Monday, July 11, 2011


"Are you a Chowdary? (one of the dominant castes in Andhra Pradesh) No, I have asked you because I heard that the caste you belong to doesn't go well with the one I come from" said miss "I Always speak to people of my caste only." This conversation lasted for about two minutes until I finally realized how caste and power/status/money/class are connected in this state where I live. The very question of hers shocked me to death making me realize how people are just FAKING everything and anything in the name of caste, money and status. As a firm believer in humanity and an individual who opposes caste system (though I belong to the so called upper caste in AP), I hate it when people talk to you based on your caste. Here, most film actors (Read MALE) are from a community called the Chowdaries or Kammas. Apart from these, the castes that are considered superior are Rajus, Reddys, Velmas, Kaapus, etc. I do not know why people are so obsessed with their caste.
My cousin was recently telling me how she hated the whole "caste-feeling" thing among her friend who comes from the Chowdary community and boasts of how everything runs on their "community's" name in the city. She told me how this friend of hers takes her out to various events in the Tollywood film industry and how she meets actors who are so self-obsessed with themselves and their caste that they do not strike a conversation with the other person unless he/she feels their status, property et all are either equal or higher than his/hers. I have observed this at almost every place I visit as a journalist and otherwise too. As looking for stories has become my habit, on the other side, I see people dying to attract attention and do all the things possible to stay in the limelight. This attention seeking disorder (as I call it) is making people lose their individuality. There is nothing unique about a person anymore. Everything is lost in being a person which the "society" demands. For example: I wouldn't care if a youngster smokes because it is his/her individual choice. But, looking at that person, his/her friend thinks it is cool, it is the "fucking latest fad", "I could impress girls/boys" and what not kind of an attitude, which makes this friend lose his/her individuality in trying to imitate his/her friend who knows what he/she is doing. 
While many of them think all that glitters is gold, most do not know how there is something fishy behind that glitter. The same is with every film industry and those in power. They appear as the most sober people on earth to you because cameras as tracking every move of theirs, but ask them if you could talk to them over the phone, they first ask their assistants if the person talking to him/her belongs to the which caste. Or he /she shuns you away from home. They do not even look at you thinking you do not have the same property or a class of theirs. Money matters to them if they have to be friends with someone, or have a chat with someone or grab the limelight or just turn a blind eye if you do not have the money to "show off". 
Another intriguing thing about caste/money/power/status-obsessed people is that every person in their house -  a maid, a car driver, gardener and all the assistants - belong to the same caste. Their cars have the same number plates with the so called "magic numbers". They do not need a reason to buy the latest car. Just because it is out in the market, "I need to show it off" is the primary cause of buying it. In reality, go check their houses, you will find cars lined up like dogs tied with a chain that they cannot drive (keeping in mind their status). After all, what is a car that you cannot drive and enjoy, after having bought it with crores on money?
There is nothing great about their money/class/caste unless people make them their demi-gods, which they cunningly take advantage of and pose/pretend to be one. They are the most FAKE people around. FAKE YOU! 

Note: The caste I have stated is just an example. I do not have anything against any caste. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

An Evening with Queer friends :):)

A man walks to me introduces himself and then we begin talking. He introduces me to his friend. Three of us begin talking about various things. We met with each other because we were supporting a single cause. Another friend who is almost an hour late, joins us. We talked, discussed, planned out things and finally ended up assigning duties to each other. They told me what they expect from me, how I could contribute to support the cause. And, the cause is 'queer'. We were discussing about LGBT rights in Hyderabad.  They have a lot to say and a lot to do. And, they had asked me if I was queer? And, I laughed. I loved the question. Actually I liked the way they put the question to me. I could see excitement in them when they had asked me that question. They thought I was. I had to disappoint them and say NO. They said "We thought you were".
What's best about them is they identify themselves as Queer Hyderabadis and are happy to be that way. They are open about their sexuality unlike most of us (who are confused). They are the most respectable people I've ever met in Hyderabad. They are gays.
I have always wanted to have friends who are homosexuals. I was curious to know about them, their life, what kind of challenges/criticism they face on a daily basis if they told someone they were queer. One of them told me he spoke to a writer recently who said "I can lift my skirt and sit and not be worried if the man opposite to me is looking at my legs, only because I know you are gay." I felt the same when I was with them. For the first time ever, I felt I was very safe with unknown men and even if my cleavage was seen, I wouldn't be worried because they wouldn't be provoked and blame it on me for "provoking" them. Knowing that I was listening to them, they spoke about what kind of guys they like hooking up with. What I loved the most was listening to their conversation. It was funny and they were like any girl who thinks of her "dream boy." They spoke about where one could  find HOT guys on weekends and told me there was a pub for gays in Hyderabad, which I have never heard of, staying in Hyderabad all my life
They told me how gays were open about their activities while lesbians in Hyderabad were very private about their lives. (I'm looking forward to meet my lesbian friends too, If I get a chance). During our conversation, I realized how queer people are more humane, more courteous and more sensible. They know how it feels to be discriminated in the society. They are aware of how people shun them away from their lives in the name of Religion, customs and traditions. They know a lot more than many of us do.
They celebrate when they listen to the news about gay marriages being legalized in New York. They celebrate, they rejoice. They know that these small steps would some day make it big for them to come out in the open without fearing the stigma associated with being queer.
It is FUNNY and stupid when people argue homosexuality is against nature. What the Hell! Every person has the right to live his or her life the way he or she wants to, irrespective of their sexual orientation. I'm sure most of them who are (Young Indians) are not aware of the difference between gender, sex and sexuality. This is either due to ignorance or may be they just think that this a world where only straight people have live in.
And, on the whole, I think everyone should have queer friends. They are funny and witty. I'm happy to be associated with them and glad to support them.
To end on a decent note, I'd like to quote my gay friend who says " Don't blame the homosexuals. Blame the heterosexuals for having GAY babies" :)

P.SS Every girl should have gay friends :):):)