The Bottom Line

“Homosexuality is found in over 450 species and homophobia, just in one. You tell me, what should be deemed as unnatural?”- Anonymous……..
” I am sick of the words gay and lesbian. Someday, i will be proud of my son, if he comes to me and says,” daddy, i love this guy. He’s like…………..”-Josh Hutcherson
This hue and cry over gay rights, is not a new thing. Apparently, in our country, unfortunately and shamefully( no offences), Homosexuality is still criminalized, by an archaic law in the SECTION 377 of the Indian Penal Code( IPC). Ironically, this dates back to the time of reign of British, just after the first revolt, the first mutiny in 1857, when in 1860, British introduced this law into our Lawsuit, and not just in that, but this introduction marked the beginning of a prejudice , so profound, against Equality, sovereignty, Liberty (the foundations of our constitution), that even today, continues to haunt Indian Mindsets.
In 2009, Delhi high Court, passed a remarkable judgment, scrapping section 377, claiming it to be unconstitutional, giving a sense of hope, pride and freedom among the  members of the LGBT community, who finally could be who they are. But unfortunately, in 2013, The Supreme Court of the country, slammed this judgment of High Court, saying that it was something for the legislature to look upon, not the judiciary alone (JUSTICE, NOT IN THE HANDS OF JUDICIARY), and that LGBT community is a minuscule minority( the community is apparently, 2% of the total population in India), and thus their rights are insignificant. This is nothing but a shameful and ignorant desertion, by none other than the justice of the country, who thinks that rights of a community are insignificant.  EQUALITY, LIBERTY AND SOVEREIGNTY   ………………………….
With discrimination and hatred, bullying and humiliation, basing in homes and schools, childhood is so drastically affected. Some time back, i watched a video titled” WHAT IF BEING GAY WAS THE NORM, AND BEING STRAIGHT , THE CRIME.” That video  was a poignant eye opener. I will provide the links below.
Scientifically it has been proven that Homosexuality is not a choice, it is natural and has genetic reasons for occurrence, and thus anyone could be homosexual, just like anyone could be a boy or a girl.  Homosexual acts, partnerships have been found in over 450 species and homophobia, just in one. Who i am on my bed with at night, i don’t understand, how is going  to affect the world, as it is not some contagious disease, because had it been so, everyone , on the earth  would have been homosexual. If two people love each other , with consent, then on what basis we deem their love as unnatural, a crime? Does being heterosexual or being more in number make us right? There is no direct or even indirect reference, in any holy book, claiming homosexuality to be a sin. It’s our interpretation which could vary from person to person. In the words of Alex Sanchez,”Unless, people are made to believe that homosexuality is a sin, they won’t be against it, just like being heterosexual, in any way does not affect homosexuality, same way being homosexual, in any way, does not affect heterosexuality.”
Apparently, some people view LGBT empowerment as glorification or promotion of homosexuality. They are mistaken. IF I AM ALLOWED TO BE WHO I AM, EVERYONE IS ALLOWED TO BE WHO ONE IS. MY BEING SOMETHING DOES NOT INFLUENCE ANYONE ELSE’S IDENTITY.

Stop this prejudice, for GOD’S sake.

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I am FINE……………….

Only yesterday morning , so it happened,

that my dad , who is otherwise the fittest of all had caught a cold and a mild fever.

He said he was sensing neurons fighting in his brain, like good angels and bad angels.

He told me to stay away from him and let him deal with it his way, which was remembering all those times when he felt happy and said to himself that he’s fine. It’s okay.

I tell my mom that he won’t be successful. She asks, “why ?”

I tell her that when people like my father say that they are fine, that’s exactly the time when they are not.

Like, mom,

When i say i am fine, i actually mean that i am sad for him not supporting my decision to pursue literature as a career.

When i say i am fine, i actually mean that i am sad for the fact that my desires are heavier than your expectations from your only son.

When i say i am fine, i actually mean that i am sad for him not trusting me in anything that i do.

When i say i am fine, i actually mean that the reasons for studying late at night is that books are an escape, from all the myriad disappointments, the hard hitting truths and the facade that i have to carry all the fucking time, when i am not.

When i say i am fine, actually, i am tired.

I am tired of you telling me that a lot lies ahead. I am tired of you telling me that people have gone through worst shit that i have been through. I am tired of you comparing my mess with your husband’s shit and telling me that when he has survived, i also will.

No , mom, i don’t think i can.’

I need you. I need him.

So when i tell you that i am doing society’s work and that’s the reason for staying back in college, i am actually sitting in a corner of the less crowded civil lines metro station, weighing the realities on the scale of life, figuring out if they can be transcended or not. The reason is , I don’t know who or what i will be coming back home for, because no matter how much i try, i will still encounter questioning faces that have taken refuge in the fact that i cannot do anything in my life,  that i am a collection of his tarnishing golds and decaying silvers.

When every night mom, he calls me and tells me to press his paining legs and massage his throbbing head, i am happy to know that he thinks that i am this capable.

When in the silence of the night i am helping him let go, and a tear trickles down my eye,  It’s a reminder.

It’s a reminder of the fading hope of one day he coming to me and saying, ” I know son. I know , and it’s okay. I am sorry for not helping you in your childhood, when your peers bullied you for being effeminate. I am sorry for threatening you, that i will kill you. I was encountering my own fears you see. Now i know, that you were always there for me.

That dry stain, mom, on the glass of my spectacle is a reminder of the random anxiety attacks, that i have been having ever since i was unable to kill myself at 14.

It scares me, the thought of my reality translating into your deteriorating mental health, for bullshit patriarchy has made your validation important , when it actually is not.

The wet stains  on the shirt and the blurred alphabets in my notebook are not because of saliva dripping out of my mouth. They are a metaphor, you see.

They are a metaphor for a very tangible reality that i cannot change or escape. I want him to tell me, to explain it to me, that there was never  a closet. It was just me.

I am broken, mom! So much so that i have even stopped feeling the pain now. So when i say i am fine. i actually mean that i am sad for having mastered the art of escapism. I am not afraid of happiness, i am afraid of the pain it brings along. That no pain- no gain shit, that you fed me with when i was six, does not work in the real word , when i am sixteen. Pain does not translate into gain, or even if it does, it is unrealized.

I am collecting the red of the evening sun in empty beer bottles that dad brings home every weekend. I hide them in a deserted corner of the storeroom, like i hide all the unwanted childhood gifts and freedom , in a corner of my bedroom.

When i say i am fine, the empty side of my bed reflects upon me, the same bed that you thought i will sleep comfortably upon, without him kicking me all night long. But something else still kicks me mom. Something , which like you, i am not able to understand.

That fear of a hand coming out from the bottom of bed, cold and frail, grabbing my feet , is not an illogical childhood fear mom. I cannot even encompass the tangibility of it.

So mom, when i say i am fine,

I am telling you that i am just like him.

I am telling him that i know what it feels like, that age is truly just a number. and this quote is universal and does not apply only to romantic cliche relationships.

I am saying,

” Dad, everything in us is similar, if not the same. The only difference is that you love me for who you want me to be and i love you for who you are, with your unjustified anger. It’s okay to feel angry dad, but it’s not okay when responsibility becomes superiority.”

I – am –  fine, is a reminder of the fading hope that you will understand and look beyond the filial relationship duties, patriarchy has put on the both of us, and say, “I know son. You are just like me.”

– Aman Sinha .

The yellow bed sheet……..

One of my few attempts at writing a short story, about emptiness, lack of purpose and desires for change, we experience in our lives.

When i woke up in the morning, i found him lying right next to me, holding me in his arms, in this strange warm togetherness, in a soft, silky quilt and for that brief moment, when i saw him sleeping, everything shifted from a certainty of nothingness, to countless, seamless possibilities, that everything that happened last night, was more than just a short and quick event in both of our lives. I didn’t want that stillness to die, but to persist and stay there to help me  capture every fraction of that room and our existence into one single frame, so that i am  able to grasp all of it in a totality, and life is not just about different , confused emotions invading my mental space.

The construction happening in the neighborhood started and the noise woke him up. He left me. He said that he had headache. I wanted to ask if i could do anything about it, but i did not. I could not. It was just not working. I went to the bathroom, washed my face,closed my eyes and imagined that he would come and hug me from behind, which is why i left the door open. He entered the bathroom, pissed and exited. I looked at my image in the mirror and for a nanosecond, i thought it laughed at me.

I came back to the bedroom. He looked at me, his gaze, expectant, like that of a child, waiting for some marvel to happen. For another instant, all those possibilities that had rushed away, returned. I slowly moved towards him, and tried to kiss him when he said , “i need to hurry. Give me my fee.” I was just perplexed for a moment, could not figure out as to how should i react to his initially expectant and then, irritated look. But somehow, his expression forced me to realize that all of this, indeed, was nothing more than a short and quick event in our lives, and there was never more to it than simply getting naked, getting high and fuck, and in the end,  quickly parting our ways, as easily as i had  brought him home last night. He said again that he needs his reward quickly, that he has to go somewhere else, and that he might never see me again, so there was no point putting it off, on the pretext of meeting again. I suddenly remembered what he had said last night, in the car ride home , that he would love to take me to his home and see his little brother’s textbooks and teach him how to write poems, stories etc. etc. I wanted to explain it to him that you can’t really teach anyone how to write poetry and stories, and that if it has to come, it has to come from within, on its own, pure and natural, pure and natural unlike this moment when he was trying to be as pragmatic as  he can be, and i was  never even an inch near him , in being so, failing every second.

I went to the other room to bring the money.I came back and handed it over to him, but our fingers collided and his touch brought back a distant memory.  An image of me, crying, sitting on the cold floor of the bathroom flashed off in front of my eyes. I used to promise myself , when i was a kid, that i’d move  to America, at the pretext of studying further. Before the final hugs of love at the airport, i would hand my dad a letter, in which i would tell him the real reason of once trying to kill myself when i was fourteen. A coming out letter, i used to call it. That would  solve every problem of my life. One night, i would visit some gay bar,in America, bring a boy home, fall in love with him and be with him forever, and the world will be this happy place again, without tears, guilt and remorse, but peace, tranquility. But maybe, that’s not how it was supposed to be.

He had been holding my hand, for i was holding the dollars, for the past thirty seconds or so and then ,he freed my hand. That was probably , for the first and the last time, that freedom seemed unwanted, burdening, invasive and unimportant, like the shower of conditional love from parents and relatives, like the presents received half-heartedly, bringing with it, a sense of an absence, a longing, a prolonged and unfulfilled desire. He left the  apartment, and as expected, did not kiss me while leaving or said that he hoped to  see me again. He probably thought, that i , like others he had been with, did not want to see him or meet him again. Perhaps, because preferences, tastes, likes and dislikes in bed change with the same pace of leaves changing their color in autumn. Those short and quick events after all, are only durationally short and quick, but they happen at regular intervals. Perhaps, because he’s lost hope. Perhaps because, he’s accepted silence.

While arranging the bed after he was gone, i had this uncontrollable urge to change the bed sheet. This one had been put only a week ago, but that urge was simply uncontrollable and incomprehensible. I opened the new pack, and put it on. This one, in one half of it,had the picture of a clear blue sky, and in the other half, had a picture of a boy, sitting against a tree ,looking up, towards that sky.

Colleagues in college told me that a student group had organised some donation campaign, collecting old clothes, quilts, sheets, for poor people in winters so that they can keep warm. After coming back home in the evening, i started arranging my closet. I found bright color shirts that i did not wear anymore, not because i had outgrown them or something like that, but i just stopped wearing them since this winter. There were old quilts, blankets that could do. After having separated the old from the new, the unwanted from the wanted, i searched the closet for the final time and found the yellow bedsheet i had changed this morning. It was lying, stuffed in one corner. When i picked it up, i noticed that near one corner of it, there are dry stains of semen. I tried fading them away by rubbing the stained part against the clean part ,but i stopped. Could ,some dry stains of semen, bother a poor old man, who is protecting himself against the chilly wind , wearing only, a dilapidated, thin, cotton shirt and corduroy pants? They could not. After having dinner, i reclined on my bed, only to remain awake for the entire night.

The next day in college, i added my generosity to the pile of old used commodities that are to save someone from the cold breeze of winter. I had only one lecture that day, on Emily Dickinson’s poem, ‘The First Lesson’.

“And yet my primer suits me so,

I won’t choose a book to know,

than that, be sweeter, wise;

Might someone else so learned be,

And leave me just my  A B C,

Himself could have the skies.”

The next morning, while leaving home, i realised that i needed to change the nameplate. Its been a week since i moved to this apartment, and the name plate still showed  the name of the previous owner.

‘Wilson’s. 42, 6th street, Orlando.’

The house is not owned by Mr.Wilson anymore. He’s probably dead by now.

In College, i completed the lecture on Dickinson’s poem.

“The bustle in a house, the morning after death

is solemnest of industries, enacted upon earth.

The sweeping up the heart,and putting love away,

we shall not want to use again, until eternity.”

In the evening, on my way back home, at the end of the street, i saw a poor man, probably in his late 60s , trying to wade life away, trying to sleep on a bench near the lamppost. He was trying to cover his feet, but was unable to do so. In the end , he gave up. Suddenly, a strong breeze flew the sheet he was covering his body with, and it came to me. I picked it up. It was yellow in color, and near one corner,had dry stains of semen. i handed it over to him. When i came back home, for some unidentifiable reason, i wanted to laugh. I did. I had almost forgotten how it feels to laugh for no reason. The first time i had laughed this way, was when i had completed my first story.

That night, i slept. I slept peacefully.

By- Aman Sinha

Hurricanes…….

It’s a poem about how pain transcends into our lives in various ways, how, differently, it leads, each one of us , only to reach the same outcome, more pain and agony.

2:05 a.m.

Mina Justice receives a text message ,

from her son Eddie, that reads,

“Mom, I love you. In club, they are shooting.”

She calls him but he does not answer.

2:07 a.m.

She messages him, “Are you okay?”

He replies that he is trapped in the bathroom of Pulse Downtown.

2:08 a.m.

She gets another text from him that reads,

“I am gonna die.”………..

Eddie Justice, a normal homebody from Orlando, who liked to workout and make people laugh died in the shooting.

I have never met him.

He’s never made me laugh.

But today, i hear him laughing a hearty laugh at his own joke.

His laughter resonates in the deepest recesses of the soul.

But,

Can i even imagine the face of his mother,

when she would have read the last text message?

All dreams  shattered, all hopes driven out of there existence, in a fraction of second.

 

There’s a hurricane , that lives inside all of us.

The one that dances on the beats of the heart.

When it comes out, we sink.

We sink deep down into our own ghosts and demons.

Can you imagine the face?

Can you?

 

India……….

A middle class home…….

9:05 a.m.

The man of the family goes out of the House.

A young boy,

four,

starts dreaming.

It’s a dream of colors and music.

He quickly hops onto another one, and then from dream to dream he lives the life of all those people he admires.

A tear trickles down his eyes.

There’s a football in front of him.

He picks it up, but then throws it away.

For him, it is just this white, round rubber thing, that he has to kick, to assure that he will grow into a man, a manly man.

 

15 years later,

the same house.

9.05 a.m.

He holds his hand, slides his fingers into his and stands.

He stands like that for a while, and he’s just about to lean on him when his mom enters the room and  drops the tray.

The embrace has ended, but it’s not just the embrace that has ended.

Something else does too.

 

9 years later.

The same house.

The same room.

2:05 a.m.

A girl is sitting on a bed, covered with rose petals.

That hurricane, remember?

That hurricane inside her gets strong and strong.

She hears footsteps and the hurricane gets almost turbulent.

He comes and sits besides her.

He removes her veil and kisses her.

She kisses him back, but stops when she notices that his hands are trembling.

They take their clothes off and have sex.

But, after a while, amidst the creaks of the bed, she opens her eyes, only to stare at his sweaty face and shut eyes, a straight neck, and him not looking at her.

It ends real quick.

She goes to the bathroom and cleans herself.

She comes back into the room, and she silently watches his struggle, in pretending to be asleep.

The lights go out and the hurricane dies that very moment.

 

 

There are voices left unheard.

There are emotions left unexpressed.

Identities crushed every moment.

Hurricanes dying every moment.

Every moment as we speak, someone becomes silent.

Every moment as we laugh, someone cries aloud.

At the end, what’s left is you,

and probably a thought,

uncollected,

far from being encompassed,

transcending into this thing called life.

– Aman Sinha

 

 

Twinkle Twinkle little star. …….

​ ‘At a certain point, I lost track of you.

You needed me. You needed to perfect me.

In your absence, you polished me into the enemy. 

Your history gets in the way of my memory.’

            -Agha Shahid Ali
You  are me. I am You.

Your history gets in the way of my memory.

My history gets in the way of your memory.

Who are they? 

World , People or your own self. 
Remember that morning when you were four. 

Your cousin had visited you.

She was playing with you all the time. 

When your dad returned, 

he made you wear her clothes, 

put a bindi on your forehead and apply lipstick .

You complied.

They clicked pictures of you dancing , 

in those clothes.

You were so happy.

That night, you did not sleep because you were dreaming.
Remember that afternoon when you were eleven . 

You were playing with your aunt’s clothes, 

rapping her shawl around your naked body in various ways.

Your dad entered the  room and he slapped you right across your face and asked you if you wanted to be gay. 

You had studied in books .

Being gay meant being happy. 

You said yes.

He stopped talking to you. 

You were eleven. You had to know what that three lettered word meant.

It did not have anything to do with emotions and abstractions , but identity and existence. 

He did not talk to you for four days and the fifth day, 

he made you promise that if ever you do that again, 

you would let him kill you. 

You remember sobbing in pain.

You remember breaking that promise in the bathroom, 

the very next day.

How could you forget your bathroom had  a mirror. 

Everything was visible ,

for everything could not be hidden between the  legs.
You remember their remarks.
“Why are you walking like that? That’s so girlish.”

“Don’t loosen your hand like that . Girls do that. ”

“Sixer ! Hijra! chakka !”

” You are a sheer black spot in the name of masculinity. ”

shshsh shshsh shshsh shshsh. ………….
Crying on the last day of class 8, 

for someone had put this into your ears,

that sections are shuffling.

Your first thought, 

Will he and you  be in the same class?

and then crying out of fear.

Being confused over what to choose between Hindi and Sanskrit.

He was Hindi.

You were Sanskrit. 

Hindi -Sanskrit 

Hindi -sanskrit 

Hindi -sanskrit. ……

and finally Hindi, 

for you had to see him kissing your best friend on the first day of class 9.

For you had to hear him saying, 

“Man! she’s hot.”

You remember the Independence day last year, 

You were sitting besides your dad, watching the parade . 

Independence day it was.
“This is the day I will come out. ”

“This is the day I will be born again. ”
“Dad, Dad?”

“What? ”

“A friend of mine was expelled from school, last week. ”

“why?”

” He came out as gay in the class. The news somehow reached the principal. ”

” That’s not right ”
you suddenly feel some hope inside you.

Happy independence day. 
” Instead, he should have been taken to a priest. These people have turned away from God. Spiritual Medication is  what they need. ”
yes. Happy Independence day. 

You had to dig the pits again.

You had to fall in them again.
You remember crying that night , like other nights, 

when you heard screams from the other room.

Sounds of glass breaking on the floor.

Sounds of hurling abuses. 

Sounds of tears flowing down from eyes.

Sounds of heaving long , suppressed sighs.
You stood in the metro yesterday morning,looking  out of the window.

You remember your childhood .

You remember not realising when it slipped away from you. 

Was it when you realised that you could never make the world happy? 

or 

was it when you realised that you had fallen so deep in your pits, 

your wounds had burnt so much that suddenly, there was no fire left.
Twinkle Twinkle little star.

How I wonder what you are. 

Up above the world so high. 

Like a diamond in the sky.
who was the twinkling star?

who wondered what you were? 

what was up above the world? 

no diamond, absolutely. 
No one answered these questions. 

Your childhood slipped from you when you realised that these questions, 

they were answers themselves.
                  -Aman sinha 

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY 

It’s been seventy years, ten hours and eleven minutes. 

I am writing this with my deception reaching its highest point.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY. 

Yes , you are independent to be who you are. 

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY. 

Yes , you can love whosoever you want to, 

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY.

Yes , you don’t need to be accepted by anyone.You only need to be accepted by yourself. 

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY.

Yes, your dad will no longer beat you.

Your mom won’t cry now.

They won’t throw you out of the house.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY. 

They are not going to tease you or humiliate you in school.

yes, You can reveal your long old Crush you had on him and he won’t break the same long old friendship.

They are not going to call you with different names anymore.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY. 

Yeah, you can proudly admit who you are. 

You don’t need to be closeted anymore.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY. 

NO, 

You are not independent. 

you will sit along with your dad, 

in front of the TV, 

watching the parade, thinking, 

This is the day I will come out.

This is the day I will be born again.

This is the day I will be independent. 

“Dad, I think I am—-.”

“Hey , see the Tricolor being hoisted. I feel so proud of my country. Yeah , you were saying something? ”

“Nothing dad.See the tricolor being hoisted.”

They will still tease you in school.

When your friend will come to you and say , “I think I have a crush on that girl who lives across your street. She’s so hot. ”

You will end up saying ,”yeah,Totally.”

No, You are not independent yet.

The day will end up and before going to bed, 

you will look at the mirror, 

you won’t be able to look at the image, 

eye to eye.

Just like other days, you will curse yourself and go to bed, pretending to sleep, staying awake for hours. 

You won’t realise when you closed your eyes and slept.

The alarm will wake you up. You will go to the basin, wash away the stains of tears from your face, whitening your red eyes .

It’s been seventy years, ten hours and forty minutes.

I am writing this with as much truth as I can put.

No, You are not independent yet. 

Just then, your neighbour will say, 

” HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY. ”

You will reply, 

” HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY. ”

                    -AMAN SINHA. 

The Right thing….

They call those who fight for the right of women as feminist. I wonder if there is a word like LGBTist or something like that. 

We just had a new born in our family.  The child is fortunately not  mine , but my aunt’s. He’s cute . He plays with my fingers, curling his little ones around my big ones. He laughs , he cries, but mostly,he sleeps and seeing him sleeping I wonder if he is having a dream. I don’t. 

A day before yesterday, some hermaphrodite musicians , transgenders came at our house asking for money, for here was a new born in our family ,and that too a boy. There was no looking back . At first, my dad asked me to close the gate. I did. They were not moved. Then he asked me to let it be. Ignored, they would themselves go. They didn’t.  Finally , lost and defeated in the battle, my dad gave me a 500 Rs. note and asked me to give that to them, only to get rid of them. I refused to go,  giving a lame explanation that I was afraid. Honestly , I was. I was full of shame . I called myself an LGBTist who is afraid of the T. So I complied and went down, gave the note to one of them, cursed myself on seeing the dissapointed look on her face and came back upstairs. 

I thought I was dissapointed and after series of vigilant thoughts , I realised that I was dissapointed for the wrong reason. 

Here are people like me, fighting for the rights of sexual minorities in our country and there are people from the same community illicitly extorting money from people , hell lot of sweat and blood gone into earning that.  

Then, there are people from the same community, trying to kill the myths of diffrentiality. Many people from the same community are nailing it on national and international level. They are actors , musicians, philanthropists, educationalists ,normal like anyone,  doing normal jobs, living normal lives, going to offices ,fulfilling there ambitions, challenging realities. 

When we don’t surrender to a thieve, when we don’t surrender to a rapist,when we don’t surrender to a man who does wrong to a woman, and even today, a woman doing wrong to a man in the vague ideals of feminism, a very misinterpreted term these days, then why do we surrender to these money extorters, who themselves have lost all hope of living a dignified life, and then blame the society for discriminating them.

Bad is in every community. All we need to do is find the right reasons to stand up for. LGBT community does not want glorification. All they want is equality because at the end of the day , we might be different from each other, but we are all equal. So we should not just let it be and raise voice for the right reasons. 

“I am gonna die.”

It was 2:06 am, when a sound asleep, MINA JUSTICE , received a text message from her son, EDDIE. “Mommy, I love you.”

” In club, they are shooting.” Mina tried to call her son, but there was no answer. In panic and fear, she tapped a reply at 2:07 am. “Are you okay?”, to which Eddie replied that he was trapped in the bathroom. She asked what club her son was trapped in. He replied

“PULSE DOWNTOWN. Call the police.”

Then at 2:08, she received another text message from her son,” I,M GONNA DIE.” Horrified she called 911 and sent a series of messages to Eddie.

“I am calling them, right now.”

“U still in there?”

“Answer our damn phone, call them. Call me.” But came no answer. Eddie Justice died in PULSE DOWNTOWN, the gay nightclub of Orlando, where a gunman, shot 49 people, alive, alone. None of the visitors would have imagined such a shocking disaster, because Saturday night parties in Orlando meant high octane dance and music, till daybreak early morning.

Eddie Justice, was normally a homebody who liked to eat and work out. He had an awesome sense of humor, and liked to make people laugh. He worked as an accountant and lived in a condo in downtown Orlando. I have not met Eddie or his mother. I have not seen him or heard him. He has never made me laugh. But now, when he’s not with us, i don’t know why or how, but somehow i feel a sort of connection. His laughter is echoing in my ears. Of all the conversation he had with his mother,my mind keeps getting back to that line,” I,m gonna die.” What would his mother must have felt, when she would have read that message. He liked to make everyone laugh. I wondered me being stuck in some place, where a terrorist attack is being executed, calling my mother and saying to her, crying in panic and fear,” Mom,I love you, mom. I love dad. I thank you for the life you gave me. I am gonna die.” And then Whooshhhhhhhh!!!! I don’t even get time time to hang up the phone. I am shot. In my last breathes, in the pain and guilt, i hear loud screams from my phone.

“Son! Answer me , son! Are you okay? Son, listen son! Son!Son.!”

The man who did this , has been identified as Omar Mateen, born in America, to Afghan Immigrants. His father said that his son was simply a homophobic man, he did not have ties with Islamic State, and the latter has taken responsibility of the killing, too. I don’t know if it was directed by extremists or devised out of personal prejudices. All i can say is that, if your religion compels you to kill people, view people , who just want to be themselves, with hatred and differentiation, there is no deep a point than this, where humanity can go.

I don’t know if i will ever be able to fathom the grief of Mina Justice, when she would have read those words. I don’t know if anyone of us would be able to fathom the pain of the families , when they would have seen the dead, blood stained bodies of their loved ones. This is, all i can say, a dark spot , a deep and profound blot on the face of humanity. I don’t know where as humans are we heading.  Whether it was homophobia or it was extremism, it was something that would continue to haunt our lives, for a long long time.

We all are who we are , at the end of the day. Killing or banning is not the solution to get where we want to be. We can only make realities, we cannot change them.

By- Aman Sinha