Manhood

"I don't think this is gonna work, man. I mean, you're good to talk to, but I don't think we can move further. Sorry." He shook his head and left. I paid for the cold coffee and left the cold cafe, to be greeted by the scorching sun coupled with the pre-monsoon humidity. I found the heat inside my body insufferable in Mumbai's harsh June heat. The boredom because of sitting at home during two weeks of holidays along with my unsatisfied desire wouldn't let me be. Above that, there was this meet which stopped with just coffee. Finally, I opened the Blue Site again to see if I could find some guy who could talk well, was attractive and had place. This restlessness I feel every time I open the Blue Site always surprises me. While I was thinking about this, some guy I'd spoken with around two-four days back came online. "I've got place. Do you wanna come over?" he said. The location turned out to be Saki Naka. "Oh God! The travel from Borivali to Saki Naka is an ordeal!" I frowned, but then I thought "Let it be! A bit of fun slightly far away seems better than watching porn and jacking off." So I left.

Right upon exiting the building, I saw Mother.

"Where are you going?"

"Umm...right here...going to a friend's place..."

"Where exactly? I came early because you were home, and here you go wandering about."

This was routine. As per them a child coming home from abroad was expected to buzz around his parents twenty-four hours a day. I created an imaginary friend and a story about how we wouldn't meet again for a long time, and escaped. An hour-long bus ride brought me to Saki Naka. The guy was already there. Pleasantries were exchanged - his name was Ravi. He then checked me out and seemed disappointed.

"What? Don't like what you see?"

"No, nothing as such. Let's go to my place."

"No, wait. If you don't like me, then I'd rather go back."

"Oh, no. Let's go to my place."

I followed him. He pressed the bell on a door.

"Huh? Is there anyone inside?"

"Don't worry; he's one of our own."

Inside was a huge, dark-skinned man; someone who seemed like a hunky villain from that movie, Lakshya. I was a bit startled as unsavoury thoughts raced through my head. We went inside and the host went to get some water.

Seeing my puzzled look, Ravi said "He's my friend. We'll have sex in his bedroom."

"And what about him?"

"He'll sit here watching TV." "Huh?"

"Don't worry. He's one of our own." I felt that everything that was happening was very weird, but I wasn't in a position to think everything through. I went inside the room with Ravi. He was pretty attractive. We chatted for a while and then started doing 'it'. It wasn't fun, however. He was very cold and distant.

Within five minutes he said "This isn't working out."

"Let it be, then. I'll go home." I was crestfallen.

"But I have an idea. Let's call my friend inside."

"What!?" Sex with that villain? I got goosebumps.

"Hey, he's not like you think he is. Ones he takes it in his mouth, you'll lose track of the entire world."

"No, I am not interested in having a threesome."

"Listen, at least. Close your eyes. He'll do his work down below. Let him try once. If you don't like it then you're free to go." "And you?"

"I'll see you play. That kind of turns me on. He'll work on me after he's done with you."

I was speechless! But in the end I decided to let it happen. That would have been the last chance for me to satisfy myself. I closed my eyes. By then my manhood had gone limp. But this man roused it again. His touch was pleasant. I was really surprised seeing a man with a physique that could take down four-five goons doing these things so effortlessly and erotically. Having completely awoken my manhood he finally took it down skillfully. The orgasm was extraordinary. My unassuaged desire was finally satisfied.

I cleaned up and got ready to leave. I had three missed called from mom. Ravi told me to wait as the bus was going to take some more time to come. I waited. "I am Vikrant." the host said. I laughed and shook his hands.

"Since when have you been into this?" I asked falteringly. "A lot of years have passed. I have a lot of clients and they keep on coming to me. Everything is discreet. How did you like my work?" "Umm...I mean it was fun, but this was pretty unexpected. You do it amazingly." "I've got a reputation. Ravi here is a great fan. There are many like this. Gay, straight, or bisexual, whatever. Who doesn't like being blown?" "But do you really like to do this? Are you gay?" "That I don't know. I like taking it in my mouth, that's all." "So do you take money or something from your clients?" "No. Both are happy here. So why ask for money? Ravi here gets me clients from the Blue Site. Who's gonna come to me for this if they see my face? So Ravi has to play this game. Word also spreads by mouth publicity. After someone meets me, he always returns for more."

I felt like I was listening to a salesman advertising his goods. The realization that this was Ravi's pre-conceived plan was also a shock. Thankfully there was no matter of money!

"What do you work as?" I tried to change the topic.

"I'm a personal bodyguard of a famous Bollywood artist. I can't say who, but my master is one of my biggest fans. Anyway, you'll be coming to me again, right?"

I didn't know what to say. "Umm...I would like to, but I'm gonna go abroad in a couple of days. I stay abroad for higher education."

"Aaila! The boys there must be amazing, right?"

"Yeah, they're great, but they have a lot of arrogance when it comes to their skin colour."

"That's how it is. So will you live there with a white boy?"

"No, that's not decided yet. I want to live with an Indian boy in India."

They both laughed. "What? Are you gonna scream out to the world that you like to put your stuff in another man's mouth? Buddy, as a man, marrying a woman and fathering children is all that there is to life. It's not only a responsibility but also a duty!"

Vikrant was telling me his philosophy. "Guys nowadays! They go abroad, read a couple of books and start talking about marrying a guy! Come to your senses, buddy!"

I was speechless. Usually when gay men meet, they have similar complaints. Everyone's afraid of tying the knot under parental pressure. In such a situation, when I tell them I have come out, they appreciate my bravery. Here the scene was different. Finally the time of the bus's arrival was nearing, so I left.

There was a storm brewing in my head. The guilt of having had sex with a stranger was obviously there, and on top of that I felt bad about lying to mom. Over that, this lecture about manhood! His philosophy wasn't out of this world as such; I was also raised with similar 'values'. However, when I had realized I was different, I had got to know that I wasn't meant for these 'values'. I'd escaped the rut of gender roles: how a man ought to be, how he not ought to be, how he should never be, and so on. I firmly believed that real manhood was in understanding myself as different, accepting myself as I am, and in living that way. Vikrant - unabashedly saying that he likes to take men's stuff in his mouth and proudly advertising his skill on one hand while preaching 'A man ought to be so-and-so' on the other - had really blown me away. How could a person be so hypocritical?

Right then, a couple got on the bus with their tiny daughter. They might have been returning from a wedding. The tiny one was sleeping peacefully with her head on her father's shoulder. His wife took over his other shoulder as soon as she sat down by the window. Even the husband slept off amongst the fragrance of his wife's gajra. I was envious of them for a moment. Was Vikrant getting married for this joy? Would that really be happiness? What if the superficially sweet-looking marriage hid the wife's never-ending hunger down under and the husband's zeal to satisfy his duties? I saw Vikrant caressing his wife on one hand and checking out a neighbour on the other. I saw Vikrant's wife's 'bhauji': coming in everyday to meet him, 'conversing about a secret topic' behind closed doors. I got goosebumps. No, this won't happen with me. Living a false life and doing injustice to an innocent woman is definitely not manhood. Everyone's existence has meaning. Finding that and making life worthwhile is what is desired. This right there is the difficult part. And then most people take the conventional path as to be their lives' meaning and trod along. Perhaps this is society's innovation so that most people's lives stay on track. But how can one rule apply to all? Someone who has realized that they are the exception to the rule shouldn't even approach it! Society should also not be too harsh to the exceptions to this straight-forward path. The pillars of my mental strength then became even stronger.

Right then the conductor's bell obstructed my reverie. The breeze coming from the window felt pleasant. I felt some kind of undubbed satisfaction. I stepped out of the storm by trying to figure out what food mom would have had made.

Krish Pariera (Translated from Marathi by Mihir Bhosale)

Krish Pareira is a Marathi gay person, who is currently studying abroad. He hopes to come out one day.