Twenty seven year old Aneesh isn’t fond of many things.
He isn’t fond of liars. He isn’t fond of menthol cigarettes. He isn’t fond of pigeons. He isn’t fond of relationships that move too fast.
And he isn’t fond of bisexuals.
A management consultant from Chandigarh, Aneesh hasn’t had many great experiences with them. ‘I don’t get them at all,’ the boy says out aloud, as he picks at his French fries at a dusty old pub.
I’d want to pick on him, but I find him irresistibly cute. ‘Because I don’t really think that they exist,’ he says, toying with a crisp one. I don’t have the heart to tell him that unlike Santa Claus or Donald Trump’s sincerity, he can’t just compartmentalise bisexuals with other imaginary things — they aren’t myths, bad decisions or drug-induced trips.
He has no particular reason for disliking them, he tells me — he just thinks they have it easy because ‘they can switch anytime they want’. He had a girlfriend back in college three years ago, but we don’t talk about her.
I know that Kartik, my copywriter friend, also feels the same way. He got his heart broken by an architect five years ago — a man who left him on Google Chat, because he wanted to get back with his ex-girlfriend.
The said ex-boyfriend is now fighting for gay rights in the Middle East, and was last heard dating a Swedish accountant.
Who is a man.
If Kartik were in my place right now, he’d shake hands with Aneesh. Maybe I should introduce the two of them?
In a world that strongly identifies as black or white, it’s sad to see that bisexuality is the grey area that neither gay nor straight communities understand. Why should they have the best of both worlds while they decide what they want, they say — however, what most people don’tunderstand is the fact that bisexuality is not a stopover, it’s a destination.
Cut to Shrayana, a 19-year-old BMM student who sells homemade jewelry on her website and does button poetry on weekends. The girl is great at handing out conversational candy — especially as we spar over the Kardashians at an after-party one day, months after my tryst with Aneesh.
She’s exactly the kind of boy I’d want to date. Sadly, she’s not one.
I make the mistake of telling her that.
‘I don’t need to be a boy to date you,’ she says to me, as I splutter on my drink — who knew compliments could turn catty? Apparently my track record with bisexual women is the same as my track record with gay men.
I tell her I meant it in the nice way. She frowns again. I don’t want to put her off, but I seem to be doing a great job of it (which is strange, considering my usually impeccable standards of charming women.)
‘Okay, let’s make this simpler,’ she tells me off sternly, before I say something offensive again, ‘Have you ever had a good-looking boy tell you that he wished you were a girl so that he could date you?’
The girl does have a point (but sadly, there have been no such boys). I try mumbling out an apology about being bisexual-friendly, but Shrayana’s already distracted — she’s just caught the eye of a beautiful woman standing by the door — a stage actress who’s celebrating the success of her recent play. Their eyes meet, and my voice trails away. My gay charm clearly has no effect on her.
Shrayana disappears off for a while, leading the (much older) actress to the depths of the kitchen. I make small talk with a gay hairdresser from Spain, but keep an eye out for my lady friend. I have a woman to woo, and I mean business.
They appear fifteen minutes later, looking disheveled but very pleased with themselves. She winks at me — it looks like I won’t have to wave a white flag anymore.
‘It’s not about what you said,’ she says, sliding next to me ten minutes later, gently nudging the hairdresser out of the conversation, and out of my life. ‘It’s upsetting that bisexuals get so much hate from the community itself, and it’s all so misguided — if you can love anyone you choose, why can’t the same rules apply to us?’
Who knew an after party could lead to an after thought?
As someone who thought that his views on bisexuality were always liberal, it turns out I have been sitting on the same side of the table as Aneesh and Kartik (side note: not that I am complaining, they are both very attractive boys). Only, my indifference comes out in the form of ignorance.
‘It’s not about how many men or women I have dated or how strong my feelings have been for each of them,’ she sips on her gin, lighting a cigarette with the flair of a man in his early forties, ’It’s about how I feel at that moment.’
‘Well, let’s start over then. Can you tell me what I shouldn’t be saying?’ I ask her, jokingly. I’ve already reached two strikes. One more, and I’ll be out. (Side note: we are exactly three hours away from being Facebook friends, and two weeks from exchanging numbers.)
She smiles, and gives me a whole list instead:
1. ‘So vanilla or chocolate; which one do you prefer?’
2. ‘So you are actually gay, right?’
3. ‘Not that I have anything against bisexuals or anything, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to date one.’
4. ‘Okay, gun to your head — if you had to finally choose, who would you rather do — men or women?’
5. ‘Moment of truth — who is better in bed?’
6. ‘OMG, I am so jealous of the number of threesomes you must be having!’
7. ‘I think you are a confused gay man — you just don’t know it.’
8. ‘Is it something that you just wake up and decide? One day I like men, another day it’s women.’ That sounds like so much fun! How do I sign up?’
9. ‘Yeah, you are too hot to be a lesbian!’
10. ‘Listen! Can I introduce you to my friends? They’ve never met anyone who’s bisexual before!’
11. ‘Ohh. What does your ex-girlfriend have to say about this? Does she know? Wait, is this because of her?’
12. ‘Only girls can be bisexual. Guys? Uh-huh.’
13. ‘I’d be so scared of dating someone who’s bisexual, what if one day she just decides to leave me for a girl? Just between you and me, I’d feel less of a man.’
14. ‘You know what? This sounds terribly convenient. You want to be gay but you don’t want to be gay at the same time. You know what I mean?’
15. ‘That’s not fair — you have a wider pool to bang. I hate you, man!’
16. ‘So let me get this straight, you like men and women? Doesn’t that make you really greedy? Leave some for the rest of us!’
17. ‘Hahahaha, so what is your favourite colour? Pink or blue?’
18. ‘Oh, I totally get you, I was dared to kiss this boy in school, so I am bisexual too. High five, mate…no?’
19. ‘Wait a minute…are you bisexual because Lindsay Lohan is bisexual? Because that’s not a good reason to be…’
20. ‘Are you sure you aren’t bisexual because you have a fear of commitment? Because you can’t decide?’
I take her list, and we both clink our glasses. The hairdresser is still around, and I am in no hurry to go back home.