Mumbai Pride Parade 2014: Rainbow River.
I had gone to the Mumbai Pride Parade to meet a photojournalist friend who was covering the event and to shoot a few images I found interesting along with him. I reached there long before the event started and I decided to wait at the bench in the bus stop.
Sitting next to me was a man in his early 50s. He was wearing a simple pant and shirt and was also observing what was going on. After a few minutes he looked at me and asked where are all the older men. These are all young boys and girls. What about men like me?
He had read about the protest/Pride Parade in the newspaper and had called one of the support groups (Hum Safar) about the event and had turned up to support it. He was clearly out of place among the colourful youngsters with their confidence, they way they all knew each other, and happily chatting away with the press and the Mumbai Police who were helping the protesters and regulating the traffic (a big cheers to them).
He was complaining to me that he is unable to find any magazine for the gay community in Hindi. He has been asking newspaper vendors all over to keep one for him if they find one but it hasn't been of help. He has no access to internet or yet to discover how people connect these days.
So what does a lonely, gay man who speaks Hindi from lower middle class do if he wants to meet other men like him to talk to or to love?
A river fed by many streams.
Ribbons of different colours mingling
to form a single one,
hoping to be accepted
by the ocean.
But somewhere along the way,
a stream that didn't reach this river,
buried its head in the sand.