By Anurag Choudhary:
A few days back, in good humour, I called a (presumably straight) friend ‘gay’. He didn’t laugh and I nearly lost my tooth. We have not been on talking terms since. Interestingly enough, the same day, Tim Cook landed in India. The Apple CEO, and I am not making this up, is the only openly gay CEO amongst Fortune 500 companies.
But, psst, gay people are monsters, right?
They are so wrong and against the human anatomy and a threat to our great Indian culture and against every such blah thing in the dictionary that describes India. When SC upheld Section 377 in 2013, Christian communities, Muslim boards and various Hindu parishads showcased a great deal of our ‘unity in diversity‘ in their celebrations. Quoting one of the leaders, “This is a right decision, we welcome it. Homosexuality is against Indian culture, against nature and against science. We are regressing, going back to when we were almost like animals. The SC had protected our culture.”
I was nervous ever since Cook announced his visit. Would he meet black flags with ‘Cook go back!’ and ‘Cook you are sick!’ signs at Mumbai Airport? Would his John Laurinaitis (Google alert) like face be pelted with stones and coloured in cow dung (maybe ink)? Would the Mumbai Police be waiting with their giant bellies and long lathis to arrest or deport him from the airport itself?
“Ho Saheb! Des mein ghusne ka nahi! Idhar gay log nhi parvarta!”
Would Indians boycott iPhone?
It was like the journey of a Stark in Westeros. I sniffed blood at some point. Something would go wrong. He mustn’t return to Winterfell (or wherever he came from) alive, right?
Someone would be ticked. One reaction at least. Communal violence (lynching maybe), a hate speech, media channel debates. Something!
But other than a trifling Twitter ho-hum, nothing happened.
To his pluck, Cook even attended a party thrown by Shah Rukh Khan that had Aamir Khan (and his wife) on the guest list. And yet, it all ended well. Everyone came looking pretty and dashing, in their tuxedos and suits and dresses and gowns, ate their food and drank their wine, posed for paparazzi and went home. Not a single incident was reported. No purple wedding. No red wedding.
In 2007, when the Prince of Rajpipla (whose name I don’t remember anymore) came out of the closet, his family along with the entire country, disowned him until he appeared on Oprah Winfrey Show and became famous. And he was a royal queer. I don’t want to imagine what could happen to the middle-class LGBT community. I keep hearing stories about parents locking their sons with maids to ‘cure’ them of their ‘illness’.
And yet, Tim Stark, err, Tim Cook kept corrupting, with great zeal, the soil of our ‘holy land’.
When he was allowed, no, guided into the Siddhivinayak temple, I held my breath and latched my eyes. And, he came out safe and still a proud gay man (unchanged and unchained), with a tilak on his forehead and a smile on his face.
If a Stark survives this long, unscathed, you start losing faith in R.R. Martin.
When he yelled at the Indian staff of Apple in Gurgaon (Guru Gram, whatever) for selling a fake iPhone merchandise which was actually original, I kept my ears close to the scene. Maybe, someone would revert,
“Hey, why don’t you go and see a doctor, you sick, perverted piece of humanity?”
I didn’t hear or read about Karan Johar’s offer to him for ‘Dostana 3’. Even Kapil Sharma, the keeper of regressive ‘comedy’, didn’t go to him with a role of Gutthi’s mother. According to Darwin’s theory, Cook would have been a case of natural selection for all such roles of queers who act like Bobby Darling, look stupid and don’t quite exist in the real world.
I was left perplexed.
There must have been a catch. I must have missed it. Maybe, Indians didn’t know about the Apple CEO being a homosexual. Or maybe, we don’t mind your homosexuality when you are the CEO of Apple Inc.
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