Well, greetings, it’s been a while. So much has happened, so much to say, where to begin… Back in November I was completely absorbed in two other productions Shivoham and Rudra for Manasamitra. Both shows were quite special in their own unique way. Working with the composer Shri was a privilege. I was an avid listener of his music in my mid twenties when he was part of the duo Badmarsh&Shri, most notably the album Signs. The album was zeitgeist, capturing the spirit of a generation blending South Asian melodies with cloud thumping beats, bass and moods. And working with choreographer Sonia Sabri again was inspiring as ever. She’s such a professional. She always manages to keep her resolve and smile when most others would begin to flake.
Swiftly after, my love and I went to India for a break. We started in Delhi, then Punjab which included a visit to The Golden Temple, his first time. He was touched by the serenity in the complex and by the fish that come up to do darshan (auspicious viewing). We also caught some of the fervent patriotism at the India-Pakistan border. Next came Mangalore and the beaches of Karnataka – Arabian sea. It was comfortably hot. A very welcome dose of vitamin D. I’m still supporting my holiday tan.
It was in Mangalore where we learnt about the 11th December Indian Supreme Court ruling in a newspaper. We were aghast! There was something quite unreal about it all. It was hard to fully comprehend. The ruling reinstated Section 377, the old colonial law making same sex (termed unnatural sex) illegal again, after it had been repealed by the Indian High Court in 2009. Reassuringly most of the reaction in the media was alarm and many politicians spoke out too.
Participating in the Global day of Rage (15 Dec 2013) in Bangalore was important. I was in fact not very well that day – the only such day in India. It meant I’d had nothing to eat or even any water for 15 hours. Bangalore is blessed with variable cloud cover sometimes. Not on this day though the sun gods were out in full force and us too in the strong afternoon sun holding up our placards which fortunately did allow us some degree of shade. I was just slightly concerned about fainting as it’s no stranger to me when the body’s under duress.
The energy and spirit of our fellow protesters, the collective rage and resilience felt by us all allowed me to soon forget my dehydrated and slight emaciated state and chant with gusto! We were among brothers and sisters of every kind, gay men, lesbians, trans men and women, Bangoloreans, Indians, foreigners, young, old, a sardar or two, people of all faiths, all shades. The police watched on with passive curiosity, cars passed, people on buses watched, and the media recorded from every angle.
I returned before Christmas. Another year was born, 2014! HNY!! I had a birthday in mid-Jan. And now 11 months remain to 40. And since then the past month has accelerated and now we find ourselves here on this day in the middle of February.