My exams ended yesterday. It was just a formality but yes, I was relieved nevertheless. July 21 is the next day I will ever see my college again. But luck was not on my side. I was yearning for blog material for the last 1 month or so. Except bouts of memory flashbacks, nothing inspired me.
Then I struck gold! Yesterday after exam all five of us went to DPK’s home. And I don’t know what triggered it, but BRK suddenly started asking people their secrets – love interests, crushes, relationships and typical gossip stuff. I guess it started with a junior who has a crush on MTL. BRK told us she had a one-day long relationship with one of his school friend! A sudden (and misplaced?) devotion to her parents made her call it off. A day is longer still than the duration of this absurdity that I don’t want to name relationship. She happened to say yes to him in the evening but couldn’t sleep through the night. Therefore, she called him first thing in the morning even before brushing her teeth and said no to him. Poor guy! He must think of the whole incident as an unfortunate dream, too good to be true. Ha!
But I didn’t know about it. So they told me over again. And she started interrogating everyone. “Secrets make friendships stronger”, according to her. And she prodded MTL for more and made her reluctantly admit about a guy when she was in 9th class. Their sections changed and that was the end of their tragic romance. :D We were sitting in a circle and after BRK and MTL was me. I refused outright. How couldn’t I? If I let out a single name, it would not be of opposite sex. And that brings us to a bigger problem I’m not ready to deal with. Therefore I told them no rather than telling half-truths that I won’t remember next day. Unfortunately they egged me on! ‘Hey, you are being a spoilsport.’ ‘We won’t tell you our secrets.”Yay! What is it that you are hiding?”Don’t you trust us at all!’ Ad nauseum. They finally moved on to BNL who said she didn’t have anything whatsoever. I thought so. She is really helicoptered by her parents and is actually a nice girl. So, boyfriends and crushes seemed out of question for me. But she did have a mild crush. They used to play peek-a-boo in balcony; he was a neeighbour living across the street. She didn’t even know his name. But he went away to America for studies! He would come back as NRI! We couldn’t laugh enough. Lastly there was DPK. She told horrifying stories about how her mother wanted to marry her away but the rest of the family laughed it off. She told us about another of her aunts who couldn’t believe girls and boys could be friends; there had to be something going on between the two. She came to visit her once but luckily her friend left just 5 minuters before! Moreover, she was alone. Otherwise, she didn’t actually revealed anything about herself. Clever girl, now that I think of her!
As the circle completed, they started forcing me again and I was shrugging them off again. Suddenly, MTL had an odd bout of inspiration. She told us that she has had consumed liqour and hukka. And I was surprised how surprised the other three were. It was probably more than I anticipated. They started recounting how they all themselves had a chance to drink but they refused it. And they referred to people who were not teetotallers by bigde hue log “spoiled people”. Now to explain this odd situation, drinking, smoking and related activities are a huge taboo in India, especially for girls. I personally hate these things but my sister has vowed to make me drink at least once! I have repeatedly said no to her, but she has proclaimed it her duty to acquaint me with alcohol. When I pointed out that I have drank some drops of vodka for tokenism, she waved it off and warned me not to consider it drinking again (I don’t). Even if one might hate drinking, there is a curiosity to try anything at least once. Anyone like my sister makes a checklist: of world tour, skydiving, scuba diving, trekking to mount everest, long drives and what not. It is human nature. But these people were flabbergasted and though they didn’t try to judge, their expressions betrayed them. The evening went on with more explanantions and a long history of BRK alongwith her frustation with her extended family. Though, nobody actually said anything explicitly, a few words are enough, particularly when they blend perfectly with the actions of the olden time.
Oh, I forget myself here. DPK and MTL started rallying against me at one point that I am not what I seem to be. BRK and BNL were against this proposition. BRK and me were saying that MTL seemed like a really shy girl from outside but she was polar opposite of her public image. She turned towards me, “you FLA! Don’t you talk to me. You have so many masks of yourself. You are not what you show yourself to be.” She has said this to me so many times before but earlier I used to give a wink and a dirty smile. Today I challenged her. “Ha! Give me any example.” DPK said that she, MTL and KRJ (MTL’s friend) had once discussed about me and concluded that I am not who I seem to be. That I am a vey emotional guy who hides behind the veil of jokes and stupidity. Now this was a good approximation. But this is a very sensible assessment of anybody. Who wants to cry hoarse about their problems in public? (Me!) I groaned, “Don’t you people have anything better to do than my dissection?” And BRK squinched her eyes towards me reconsidering herself but thankfully it was the end of discussion.
Finally we were going back home after a long day of revelations. BRK went away by bus. MTL, BNL and me go home via Metro. BNL, MTL and me: that is the order in which we depart. Yesterday, it was not so. When we all three were discussing our families and sleepovers, I had an idea: should I come out to them? Always it so happened that DPK and BRK were the big impediments. BRK, I don’t care much about her either way except the practical consideration of having to leave our group if she turns out against me. DPK seems a little “aunty” girl, and that is a problem. So that leaves BNL and MTL. I decided to single out MTL. She is the most liberated and sensible among us (including me). Thus, when she was just leaving (BNL had already gone), I stepped out of the train with her.
She was a little surprised. I told her I wanted to tell her something. Her brows folded and she listened to me intently. If there is something that I like the most about her, it is her ability to listen closely. It makes one feel important, but at that point it made me very nervous. We had walked to one isolated end of platform by now.
“You know today how everyone was forcing me to reveal my history. I was not particularly comfortable talking about my past”, I said.
She started out, “Oh, I was not serious when I said so! Even I have not told many things. I just revealed such stuff because others were insisting.”
“But actually there is something that i wanted to say but I couldn’t. You know” … and I faltered. I wanted to say “I’m gay”. The two syllables proved difficult than the most twisted tongue twisters. It was stuck inside my throat. I tried various ways, various beginnings, disclaimers, warnings but nothing made it come out. Like I didn’t even have a tongue whatsoever. She was laughing nervously as to what to expect. Finally, MTL suggested me to message it to her. “Good idea!” I concurred. But her battery had died midway. So she asked me to type it and pass it to her. I said, “Good idea!” but when I took out my cell, it was dead too. I needed a pen and a paper but no pen would come in my sight inside my gargantuan of a bag. Suddenly I decided, I needed to tell it myself. I had always come out via chat, never face-to-face. This was my chance.
“No, I have to do it myself.” She was confused. A two second pause, a croak and “I’m gay.” MTL’s eyes are peculiar; they can become marble-round if she wants them to be and I saw it firsthand there and then. She was hugely surprised. Really? She didn’t suspect I was gay? I even asked her, and she said no, why should anybody. She had never looked into my ‘about me’ section of facebook. My hypothesis is that nobody peeks into that neglected part of FB. I was right.
She was supportive, “There is nothing wrong in it. There is nothing to hide it. I may have a small hesitation before saying about my escapades, but there is nothing wrong in it.”
That was when I wanted to stamp her forehead with ‘TRUE FRIEND’. I wanted to thank her over and over. But I choked: yeah, emotionally. But there were no tears. They seem to betray me; never come out when the occasion needs them. There were patches of discussion and then long silence and staring into the beautiful sky. I never before had thought of Kanhaiya Nagar Metro Station having such a scenic panorama. I told her one glaring lie though: that the previous evening made me spit it out. Nothing was farther from truth. The only thought at DPK’s house was to sit tight and mum. Just before entering Metro, MTL or BRK had said that I didn’t say anything before because I still had a present girlfriend whom I was hiding. Pray tell me why? If I had a boyfriend – a serious one at that – I would have shouted about it from my rooftop. Yet what irked me majorly was the fact that they believed it was a girlfriend. When you are hiding a secret you some day intend to tell, you always wonder if today’s the day? I have had many such moments in the past, but I didn’t tell anybody anything back then. It was because I didn’t have a pressing reason for it, except for the heck of it. Yesterday was no different. I was not feeling depressed, neglected, caged or any combination of those things. Nada. So I would say it was a spontaneous decision, like most of my decisions.
When I lied to MTL, she pressed that I shouldn’t come out to others only because others are forcing me. I should do it because you want to feel free or such personal matters. Anybody’s concern shouldn’t be my concern. And she assured me that nobody among the other three would mind. When I hesitated, she offered to test the waters by telling a fake story of MTL’s friend and see their reactions! Haha. Who would have doubted she wasn’t on my side? I refused her offer. Just telling her, who I was confident wouldn’t mind a bit, drained so much of my energy, telling others would be unnecessary burden. And they tell me coming out is a huge reliever! I was so much relaxed before telling MTL about being my gay. But yep, it would help me in the long-term, that much I know. Maybe BRK was onto something when she said secrets help the bonds grow stronger.
I told her my sister knows, parents don’t know, school friends know, SHR knows et al. And some more. Was she wondering she was getting late? It was 6.45. She asked me if I wanted to cry. No! And then told me she was afraid I would say ‘I love you’ to her. Haha! RSH (my dearest school friend) also used to wonder when we were sitting at NSP what other people would think when we sat there half-sleeping over each others and recountind our old memories.
Conclusion: MTL would be the first to know when I get my own boyfriend.
PS – My camera would finally be repaired. => I can attach more tall, dark and handsome photos of mine here. :D