For all of you who have been fighting the long battle against Section 377 and other prejudices in India against homosexuality, here is a man who is claiming to have found the root cause of your ‘problem’. An advertisement in a popular newspaper went viral after LGBTQIA+ activist Harrish Iyer shared it on Facebook. The ad read: “IS YOUR Son/Daughter Gay/Lesbian. Before Marriage. Know from us. Call 9811056357…”
And that is exactly what I did, transforming myself into the frantic Kirron Kher from Dostana, worried if her son is swinging in the right direction. The call was made as the 40-year-old mother of a 17-year-old boy. The man, who introduced himself as “healer”, within a minute into the conversation, without asking much questions, declared my ‘son’ gay. “Gay ka matlab samajhti ho?” the all-knowing, wise ‘healer’ asked.
He proceeded to enquire if my son had temper issues, to which I replied that he, in fact, had an extremely calm demeanour. “Andhar hi andhar ghuttha rehta hai.” he deciphered immediately, which translates to “He is suffering inside.” For some reason, more than questions about ‘my son’, the healer had conclusions. For him, the boy did not know that he was gay himself, which is why he wouldn’t know how to open up to me. He also claimed, and very confidently, that 40 per cent men in the US are gay.
If you are wondering about the cause, well, you don’t have to go looking for it far. It is cellphones. “Cellphone diya hai na usko? Bas to wohi to jadd hai iski!” (You have given him cellphones, right? That’s it! That’s the root of this problem.”)
Meanwhile, he continued with his no-questions asked stride and declared my ‘husband’ weak, as a result of which my son was born weak and of course, I was not any strong either. By this time, I felt almost too guilty for bringing my imaginary husband and son into this. In case you are interested in knowing how the bizarre conversation transpired, you could listen to it here.
Switching into the helpless Kirron Kher mode, hoping to stop her Abhishek Bachchan from turning gay, I asked him, “Will taking away his phone treat him?” I could imagine him shaking his head at my naivety. “Tum to vaakayi mei housewife ho! (You are definitely just a housewife!)” he admonished me.
The man eventually explained that the “Ultraviolet rays that the phones emanated turned men gay”. When I asked him if talking on the phone will make me a lesbian, he said it’s different for women. “If testosterone levels are more in women, then the children are born as gays or lesbians, ask your doctor.” he said, referring to my ‘husband’ whom I had introduced as a software engineer, but he heard doctor and I did not bother changing.
“But if testosterone is more in men, then they tend to be more powerful and kids are born healthy,” he added.
Though he promised to begin the ‘healing process’ which would involve ‘infusion of energies’ into my ‘son’, he said he charges for the same (sigh) and would require a photo of the boy to continue the procedure.
There you go, in case life as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community is tough, one, lose the smartphones, two, take the next metro to Gurgaon.
Alternatively, we could also lay more importance on sex education in India, but that’s easier said than done.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines