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What Survives from Love

Kumam Davidson, Manipur, India

It is an unusually chilly morning for summer. Of course it is the heavy rain from last night that has dropped the temperature. At five in the morning I find myself tucked under the blanket. It rains so much in this part of the world that people wait, quite hopelessly, for it to stop. I intend to fall asleep again but I am slowly getting carried away by the soothing and rhythmic sound produced by the multitudes of raindrops hitting the metal surface. I start getting into the rhythm and momentum of it, feeling my own heartbeat racing faster and louder as the raindrops hit.

I know he is there in the next room, sleeping, tucked inside the warm blanket; and I also know that he is not awake for sure. He never is at this hour. For a while I have been sulking over the fact that he has stopped sleeping in my bed with me. I have tried seeking an explanation in many ways, beating around the bush often because I know I cannot put it exactly in those words that keep running restlessly in head. How much I wish I can speak exactly those words  which have run in my head at least a dozen times. I give in to fifteen-year-old lack of confidence. How can a fifteen-year-old utter those lines of love and remorse delivered by a hero or heroine from a melodramatic film or book! I keep thinking and wishing every moment that he will just wake up and come to me somehow. How much I wish that to happen.

The urge inside me grows stronger and stronger and when I can hold no longer I rush out of bed. In the next few seconds I find myself sneaking under his blanket and the warmth I feel when our half-clothed bodies touch each other, as I have already imagined, is bliss and unforgettable. I have never felt that same cosiness and warmth before, almost cathartic and orgasmic, in more than a year of being with him. Our naked bodies have touched each other quite often. We have become almost completely aware of the scent, texture and shape of each other’s bodies after many playful nights in the darkness. But the warmth and satiation that I feel this morning is extraordinary. I wonder if he feels the same. I wish he does, yet I become too preoccupied with my sensations that somehow I slowly turn oblivious to his feelings.

When I wake up I realise I have fallen asleep in his arms for a while. I find my legs on his while my willy lay unbothered on his soft fanny. I also feel my palm and fingers running slowly on his chest and tickling the nipples once in a while. In those moments of ecstasy and romantic fulfilment I have forgotten the ways of the world and the ticking of time. The only thing I am attentive to is the soothing sound of raindrops on the roof somewhere playing like background music in a film.

I have almost forgotten everything until my anger suddenly rushes back to my mind hitting every part of my body and I momentarily shrug off from him, creating a sudden distance between our bodies and mind. And I pull myself together, then plead for an answer in broken words and dismembered voices which is partly mine and not. I keep pleading and pleading for the answers to the same questions which I partly know I will never get from him. Over and over again I make attempts, convince myself to hang on a little longer, thinking that one day he will yield to my pleading somehow.

Before I walk out of the bed I make a last attempt at starting a conversation, but he will not talk about our relationship, as always. I wonder if he lacks the language. Does he fear? Or does he not understand our bonding? I press my lips on his before I finally walk out of the bed. He does not kiss me back. It saddens me much more, much more than how I was feeling before I got back into bed with him one last time.

Dear readers: it feels like all this just happened today, this morning. I slowly understand that I was reliving the exact moments all over again. It’s a dream, I know, but I do not know if I was asleep while dreaming it. There are certain memories in life that have the power to replay exactly at the same pace and with the same feelings all over again. This is one and I must also confess that I  decided long back to cherish this in the best way I can. I have relived these moments often. Today, a little more than ten years after that morning, I am still thinking about him.

Today I think if I could have convinced myself that day, I would have avoided another year of confusions and reproaches. I added more content and longer life to a story that could have been cut short. But then, there were fulfilling things about it. The sensations of the body; an emotional longing; the need of a person one assumes to be in love with: they were partly fulfilled. My teenage urge for a full-fledged love story was partly written and remembered and told now and again with pride, like a prize I won in school. Over the years I have developed the habit of telling the quintessential love story of mine to close circle. Often there is a sense of achievement and pride in telling it while I also mourn it.

Last month his wife gave birth to their first son. He was happy and I had mixed feelings about it. I kept wondering why he still wanted me to know about his life. Was I wrong when I said I choose and cherish certain memories? Sometimes people may choose to turn up unexpectedly at your door bringing back a chain of memories and stories you think you have forgotten. Likewise, memories seem to pick and haunt you even at the most unexpected hours. Sometimes I cherish it. Sometimes, I think it’s haunting me instead. It chose me, left me no way to forget it. I do not seem to have the control I thought I did.

When it rains again like that suddenly I feel the same warmth and sensation all over again. Somewhere deep under my skin,the touch and feel of his body seem to have survived. The memory of an early rainy morning has failed to let go of me.

Calling All Lovers!

Calling all South Asian queers/LGBT folks!

We’re looking for love stories! How you fell in love, how your heart was broken, how you lived happily ever after… Any story full of love and longing, requited or unrequited, successful or, you know, the other thing.

Send us your stories at insan @ with whatever name you want to use clearly visible in the text of the email. We’ll post them in the Our Stories section.  Please give us a location as well, such as city and country (whatever detail you’re comfortable with).

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Finding Myself


Author: S. Sen from Kolkata, West Bengal, India

My knowledge of sex began at the age of 5 when I went to see Titanic. I couldn’t understand what Jack and Rose were doing but then my brother explained it to me that it was real love. I wondered back then that if any man could love a woman that much, he would definitely want to be a woman.

My first gay experience was at the age of 6 or 7. I saw an ad of Hrithik Roshan on a cola ad exposing his torso with arms behind his head. I was mesmerized by it always wanted to have an eyeful of it whenever I came across it.

Then I went to Bangladesh to visit my extended family and there one of my cousins became a really good friend of mine. When I came back to India, I cried for him and told everyone that I miss him immensely but my parents dismissed it as a child’s whim. But down in my heart, I knew that this heartache was certainly not childish enough.

I was 13 when all my friends used to go all gaga over girls but unlike them, I used to find it irritating and thus dismissed it as a nerd. Once, I came to know about the meaning of word ‘sex’ from my friends and I thought it was really obscene while wondering how could any man want to do such things with a woman.

At 15, I started noticing how some men in the deodorant ads were amazing. I began to imagine romantic stories involving handsome men. For me, in love romance is far more superior than that’s why I thought that without falling in love with the person, I can’t have sex. During that time, I started going to internet cafes to download and print some pictures about the cartoon series Pokemon and one fine day, while surfing online an idea hit my mind. “Why don’t I use internet to look out for those hot men in deodorant spray ads? I was totally mesmerized by the pictures of hot men flooding the computer screen and the more pictures I saw, more I felt the desire burning in me. It ended when I realized that I jizzed in my pants.

The very next day while going to the internet cafe again, I questioned my sexual orientation. “No I’m not. I love rock music. I am a Dragon ball z and Pokemon champion player among my friends. I am a good football player too. But gay? Isn’t being gay is like that friend of mine who is so effeminate and loves to act like a woman? All the boys tease him and make fun of him. They make fun of me too but that’s only because I am a nerd and like it or not they do respect nerds because nerds help them out with homework. How can a manly man love another manly man? Wait! I have always wanted to have a good body. Maybe that’s it. I like seeing men because I want to be like them. Yes, that’s it.” That’s how I tried to deal with the stuff at that moment.

Before you get any ideas, let me clarify that I didn’t hate effeminate guys. Rather everyone around me knew that I defend them if they were bullied at school. But somehow being a “homo” just didn’t feel right. It seemed unnatural because I couldn’t get a logical explanation for why in the first place nature would have ‘homos’ in the first place? Then in 10th grade, I finally realized something while distributing some Christianity related pamphlets. I really had no idea of Jesus’s word on homosexuality. But while distributing the pamphlets, a man who was slightly shorter than me came up to me and started telling me about how he worked in a group which provide free medication to poor families and children and asked if somehow he could get in touch with our school authorities. But I was not paying much attention to what he was saying and rather wondering what a handsome man he was. I had never seen such a man ever before in my life and I felt like hugging and kissing him passionately but controlled myself. As I was walking away from him, totally lost in the equally arousing fragrance he was wearing, I realized I just jazzed in my pants. And I muttered, “Shit!! I am a homo”.

After that I took a vow that I wouldn’t look for a boyfriend on internet and instead started searching for the cures and treatments for homosexuality. During those times I used to think I was the only gay person in the country rather more specifically a “homo” person. Praying and reaching out to God was the most common cure I found on my internet searches and briefly I tried it but I realized it’s not working. Also, being a science geek and aware of never ending religion-science debate, I apprehended that either questioning religion or checking the status of LGBTQI individuals in religion, both issues are not acceptable in the mainstream religious discourse. So, I drifted away from religious discourses and started reading about the scientific evidences and scholarship on the issue with scruples because I wasn’t able to accept homosexuality natural as I knew my parents would never approve of it.

Therefore, I decided to date girls with conviction and thought that I will be over my ‘homo’ feelings. But no matter how hard I tried to imagine myself with a woman or try jerking off with even hundreds of women’s pictures, it just couldn’t match the pleasure I drive imaging dreamy deodorant spray men. I thought it would take some time to wean it off but nothing happened. And there came a point when I began to hate men. I started responding coldly to good looking men. Even, while playing video games, I imagine myself trying to cut, burn, or hit handsome male characters. I further tried to concentrate more on my studies and sports activities as an escape from thinking about men but it never stopped. The guilt of not being able to love any woman haunted me too. I changed school too and facing adjustment problems too and all of this made me really depressed. I started thinking myself as a failed student and a failed son. Thoughts of suicide became frequent and there were times when I used to go to a railway track and wait there for a train thinking it would hit and crush me. I wondered whether the people would at all feel any difference if a pathetic, useless gay kid would die.

Whenever, I had to prepare for some competitive exams, I couldn’t focus without jerking off and forcing myself to do so while imaging women was so exhausting. But jerking off imaging men was so easy, natural and pleasurable which made me question my approach of dealing with this issue. I once again researched online and read that conversion therapies as a cure for homosexuality were bogus and it was so comforting when I came across a statement by WHO (World Health Organization) which asserted that being gay is not a disease. I relieved me like a magic potion and I started to find peace with myself realizing that there were many others like me, out there. I got back to my studies which were really important for me. Since then, I officially love myself for who I am.