A very desi (Indian) gay man currently living in New Delhi.
Well the blog isn't really a secret one, but the reason I chose 'underground' in the title? - So that I can live in the illusion that I try to be a little discreet about my perpetually high libido
I was traveling in the metro the other day. Taking the violet line, in between Mandi House and Nehru Place. Traveling along the route that I have taken many times when I lived around that area few years ago. I would never take a seat to sit because I loved standing next to the door and looking outside of it. When the metro shifted its route above ground after Jangpura and towards Lajpat Nagar metro station, I would feel like I was emerging out into the crowded world from dark lonely caves. The moment metro compartment I would be standing in would see the light, I would imagine my skin beginning to glow. I would imagine that light running all around, dancing across strange faces and loud phones. The way the world passed below me, after the Greater Kailash metro station, made me feel like I was part of something big. Something much bigger than me or anyone. Recently while I was taking the same route, standing the way I always used to, I hated that it had become about you and not about the city. And very specifically you. I hated that I had somehow lost that excitement of feeling insignificant. That humble feeling that the world would keep moving on no matter how many of us live and die in it. I hated that Lajpat Nagar had become about you. It's funny how I write these posts seeking some kind of closure from mourning but it never ceases to amaze me how constant my state of mourning is. Not for people but for eventualities. For possibilities. For the future. For love.
I don't know if I am writing this post for you or Delhi. And you are not even from Delhi! Yet you became the city for me. You don't imbibe that Delhi aesthetic (thank god!) despite your fuckboi haircut. You are not anything like those boys from Lajpat Nagar but your accent wants to be. I forgot at what point I started feeling you through Delhi and Delhi through you. So, I adopted a strategy to protect myself. I limited you to that single road and not the entirety that Delhi is. And I limited you to that single roof in Lajpat Nagar. The only problem with this strategy was that the lane and roof felt anything but limiting. That lane felt endless. That roof felt infinite. Like it was going to take over my life. Like the dirty night sky that we both were staring at while stealing glances at each other was filled with hope. You know, I try to be as abstract as I can be while thinking of you? You are not a person - but a brief intimacy. Your kiss is not a kiss - but a passing intense reflecting moment. Your smell is not just any smell - but a discussion point for polyamory.
Why am I doing this? Because lately, I have been getting tired of myself for always writing for men. I feel ashamed that I keep returning back to mourning. So I try to separate the specificities of men and turn them into abstractions. Into nothingness. Because that way I feel like I am above it all. That I am not bothered by small things that won't matter in the long run. That I am not afraid of losing myself again and again in men like you.
I was passing the Lajpat Nagar metro station by road the other night. After I had deleted your number because I was tired of hoping. And dreaming. And looking. And abstracting. I was looking at how anxious women and transwomen try selling sex (love?) just few steps away from Exit no. 1 metro gate and I thought maybe I should look at the city through your eyes. Not through hopelessness and despair but optimism. And I couldn't come up with anything. Maybe because I was too afraid of not being hopeless? I guess I felt like there could never be any direction in which I could escape with you. Like I would just be floating around. Like that infinite sky we kept looking at on your roof.
'A date in Lajpat Nagar'
Few days later when I was pouring that infinity and that roof into the painting, my art teacher casually asked me, "who are these two men? Are they good friends?"
I couldn't come up with anything. I had no answer.
and nothing abstract
I have been thinking a lot about how temporary ‘connections’ are. Just when you think something is building up, it disappears. An exciting conversation over coffee never spills beyond, the meaningful ‘hmms’ never cross over the four walls they were exchanged in, the side glances never really turn into long stares. For few weeks I decided to give up on wanting these connections. I thought I could manage living without hoping. Which really meant that I practiced looking down while walking when in fact it had taken me years to start looking up. In between my efforts of trying to look down, my eyes stumbled upon you. I knew your face before I was meant to see it in real life. I had discussed your face with a friend. Till then I had imagined that face with a little irritation. I didn’t really bother stalking that face because I didn’t think it was going to matter much in my life. Trying to contain my general disappointment, I indulged in your face when I first met you. Thinking that this forced connection is only meant for three days and that I shouldn’t ruin it for myself and for people around me. But slowly I kinda stepped away from your face and actually started listening to what was coming out of it. And hey! I didn’t hate it? I was actually…..fine with it…. After exchanging few meaningless phrases, I realized that I was liking hanging around your face. And as your eyes moved from one line to the next in the world of Anthony Doerr, and as the winds continued to collapse against the plane we were sitting in, and as the white uncle sitting next to us dug deep into his pistachios, I think I kept getting lost deeper and deeper into that voice. Maybe I just imagined that you had a certain depth to yourself? Maybe I wished that you did. Or maybe you actually do?
And in that wishing, un-wishing and non-wishing I realized what was happening. Do you ever have those moments in your life where you are very familiar with the kind of silly patterns you keep falling into? And when you do make those same mistakes over and over again, you witness it and see it happening (or rather see yourself make it happen) and think – oh fuck here I go again. And well, fuck, I did go there again. I started thinking about you ‘like that’. No silly, I am not talking about imagining fucking you. I am talking about actually wanting to know you. I am talking about wanting to ‘connect’ with you. One thing I love about myself and equally hate myself for it is that I am too observant of how people act around me – in relation to me. I start reading too much into gestures, I start looking for meanings when in fact many interactions are completely meaningless and I start looking for ‘signs’ when there is an empty void. Why am I like this? Why do I keep looking for eyes which won’t look back? Trust me, the Delhi in you almost forced me to not look….but the Punjab in you kept calling back. Isn’t it strange that we sometimes are willing to keep our entire lives on hold just to make few nights memorable? Isn’t it thrilling that we allow ourselves to fall in love over and over again because we pretend that we want to be heart broken?
I spent three long, slow days with you. I look back at those three days and actually don’t want anything more out of them. I am surprisingly okay with that first night ending abruptly because I was too drunk to be brave in front of you. I don’t think too much about our second night when I thought ‘surely he knows something is up!’ I don’t dwell over the fact that me switching off the lights when everyone else had dozed off was a ‘signal’ you should have picked up (or maybe you did….and that’s why you left?). I don't think too much about why you chose to not tell me yourself that someone confused us to be a couple when we were dancing together on drunken streets. I don't label our interactions as 'you enjoying attention from a gay guy' or 'he's just being polite' as I usually would. I don't feel sad thinking whether you noticed me deliberately withdrawing from you the last day. I don't read into the random questions you asked me over those three days. Even though I remember every minute with you....I don't think of you that often. Haha. I am serious. I don't! I don't randomly text my friend that I miss you. I haven't discussed you with my friends. I haven't kept any nicknames for you, like 'that Miami boy', or 'my future potential something'.
Miami, February 2019
You know I was reading this novel the other day…about this silly dreamer in a chaotic crazy city who kept running into women who drew no distinction between money and life. And among many chaotic moments, in an ordinary moment, in a boring elevator ride, one woman who this dreamer had never met before, uninterestingly just asks him, ‘do you love me?’ Reading this interaction I recalled our last ordinary interaction. It wasn’t spectacular. We were just one of the many strangers seeing each other off. Ordinary people, just doing ordinary things. You seemed to be in a sad mood. Not about me leaving (of course) but about those three days ending. And among the sappy and sad Bollywood songs, we said goodbye, and hugged and looking into my eyes you said, ‘kitna kathor dil hai iska’ (how cold hearted is he!) because I wasn’t as sad and sappy as those Bollywood songs.
And I wish I should have just said, 'do you love me?' ‘would you ever love me?’
My journey with choosing the right Dildo has been a strenuous one. From laughing at tiny yellow colored rocket machines held together with cello-tape in Fort, Mumbai to funny smelling ones in Palika Bazaar, Delhi (rumor in the market was that most dildos were already used!) - I just never could convince myself to buy one. Most of the equipments online would almost always cater to clitoris stimulation. Dildo in the digital Indian market wouldn't imagine the prostate. Sometimes I think I should have ordered a Dildo long time back, beginning of my 20s to be precise, just so I could be good at bottoming! Fucking took me ages to be able to take a dick inside properly!
After repeated unfortunate physical encounters I finally decided to order one online. The Dildo came. I have not named it. LOL of course I have. I am not telling you the name. I felt it between my fingers and strangely, felt like I was holding a dick for the first time in my life. I didn't feel the heat that generally radiates from a dick but I felt drawn to it. I had a nice shower and cleaned my ass just as I would before any fuck date or an evening where I anticipated sucking cock and getting my ass wrecked by an emotionally unavailable man. I applied a nice smelling body lotion around my dick and asshole just as I would on a day knowing that my body would be licked inch by inch by a hungry tongue. Only this time the D (Dildo) wasn't lathered up by my mouth but by a good old regular wash basin. I cleaned this D properly and laid on my bed to start. I'll be honest - I am all for self stimulation and finding creative ways to pleasure oneself (god knows lonely gays LIVE on masturbation) but I found it weird to 'start'. I don't really know what the start and end of sex is? It can go anywhere and nowhere right? Part of getting to know someone's body is the unpredictability right? So I didn't know HOW would I begin opening up my ass. Do I place the D upright on the bed and try squatting on it? Do I lie down with my legs in the air and push the D inside me with one hand? Do I hold it perpendicular to the wall and try taking it in? I didn't fucking know. Finally I decided to try taking it in with my legs in the air. I put lot of lotion on the D and started massaging my hole. My dick, it seemed, wasn't in the mood for it. And I wasn't surprised. My dick wasn't familiar with this new object. It was still figuring out its reaction! After feeling that my hole was beginning to relax and open up a bit I started shoving the D inside. It felt strange. It felt squishy. IT FELT GOOOOOOOOOD. I felt my nipples hardening. I felt the familiar dull inner thigh ache. I sensed my muscles inside resisting and inviting the D at the same time. My breathing automatically matched the movement of my muscles. I involuntarily moaned and my dick responded to the hardness of my nipples and the head of the dildo fully entering inside me. It was once I inserted the entire D inside me and pushed the button on it that I realized OH MY FUCKING GOD WHY DON"T OUR DICKS COME WITH INBUILT VIBRATION. You know that feeling when you enter your bed in harsh winters after taking a nice warm bath and use a warm bottle in between your legs while sleeping? (If you don't know this feeling then I am judging you and how on earth have you lived by not doing this!?). That warmth travels tickling up from your thighs to the base of your balls? This was that but only better. I think my body was shocked. My legs were shocked. My prostate was shocked. My orgasm was ecstatic. I couldn't believe that my prostate could be stimulated like that. This D My D has 22 modes of vibrations. The first one feels like listening to a calm ocean while sitting on a beach, the fifth one feels like sitting on a bumpy car ride when you tell your fellow car members 'ugh please drive properly' but deep inside you are saying 'fuck this kinda feels good', the tenth one feels like you could be in a porn movie and this rhythm would get the 'top' top awards and the twenty second one..... The fucking twenty second one felt like a place where I would NEVER let a man go inside me. It felt like a sexual fantasy in which only my clone knew how to enter because only I know my body that well. It felt like that crush (who in reality is a useless fuck) but in your dreams KNOWS his shit. It felt like an incident from mythology where the protagonist experiences other worldly connections through their dreams. It felt like....FUCK you get the idea. IT FELT FUCKING AMAZING. And for the second time in my life, I came without ever having to touch my dick. I know you are going to say 'oh what an inexperienced child! Sex toys are already at a revolutionary stage and he is still trying his first regular old dildo!' and I would tell you 'Fuck you' and also that you are right. Ugh. I admit that it has taken me a long time to get around this but one of the reasons I have been avoiding a dildo is because I rely too much on touch. It's not that pleasure for me has depended on touch but I had become accustomed to experiencing sex through bodies touching me. Even if not penetration then licking my nipples, or pulling my hair, or jamming fingers deep into my mouth, or choking me with cock..... Am I relying too much on emotional and physical intimacies to feel stimulated?
I have somewhat physically settled into this new country but I am emotionally still making sense of it. Just to give you an update (amazing and kind strangers who push me to write here more frequently) - I recently shifted to U.S.A. for higher studies. Growing up in Jalandhar (Punjab) who had never really stepped out of that town (it's a sprawling city now! Before you ask, NO I am not telling you my age), as your every day desi gurl I always imagined America to be some mystic sexual la la land. Only to realize later in life how stupid I was to not have explored fragile Punjabi men sexually. I was too busy making sense of my own sexuality through my fantasies! If you have read my blog at all, it would be obvious that I tend to make sense of my surroundings mostly through desires and intimacies. But I have been living in fantasies since fucking forever! I have experienced sex through my dreams, fiction and imaginations! It's not like I have not experienced rejection before! My entire life has been about making sense of my queerness through lack of touch! So what is so different now? I feel like I am returning back to my high school self. Where falling in love with strangers was all I knew. And distance was the only way I knew closeness. I think I don't have as many insecurities as I did then but every fantasy now comes with a tinge of regret. Like there is something missing. More than what was missing back then. It is anger at the lack of figuring out my own patterns. That regret is fear of not able to get with the times of online apps. That regret is my inability to not being clear/direct and getting too lost in ambiguity. That regret is knowing that I should have learnt by now where to place my intimacies but still channeling it at the wrong places people.
And while my D satisfied me in ways no man ever could I still wondered what would have happened if while getting out of the car when that d dropped me home that night, instead of saying goodnight I kissed him instead.
Jalandhar. There are days, in this bitchy, awful, lonely, lovely city where I now live, called Delhi when I do miss you. I think, ‘how does it feel to have grown up your entire life in one town?’ To have known all your neighbours. To have grown up with your neighbours. To not have to shift schools. To see the town change and call those changes your own. I do miss how growing up in Jalandhar we never had to worry about space. There were streets which didn’t have running cars, there were parks which didn’t have gates, there were familiar faces who smiled back when I smiled at them. I don’t know when did the many patriarchs who inhabit you became everything that I could ever take from you. I don’t know when did those many patriarchs who live in you, love you, hate you, fuck you, get fucked by you, became…….you.
MY patriarch….is a lot like you.
YOU are a lot like my patriarch.
You both are cheaters. You both thrive on pride. You both beat your women. You both tell me to not look you in your eye. You both keep telling me I am a failure at being a man. I hear you are not a town anymore. Empty streets have become showrooms, old houses have become malls, your stoop has become more prominent, your pagdi (turban) has gotten thinner.
I want to love you. Not just because I was born in you, not just because I was brought up by you, but because……I just do! Even when you repeatedly call me a chakka, even when you accuse Delhi of ruining me, even when you tell my parents that I must have gotten fucked by many men from all over Delhi.….I do want to give you a chance. Ok, before you say anything Jalandhar, I know it’s been a while since I met you. Every now and then, you keep saying ‘I love you’ to me. You keep asking me, when will I come back. But I don’t want to come back not just because it will remind me of what I was but it will force me to imagine what I would have become had I not left you. I have been building myself against your masculinity so fiercely that I tried to claim some of my family’s women’s femininity. After being denied that femininity too, I just hovered…in between. My femininity shifted whenever I crossed the streets with my elder sister trying to avert your patriarchs’ eyes. My masculinity roared trying to hide my love for tamarind. My ‘in between’ applauded whenever I slyly looked at my school seniors play basketball, shirtless, in the mornings. My ‘in between’ stood by when you didn’t.
The last time, I was looking at you through a video call, at your changing localities, changing skies, at Lakhbir aunty’s new railings at her house, at Shayar uncle’s famous garden tree, I unexpectedly came face to face with your patriarch. My patriarch. Both, you and me, knew fully well, that this might just be the last time we both look into each other eyes, and after customary small talk, you said, “Akhil puttar….i love you”. I looked at the pixelated you for 2 seconds, smiled faintly, thinking of all the lost opportunities, lost friendships, lost lovers, lost family, and with the urge to cry, scream and laugh at the same time, I just said, “acha papa ko zara waapis phone pakdana”*.
Do you ever just get tired of repeating the same patterns in your life fully knowing how stupid and fucked up they are? Ok, I am SURE I am not the first non-hetero to have fallen for straight boys/men. God knows I survived 2 years of my high school by imagining Twilight to be my life. You remember that scene? When Bella is sitting for lunch and she sees Edward for the first time? When he enters? I used to re-live that scene again and again in my head, with Gaga's Starstruck playing in the back. Imagining one of my batch mates as Edward Cullen (lol, don't judge), only to be told, in reality, that I will never be his Bella :(
Forever and always 💔
So the thing is that I DID stop wasting my time and efforts on straight boys, particularly post two very idiotic episodes in college. Long story short: I thought I was 'in love' with a boy who obviously didn't reciprocate. He started dating a good friend of mine and stupidly, in jealousy and out of million insecurities I cut off that friend from my life. (Don't worry I did apologize to her and promised that I WILL NEVER LET MEN GET IN THE WAY OF MY FRIENDSHIPS!!!!! This apology happened 3 years after me cutting her off, but who cares! We all make mistakes!) Then in my final year of college, I got sexually involved with another straight(?) batch mate, who was one of my (ex) friends' then boyfriend. Mostly, this involved us meeting in secret, late night in the boy's hostel and me choking on his dick. All I remember is that his dick was small (and I think one of the reasons for him being overtly aggressive and constantly getting into fist fights with people) and that it used to smell of Lifebuoy soap. He wanted to fuck me and there was only so much I would cheat on my (then) boyfriend. (yes, I am a terrible person, so fuck you too). Later he turned abusive and harassy and lot of people never believed a word of it because he was a man's man you know? But I digress!
After hooking up with this boy, I discovered a thing about myself which I hadn't really recognised before. I had a kink for my female friends' boyfriends. And of course, I have psychoanalysed this trait to death. This could be because I could never really get any crush of mine, who would mostly be straight men, to desire me back. It could be because generally straight men would rarely figure out in my social/friend circles and these boyfriends would be the only ones I would actually interact with. I don't know. But I started living in this perverted (or not so perverted) fantasies of sharing these boyfriends? This sharing wouldn't involve the nonsense straight couple do everyday though. I can't do these random calls asking for each other's health, or whether the other person has eaten yet or not. Even if this was all happening in my head! Yuck. It would mean me checking out their dick pics, vicariously having sex with them by discussing each and every detail of my girlfriends' sex life, me pretending to care about these boy's life ambitions and family problems and giving my support here and there, passing a mutual nod in the corridors of boy's hostel but only looking in their direction when they are only in their towels stepping out of their rooms for a bath. For the ones who were in a 'long distance relationship', I would obsessively stalk them, try starting a conversation with them, look for excuses to establish some bro connections with them. I knew that that there was zero possibility of maintaining any relationship with these boys had it not been for their relationships with my female friends. They weren't obligated to stand up for me in their own bro circles, or stop others from making fun of me. And I never expected them to.
Thankfully, now, I have a little self-dignity in life. Or atleast I pretend to. I have stopped leching after these stupid boys. Ok I am kidding. I haven't. Lelz. What is it about emotionally unavailable straight men that just gives me the biggest hard on? Lately I have started unfriending/unfollowing men who my friends have a fall out with. Why do they deserve my time? Why should I fuel their egos? Why should I validate their existence! I am also tired of just intellectualising every experience in life to reconcile with how fucked up these situations make me feel. Rationalising my behaviour or analysing straight men's refusal to understand queerness is not going to help. Because I thought that I am becoming my high school/college old self again, I started making myself believe that hey! I am not just desiring them because they are my friends' boyfriends. I like them because they are actually interesting people! No.
I just feel tired. Of constantly making the same mistake again and again, of desiring these men. Which essentially just translates to desiring loneliness. I feel stupid for feeling joy whenever my friends tell me that their boyfriend(s) ask about me. I feel like an idiot for feeling nervous whenever my friends discuss possibility of getting back together with these stupid men because in my head, I feel like I am getting another chance with them too. Ugh. And we all know how stupid straight men's chest suddenly fucking swells up because gay guys are hitting on them. Anyway, I don't really have a solution to this problem. I mean....is it even a problem? Perhaps it's fine to be motivated by fantasies? Perhaps it's okay to have non-reciprocated relationships as long as you can control the extent of it?