Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hellos lovebirds+queers+beautiful+mad!

It feels delightful to steal some bits from my new found office life and scrounge my little diary for poetryyy:) and yes! apologies for being so inconsistent with blog entries. I guess, i just have to deal with the fact that i can only post stuff on blogs when I honestly feel a need for it and most importantly, when there is INTERNET around me with a proper speed and not a slow mooing machine (like mine:(

I thought I would put some poetry here this time.

One of them is new, one of them is old, all of them are full of me. And a certain you. And that panting, breathless word.

So here are two, three hands of that desperate word. Let me hear you scream too. Its very easy.


Run your fingers to the only place they are destined to speak at……

(Mildly perfumed nipples.)

You only talk there, curl on the legs and make me whorl like a tweaked lily..

Take another gentle nip, splashing salted dew

And I do the job of being silent

(For a change).


When two people can sit jarringly silent in one room

And One, fiddles with the thought of storming out and Other, packs up a smile of a disdainful content.

One, picks up a queasy vomit of logic. And taste its horror. The Other, shits more and throws it like a little girl with her first game of ball. Throws with utter delight. Like a real man.

One, plays hard to mask all the terror. One, is perfect at pretense and One, glorifies this tacit nudity in the mirror every day. One has to understand the Other. But

The Other, walks out of the room leaving no scope for debates. Takes away the logic and the loathing. All acts that could connect this seamlessly vast ocean of relations.

One, continues to sit in the room with lips pursed and a generous consumption of cigarettes and a heart that plops out on the plate and scatters like a mutilated bloody lump. A delicacy One eats. A truth One lives.

And nothing will change it in the years to come. Maybe if only, One becomes the Other.

Or the Other finally finds the One.


Innocence of children should not be taken for granted nor should promises made by men.

Both can grow up to be vengeful bastards with gangrenous spite

That cannot fill up a room. Fingers, etched to purple ass holes.

Ensue punches, “our logic”, “truth is what you see hard” and other such smoldering infections. I wish their words could be turned into silicon, at least we could get use them to stuff. We will need a different nation for such creatures. Some distant piece of land.

Some might call it The Manland.

I say its Men’s toilet or better

Trash cans.


Sweet surprise.

Your chest was made of marijuana- sugar. Like tinkling little balls of flavor.

And it fell on me like a warm blanket with two marble nipples. One throbbing heartbeat and an oaring hand that swept across streets. Through all the muck. To just reach me.

You told me, you were not like other men and you will not hurt me. Because you came equipped with Vaseline and sturdy fingers. Raunchy boiled tongue, reeking of nicotine and a temporary love, I am very fond of when you slip yourself between and forget where you are. Your eyes closed. And an open mouth. Like Krishna did when Yashoda asked him…

And he showed the entire world swirling in his mouth.

But you craned your mouth down to pick up globules of sweat and trailing it around my waist. Dropped more Vaseline and a dizzying thrust.

That spirals up to pain and then eyes, (a tear) and

Hands, lifelessly haunting the creases of your shirt.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Minal Hajratwala at Swabhava

photo credit Bob Hsiang

Minal Hajratwala is in Bangalore for a few weeks – we mostly know her as the editor for Queer Ink‘s forthcoming 2012 Queer Ink Anthology (also here). I cannot currently remember who took dreadful advantage of whom, but Vinay (the guy who runs-manages-GrandViziersSwabhava/Good As You ) spread the word and a bunch of us gathered to meet her today (actually, by the time this gets posted, yesterday) at the Swabhava office.

Hajratwala’s Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages To Five Continents explores her family’s

Excerpts from *Leaving India*

multigenerational movement across the world, contextualising her self against this century of transplantation and settlement. It’s won at least four awards (one of them a Lammy!). Hajratwala is currently in India for research for her next novel and for her poetry – more on those later.

It rained quite spitefully on the latecomers today, but we began (mostly) on time. Hajratwala read out an excerpt from Leaving India, a section pertaining to herself and her early adulthood – Feminism, Queerness (“Feminism is the theory, lesbianism the practice.”) and the like. She’s not my favourite sort of reader – her tone remains too even – but she has a clear and soft voice. All in all, very pleasant.

Questions! Answers! :

  • Hajratwala spent eight years (instead of the projected two) researching and writing this book. Her extended, very close-knit family is spread out over nine countries. She has thirty-five first cousins, and knows all their names – an impressive feat in and of itself. The book, in some senses, is her way of understanding the sheer scale of diaspora and finding a place for herself within it.
  • Writing the novel changed her; it rebuilt her relationships with the family, allowed her time, conversation, communication with an older generation that would not necessarily spend time taking a young woman and her questions seriously. Diasporic narratives and histories have to encompass an extraordinary amount of movement: “It is the central trauma of our lives.” In some ways, it is the role of the queer family member, to have that displacement away and reconciliation back to the traditional family home – it gives the writer a dual, insider/outsider perspective.
  • The section in Leaving India which is about herself was written first, and partly as a response to the “naked honesty” she was getting from the people she talked to. She came out to her extended family on a case by case basis, and for the most part all is well. (She did remind us that it’s easier to be proud of a “famous lesbian” in the family rather than a boring old “regular lesbian”.)
  • Blogs! She likes blogs. (Who doesn’t?) They give you a personal space to write anything you choose, without an editor overseeing the process. You can control who sees your words and who doesn’t. It can be a space to have your private, intimate voice “connect to some bigger thing out there”. (She had contact with the damascusgaygirl hoaxer: See this and this.)
  • The Queer Ink Anthology! Queer Ink is going to be one of the first queer publishing houses in South Asia, and this anthology is going to give us stories that haven’t been heard before. About ten percent of the submissions were in vernacular languages. (Queer Ink is looking for people interested in editing, design, writing, the like. Contact them! Say you want in!)
After, there were cookies. After after, we went to Koshy’s. Life was good.

(originally posted at my reading blog)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A shout-out to queer writers -

I'm supposed to be blogging about babies, but all I've got so far is "I don't want 'em," which is not as verbose as I would like. Here is baby clipart, which as almost as good as a post about babies and the people who do want 'em:

Innit precious.

Anyway, while I was procrastinating instead of talking/writing/thinking about babies (I don't want 'em!) I found this on my email and Facebook both, somehow ignored until Not Working led me to it. It is, in essence, a call for submissions for an (so far unnamed) anthology of Queer Erotica by South Asian writers. Tranquebar Press (the same people who published The Electric Feather last year) will publish the collection sometime in 2012. I'm copy/pasting the text here:

Call for submissions: Anthology Of South Asian Queer Erotica [title forthcoming]

To be published by Tranquebar Press in 2012

The spaces for expressing queer concerns have increased across South Asia in the last decade. Much is being written about sexuality, rights and queer lives. Yet, in all of this, sex itself doesn't get written about very much and there is a dearth of queer erotica from South Asia. Contemporary queer erotica with a South Asian focus would make these queer lives apparent in newer and compelling ways. This anthology is an attempt to present queer, sexual, regional literature that pleasures and satisfies. It is about queer sex lives, erotic experiences and passions. Queer in this anthology represents non-normative genders, sexualities, lives and perspectives. It aims to bring out voices that have been limited to smaller groups or never heard before.

What we want:

We want stories of queer love, lust and craving. Sex, however you may define it, should be a big part of the story. We want gender play, auto-eroticism, dark fantasies, monogamous and non-monogamous sex, stories of bondage, domination, sadism and masochism. We are looking for stories of deep passions, stories that complicate sex. We want stories of desire, fulfilled and unfulfilled. Stories that defy the gender binary. Stories of how you sexed up your aids and appliances. Stories on masturbation or the pleasures of paid sex. Stories of how you steamed up a bus ride, ended a clandestine affair or fucked with sex toys. Share with us stories that confront, redefine, dispute and reclaim what sex is. Let your stories queer erotica itself.

We invite you to write short stories with South Asian themes, characters and places reflected in them. We are looking for a wide expression of experiences across age, region, class, ability, gender and sexual identities. Stories can be fictional, semi-fictional and non-fiction, but we are not looking for academic or solely autobiographical writing on sexuality. Your stories will shatter the silences around queer erotic lives and encompass their diversities, so let us have them.

Who can write:

We want to foreground the queer voices of people living in or originally from South Asia. Queer includes but is not restricted to identities like lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, intersex, hijra, kothi, questioning, genderqueer, genderfluid and pansexual. Authors do not necessarily have to identify with one or more of these identities but the stories they submit should reflect non-normative genders, sexualities, lives and perspectives.

How to submit:

We are looking for short stories with a word limit of no less than 3000 words. We regret that we are unable to include poetry.

All submissions should be in English. Translations from other languages are allowed as long as the author owns the rights to the translation as well.

Please submit the story as an email attachment on a word document. Please include a title and word count.

Do not include your name or any other identifiers in the word document. As we are using a blind submissions process, we will have to reject submissions that indicate the author’s identity in the body of the story.

Authors will be informed whether their work is selected by mid-October. At that time, we will request you to provide a name under which you wish to be published and a short bio.

All selected authors will receive a one-time payment. The copyright of the story will remain with the author.

The deadline for submission is 15th September 2011.

Send your stories to

Now get writing about the kind of sex you have wanted to read about. And get us swooning!

About the editors:

Meenu is a queer feminist activist. She has been involved with issues of gender and sexuality through women’s rights organisations and autonomous collectives for the last six years. She lives in Delhi and is an avid reader of erotica.

Shruti is currently based in Bombay. In the last eight years, she has actively engaged with the women’s and queer movements in the country. Over the years, she has worked as a researcher, social worker and counsellor.

Pass the word around!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

WHaQ! meeting, June 5th 2011

This was a meeting we'd been waiting for for ages and ages and ages. Diana had showed us the trailer for Deliver Me back in December, so we've been waiting to see the real thing like hungry hippos for six whole months.

Deliver Me is a great first effort, thematically coherent, and thought-provoking in unexpected ways. I'm not going to spoil the movie for those of us who haven't seen it, but I think that even if you don't agree with the movie's central conceit the characters and their principles are going to stay with you well after the end.

There were one or two new faces on Sunday, and Diana had brought some of her cast and the cinematographer along, so there was some discussion about technicalities - and a lot of discussion of the difficulties of making the movie on a limited budget as a non-professional crew.

This took up nearly two hours, after which we mostly broke up to head for FOOD and DRINKS -

- but not before we made a fairly important socialisation change. WHaQ! members have been meeting fairly regularly in Tavern on Wednesday nights, but lately - for many, many reasons, some of us have been thinking that it's not a nice a place as it used to be. SO we're shifting venues. Those of us who want to just hang out, chill, and talk outside of the formalities of the meetings are invited to our new Thursday hang out - if you weren't at the meeting, and aren't on the mailing lists, send an email to to ask for details. The new place sounds awesome. (This also means that anyone who goes to the Good As You meetings on Thursdays can head straight from Swabhava to drinks with the rest of the gals instead of heading home or going to Koshys - which is a nice place, don't get me wrong, but it's excellent to have so many things to do!)


Gurl in the World has already blogged this, but please, take a look, pass it on: help a mother reunite with her children, who've been kept hostage from her for the past year.