one ask for on a Saturday night?

See you there?

12246794_559700884184060_7611321747621088246_n

Love And Other Drugs: Volume I

Love and other Drugs

Q. I might be in love with my best friend. What do I do?

– LoveLorn2012
What have all great Romcoms taught us (apart from the fact that bangs are cool, and you will most likely end up with your high school sweetheart)?
That it’s easier to fall in love with the best friend than it is to fit into a size Small during the Zara sale. But then again, life is no Romcom movie. (Least of all like You Got Mail, contrary to popular belief). Falling in love with the best friend is always a tricky thing – how close are the two of you to begin with? Do you watch an occasional movie together? Bitch out the new office intern during lunch hour? Braid each other’s hair while watching late night reruns of Grease? (Just kidding, no one braids each other’s hair anymore.)

Do gay best friends work the same way conventional best friends do? There’s always that thin shroud that cloaks every friend we come in contact with – it’s the diplomatic version of the friendzone, only politer. One minute you are both ogling at that cute boy sitting two tables away from you at the restaurant, and the other you are trying to awkwardly avoid each other. So what do you do if he doesn’t feel the same way?

The thing about great friendships is that they can withstand anything – so if your friend can’t deal with a confession and let it go, he probably wasn’t that great a friend to begin with.

If that happens, you can always have a cupcake.
Continue reading Love And Other Drugs: Volume I

The BALMAIN X H&M India Launch: A GuyStyler Exclusive!

Ever since H&M opened its fashion doors in India, our resident fashion expert, the GuyStyler (who also runs his own exclusive fashion blog here.) has made at least 10 visits to their super cool store which sells cooler clothes at an even cooler price (side note: He now needs to look for a larger wardrobe). But what everyone had been waiting for was one of the biggest fashion collaborations of recent times – Balmain X H&M.

4
Sharp-shouldered jackets and military detailing, what more can we ask for?

Known for their sharp-shouldered jackets and military detailing, collaborating with a mass brand like H&M was a challenge for 29-year-old creative director Olivier Rousteing. Despite his love for H&M, Rousteing said that this collaboration was a huge task given the fact that Balmain is super-expensive (goodbye, credit cards!). Changing of fabric and using less embroidery helped them achieve the unachievable – creating fashion for everyone. And the spectacular result is in front of us!

The very affordable collection is full of military-inspired pieces – from military green overcoats and black jackets to coats with gold detailing and chunky gold buttons. A majority of the collection features edgy monochrome looks with lots of zipper detailing – as seen here in the black statement jumpsuit, which has a dazzling zipper in the front. This is all really fancy but how does this help you, you ask?

5
The signature black statement jumpsuit from the collection – also known as ‘our-early-christmas-present.’

We saw that coming. Take cues from this beautifully shot lookbook and shop for your favorite look with us right here. One of the must-have pieces (and our expert’s personal favourite) would be the gorgeous red and black biker jacket featured below – it’s wicked and it’s funky as hell! What’s more?

1
This gorgeous red and black biker jacket is wicked and it’s funky as hell!

Amazingly well tailored coats and edgy leather jackets are guaranteed to make you all want to get a piece of this masterpiece – bring out the drinks, because we are having a Rocky Horror Show Theme Party! (Not really.)

Hold on. We aren’t done yet. Here’s more good news! There’s a second H&M store that just opened in Delhi (that might add some relief to those who’ve had to wait in line for hours to get billed) and we plan to get there faster than we can say ‘I-have-no-new-clothes-to-wear’. Now now, Bombay, are you listening?

So while we celebrate one of our favourite fashion brands launching in India, why don’t you check out the look book here?

3

2

7 8 9 10 11

Guysexual Recommends: ‘Don’t Let Him Know’ By Sandip Roy.

Dont Let Him Know By Sandip Roy

The What? :Don’t Let Him Know’ By Sandip Roy.

In a boxy apartment building in an American university town, Romola Mitra, a newly arrived young bride, anxiously awaits her first letter from home in India. When she accidentally opens the wrong letter, it changes her life. Decades later, her son Amit finds that letter and thinks he has discovered his mother’s secret. But secrets have their own secrets sometimes, and a way of following their keepers.

Amit does not know that Avinash, his dependable and devoted father, lurks on gay Internet groups at times, unable to set aside his lifelong attraction to men. Avinash has no idea that his dutiful wife had once romanced a dashing Bengali filmstar, whose memory she keeps tucked away in a diary amongst her silk saris.

Continue reading Guysexual Recommends: ‘Don’t Let Him Know’ By Sandip Roy.