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ZODIAC

Found 6 results

  1. (The quotations for this story was taken from an interview originally conducted by Ravi Gupta for MensXP Hindi.) Love - /lÊv/ - Noun. An intense feeling of deep affection. Love - /lÊv/ - Verb. Feel deep affection or sexual love for (someone). Those are the standard definitions of love that one is likely to find in any given dictionary picked off the shelf. Some will say that for the most part, love oscillates between two parts of speech, either written between pages and spelled out in black ink, or to be found between the warm and ruffled sheets that say it all. Yet, every now and then we stumble across those who hold a very different definition of love. One which is expressed through abstractions, such as how their lover's smile makes their heart skip a beat, or how the silent support and company of the beloved feels like the greatest prophesy of love. © Vaibhav & Parag Love often shows up uninvited, takes away our breath and is such an invigorating feeling, we end up craving for the next wave to hit us, much before the high from first one fades. It's maddening and heartening all at once, much like the brewing emotion that ebbs and flows within our cardiac valves, almost threatening to spill over and drown us with its depth of feeling. The bottomline being, there is no set definition of love. Each one of us experiences it differently, in different forms, in varying situations and with equally different kinds of people. But that is not to say that any of those forms of love are not worth celebrating. Much like the ardent love that Vaibhav and Parag share between them. © Vaibhav & Parag 32-year-old Vaibhav Jain was born and brought up in Delhi, before he moved to the US to pursue his masters, upon completing his BDS degree. Indian society's intolerance and lack of sympathy towards the LGBTQ community forced Vaibhav to hide his true identity and later leave his home state in search of a safe haven. It was back in 2012 when Vaibhav saw his future-husband Parag for the first time during a Pride Parade. There was an instant feeling of recognition, and Vaibhav sought to further it. He looked up Parag on Facebook and sent him a private message. As the two gradually began to get to know each other, Vaibhav asked Parag out for dinner at a Thai restaurant. © Vaibhav & Parag Though the date turned out to be a mess since the food at the restaurant was a disaster, Vaibhav tells us that regardless of the unappetising food, their first date remains truly memorable. The two spent hours talking, and when they finally left, it started raining. The pitter-patter of the rain inspired Vaibhav to serenade to his favourite singer Mohammed Rafi's song 'tere mere sapne'. This is how they ended up spending 6 hours together on their first date. Now while their innocent love slowly began to bloom, the distance that separated them began to seem like a bother. Hence, one day Parag suggested that Vaibhav moved-in with him. This was even before either of them had confessed their love for each other, which made Vaibhav a little hesitant to make the move. But as their shared understanding began to grow stronger, Vaibhav slowly started the process of moving in with Parag. © Vaibhav & Parag As time passed, both Vaibhav and Parag began to fall deeper in love, and eventually Parag confessed his feelings to Vaibhav. A moment, as Vaibhav tells us, “that still makes me blush.” However, something continued to eat him even as Parag's love filled his heart with warmth. The discrimination that Vaibhav faced in India over the years left deep-rooted psychological impact which prevented him from openly welcoming the affection that Parag showered on him. Once this diagnosis was reached, Parag stood strong beside Vaibhav and helped him believe and put his trust on their relationship and what they shared together. © Vaibhav & Parag Now, while Parag had already come out to his parents 15 years ago, he wished for Vaibhav to come out to his family as soon as possible. As the desire for a future together began to grow stronger, Parag's insistence became more urgent. Vaibhav was also convinced that he wanted to go public with his relationship, and began looking for the right opportunity to break the news to his parents. Finally when he landed an internship with WHO in Switzerland, Vaibhav asked his parents to join him for the trip. It was on the last night before Vaibhav's parents left for India, that he decided to come out to his parents. “I don't like girls, and I don't wish to marry one either. I am gay and I have known it since I was 14-15 years old,” Vaibhav told his parents. While both his parents were shocked by the news, they offered Vaibhav their unconditional love and support. His mother even remarked that she must have failed somehow as a parent – not because he was gay, but because he didn't feel safe telling her his truth for so long. Vaibhav confessed that, “though my parents couldn't sleep peacefully that night, but I have been sleeping peacefully ever since that night.” © Vaibhav & Parag Cut to 2019 and the couple have already been legally married for over a year. However, when it comes to desi, big fat Indian weddings Vaibhav shares that, “ I believe in the traditional Indian wedding, and that's why Parag and I plan to get married is the desi style on 29th and 30th March this year. Since both of us are Jain we plan to follow the traditional wedding rituals and follow it up with a reception back in India.” Getting married isn't their only major plan for the near future. Vaibhav shares that, “I love kids. And though people are quick to suggest adoption for gay couples, we have decided to opt for surrogacy. That is not to say that I am opposed to the idea of adoption, but it's just that we want to try the other possibility. And as for the struggles of parenthood, I think Parag and I are ready for all of it.” © Vaibhav & Parag Talking about the possibility of officially creating a life with his husband in the future, Vaibhav has only one message to share with everyone. “Every human being is precious, and no one should be discriminated against. Everybody deserves to live and the society needs to understand it. If my 85-year-old grandmother can accept our love and bless us, then why can't others do the same? Even if the society fails to understand us, I would still urge others like me to come out and face their truth. If I can do it, why can't you?”
  2. Former Miss India and actor Celina Jaitly will soon switch gears from her sabbatical and make her way back to the silver screen. She is all set to make her comeback with Ram Kamal Mukherjee's short film titled 'Season's Greetings: A Tribute to Rituparno Ghosh'. However, it's not her comeback that you want to know about, right? But we had to give you a overview because the two things are related. During a recent interview with HT, the UN goodwill ambassador for LGBTQ rights opened up about her upcoming movie and life over the last few years. © Instagram During the interview Celina shared how the theme of her next movie is close to her, and how her interactions with gay men changed her life altogether. Speaking to HT, she said, “A famous gay Kolkata based make-up artist was a mother figure to me in my struggling days as a model there. I closely observed his trials and tribulations as a gay middle-aged man, then as a senior citizen. Incidentally, at the same time I was in a traumatic relationship with a closeted gay man”. © Instagram Talking about how these encounters impacted her life, as well as her understanding of the struggles faced by the LGBTQ community, she said, “At 16, you think prayers and shamans can fix this. Their untimely deaths a few years later made me realise that everyone has the right to life and choose whom they can have a relationship with. I had to do something about it. After 12 years as an activist, the United Nations appointed me as a goodwill ambassador for the same cause and today we have come full circle after the abolishment of Section 377”. © YouTube We already know that Celina has been a prominent proponent of the LGBTQ community, and has come on record on multiple occasions to show her solidarity with the community. While as a young woman she might not have known how to add value to the lives of the non-represented, she surely found a way to make the silenced voices heard when she got hold of the means. Her personal interactions not only shaped her own life, but helped her to take initiatives that would make the lives of LGBTQ community better. It made her devote her life to a bigger purpose, and we appreciate what she has achieved so far.
  3. 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' a ninth grade English paper once asked me. It was a 20-mark essay, and I had 20 minutes to earn them. I rolled up my sleeves, and pulled out my cursive best. The thing is, I wanted to be a great many things. © Unsplash/Joel Bengs I wanted to be a chef, I wanted to be an actor, I wanted to be a painter, I wanted to be an astronaut, and for two weeks after I turned 11, I even wanted to be a National Geographic correspondent, if only because my older sister said that she wanted to be one. My essay – and the time allotted to write it - might have come to an end at this point, but my story didn't. From the age of six to sixteen, I raced through changes. My styles, my sexual leanings and my haircuts changed, and so did my dreams. Only, what did I never dream of being? Myself. All my years of adolescence, I had struggled to find myself, even though I struggled comfortably – I was so used to push my problems under a hypothetical carpet, and pretend they didn't exist, that I never realized the lies I was hoarding up – little white lies, they wouldn't hurt anyone, would they? It was an easy, lazy life. I used this complacency as a security blanket, and wound it around myself whenever thoughts of the future terrified me. What would coming out (as a gay man) be like? Would it be a cakewalk or a walk down the plank? Would I have to talk about my feelings? Would I have someone to talk about my feelings to (a fair question, because I grew up thinking that you were only allowed to talk about your feelings at expensive therapy sessions, sappy book clubs or when watching romantic tearjerkers)? © Unsplash/Steve Halama Growing up was always a mark of independence – no more school, no more staying at home, no more rules, no more restrictions, no more getting worried over your mother's eighteen missed calls (well, almost) – it seemed like a technicolour dream, being so free-spirited. But honestly, I didn't know what I would do with all the freedom. Independence (or the mere thought of it) petrified me. What would I do being free? Would I finally have to be myself? People are terrified to be themselves, especially when bravery is an option, and not an obligation I've been called manipulative, selfish, a coward, a sore loser. Why would I want to be myself then? I'd rather be someone nicer and more admirable; I'd rather be someone else. And that's exactly what I did. Some enjoy the peace that comes with accepting who you are, but most of us waltz on the fence in the middle. Take sexuality, for instance. We can stir ourselves to walk free and fabulous, but we'd rather stay safe and sound in the cage of heteronormativity. I made myself feel at home in the cage till I was twenty-one. The thing about independence is that it doesn't come gift-wrapped and express delivered to your front doorstep. It needs to be earned, or fought for. © Pexels Coming to terms with your sexuality and stepping out of the closet isn't easy – especially when in a country like India, where minds can be as narrow as Bandra's bylanes, even if you are an upper-class well-educated man (and sometimes, especially if you an upper-class, well educated man). Everyday life is a battle. As countless films and American television shows have told us, you don't just wake up one morning and walk out into the sunlit world. To reach the closet door, you need to push through your woolens, those 'buy-one-get-one-free' shirts you bought on an impulse but will never wear, and the odd tangle of smelly socks, greying underwear and smutty novels you don't want your mother to find. It will be tough, especially if you've been hoarding – and holding back - all your life. And even when you do, it's a never-ending process – those closet doors that everyone talks about? They are revolving. Week after week, you will find yourself coming out to friends, family, acquaintances, and (occasionally) drunken strangers at the bar. Perhaps, one day it will not be the big deal that it is today, and you won't have to worry whether your words are followed by a kiss to the cheek or a punch to the mouth. Every new acceptance is a fresh slice of independence, and you'll wolf it all down without worrying about empty calories or complex carbs. It will be liberating, the way you feel after you've survived a last-minute clearance sale. Only this is the clearance sale of regrets. Fortunately, my personal coming out story reeks of acceptance and Hallmark cards – it happened at the dinner table, one Friday evening back in early 2015, over cups of chamomile and desiccated coconut biscuits. I sat my parents down, and told them everything in a diligently rehearsed 17-minute monologue. © Unsplash/Dan Gold In 18 minutes, it was done. Questions were asked, hugs were exchanged, a tear was shed (that would be me). My mum went for a walk with her friends, and my dad continued solving the crossword puzzle. They accepted it with a simple shrug (and lots of love and support over the next couple of years, but this is the not a story about that). My sexuality was just another fact. What about the war of words I had been expecting? The emotional bloodshed? The years of torment at the hands of society? They never came, even though the history books said that they would. Times are changing, and somewhere over pop culture references and more inclusive media representations, my parents and peers had changed as well. The history books had it wrong. What they did get right was this - freedom felt liberating. © Reuters The freedom to stay single. The freedom to be a sexual deviant. The freedom to wear a skirt (if you are a man) or a jersey (if you are a woman). The freedom to wear both. The freedom to wear neither. The freedom to never find your way back home. The freedom to stay in for the night, with Netflix and a bottle of wine (that would be me again). What do we do with the freedom then? Do we let it consume us? Terrify us into never seeking it out? We do neither. We simply unwind and enjoy it with a cup of tea. Preferably chamomile.
  4. Anabiya Haseeb

    poetry Wahi log mjh se bichar gay

    جو خیال تھے نہ قیاس تھے وہی لوگ مجھ سے بچھڑ گئے جو محبتوں کے اساس تھے وہی لوگ مجھ سے بچھڑ گئے جنہیں مانتا ہی نہیں یہ دل............. وہی لوگ میرے ہیں ہمسفر مجھے ہر طرح سے جو راس تھے وہی لوگ مجھ سے بچھڑ گئے مجھے لمحہ بھر کی رفاقتوں کے........... سراب اور ستائیں گے میری عمر بھر کی جو پیاس تھے وہی لوگ مجھ سے بچھڑ گئے یہ خیال سارے ہیں عارضی... یہ گلاب سارے ہیں کاغذی گلِ آرزو کی جو باس تھے وہی لوگ مجھ سے بچھر گئے جنہیں کر سکا نہ قبول میں.......... وہ شریک راہِ سفر ہوئے جو مری طلب مِری آس تھے وہی لوگ مجھ سے بچھڑ گئے مری دھڑکنوں کے قریب تھے.. مری چاہ تھے ،مرا خواب تھے جو روز و شب مرے پاس تھے وہی لوگ مجھ سے بچھڑ گئے
  5. Zarnish Ali

    Kuch yad rahi, Kuch bhool gay

    رُودادِ محبّت کیا کہیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بُھول گئے دو دِن کی مُسرّت کیا کہیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بُھول گئے جب جام دیا تھا ساقی نے جب دور چلا تھا محفل میں اِک ہوش کی ساعت کیا کہئیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بھول گیے اب وقت کے نازک ہونٹوں پر مجروح ترنّم رقصاں ہے بیدادِ مشیّت کیا کہئیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بُھول گئے احساس کے میخانے میں کہاں اَب فکر و نظر کی قندیلیں آلام کی شِدّت کیا کہئیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بھول گئے کُچھ حال کے اندھے ساتھی تھے کُچھ ماضی کے عیّار سجن احباب کی چاہت کیا کہئیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بھول گئے کانٹوں سے بھرا ہے دامنِ دِل شبنم سے سُلگتی ہیں پلکیں پُھولوں کی سخاوت کیا کہئیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بھول گئے اب اپنی حقیقت بھی ساغر بے ربط کہانی لگتی ہے دُنیا کی کی حقیقت کیا کہئیے کُچھ یاد رہی کُچھ بھول گئے (ساغر صدیقی)
  6. Aah Ko Chahiyay Ik Umr Asar Honay Tak Kon Jeeta Hai Teri Zulf Keh Sar Honay Tak Daam-E-Har Mauj Main Hai Halqa-E-Sad Kaam-E-Nehang Dekhain Kya Guzray Hai Qatray Peh Gauhar Honay Tak Aashiqee Sabr Talab Aur Tamanna Baitab Dil Ka Kya Rang Karoon Khoon-E-Jigar Honay Tak Hum Nay Mana Keh Taghaful Na Karo Gay Lekin Khaak Ho Jaayen Gay Hum Tum Ko Khabar Honay Tak Partau-E-Khoor Say Hai Shabnam Ko Fana Kee Taaleem Main Bhee Hoon Aik Inayat Kee Nazr Honay Tak Yak Nazr Baish Nahin Fursat-E-Hastee Ghafil Garmi-E-Bazm Hai Ik Raqs-E-Sharar Honay Tak Gham-E-Hastee Ka 'Asad' Phir Say Ho Juzmarg Ilaaj Shamma Har Rang Main Jaltee Hai Sehar Honay Tak ,,,,,
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