I don’t even know why I am writing all this stuff down. Maybe the revelations are too much to bear alone. There was this guy Ktk whom I met through my sister. he was her boyfriend’s best friend. Chaddi buddy and all. I didn’t particularly like PP but that is a story unto itself. It suffices to say that PP rhymes with pee. :D Anyways, Ktk sent me friend request on facebook and seemed like a real odd child. He had an unconventional humour to say it mildly and had a penchant to insert random lines in conversations. He lived in Jaipur. I live in Delhi. Thus we interacted via facebook and gchat only. I have lost fb chats when I checked to take a peek; fb didn’t have the messages view it has nowadays and I have unfriended him since. Am I going ahead of myself? Yeah sorry.
So I slowly and steadily became enamored with him. He had innocence sparkled on his face, his lean structure made my head spin. I had a big crush on him. But I never revealed it. My enthusiasm reflected itself in other ways. It was a time when we both were waiting for our school results and waiting for admissions in college. We used to talk and talk. He would go away for extended periods and used to keep me waiting. I didn’t read into it much (still don’t). After some time, we exchanges our phone numbers. I didn’t have a cell back then and gave my sister’s number. He asked me not to call him, possibly due to tariff? I don’t know. But I used to message him a ‘good morning’ everyday. History at this time is muddled, if only because my memory is very bad and facebook doesn’t have any archives. But he did made me befriend all of his friends. Two of them were J brothers and SS. One of them became very good friends but that is again another thread of my life. Point is, he was quite enthusiastic to introduce me to his life. Then he started using puchi. It means to kiss. But it is a very juvenile term and he insisted he used it with all his near and dear ones. I didn’t mind (why should I?).
So what was just wishful thinking turned into a strong belief that there was really something more between us. Assumptions are dangerous minefields. They take down parts of our lives that we didn’t think depended on them. Even I started saying puchi to him. I think I’ve played out my share of childishness to last a lifetime. Or have I? Getting back, there was a point when I was just mad for him. I seriously hashed out plans to meet him when it was just impossible. For all the conversations, we didn’t meet even once. That was probably the only thing that pulled me back from declaring my love for him assuming I was not a coward back then, I honestly don’t remember the latter part.
But then he had to go to VIT for admission process and his stop included Delhi. He planned to stay in Delhi for one day since PP also lived here. And thus I got the opportunity. My sister was obviously going to meet him on PP’s request. I tagged along. I remember the excitement I had at that time. When I met him outside Parwana Apartments (PP’s home), I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was right there in front of me. Shaking hands couldn’t just cut it, I hugged him! I am a very touch-me-not kind of person and therefore the intentional hug there still surprises me, given that PP and my sister were there too. PP’s sister was there too. We five people had fun although I was very awkward and self-conscious. But Ktk was the very opposite! He didn’t have a care for the world. His dance still makes me laugh. But all I did was take a look at him more than necessary. Three more set of eyes were looking at us but that didn’t matter. One of them was my sister after all! And yes, she knows I’m gay but we have never discussed it face to face. There is no reason yet to initiate such an uncomfortable talk. Maybe when I get a personal boyfriend for me.
Till then, there was nothing to suggest me he was not interested in me except a troubling story… that he had a girlfriend. My sister had told me that he had a girl next-door whom he liked. The girl’s family was orthodox and prohibited their contact. But I never got confirmation of it from Ktk. This was a red flag I willfully ignored. Now maybe he hadn’t come out yet? The girl must have been just a shield. But this was an apprehension that always stayed at the back of my mind. To see my sister blissful in a relationship at the same time made my heart cut and bleed. Why couldn’t I get the same?
That day we met was marked as milestone in my memory. How a few hours change you! All clouds were cleared and did I started flirting with him? No, but he started shooting me hints about my ‘about me’ on facebook and I encouraged it. I had written what qualities would I like in my partner and referenced that hypothetical person as “him”. But he approached it in a very roundabout way. And there was the fact that he would suddenly say ‘brb’ or ‘byee’ and leave. I remember now he used to call me “gujhi boo” but never told me its meaning. I don’t even know the language. It just sounded cute and special. It evokes all that represented Ktk.
In these circumstances we were once talking one morning. This was the chat that I opened today in gchat out of curiosity and instead opened a Pandora’s box. The questions that were once buried long ago erupted. He had finally asked me if I was gay. I said yes. And then he asked me if I was attracted towards him. I said, “I don’t know, I haven’t thought about it (!).” There was a casual air in which he asked me. He asked me how I felt towards him. He never told me about how he felt. If he would have professed his undying love for me, or stumbled out saying he was gay too, it would have looked believable. But something didn’t feel right. I even asked him what if I rejected him? But when I read the archives now, he never even once told me he liked me so that question is moot.
I was really cautious. When I used to remember this conversation, quite a bit later, I used to feel bad that I didn’t behave as I should have. Being forward and honest is the best policy; I was neither. But when I finally read it, I feel lighter. I downmarked myself much more than I deserved. He almost leered at me saying “jaaneman” (dear lover), “come towards me”, “don’t you like me?” etc. And I fell into the trap. When he told me his family knew about him, I was shocked out of my mind but still somehow believed him. When he said his family approved of me, I was elated! When he told me what he meant by gf was gay friend, it somehow made sense. And when he suddenly told me he was joking and wrote in capital letters, MERI BODY KA EK EK CELL STRAIGHT HAI (every single cell of my body is straight), did you saw me slump in my chair? When he said he was just joking did I get furious? Yes, I did. I remember what seemed like eternity when I didn’t respond to him. I was just sitting there typing and deleting, typing and deleting, unable to decide whether to cry hoarse, shriek at him or play it cool. He wasn’t merely joking, he was playing games with me! Can a true friend do it to another? I don’t think so. The fall that I had back then still brings tears to my eyes. I would never wish anyone such a disappointment, such a heartbreak.
Finally, since I had not yet said yes to his question, I told him I knew something along the line would happen. He was laughing at me for a couple more minutes when he flew away like always. I continued talking to him later like nothing happened. He went to VIT finally. And then he started kind of ignoring me. If you have ever met someone like him, you know it feels when someone comes back like nothing has happened and goes away ignoring you completely. No friend would do this to another. Maybe I was just some chat buddy who entertained him in his free time. But then his behaviour before and after that particular day was so different I really wonder whether he was actually joking or not. Whether my resistance forced him to backpedal.
The worst thing after all this brouhaha is that I feel like I was clingy back then. I didn’t have the spine to say “No!” to him. I attended all his calls. Never did I mentioned that it is not cool to leave someone in limbo. He had tried to broach this topic once again but I refused him outright and asked him not to discuss it anymore. I might even have lectured him a little using full names and heavy lines. But yet again (alas, yet again!) I forgave him. I was delusional that after all this we can remain friends. At the very end, he would literally tell me on phone that he would “talk to you later… bye-bye-bye-bye!!!” and would disconnect his phone. That was when I decided that whatever toll it takes on me, I would take my self-respect over any Ktk.
The distance really helped. Though I would think about him, I continued like before; like nothing happened. When my sister would bring up Ktk, I would avoid it. I bounced back in no time. But did I? I am much more cynical of this world now. I have yet to encounter an openly gay man in real life but I am still young and it gives me hope. What have I seen in this world? But I don’t think much passion has remained inside me. I used to look for any signs of love. But now I feel it would come when it would come. I have better things to do. I got to go to college and find some of the best people I have ever encountered there. They are my dearest friends (‘best friends’ sounds a little cheesy). And I think I have got perspective in these matters. Earlier I used to read merely stories on net. But now after immersing myself in the real world of LGBT, columns of Dan Savage, the daily news and debates, I realize things aren’t as rosy as I made them to be.
It seems odd that I was bullied for being gay when I was in my penultimate year in school. It hasn’t scarred me. I talk to all of those folks when we meet and even made good friends with one of them for a while; to think that I had slapped him hard once! When I look back at school, all this never figures in my experience. I knew it happened but the no hard feelings are there, none! I even have to force myself to remember it for my own good. But that is because when I updated a single status on orkut, I was prepared for the worst. But the encounter with Ktk happened when I was too hopeful and silly. I wasn’t on my guard. And that made me fall, down and hard. Being gay was never a problem with me, being loved was.
What triggered such an avalanche of emotions when i had all but forgotten about Ktk? There is another guy who seems to be interested in me. We have met a couple of times through a mutual friend. I don’t feel towards him what I used to feel for Ktk. The feeling just isn’t there. I was planning to ask him outright whether he is interested in me. But if he says yes, I am afraid I might not like him after all. What should I ask him at all? He asks me many times to go somewhere and recently proposed to go to Jama Masjid together when his exams get over.
Moreover, I still don’t know whether to confront Ktk after so much time. I want to ask him out of curiosity sometimes what his motives were back then. I never was never crying hoarse over him nursing my heart, but he surely killed something inside me, something I feel every now and then. I just want to ask him whether I was just a joke, a friend or something more? But then I wonder whether enough water has flown under the bridge. Would I be able to keep my emotions in check? Would he think me as an artifact of the past or a sticky eczema doll out of nowhere? I just don’t know. Whoever is reading this right now, help me out please!