3 Feb 2014

August Kranti Maidan

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.
ibbons of different colours mingling
to form a single one, 
travelling together 
hoping to be accepted
by the ocean. 

But somewhere along the way,
far away, 
a stream that didn't reach this river, 
buried its head in the sand. 


Saurav Chatterjee said...

It was a fun filled experience being a part of the pride parade. Nice Photos. :-)

pRiyA said...

The parade looks colourful and fun. Great way to get a message noticed. But your story is sad. There must be so many people like the man you mentioned.

SloganMurugan said...

Saurav, it's always fun. No one will tell that it's a protest and a very serious one.

SloganMurugan said...

True Priya!

Anand said...

As always great coverage and poignant point of view. How come i didnt meet or see you there?

bharat said...

Well, I am 46 and I also attended the parade. Walked alongwith you guys most part (I reached late) This was my first. Hopefully not last.I am not the guy mentioned in the blog. I walked in the crowd still alone. I don't have any gay friends. Those my age are mostly married (I am not, won't). Those younger to me prefer young mates. I had asked the few gay net acquaitances whether they will like to join, but didn't get a reply.
There were some single guys in the parade too, but they were mostly busy with their cells and camera. Couldn't guess, whether they were part of LGBT or journos.
I didn't feel sad though. Hope next year I will walk the parade holding somebody's hand.

Slogan Murugan said...

Anand, I was hiding behind a camera :)

Slogan Murugan said...

Thank you for writing to me about your experience. I am glad you are positive. I am not sure if the man I met was as positive. He seemed like a man who went though a lot, frightened by the crowd. Let's hope that he comes back next time with someone and let's hope that it's not a protest but a celebration of rights regained.

ljubljana said...

There is gay newspaper in hindi!!! Galaxy i believe it is called.

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