When I sent it in to Open magazine in July '09 -- 11 months ago -- I called it "Hair Slicked Back". Last week, it appeared in print in the magazine, titled "Cruisin' in the Park". You will find it here.
June 30, 2010
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I know exactly what you're talking about when you said you felt guilty about thinking that the men were ordinary. I've thought the same thing: that person is completely ordinary! Not with surprise, really, but always with a feeling of guilt for even thinking something that would not enter my head about someone else.
I subscribe to Open magazine and read your article last week itself. Really liked it! I think this is your second article in that magazine?
Open is quite nice, a refreshing alternative to the other older magazines.
Just curious, did they take 11 months to decide on publishing it, or 11 months to publish it after deciding to do so? Even scholarly journals these days usually have a much shorter turnaround between receiving the first version and publishing the final version...
Sumedha and Dhimant, thanks. I had no idea it was going to appear, and when someone emailed me last week about it I thought it must have been a reference to something I've written there before (I've done, I think, two essays previously and a few book reviews) and forgot about it. Then today somebody else mentioned it again, so I got curious and did some digging and found the article. I had to do some more digging to figure out when I had sent it to them.
RS, it went like this: Someone at Open asked me to do an occasional essay for them last year. I did one, and sent him this one last July as a second. Didn't hear from him so I wrote to ask what had happened; he wrote back saying he had left the mag and I should ask somebody else there. I did, and then asked again in Sept, but never got a reply. So I forgot all about it. Until I found it today.
That's a long answer to say I don't know the answer to your question!
I cant get into Vasu's shoes to imagine the kind of pressures he must face. I'm sorry for taking a slightly judgmental tone here:
I felt the most sorry for the wife not the hero... it feels very deceitful even though he is not into anything physical now.
Sorry but I feel like Vasu maybe hurting his wife and the marriage. I would like to see him get married to or live with Altaf and would support that.
(BTW Vasu shouldnt be needing my support or approval anymore than I need his for my marriage. I mean support in terms of legalizing the rights)
So vasu loves altaf but is married by force of society to another? I have seen Bollywood films! He continues to meet altaf. It is called an "affair" and not unheard of either. Vasu seems responsible - ie, he is not infecting his wife. All these ideas map directly into the heterosexual world.
So what is remarkable about this article, what is special? Except the title is somewhat racy and salacious. It's an ordinary story about an ordinary (but responsible) man with ordinary issues. Perhaps the only thing remarkable is that it was at all written, published and discussed.
I am not sure if this is a fact in general but my personal experience has been that the stigma, ostracism of homosexual men and visceral homophobia is prevalent more in educated and "forward" sections of society than amongst the poor.
Is that true? Of course, i might be completely wrong.
I think homophobia among men is less the fear of Homosexuals per se and more the fear of being buggered. At least that's the reason why I continue to remain homophobic.
That and the fact that just like the ladies gay men too may find me unattractive!
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