The Queer Chronicle - February 2011
'The Queer Chronicle’ (TQC) is India's longest running free monthly e-magazine, published for and by the queer community. With exhibitions, interviews, restaurants, holiday destinations, parties, businesses, health issues, investment advice (all of course, from an LGBT point of view), TQC is an information packed capsule and is a ‘must-have’ for every queer Indian and visitors to India. TQC is a non-commercial publication, is not for sale and is exclusively for private distribution.
THE QUEER CHRONICLE 2011 FEB TQC Issue 2 . Volume 6 . India QUEER AZAADI MUMBAI 2011 & VALENTINE SPECIAL In this issue Editorial TQC Exclusive: The reasons for pride 01 Page 3: Queer Azaadi Mumbai 2011 03 Movies: Beyond Gay ‐ The Politics of Pride 04 Art & Soul 05 TQC Exclusive: City of Singles 06 Mex in the City: The Chase 08 RJ’s Top 10 09 The Indian queer community has never had it better! Who would have thought, a few years ago, that we would march by the thousands, on the streets of every major metro in this country? Who would have dreamt that our generation would be spoilt for choice with queer enterprises, book stores, Leisure: Santé & Bon Appétit 10 Music: And not all that Jazz... 11 The Candy Store 12 Life & Tarot: Predictions for 2011 magazines, bar nights, club nights, Reflections holiday packages, film festivals, and so 13 15 much more? It’s all very exciting; and who can blame us for getting caught up in the moment! As Martin Luther King Jr so beautifully put it, “I have a dream.” ‐ it is our dream of equal human rights that we so often tend to lose sight of in the midst of a flurry of more ‘fun’ ventures. We need to strike a balance. We need TQC. Issue 2. Volume 6. Pune. to put aside our differences and our Cover photograph by Zohar. Photograph copyright Z Photography (firstname.lastname@example.org). egos. We need to get off our high Used with permission of the photographer and the featured models. horses and stop expecting ‘others’ to Editor & publisher: Keith | Contributors: Alika, Ambika Rajgopal, Amey Kolhe, Mahesh Natarajan, facilitate change. The responsibility lies with each of us. Partha Sarathi Biswas, ‘RJ’, Rohit Pramar, Sagar Dave, Sanket Tandulwadkar, Subodh Bodke, ‘Zephyr Ray’ | Queer Azaadi Mumbai 2011 photographs: Akshay Bajaj & Sunetro Lahiri | Layout concept, design & production: Keith. We need to work cohesively, as a TQC (The Queer Chronicle) is a monthly e‐magazine published for and by the queer community in community, for the betterment of our India. This e‐zine is a non‐commercial publication, is not for sale and is exclusively for private community ‐ for our human rights. Let’s give ourselves something to be really proud about. distribution. Views expressed are solely the opinions of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial team of TQC, nor its affiliates. The content of this e‐zine may not be suitable for all audiences. The appearance of any person in this ezine, is not to be taken as any indication of the sexual orientation of such persons. www.facebook.com/tqc.india, www.planetromeo.com/tqc_india, TheQueerChronicle@gmail.com The Editor Please print this ezine only if you have to. Help save our planet. TQC Exclusive : The Reasons For Pride TQC - Feb 2011 BY PARTHA SARATHI BISWAS Photograph by Akshay Bajaj For young Rohit, participating in the recollection of the Pride March that I have become almost a very common Mumbai Pride March in the year 2008, was a very overwhelming experience. A have as of today was the instant peace that engulfed me when I saw the crowd feature in quite a few cities across the country. While some in the community small town boy, Rohit did have his share with whom I was to march”, is how frown upon this ‘aping’ of a Western of apprehensions and fears before he mustered up the courage to go to the Rohit explains his first pride experience two years later. concept, by and large, the LGBT community of the country is slowly Pride March. “I was afraid that people would recognize me or make fun of me. Be it the flamboyant drag queens, with their vibrant costumes or the ‘dykes on waking up to the need and the purpose of Pride as an important milestone in Although I was out to my family and bikes’, Gay Pride Marches across the the LGBT liberation movement in India. some friends, I still was in the closet, so to speak. Many questions were coursing world have always been a source of intense debate; be it within the LGBT It started off in Kolkata in the year 1999, with a Pride March, which took through my mind, as I went to August Kranti Maidan. Once I reached the community or society at large. While, in the West, Pride Marches have the whole country by storm, and how! Anindya Hajra, a queer and women’s venue, it was as if by magic, my fears become another excuse to party, India right activist fondly recollects the and apprehensions vanished. In that sea (it did appear to me like a sea) of is slowly coming to terms to the greater politics and purpose behind the Pride impetus that made the Kolkata Queer Community take their march to the humanity, I felt at home and I was immediately at peace. The only Marches. Post the historic judgment of the Delhi High Court, gay pride marches streets. “Pride marches have been the symbol of protest by the marginalized 1 throughout the world. While planning “I do not care if the concept of Pride is the Kolkata Pride in the year 1999, we had the dual aspects of protest and not Indian, but the purpose of Pride is too big to be ignored. And since when visibility in mind. For most of us, have we started boycotting any idea, on marching with the rainbow flag was a big event, which marked a high in our the basis of its land of origin? If that had been the case, we might as wind lives. It marked the transition for us, from the comfort of the family closet to up Big Boss and other reality TV shows. My logic is simple ‐ if the idea is good, coming out in the open and asking for why not adopt it? In today’s world of our rights. Invariably, the question that many of us had, was its feasibility, the the global village, this ideological apartheid is both silly and ludicrous.” need and the logic behind the Pride. While some of us were apprehensive The concept of global village in the recent times has become a dominant about the march and some down right theme for activist Mario Da Penha, agnostic. For us, the Pride was a form of legitimate protest that we had to when he stresses the importance of Pride in unequivocal terms. “The undertake to ensure, we were not written off the books completely.” question of whether a city should have a pride or not, is a question that the For most queer rights activists in India, city must decide for itself. On a the last two points are of cardinal importance, which makes them take up personal level, I think Pride as a concept is a matter of celebration of the flag and take their march to the streets. Harish Iyer, an organizing who we are in reality. It gives many of us a chance to come out in the street committee member of the Mumbai and celebrate ourselves in the most Pride scorns on the so called ‘East‐West divide’ when it comes to organizing and natural way we can,” he explains. “Pride has the dual importance of holding the pride. “To begin with, I do not feel any different from the person celebration and protest at the same time. For those of us, in the LGBT on the street in anyway. Having said, community, who do not have the this, I must insist that however hard we may try to ignore the fact, but there privilege of straight‐acting, Pride gives them the freedom to be as flamboyant still remains a lot of prejudice from the mainstream against the sexual minority as possible. It indeed must be trying to put up an act, to conform to and Pride is an important milestone is stereotypes and Pride is the occasion to trying to reconfirming our rightful space under the sun. When we turn up let your hair down, in the literal sense. Thus, the presence of flamboyant drag in large numbers, to march under the rainbow flag, it gives a sense of sheer queens is another way of giving those the freedom to revel in their own way numbers which the mainstream can’t and I guess it functions as a safety valve deny or ignore, how ever hard they may try to. It is a message, that yes we for many. Its this celebration that I find very important for Pride to be might be a sexual minority, but we are too enormous in numbers to be written conducted in the Indian cities,” he further adds. off the books. Also, when they see the Another aspect which Mario points out plethora of actors, doctors and other professionals marching with us, in the to is the element of protest, which often is drowned in myriad images of long run it creates a dent in their armor of misconceptions about the queer semi‐naked men and raunchy behavior that prevails in the Pride marches. community”, he says. Taking a direct dig at the frowners, Harish retorts (albeit tongue‐in‐cheek) 2 Photograph by Sunetro Lahiri ‐ Continued on Page 4 TQC - Aug Feb 2011 2010 PAGE 3 Queer Azaadi Mumbai (QAM) January 29, 2011. Mumbai Photographs by Akshay Bajaj & Sunetro Lahiri ‐ Continued from Page 2 (The Reasons for Pride) “I have walked in the Pride of New York quite a few times and was surprised to see the broad spectrum of people who walk in it. We have Orthodox Jews, MOVIE REPORT BY AMEY KOLHE Gay Pride marches and festivals are Gilbert Baker ‐ creator of the first happening all over the world ‐ sometimes with heavy opposition and rainbow flag. Sao Paulo Pride Parade, Brazil violence. VIP access to the world’s largest Gay Beyond Gay – The Politics of Pride is the most comprehensive look at the role of Parade where 4 million people take part in their government sponsored these events ever undertaken. This feature length documentary follows the Pride: a street party that defies the imagination. Their theme this year: Vancouver Pride Society’s (VPS) Parade Homophobia Kills! Then, 7 days later … Director Ken Coolen and his VPS colleagues as they travel to places Moscow Pride, Russia Coolen and crew are the only foreigners where Pride is still steeped in protest to personally experience the rampant i n v o l v e d i n t h e c l a n d e s t i n e preparations for this event. Secret homophobia that still exists. They also meetings, hidden identities, police travel to Sao Paulo Brazil for the world’s largest gay parade and New York City, harassment, the first successful peaceful Pride March, and a violent the birthplace of the modern gay liberation movement. counter protest reveal just how passionate people can be about a Increasingly the Pride movement is parade. globalizing. Coolen and many Pride organizers in North America and Europe, Pride Colombo, Sri Lanka Pride events here are only advertised where celebration has overtaken political action, strive to remind their after they take place, in order to protect the identities of those brave communities that Pride is at its heart a enough to attend. Pride organizer global fight for human rights. Despite the hundreds of thousands of Sahran Abeysundra, later travels to Canada to be a Grand Marshal in people cheering in the streets, Pride is much, much more than a parade and a Vancouver’s Parade. Vancouver Pride, Canada party. It is a giant step on the road to “Celebrating 30 Years of the Rainbow”: true equality. The GLBT community during Pride is an entertaining and Back in Vancouver, where equal marriage is legal and the parade engaging multi ethnic group than can bring attention to the issue of human entertains half a million people, Ken struggles to make the parade have rights with diversity, insight, and��� of some meaning after all he has seen. course plenty of fabulousness. Some highlights include: Through Ken we discover that despite thousands of people cheering in the InterPride 2007, Zurich Switzerland Coolen and co‐parade director, Dean streets, Pride is much, much more than a parade and a party. It’s a giant step on Nelson, attend this international the road to true human equality. conference of Pride organizations. Many human rights activists are interviewed, including American artist and activist 4 ‘Beyond Gay – The Politics of Pride’ was screened at Queering Saturdays, organized by Open Space. (www.openspaceindia.org) TQC Churches, support groups, walking side by side, with the more flamboyant crowd and their reason is simple ‐ h o m o p h o b i a o r a n y f o r m o f discrimination based on sexual preference is an infringement of human rights and that has to stop. However, the main stream media, often chooses to ignore this cardinal message and focuses on highlighting the nudity and other elements of the Pride, “ he sighs. For photographer par excellence, Sunil Gupta, it is time that the Pride Marches take a step forward and ask for more rights. “When we had the first Pride in Delhi, it was like any other civil society protesting against the injustices meted out to them. Then we had the exuberance of the Naz Foundation case being heard in the Delhi High Court, and we wanted to protest as a civil society. So, our march ended at Jantar Mantar. We need to now start asking for more legal changes with these Prides. We have to press for legislative changes, which will give us the same rights as heterosexual partners, through our Pride Marches now. It’s a welcome move that with in a short span of time we are having pride marches in Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai, but I think we need to now formulate the policy of m a k i n g t h e s e m o r e v o c a l a n d vociferous. The time is ripe and we must act fast,” he states. For our very own Pune, the queer community is literally counting the days, when this city will have its own Pride. Says Aniket,"Pune is in for some good times and going by the success of the QFest, I will not be surprised if we manage to have a Pride soon. We have kept our fingers crossed but I hope that it happens soon." Amen to that. TQC Art & Soul TQC - Feb 2011 COMPILED BY KEITH TQC is committed to encouraging and promoting the creativity of queer & queer-friendly talent. As part of the India Pride season, TQC is proud to showcase Pride Art by Rohit Pramar. Upper: "Culture" ; Lower: â€œThe good prevails" These artworks are not for sale, however in case you would like to commission an artwork by this artist, please write to us at TheQueerChronicle@gmail.com Rohit Pramar 5 TQC Exclusive: City Of Singles BY SAGAR DAVE “You know you're in love when you don't acknowledge it. Valentine’s Day is often Akash Singh, 28, an IT Professional want to fall asleep because reality is the most dreaded day of the year for a when asked what his plans are for finally better than your dreams.” single man. For a man living in the city, Valentine’s Day says, “It’s good to ‐ Dr. Seuss love is a difficult thing to pursue yet spend it with someone special but then If you Google “love” you are going to easy to drown in. With the ease of this day is more about people you love get more than a billion hits, each one finding a date, there is always a risk of to o, w h i c h m o st p e o p l e d o n ' t literally shouting out about how lovely losing one just as easily. The city is such understand. We should wish our love is and how amazing it is to be in a place and it plays mind games too, as parents, friends, anyone we love. It’s your lover’s caring arms. Love is long as you’re a pawn in it. not just about being with your something that each of secretly desires If you are the kind who is a sucker for Boyfriend.” Akash further adds, and yet we find it difficult to express love then you are in for a reality check “Usually I'm at the office so I don’t There are those who wear their hearts on Valentine’s Day! ‘Oh god! Another really have time to celebrate it”. Akash on their sleeve, while others simply Valentine’s Day and I am single!’, ‘14th is trying to see this day in a broader refuse to accept that they are struck by Feb...why is it even celebrated?’. These sense and has convinced himself that the Cupid. But love as we know it is a are the thoughts that run through a it’s nothing more than a day to show all tricky thing. Like a sweet smelling rose, single’s mind; some might feel lonely the people you love, how special they one wrong move can result in a nasty while others simply despise it. are. prick. I caught up with some very eligible Arun Mirchandani, the author of the 14th February is a date that we all know singles in the city to find out what book ‘You are not alone’ says, “I am very well. Some make a big deal of it Valentine’s Day means to them. single this year too and have never w h i l e o t h e r s s i m p l y r e f u s e t o 6 been in a relationship long enough to celebrate or mourn over Valentine’s Ameya, 31, an architect on the other Day!” He believes that Valentine’s Day hand thinks Valentine’s Day is just is great for people who are in love but another marketing gimmick. He says, sucks for those who aren’t. He is not “The first thought that occurs to me is ‘I averse to celebrating it, though. He hope no one asks me out’. I find the says, “You have Mother’s Day, Father’s whole idea of Valentine’s Day, Day, Children’s day, Friendship Day ... So extremely cheesy.” Ameya isn’t against Valentine’s Day? Why not?”. When the idea of celebrating love in all its asked about how he feels being single, diverse forms yet feels one doesn’t Arun confesses, “Response from the need a particular day to show it. To exterior ‐ Great, I love being single; him, “Valentine’s is a number. A Day. Response from the interior ‐ Sucks!” Being single on Valentine’s is just like Arun is a true believer in love and being single on any other day of the thinks it’s inevitable and will happen year. A day is only as important as you someday. Meanwhile for this year, it’s make it to be.” When asked about what his TV and a bag of chips! he plans to on this Valentine’s Day, he Dalip, 55 has a different take on raises an eyebrow, “Really? Do you Valentine’s Day. The first thought that think I’d plan something? I don’t think it comes to him is, “Oh God! The saffron is important. May be a Hollywood Rom‐ brigade is going to be at it again, Com!” Ameya believes that he doesn’t bucking their ‘uninhibited’ hips in need a day to celebrate love, he could public, creating an unsavory spectacle do it with anyone on any day he wants of themselves ‐ being a nuisance to all.” to. Not averse to the idea of love, he On a lighter note he talks of Valentine’s says, “It happens right when you stop Day “Cute! Cupid has sexy buns! But I looking for it.” Ameya thinks it’s a am no crib snatcher.” Having seen many personal decision and says he will cross Valentine’s Days, when asked about his the bridge when he comes to it. take on love, he replies, “Encyclopedic! From worshippers, to semi believers, to In a phrase – be honest about it, with it, cynics, the city is satiated with in it; in a sentence – without love life is opinionated singles. However, like it or a drab.” Dalip adds, “Being single is not, all of us crave love and as we know sublime! Like with everything else in life love is only love, when it is given away. – there are moments of hardship and So what if you spent another New Year pain too in being single. Being single is tucked in your bed alone or another not the same as being ‘alone’. That’s an Valentine’s Day sitting at your favorite altogether different ‘ball game’. Finally bistro, sipping mocha or for that sake to the toughest question of the lot he any other day! replies, “This Valentine’s I plan to buy What matters is the possibility of this myself a rose; give myself a well‐ being the last of its kind. Valentine’s needed hug and a kiss; and as the night will come and it will pass. But when you TQC - Feb 2011 begins to whisper sweet nothings do meet the man of your dreams the around a flickering candle flame... wait will be totally worth it because slowly undress and take me to bed... that moment onwards each day will be Any Cupid out there cares to frolic with Valentine’s Day for you. me on that night?” TQC Source: PlanetRomeo 7 Mex In The City: The Chase BY ALIKA Photograph: Alika 8 I sit waiting at a café, starving. I’ve now the caliber of men. Nor does it have to dude ples.” Delete. “pure top. i have been sitting there for 30 minutes. do with the lack of gay‐friendly clubs, place. plz revert. fat.” Block. “hi.” Finally, I lose my patience and place an bars, lounges, restaurants, etc. The Hello? “send ur no.” Ignore. “want order with the waiter. My dinner aspect of this scene that disappoints sex.” Ugh! arrives, and finally so does my date. He me the most is, quite frankly, the chase. Online dating, especially in the gay sits there quietly, lacking anything The chase: I spot him at a club—he scene, is often sex‐driven regardless of interesting to say. I ask him if he is going smiles. As I dance with friends, he which continent I happen to inhabit. to order anything. No. How about a coolly winds his way through the crowd The major difference between here and drink? Not even that. I sit there, in the darkened venue. Packed in the t h e r e i s t h a t w i t h s u c h f e w awkwardly eating my platter as he sits club, he gently yet assertively touches opportunities to meet in person by there. Silence. So, what do you do? my waist, passing by as if going to the happenstance, PlanetRomeo is it. The Engineer. Where are you from? Delhi. I bar. A couple drinks later, I find him only way for me to have the remote finish my dinner and he states: Let’s go dancing behind me. With the dance possibility of meeting someone who is back to your place. floor at capacity, his back is now up worth the chase is by searching on the I’d like to say that I just describe a bad against mine. He turns around—and other end of the LCD screen. Yet, when date that I recently experienced. we’re dancing. His face inches from the date materializes, it will most likely Unfortunately, it has been a string of mine. We kiss. Exchange numbers. be a dud. bad dates, all with the same semblance I arrive at the dimly lit lounge in the On Valentine’s Day, I will be back in NYC of annoyance and boredom. gayborhood. As I enter, I scan the for a short visit. I have already started For Christmas, I went home to room. There he is, poised with an air of flipping through my modern‐day California. Sitting in a posh lounge in confidence suited in his trendy attire, Rolodex (a.k.a. Facebook), searching for Los Angeles, an acquaintance who I had calmly fingering his full chilled��� martini past Casanovas who will surely deliver met a year earlier in Palm Springs glass as it starts to slowly sweat. He is an evening that will quench my thirst learned that I had moved to India. the handsome guy from the previous for ‘the chase.’ “What!? How did I not know that? night. I sit down, order a drink, and the And, maybe upon my return, I’ll meet Where do you live?” Pune. “Where is night ensues with intellectually s u c h a n i n d i v i d u a l h e r e , w h o that?” Near to Bombay. Then he stimulating conversation. understands the fine balance between paused, with almost a sad look of This chase is what I miss most. Instead, a p p e a r i n g b o t h e a g e r a n d horror: “What’s the dating scene like?” I have PlanetRomeo: “im 19 male pune disinterested, excited yet composed, My biggest complaint about the gay wanna have a good male and and most of all: gentlemanly sexual. scene in Pune has nothing to do with passionate and hot experience with a TQC RJ’s Top 10 “Valentine’s Day is round the corner and many people I know, are dying to fast‐forward to the 14th of February so that they can show their loved ones how much they love them… But there are people (including me) who are still single (and not ready to mingle) and they find it difficult to deal with all the hullabaloo about Valentine’s Day. So to make sure that you don’t end up being bored out of your mind, when your friends talk about their Valentine escapades, here’s my list of what you can do on Valentine’s Day if you are single!” ‐ RJ on’t s first…D g in h t t s Fir …!!! and pout e m o h t stay a Organize a ‘Singles Party’ at your home and bitch about couples that are about to part ways…(It’s soooo much fun…lol) Go to a spa… pamper yourself…a lways remember th e best way to please your self is to pamper you rself…!!! Valentine’s Day is all about sharing love… an orphanage or elderly home has lot to accommodate …!!! D o your DV t d e k o o h Get atch your player…w ovies in favorite m t on’t forge d ( … n io t a continu orn) ck of popc o t s a p e e to k in Book a table for yourself a famous restaurant…eat like a royal, sitting single on a single table…much to the envy of the couples around… Sleep…..zzzzzzzzzzz zzzzz….nothing can beat a peaceful TQC - Feb 2011 snooze…!!! Get laid…!!! s (Only finding life partner is difficult… finding sex dates is not…) Phone your frien ds whom you haven’t spok en to in a while, like schoo l friends… the best day to fe el nostalgic about school days …(I’m darn sure you’ll love it) this… g n i ead da are r u o o fin t e t If y n’t le ’s tim t o i , w e I oz dud …bec nto r e n me i e c part r fo g listin ditor E e e m h a t es !! ng th i t i ell…! r w w s a year next 9 And Bon Appétit Santé BY CHEF SUBODH BODKE PINK CRUSH Presenting some delectables for that special ‘dinner-for-two’ on Valentine’s night Ingredients 10 fl.oz. coconut flavored rum 6 fl.oz. pineapple juice 16 fl.oz. strawberry‐flavored soda Method Pour the rum and pineapple juice into a cocktail mixing cup and stir to combine. Gently pour the strawberry soda into the mixture, pouring down the side of the mixing cup to prevent the soda from going flat. Slowly tilt the mixing cup back and forth a few times to mix. Pour into cocktail glasses and serve immediately. Va le nt in e Pi zz a Ingredients 3 cups bread flour 0.25 oz. envelope active dry yea st 1¼ cups warm water 3 tablespoons extra virgin oliv e oil 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosema ry 14 oz. can pizza sauce 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced Preheat the oven to 200 deg C. 1 zucchini, sliced 15 slices pepperoni 2.25 oz. can sliced black olives Method Place bread flour, yeast, water and 2 tablespoons olive oil into the brea d machine pan. When the dough mixed, knead rosemary into the dough. Bananas dough into three portions. Sha piece into a heart shape about Divide the pe each thick. Brush with remaining oliv spread a thin layer of pizza sau ½ inch e oil, and ce on each pizza. Sprinkle cheese over pizz a sauce, and arrange tomatoes, zucchin i, pepperoni and sliced olives. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes , or until the cheese has melted and the crust has browned. Fo s t e r Ingredients ons butter 2 tablespo sugar ons brown 3 tablespo innamon n ground c ⅛ teaspoo 1 banana ice on lemon ju 1 tablespo ¼ cup rum a liqueur ons banan 2 tablespo Method in a edium heat, tter over m u b e th n lt e M nd cinnamo r in sugar a ti S t. e ill sk small re bubbles. til the mixtu and heat un nana. Place arter the ba u q d n a e l e e P on juice in th es and lem c ie p a n a re n ba tes mo , 3 to 4 minu k o o c d n a t skille h syrup. basting wit 10 20 at rum and led pan, he d n a -h g n lo In a eat until just r medium h ve o r u e u lly liq banana pour carefu lcohol and a e th e it n warm. Ig nana slices. over the ba heat and et from the ill sk e th ve ices with Remo e banana sl th e st a b to wn. continue mes die do until the fla e c u sa ir e th oons, of . With two sp e c n o t a e Serv course! :) And Not All That Jazz ... BY AMBIKA RAJGOPAL A column that features music and artists; in definitely not ‘run-of-the-mill’ genres! QUEEN GOD HELP THE GIRL THE DIVINE COMEDY Borrowing heavily from different genres of music, This indie pop band was the brainchild of Belle and “The Divine Comedy is Neil Hannon,” claims the band’s Queen ushered in an era of musical inclusion. Their Sebastian’s front man Stuart Murdoch. Coupled with the official website. The silvertongued front man founded the musical style was an euphonic talent of Catherine orchestral pop band in 1989 amalgamation of progressive rock, hard rock, glam rock as Ireton, Brittany Stallings and Dina Bankole and many other and has since been the force behind the band, through its well as less conventional styles like that of opera, gospel and female vocalists, God Help The Girl began its musical journey two decade long tenure. Dressed in dapper suits and folk. towards a classic pop rock backed by a full-fledged Freddie Mercury’s songwriting skills coupled with his knack of tribute. What culminated through this orchestra, Hannon’s quirky and self-ironic style earned him a magnetizing the audience made him the undisputed god collaboration was a 60′s-70′s name internationally, especially in France. of rock and roll. His ability to style is reminiscent of the celluloid and stage musical modulate his voice pitch from bass to falsetto has made him one of the most versatile rock stars to ever grace the musical arena. Many modern day musicians have paid tribute to Queen and cited them as their musical influence. girl group spectacular. The tradition. It is Catherine Ireton’s rich full-bodied voice that blows life into the music. God Help The Girl is the perfect accompaniment to a relaxed lazy day, when one is in the mood to travel back to a time of silver screen razzmatazz. The mellow reposeful style is often contradicted by cynical lyrics dripping with a biting droll. The delightfully eloquent Neil Hannon spins poetry and weaves strings of harmony. The Divine Comedy makes for easy listening. Its easy to become enthralled by the tuneful compositions and dry witty TQC - Feb 2011 lyrics. www.youtube.com/ watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ www.youtube.com/ watch?v=LdEzt3YR8C4 www.youtube.com/watch? v=DXP1oLtPyDA 11 The Candy Store BY SANKET TANDULWADKAR I still vividly recall my first conversation on the I could totally relate the warm fuzzy feeling to my subject ‐ GAY, from the days when I was in high past relationships with my (now ex) girlfriends. school. Not that I was shocked. It just felt a little Thinking back to the times spent with girls, I began awkward. to question my sexual inclinations: bisexual, Imagining two girls ‘together’ was indeed a homosexual or heterosexual? pleasure, as it is for most straight men. However, Even today I don’t fully understand the role of the thought of two men engaging in coitus was sexual orientation in choosing sexual partners. Is it inconceivable (pun unintended), as I had been part driven by dictionary meanings or the society’s of a community with slightly orthodox ideologies. outlook? It was when I got talking to this guy, a fashionista The feeling of being with a girl has never made me of sorts, that I pictured what the other playing field feel any less important, neither was I ever would be like. It was an unfamiliar conversation confused or unhappy. which definitely ignited the curiosity to know more With Kunal however, there always was a free mind within me. and we lived in the ‘now’. This was something I Though he was open about his sexual orientation, never had experienced with the girls I had dated. there was no way I would walk up to him and strike It was not the physical intimacy that generated up a conversation. strong feelings about him, but the sole reason that Was it because I was scared; or was it because I he understood me better than most of my other didn’t want my peers to view it in any other friends, something one presumably longs for and context? Answering that question isn’t really looks for in his partner. difficult. Though I wish that things had happened Bisexuals are sometimes mistaken as the confused in a different way. lot. Everyone is born bisexual. It’s only a few, who Back in 2006 when I moved to Pune, I was very try to figure out which side they would want to bat much into the ‘fairer sex’ and I did have my share for eventually. of fun with the ladies. To be honest, the idea of Bisexuality is not a confused state of mind but the being with a guy had never crossed my mind ‐ till state of enjoying the company of the person you then. are with, regardless of the gender. Days after entering into my junior year, I finally Quoting one of my close friends, “I am a blessed spoke to him, Kunal. And it didn’t really feel any bisexual. I have no issues sampling candy from the different. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I other store. It gives me an idea whether what I get certainly had no feelings of aversion or anything here is better than that at the other store. And as towards him. long as it is, I don’t have to worry about what it As days passed by, I discovered that he too liked costs me” ‘house’ music, Chinese food and artsy movies. I couldn’t agree more. One night, lying in my bed, giggling when I recalled the stupid jokes that Kunal had cracked, I asked myself ‘Is this because I like the guy?’ 12 TQC Life & Tarot TQC - Feb 2011 BY ZEPHYR RAY LIBRA SCORPIO SAGITTARIUS Card for 2011 – 2 of Swords: Stuckness. Card for 2011 – The World: Completion C a rd fo r 2 0 1 1 – T h e C h a r i o t : The more you strive, the harder it gets. of an important cycle. The start of Movement, Accomplishment. Key lesson for 2011 – Knight Of Wands: something fresh and new. Key lesson for 2011 – Strength: Anger and frustration will only Key Lesson for 2011 – 7 of Swords: Courage. Stand your ground in all complicate matters. Caution in action, speech and thought. matters of importance. Career: A year of taking one step ahead Career: An important project may be Career: Major career shifts are and two back…or so it may seem. Plan completed. A feeling of consolidation possible. A long‐standing goal could be ahead, cultivate patience, let go of and fulfillment. Make sure you have all accomplished. feelings of frustration. bases covered before you make the Money and investments: Good year to Money and investments: Money may next move. buy a new car. get stuck in projects. Make sure you Money and investments: Double‐check Health and happiness: Hyper‐activity have a small kitty saved up so you don’t the credentials of that financial indicated by the cards. Take care to get feel the pinch. planner! plenty of fresh air, rest and nutritious Health and happiness: Don’t fight what Health and happiness: A great year to food. is beyond your control. Acceptance is start meditation or some spiritual Romance and leisure: Those in long‐ the key. Develop a zen‐like outlook to practice. For those already doing distance relationships may feel a bit life’s situations. Sadhana, an year of important and isolated or neglected by partners. Make Romance and leisure: If things seem genuine accomplishments. your feelings known to tide over minor like they’ve slowed down with a loved Romance and leisure: Take that foreign bumps in the road. one, it could simply mean you’re vacation you’ve always dreamed of! Good months: June, July. getting comfortable…not a bad thing at Give sparingly of your trust in matters all! of the heart. Good months: September, October. Good months: All of 2011 (lucky you!) 13 CAPRICORN AQUARIUS PISCES Card for 2011 – 9 of Swords: Stop Card for 2011 – 9 of Cups: Wish‐ Card for 2011 – 6 of Wands: Success���in worrying so much! fulfillment! material matters. Key lesson for 2011 – 4 of Pentacles: Key lesson for 2011 – Page of Wands: Key lesson for 2011 – 5 of Cups: Tough Time to take stock of life and realize Nascent creativity needs nurturing and lessons about love and relationships. that you’re in a good place after all! encouragement. Career: Fruitful and rewarding work will Career: Sleepless nights, loads of work Career: Ask for whatever you think is be accomplished. with the chance to earn loads of d u e t o y o u … m o r e m o n e y , a Money and investments: Follow your rewards and recognition. promotion…you’ll get it! head and use your common sense. Money and investments: No need to Money and investments: Keep an eye Some older investments could yield be a miser. Enjoy your money, you’ve on expenses, especially the credit card results. earned it! charges. Health and happiness: Let the bottle Health and happiness: Digestive Health and happiness: Plenty of be a casual acquaintance, not a problems indicated, so eat loads of chances to eat, drink, make merry constant companion! fiber and keep your system hydrated. equals acidity. Moderation needs to be Romance and leisure: “Heartbreak Romance and leisure: Be generous and exercised. Hotel” could well become your theme giving with your partner. A time to give Romance and leisure: The man of your for the year. Stop playing the victim and and not just expect to receive. dreams will come a‐knocking! turn it into “I Will Survive”. Good months: April, May. Good month: March. Good month: August. villa queenie, ground floor 16th road, bandra (west) mumbai, india TQC REFLECTIONS HAIKU By Mahesh Nataranjan, Author - Pink Sheep Somewhere a leaky pipe Cries calling for repairs. If only tears came easy. Such clear insights In imagined conversations. I'd rather we spoke. All that is will pass. And new memories made By remembering. Photograph by Akshay Bajaj TQC - Feb 2011 CONTEMPORARY ARTS AND CRAFTS B/6 Mantri Manor, Lane 5, Koregaon Park, Pune, INDIA 15 16 17