December 12, 2011


Dear Appa

I know you have dreams for me,
I know you have faith in me,
I know you have nurtured me,
But I want to fly away.

I know you have sat beside me,
I know you have cried with me,
I know you have died with me,
But I want to fly away.

I know you sacrificed for me
I know you struggled for me
I know you tried for me,
But I want to fly away.

I know you love me,
I know you care,
I know you would dare,
But I wish you just let me be, me.

~Your selfish daughter

After scribbling these few lines, Rachna, threw away the paper and sat in silence gazing blankly outside the window overlooking the crowded city.

‘I just have to do this – I’ve got to tell Appa’ she emphasized in hr mind.

‘But what if he reacts badly? What if he gets stressed...what if something happens to him? I would live in regret for the rest of my life’ she contradicted.

‘Yet if I don’t, then I will regret all my life as well. Regret is constant in either case. The question is which is the lesser one?’

It was almost time for Mr.A.P.V. Janardhan Reddy, Chief Engineer for Government projects, to come home. “Reddy garu” as he was popularly called, was a simple, honest man in a maze of politics and corruption. It was a quirk of fate that he had managed to survive this long without succumbing to the shackles of corruption. His reputation was unquestionable and often was the cause of envy for people who liked and disliked him.

He had a small family, his wife Mrs.Geetha Reddy, and daughter Rachna. They lived in the government quarters nearby. His life was simple, routine and uncomplicated. Not that he was chauvinistic, but he had clear expectations from his life. He would earn,Geetha would cook, and Rachna would get married to a nice simple next door boy,preferably another government employee, and settle close to their neighbourhood.

But that was about to change tonight.

‘Geetha – I am home’ he announced his arrival.

‘Your tea is ready why don’t you go freshen up first’ said Geetha.

‘Hmm what’s there to eat?’

Chekkalu and some Upma but first wash up and relax’ Geetha’s voice trailed off  as she went into the kitchen.

Rachna heard her father’s voice.

‘This is it Rach, you will have to break the news today’ she thought.
Yet the conflicting voice in her was equally strong and persistent.

‘Appa, I want to talk to you’ she said gingerly.

‘Oh you are at home, I didn’t realise that – I thought you were out with friends. By the way, did you meet the boy I asked you to? What’s his name? Girish I think – seems like a decent boy, he has done his B-Tech from Vellore, and unlike others, he prefers to work for the government. I think he has a bright future –India needs….’

‘Appa’ Rachna interrupted rather agitatedly.

‘Appa I’ve got a job with Bottlecaps – ‘ she paused for a reaction, but got none.

‘Its India’s first gay pub – she paused for a reaction’ she got none. Her father kept looking at her, something more was to come.

‘As their first woman restaurant manager’ – her mouth had dried, she gulped slowly.

‘and…’ .

Generally, the most outrageous thing that Mr.A.P.V. Reddy had ever heard or assessed was how his colleague’s son left electronic engineering to go pursue a career in Veterinary sciences. But this was outside his vocabulary of imagination or even remote fantasy. The flurry of questions in his mind were blocking his ability to react ,speak or gesture.

The stillness in the room was palpable. The Upma remained glued in between the mouth and the throat, the half eaten Chekkalu looked on blankly,the curtains stopped swaying,the tea broke free from the cup and sprinkled on Geetha’s hands,but she did not react either.

Rachna could hear her heartbeats, her fathers and her mothers, amplified ten times.

‘And Appa – I am…  – I don’t like men – getting married to a man would not only ruin his life, but mine as well.’

The fan tried to flip  the pages of the Deccan Chronicle, but it soaked in the oil from the Upma and lay down still smudging the snippet  'India's first...'

Gyanban Thoughts ~ This is the concluding part of the poem Rumination written previously. Sometimes breaking the news to family is the most toughest thing - more so, if you know for sure that it might bring about havoc - but the dilemma and the price one has to pay for not sharing the news is massive and takes a toll.Sapphic means homosexual. This post is dedicated to all those people who have a different sexual orientation and preference.We need to respect every individuals choice - we need to peacefully coexist without discrimination.

Whether we subscribe to a particular belief or not  is immaterial, we cannot   dictate what is the mass consensus - because if tomorrow the mass consensus against homosexuality changes , then that will be the norm of the society and heterosexuality will standout. So lets respect each other and live peacefully.


  1. Hmm....Sensitive thoughts indeed!I liked the after thoughts about the most difficult part being breaking the news to the family.The poem is very nice and so is the story.

  2. The society today is much too diverse to be even thought of as becoming progressive. But hopefully, in the years to come, Indian society learns that new kinds of relationships are here to stay and that there's nothing 'queer' about them at all. It's just a way of life.
    Excellent post, GyanBan.

  3. Gayanban,
    I find your writing very open and diverse. Open in the sense that you write from many perspectives, not only humanistic but symbolic. Diverse, well, allowing much to enter. It may appear that I am trying to make you blush, quite the contrary, I see that you are building a fantastic foundation and I wish to see it build. Yes indeed your writing may need work, but it alludes to a greater potential. Fantastic indeed.

    In reference to the story, I caught myself reading the letter through very fast as though I was wanting to see the end of it. It didn't really catch me. It wasn't until Rachna tossed the paper, when the message of the piece was beginning. It felt too repetitious, then again from another perspective it really depends on how you look at it.

    One could see her letter not capturing what she actually wants to say, obvious with her tossing it. I think that this story could be elaborated, you have a great setting I wish to read the majority of the piece.

    But I really enjoyed the dialogue with the mother and her, I could could really see it in my mind.

    I enjoy reading your blog every once and a while, especially when I can of course.

    Great to see your writing!

  4. @Sudeshna - yes it is difficult for many people to face those who are the most close to them, ironical and true.

    @D2 - Most certainly,it is critical to know and realise that every one has a right to coexist peacefuly - whether or not we personaly subscribe to their point of view.

    @Falling Universe - am glad you took time to visit my blog and share your thoughts about my writing. The whole aspect of my writing revolves around experimenting and challenging my skill sets to explore unchartered territories of my mind.In the process, if someone appreciates the outcome of such an experiment - am glad, if not, am glad as well. And it is not to do with arrogance or indifference.

    In this world where being diplomatic is the best form of expression, and I am an active member of the clan on most occasions, I felt a need to do something which sans a need for approval.It is more like a vent to all the facade we put up all day long. Somewhere we need to tell oursleves,it is ok to be foolish, it is ok to be stupid,it is ok to be not is ok to be ok not the best all the time, it is ok to be you - only you.

    As for the story - the nature of a distressed mind does not allow structure or clarity.The poem Rachna scribbles is just a reflection of that. Not sure what you meant by being repetitious. The poem does not capture what she wants to say - and that is by design.In life, unlike popular fiction, some stories remain incomplete.

    the objective of the story was to try and capture one evening,perhaps a few moments in time, from Rachan's life,which would go on to define her existence in the future.The unstated possibilities of such a life changing scenario needed to be kept that way int he context of the texture of the story.

    The dialog was with her father not mother. Am glad you could identify some scenarios.

    Please continue to visit ,as and when you can and share your thoughts.


  5. It is still not easy for girls (and boys too) like Rachana.

  6. wow! you managed to capture so much with so little - very nice writing there! What you have NOT written is as important as what you have. Waiting for more from you!

  7. @aativas - true agreed.

    @Nirvana - thanks for dropping by.

  8. Nice!

    Well, our ancients in all their wisdom told us that there are three kinds of humans: male, female and tritiya prakriti. We moderns, in all our infinite wisdom have created prejudices and prudishness. And I simply fail to understand this word, “queer”.

  9. It is never easy telling the family. Respecting individual choices is most important. But what would (most probably) happen in the above case would be parents/relatives/well wishers swooping down to tell her she is too young to make such decisions and once she starts living with a man, things would change. I can almost hear it. :)But that's something that would start where you have left off.
    Well written. Congrats on the Blogadda pick.

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