Page 1

September 2009 September 2009


The Queer Chronicle

| Pune

September 2009

QAM 2009 | August 16, 2009 | 2000 Participants | One Voice

Welcome to TQC


September 2009

Welcome to the Queer Chronicle Prides celebrated in Delhi-Bengaluru-

We are pleased to announce the launch

Kolkata-Chennai. The tumultuous verdict

of The Queer Chronicle, Pune’s own

from Delhi High Court. The euphoric

monthly e-magazine that is that is queer-

victory parties. The launch of pink

centric and queer friendly.

enterprises. The phenomenal ‘Queer

TQC is the first city-focused e-magazine

Azadi March’ in August. The last two

in India that aims to keep you abreast of

months have seen a whirlwind of

the buzz in our own city, Pune. With

progress in the queer movement across


the country. And we confirm that Pune is

holiday destinations, parties, businesses,

definitely not going to be left behind!

health issues, investment advice (all, of

This City has always been traditional and

course, from an LGBT point of view), TQC

progressive at the same time. Poised

is an information packed capsule and is a

between the past and the future, Pune

‘must-have’ for every queer Puneiite and

holds hope and potential for many,

for queer visitors to Pune.

irrespective of social status or sexual

Happy reading! And Gay Ho!



Keith Editor, TQC

preference. This is one more medium of expression and celebration of freedom!

Cover: ‘Coming Together’ Photo credit: Veer

The editor

In this issue


Special Focus : Queer Azadi March 2009

4 The Queer Chronicle is a monthly e-magazine published for and by the queer community in Pune.


distribution. Views expressed are solely the opinions


Page 3 : Pune Queers’ Day Out

A Queer View : Coming together

Lifestyle : Eating Out


This e-magazine is a non-commercial publication, is not for sale and is exclusively for private


Lifestyle : Shop till you drop

Art & Soul : Philip Shadbolt

of the individual authors and do not necessarily


represent the opinions of the editorial team of The Queer Chronicle, nor its affiliates. The content of this e-magazine may not be suitable for all audiences.




Art & Soul : Events in September 2009

Weekend Getaway : Matheran

Health : HIV & Swine Flu

Classi-prides : Queer owned and operated businesses in Pune 1

Special Focus

September 2009

Queer Azadi March 2009 Over a month and a half after the

LGBT leaders were out in full force:

Delhi High Court decriminalized

Ashok Row Kavi, Prince Manvendra,

homosexuality, Mumbai saw the

Vikram Doctor, Dee, Leslie Esteves,

country's biggest freedom march in

Geeta Kumana, Vivek Anand, Nitin

recent times.

Karani, Alok Gupta, Meena Gopal,

On August 16 2009, the stretch of

Anand Grover, Laxmi Tripathi. Some

road from August Kranti Maidan to

famous faces came out as straight

Chowpatty was an absolute riot of


colors with an (unofficial) estimated

Professor Nandini Sardesai (Rajdeep

turnout of over 2000 participants.

Sardesai's mother), Advertising Guru

Donned in their summer best, some

Alyque Padamsee, Socialite Dolly

even wearing rainbow phetas, queer

Thakore and of course Celina Jaitley.

folk marched arm-in-arm. Drag divas

In contrast to QAM 2008, it was



heartening to see many without

bedecked in colorful finery danced

masks and some even brought their

to the beat of drums. QAM was

parents along!

definitely ‘the’ place to be at, on

The parade reached its crescendo at

that sweltering Sunday afternoon.

Chowpatty, with the chanting of

Dressed in vibrant attire with animal

slogans such as ‘Taru maru same che

prints, T-shirts with catchy slogans,

– Prem che, prem che!’, ‘Born gay,

accessorized with multi-hued wigs,

fabulous by choice’ and ‘Hetero

feather boas and colorful masks, the

homo bhai bhai’.

marchers drew a huge amount of

After the march, several participants

attention and made the undeniable

swarmed to a couple of popular bars

presence of the LGBT community

in South Mumbai to grab a few

and its supporters felt.

much-needed mugs … or should we












say, pitchers of beer!

celebration after the High Court

Over 600 members of the queer

ruling in Delhi, many people who

community then met up at the

had already marched in June this

Liquid Lounge for the ‘Gay Bombay


After Party’ to celebrate the grand





Bangalore and Kolkata to support

success of QAM 2009.

the movement in Mumbai.

But that’s another story! The Queer Chronicle

Page 3

September 2009

Pune Queers’ Day Out

September2009 2009 September

A Queer View 4

Coming together Till recently, waking up in Pune hasn’t always been a welcome thought. A lot has changed here in the last few months. When I first moved back home, I felt like had come back to closet central. For the thirteen years I had lived here, I didn’t know of a single other queer person except for my now ex-girlfriend. An LGB women’s group (Rainbow Pride Connexion) introduced me to two of the nicest dykes in the city, but that was it. Then there was Bangalore City, where there was a visible Queer Community that worked, partied and existed together. When I went back for the Queer Film Festival held in Bangalore, I voiced my concerns over the non-existent (to me) and the invisible queer scene in Pune. Then I met Sagar, now one of my closest friends. He was an encouragement and a blessing. Another friend of mine, Ponni Arasu, an activist herself, encouraged me to come back home and start a support group and watch things change. “All of us have started out as a support group” she said. Sagar played a major role in making this happen with beautific results. The last few months have seen a major change in queer life as it used to be in our hometown. Our support group ‘Birds of a Feather’ has grown in numbers since April ’09. In the course of time I’ve met people from different walks of life and on varying levels of out-ness. Which explained the reason I’d never encountered queer folk here at home. Like everything else, this too will and must change. I probably could start off by asking everyone to come out, but instead all we ask is ‘Let’s come together’. We create a safe space for our community and welcome each new

September 2009

face irrespective of their levels of outness. The biggest reason why what we do is important is because in order for us to achieve any sort of change we must ourselves initiate it. If we want equal rights as human beings in our society, we must make it known that the current situation is unacceptable and that there is no reason we should be shoved into a dark closet. If we expect change to happen, we work toward it. The reading down shows our society that we are just like them, if not better (kinder, gentler, peaceful, talented… the list goes on) If they don’t hear our stories, they won’t be aware of the fact that it does affect us. The common man will continue to think that Homophobia is okay. Another reason this change is important is so that we find one foundation on which we can have some sort of unity and visibility closer to home. It is helping those unsure of where to go, and letting them know that there is a family they can be a part of. It is not necessary that everyone be out and visible immediately. The few of us who are visible are enough for now. Why should a person have to leave home to be true to who they are? Why should we have to change ourselves in accordance with society? Let’s make society change to be more tolerant and accepting. It is our Constitutional Right. As a part of the verdict declared on the 2nd of July ’09, Justice A P Shah and Justice S Murlidhar on behalf of our Supreme Judiciary stated: “We declare section 377 of IPC in so far as it criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private is violative of Articles 21 [Right to Protection of Life and Personal Liberty], 14 [Right to

Apphia K Founder of ‘Birds of a Feather’

Equality before Law] and 15 [Prohibition of Discrimination on Grounds of Religion, Race, Caste, Sex or Place of Birth] of the Constitution.” One in every 20 people in Pune is one of the LGBT family, and one out of five people in the city know or know of someone who is queer. If we come out, then they see that our current way of social life is unacceptable. So now, we initiate this change here in our own hometown. It is superb that this is a change that everyone I’ve met so far is welcoming with enthusiasm. And I promise we will be rewarded, we will grow and will develop. Yes, we all love to party but we want something more. We want a community and we are that community. And here we are! Today, my fellow queers, be proud of who you are. Be proud of this family we create amongst ourselves. Nonjudgmental and welcoming, be a part of this social revolution. It’s a story you will all tell your children someday, and with the strength of our unity we will make that a possibility! Let’s show them the power of us! Now is the time for change, Carpe Diem!

The Queer Chronicle

Modeled after Oxford Street in London, 11 East Street Café is a hip theme restaurant that brings a slice of London to Pune. At the entrance of the restaurant, is the ‘unmissable’ red double-decker bus that actually functions as the dessert counter. From the façade of shop windows of famous brands, to the Red Telephone Box and the London ‘Bobby’ that stands sentinel by the stairway leading to the 1st floor, the dining area is choca-bloc with ‘typical’ London icons. The private cabanas on the upper level are a great space to hang out and each can seat up to 8 persons. However do make an advance reservation, else you would have to settle for non-ergonomically and congested seating. The menu is an eclectic fusion of Indian & Continental that includes familiar and some inventive fare. We definitely have to mention that some of the offerings on the menu have some rather queer sounding names! A large selection of cocktails, mocktails and sheeshas are a great accompaniment to the culinary delights that are whipped up from a wide selection of open kitchens. Among the downsides of the restaurant is that there is no air-conditioning and the tables are way too close to have any semblance of a private conversation. Additionally, the washrooms are located a 2 minute walk outside of the restaurant – not the best thing when you are guzzling on towers of chilled beer. TQC rating - Queer friendly: 4/5, Location for a date: 1/5, Food: 3/5, Ambience: 3/5, Service: 3.5/5, Budget per person: Rs 350 to Rs 500. TQC verdict “A great place to hang out with your buddies.” Location: 11 East Street Café, East Street, Camp, Pune - 411001. Reservations: +91-9960617811.

Shop till you drop! A must must-have on your

September 2009

shopping list As a prelude to QAM 2009, ruling, queer entrepreneurs are

TimeOut Mumbai published the much-awaited LGBT issue in August

lining up in a growing string of ‘Pink

2009. Packed with heart-touching

Enterprises’, specifically designed

stories of a wide cross section of

for the LGBT community.

the LGBT community, TimeOut

However, Simran and Sabina were

elucidated what it meant to be

definitely much ahead of the times

queer in Mumbai.


Priced at just Rs 30 the August 2009

Since the historic Delhi High Court





entrepreneurs in ‘Pre-377-Written-


Down’ India. They established the

definitely a collector’s item.

‘Jailbird’ brand three years ago with


a range of T-shirts that were quirky, thought-provoking, vibrant and

appreciation and thanks would

subtle – all at the same time!

that took a real risk in doing





of of

TimeOut course,

Mumbai letters

is of

really encourage the editorial team something slightly different – not in

enterprising girls went a step further with Azaad Bazaar, India’s

a sensational way

first LGBT Pride online store -

way that provides a fair portrait of the community.


Eating Out



publications have done, but in a

However, a word of caution for all you shopaholics out there! Once you have logged in you are definitely spoilt for choice. Should you get the cute rainbow wristband or the hugely popular ‘Jalebi High’ T-shirt or maybe even the pinkfurred hand-cuffs? From pride flags, mugs, T-shirts, feather boas and rainbow hats; to cushions, danglers and key chains, Azaad Bazaar has something for everyone; and for every budget. Azaad Bazaar definitely brings back in fashion the tagline "Neighbors

So please take the time to write a

envy, owners pride."

note of thanks or support to






spotted at QAM 2009, wearing apparel & accessories from Azaad Bazaar was a real tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit of the queer community. Kudos to you, Simran & Sabina! 5

Art and Soul

September 2009 September 2009

A handpicked list of events in Pune, to help you unwind. Meditation Camp - Conducted by Swami Ramteerth Dates: Aug 29, 2009 - Sep 10, 2009 Venue: The Buddha House, FC Road Timings: 6.30 pm onwards, daily


His works can be found in collections

Shadbolt had a background in fine

around the world. With the use of

art, graphic design, & illustration


before returning to his Celtic Welsh

inspired subject matter, Philip’s art

roots in 1993. His passion is for

provides a welcome escape from


everyday life, and his images are











canvases. Drawing his inspiration

much sought after.

from his native Australia and his time

Never one to follow trends, Philip

spent studying in India, Philip paints

has remained true to his artistic



ideals, and seeks only to create

techniques that he has mastered

images filled with light. He believes

over the years.

that art should be something that

Most of his works have been created

enriches and transports the viewer

using oils and acrylics, gradually

to a place of peace.

building up the subtle layers of


pigment to free his vision onto the

ourselves to wander into the world

canvas before him. Some of the

he has created on canvas, we allow

larger works have taken several

our minds to absorb the energy of

months to complete, due to the

each piece, and help heal ourselves

intricate level of detail involved.

in the process.






Philip is available to undertake commissioned art projects. You can get






Weekly Markets in Oil Paintings Dates: Sep 1, 2009 - Sep 30, 2009 Venue: Deep Art Gallery, Madhusagar Gokhale Road Timings: 11.00 am to 7.00 pm, daily Lecture by Dr. Paula (Laxmi) Horan, Author “Heal Yourself With Oxygen" Dates: Sep 4, 2009 & Sep 5, 2009 Venue: The Urban Ashram, Swargate Timings: 7.00 pm & 9.00 pm on the respective dates Film Appreciation Workshop Date: Sep 7, 2009 – Sep 12, 2009 Venue: Open Space, Off Law College Road Timings: 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm Blender's Pride fashion show at SWG Date: Sep 9, 2009 Venue: Stone Water Grill, Koregaon Park Timings: Details awaited Breakfast with the Queers Date: Sep 13, 2009 Venue: German Bakery, Koregaon Park Timings: 10.30 am to 12.00 noon India International Furniture & Decor Fair Dates: Sep 24, 2009 - Sep 28, 2009 Venue: College of Agriculture Ground Timings: 11.00 am onwards in case you would like to discuss an idea you had in mind. Signed prints of Phil’s work can also be purchase online from 6

Poona Music Society’s 2nd All India Guitar Competition Date: Sep 26, 2009 Venue: Mazda Hall, Camp Timings: 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm

The Queer Chronicle

September 2009


Weekend Getaway - Matheran

A popular getaway for people from

Matheran offers superb panoramic

Walking and horseback-riding are

Mumbai and Pune, Matheran is a

views from as many as 33 lookout

among the main activities, especially

quiet hill station located on the

points. Some of the favorite points

since vehicles are not allowed here.

Sahyadri range, at an altitude of 800

for holiday makers include Porcupine

Do take a trip to the main market,

meters above sea level.

Point, Echo Point, Panorama Point,

where you could get some great

Matheran has been listed by the

Heart Point, and Monkey Point.

bargains on shoes and leather items,

Union Environment Ministry as an

Breathtaking views of the sunrise

as well as stock up on your favorite

eco-sensitive region. This quaint hill

and sunset as well as of the Sahyadri

choice of ‘chikki’.

station is connected to the closest

range and its valleys make Matheran

But please, do NOT feed the

town of Neral by a narrow gauge

a photographers delight.



One of the most exciting things

Quick Facts

As no vehicles are allowed into

about Matheran, is the ride on one

Nearest Airport: Mumbai

Matheran, visitors have to drive up

of the last toy trains left in the

Nearest Train Station: Neral

to Dasturi Point, from where the


Main Road Highway: NH4

main bazaar can be reached either

between Neral and Matheran is truly

Best time to visit: October to May

by foot or on pony.

a unique start to your vacation!

For more details,

September 2009







September 2009

"For most people with HIV, the swine flu is pretty much the same as for somebody without HIV." Swine flu is a new strain of flu that

There is probably not much to

has not been in circulation for too

worry about. However, if you are

long. As a result, nobody has any

quite immune suppressed with your

immunity to it. It is an influenza

CD4 well below 200, then there is a

virus, just like other influenza

slightly increased risk, but certainly

viruses, but it is just one that

not the same level as the risk of









encountered before. As a result, our

tuberculosis or something like that

immune systems do not have any

where the CD4 cells are vitally

memory of it and that makes us a


little more vulnerable.

Take these everyday steps to

HIV-infected people are not in

protect your health:

general at greater risk of influenza

1. Cover your nose and mouth with

or flu than other people. And that's

a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

in part because the cellular immune

Throw the tissue in the trash after

system, the part of the immune

you use it.

system that the CD4 cells comprise,

2. Wash your hands often with soap

is not really responsible for fighting

and water, especially after you

the flu. As a result, HIV does not

cough or sneeze. Use alcohol-based

make you more susceptible. For

hand cleaners.

most people with HIV, the swine flu

3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or

is pretty much the same as for

mouth as germs could spread.

somebody without HIV.

4. Try to avoid close contact with

The only exception to that is that

sick people.

because people with HIV are at

5. If you do get sick with influenza,

higher risk for pneumonia and

stay home from work and limit

because flu can increase your risk of

contact with others to keep from

pneumonia as a complication of flu,

infecting them.

people with low CD4 cells could be at higher risk of complications. So the bottom line is that if you are HIV positive, but you are on HIV medications and doing well with a reasonably good CD4 count, then 8





at 48.html

The Queer Chronicle

Your guide to queer owned and operated businesses

Temple Tree aims at maintaining its

Under the artistic direction of Hrishikesh

Located in the serene neighborhood of

philosophy of working closely with

Pawar, the Centre of Contemporary

NIBM in South Pune, Druv’s Bed &

craftsmen of regions across India. It

Dance offers regular classes every

Breakfast offers single male visitors to

does not hesitate to envelope a

Monday and Wednesday from 5 pm to

Pune, a comfortable and queer-friendly

tradition that bears no boundaries.

6.30 pm for beginners and from 6.30 pm

environment to unwind. The room has a

Temple Tree has been able to bring

to 8 pm for advanced students. For

shower en suite and a balcony that



those inclined to set their feet atap on

provides a panoramic view of Pune city.

talent lend their scope to make the

weekends, the class on Saturday from

The apartment is in close proximity to a

store a must on any itinerary! The

11 am to 12.30 pm is just the thing to

wide selection of restaurants that would


kick-start your weekend. The Centre


Paraphernalia Home, Pink India and



Continental breakfast is included in the


customized workshops for corporate

daily tariff. Guests may also avail the use

Products include furniture, lacquer


of the kitchen and its appliances. A basic

ware, garden essentials and linen.

Location: Kala Chaya Campus, Opposite

ground rule though, is NO VISITORS

Location: Ground Floor, Nirvana, North

Vikhe Patil School, Chaturshrungi.

would be allowed into the apartment.

Avenue, Kalyani Nagar, Pune.





















September 2009


For enquires or reservations, please email

This issue of The Queer Chronicle was dispatched on September 1, 2009. The next issue will be dispatched on October 1, 2009

We would love to hear from you! We hope that you enjoyed reading the inaugural issue of The Queer Chronicle. We welcome your feedback and suggestions to make future editions even more exciting! In case you wish to contribute and article or have your businesses featured in TQC, please get in touch with us by e-mail at


The Queer Chronicle - September 2009  

‘The Queer Chronicle’ is a monthly e-magazine published for and by the queer community in Pune. The Queer Chronicle (TQC) is the first city-...

The Queer Chronicle - September 2009  

‘The Queer Chronicle’ is a monthly e-magazine published for and by the queer community in Pune. The Queer Chronicle (TQC) is the first city-...