Whether it is family, society, gangs of thugs, or political parties, the threats to women’s freedom to choose in India are many and varied. To the above list, one may add the police and the judiciary as well.
Every match that came my way, every person I spoke to, every time someone pointed to the word “asexual” in my bio – it was all an exercise in acceptance, compassion, and empathy. People were asking questions because they wanted to know how best to interact with me, how to respect my boundaries, how to to get over their own misgivings about ‘my kind’.
For a while now, I have been invested in noticing the unique terms of endearment that characterise individual relationships. What are some of the non-verbal, non-physical ways in which couples begin to connect with each other? Intimacies that are so subtle that they are almost invisible and often hidden in plain sight?
We would spend hours just lost in our sweet, intoxicating world of soft skin, whispers and drenched sheets. It was amazing. But also, I remember the most just sitting together at midnight talking about his mother, my childhood, his habit of wearing a nightcap while sleeping or just our Instagram browsing-patterns.
When Deepa Mehta’s Fire came out in 1996, violent protests roiled India over the depiction of romance between two female leads. There is no homosexuality in India, demonstrators declared while burning effigies in the Capital. In contrast, when Margarita With A Straw came out in 2014, it received accolades for its sensitive portrayal of queer desire in a woman with disability.