Ministerial Gaffe

There are millions of others who share his opinion. The problem is that homosexuality is a part of everyone’s experience. Most of us get over it when we have access to the opposite sex and only a small minority remain gays or lesbians all their lives. Recall your days in school and college. Boys have crushes on other boys and girls have it for other girls. Then they get married, forget their love for members of their own sex. It is only in the recent past that liberal societies have accepted the truth that homosexuality is not an aberration but a fact of life and allowed gay and lesbian marriages as valid as marriages of men with women.

The incidence of homosexuality among creative people is significantly higher than others. Two Indian writers never bothered to conceal their being homosexuals. One was Aubrey Menon author of Rama-Retold in which he had created his own version of Ramayana which many Hindus found offensive. It was promptly banned by the Indian Government. He was also indiscriminate in his choice of partners. In Bombay he was staying in the Oberoi Grand.

The management wanted to throw him out as he was making passes at waiters and room boys. I pleaded on his behalf and told the manager how eminent a writer he was and they should be more understanding of his eccentricities. The other is Vikram Seth, author of Golden Gate, A Suitable Boy and many other books. He is as closer to being a genius as anyone I have ever known. It doesn’t take him more than a couple of days to pick up a new language. When last time he came to have a drink with me, he gave me a calligraphic piece in Arabic script drawn like a diamond. He wrote my name in Urdu. I have it framed and display it on my mantelpiece.

End of the world

My friends and foes, my wealth and property, all my worry
My life from end to end, my heartbreaks, my glee
The defeats I suffered, my sought after victory
These flickering light, in a river floating free
The works I could produce and the books that couldn’t the light of the day see -
For me the world would and when I cease to be
But O, if I die young, if I am taken away in the flush of my act, -
If I am cut in the middle with swelling sobs around,
With the tears that fill the burial ground
And with all my treasures yet to be found!
Just then I hear a sound:
Nature will shower its holy grace
And people better than me will fill my place.

(Courtesy: Kuldip Salil, Delhi)

Heavenly Fare

A man goes to heaven after doing a lot of good work in our mother earth.
He would see hell from his place in heaven. To his surprise, he saw lots of celebrations there. A sumptuous feast was going on with hundreds relishing the delicious food. If hellish people could get such a delightful food, he was wondering what a treat is awaiting for him. A bearer was coming. He left just a Suki roti and a stale pickle for his meals. “I say I am in heaven and you are serving such a poor food when hellish people are enjoying feast,” he remarked with anger.

I know, I know, but you should realise which contractor would prepare food just for you alone! So you get the minimum available.

(Contributed by G. Neelakantan, Bangalore).


Books for help
An old lady was having severe constipation. So she went to her doctor. “My bowels haven’t moved for seven days. I am in agony.”
“Have you done anything about it?” he asked. “I sit on the commode every morning and evening.”
“Do you take anything?”
“Of course, I take a book.”

(Contributed by Amarinder Bajaj, Delhi)

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