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Life is a piano and I’m wearing boxing gloves

A music snob, that’s what I am. Give me good music and that’s all it takes to cheer me up. I shuffle my playlist and Growing Up by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Ed Sheeran) is the first track. That’s the beauty of a good song, you know. It tends to find a way to crawl into your heart and when it finally does, it somehow twitches everything inside and there comes this overwhelming moment when you and the song become one. Well, I don’t mean to discuss my playlist nor my penchant for music. Well, what spurred me to write today was a line from this particular song: “Sometimes I don’t know who I am…

No! This is not a post about identity crisis. This is more about the conflict within. It’s about the strife that’s been a constant companion ever since those hormones started kicking sense into me. And it never ceases to exist, not even for a moment. Every morning I wake up hoping that it is gone, only to be disappointed. I brew my tea, pick up the paper, put on my glasses, read it, tidy my bed, start the paused torrent downloads and I sit. Having nothing to do, these thoughts come fleeting to my mind.

Yes, I am gay.  There! I said it. Three words and one sentence. Simple, no? Well if you ask me, my answer would be Highway to the hell NO! (Music again, yeah. Sorry about that.) I wish it were as simple. I wish I could pronounce it out to the world.

I wish I didn’t have to put on this mask every morning. I wish I could walk up to that insanely handsome guy sitting on the opposite table in the canteen and tell him about the tingly feeling I get each time our eyes meet.

But then again this isn’t a fairy tale and wishes are not meant to be true. Yeah, you might have guessed by now, I am quite delusional.

I belong to a lower middle class family. Grades and medals and accolades have always served as benchmarks of my progress. And I don’t recall any incident where I disappointed them. None that I know of. I won’t say I have been the ideal son but I haven’t been a hooligan either. And it’s not that I don’t like the praises. I mean I don’t hog the spotlight but come on, who doesn’t like a little complement every once a while? Maybe it’s this yearning for admiration which is somehow responsible for me not coming out. I can’t bear it if they were to think less of me. They would be shattered. The very thought of them having to save faces from this judgemental homophobic society sends a shiver down my spine.

Photo : Gavin D' Costa / QGrapghy

Photo : Gavin D’ Costa / QGrapghy

But then, there is another part of me that wants to break free from this façade. Yes, I want to be able to love someone without having to think about its pros and cons. For once, I long to have someone who can understand how big of a mess I am, or tell me that it’s going to be okay.

I want to post the ‘hearts in my eyes’ emoticon on all photos of David Tennant on Facebook without having the fear of my friends noticing and judging me. I don’t want to master unconditional love, no. I don’t want to it to be perfect at all. I want it to be flawed and crazy. I simply want it to be there. I want someone to come home to, someone I can cook for, someone who would lend a patient ear to my endless rants. Too clichéd, eh?

I haven’t even got to the best part yet. The thing is when you’re gay, everyone around you, more often than not, knows about it (or at the least has the faintest idea!). Be it your preference for a quiet game of Uno over fighting in Tekken or your knowledge on what’s currently in vogue or your inclination towards rom-coms rather than dark gory movies. Everyone knows but you. Actually, you don’t want to know it. You keep denying and refusing. But then one day you accept it. You have to. So was the case with me. Many a time, I’ve stared at my parents and whispered, “I am gay. Please don’t hate me”. How I wish I had the courage to actually say that out loud!

I did a project in my final semester which entailed the use of certain image processing techniques. In digital references, the colour black is assigned ‘1’ and white is assigned ‘0’. Life is supposed to be like that, plain and simple. You either love pizza or you don’t. You either live like a Lannister or die like a Stark. Life, they say, is as simple as you make it. You’re either a 0 or you’re a 1. But what about those who’re stuck in between? What about the colour gray? What about us? I don’t know where to look for answers. And don’t suggest introspection. I have distracted myself, from myself for so long. The last thing I need right now is having to face myself. I just hope it isn’t too late when I finally find the answers I need.

Ron Lobo

Ron Lobo is a nomad, a music snob and a part-time software engineer

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