Red Book

Of Queerness And Being In School

Welcome to NazariyaLGBT.org

Posted By: Mann B

Art By: Lerath

Being queer in school’s hard.

Being queer in an Indian school’s even harder.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

School was never easy for me. What did I expect? Adolescence is a time when a human is – considering the appropriate medical terminology – a hot mess. Growing up, I was repeatedly singled out in school, and it gradually became clear as to why. I was objectified: my only purpose was to  compliment other people’s narratives, be it for comic relief or to satisfy their curiosity. My identity was as irrelevant to them as its validity. No one asked who I was; they just knew that there existed only one effeminate kid in school who they could easily project their insecurities and sexist ignorance on.

I was once followed to the washroom by a group of boys and till this date, I…

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Madman

Madman on the road.

Parched lips, dry hair

Smiling serenely,

Giggling at times.

What are you laughing at,

O King of dirt and flies?

At human follies and pride,

Or at the filthy tiles?

Do you remember your sad mother, madman?

Who cried when you cried, laughed when you laughed,

The tunes she hummed for you

On melancholy afternoons, 

The warm breeze, the shy sun

A lazy leaf on the village pond.

Do you remember your sad father, madman?

Being hidden in the cowshed

When guests came knocking.

The rage, the disbelief

When you found your way out.

Do you remember the sad beatings, madman? 

That reeked of alcohol, insecurity and self loathing.

The solitary tears of your mother, 

Her protective embrace, the searing pain,

The stench of stale vomit.

Do you remember the sad bus, madman?

The mad exhilaration of escape.

The sunny trees, the starry nights,

River Hooghly, vast and majestic.

A mad city, with mad cars and dark people.

The madman who refused you food.

The madman who drove you out of his courtyard.

The madmen who attacked you with sticks and stones.

The tragedy of a family that disowned a blessing.

Smile on madman, mock this mad world!

Freed from false pretencions,

Revel in your sanity.