PRIDE - PRANAV ARORA

An instance i encountered in grade 7th .I can recount every bit

clearly because it changed my outlook forever. This incident

highlighted the cruelty prevalent in our society. Despite the

enactment of section 377 our society has time and again

failed to accept the reality of homosexuals.


There was a boy in my class who did not fall into the usual

definition of a ‘man’ as defined in our society. The stereotype

of a typical man in our society embodies a strong and

aggressive character always expected to display feats of

strength and acts of courage. The boy in my class came to be

seen as peculiar when he didn’t adopt the basic ways and

ideals of a typical boy in my class. His unwillingness to start

fights or see them through, his docile nature and his

eccentric gate won him the title of ‘too girly’ in class. But it

did not stop here. He was time and again put into

embarrassing situations by my classmates who passed no

opportunity to make him feel different, disrespected and

unwanted. Moreover , the few people who did like him were

scared to interact with him because anyone who had ever

lent him a helping hand or a compassionate smile had been

shunned and bullied mercilessly. I noticed him for a few days

and eventually started feeling bad for him. One day, as I was

waiting for my friend to join me during recess, I saw him

sitting under a tree digging into his meal all alone. I went up

to and struck a conversation. I realised he had a sharp sense

of humour and gradually we became friends. Few days

passed after which my classmates started mocking me,

teasing me as I passed by. Even my own friends were too

embarrassed to sit with me. Now, I knew what he had to go

through. It was devastating. I was so exhausted that I wanted

to put a stop to our friendship but I also wanted to change

people’s thinking. And if I gave up now, there would be no

distinction between me and my classmates. One day, while

playing football I saw him slouching under a tree, sitting all

alone having no one to play with. I went to him and i sat

beside him. We talked a bit, and then he asked me if i could

keep a secret and before I could even answer he told me he

was homosexual. I was happy that he trusted me. I am not

that good of a secret keeper but I promised myself that i

won’t let this one out. So, a few days passed by. Everything

was the same as usual. I got used to the tormenting sarcasm

and i eventually started overlooking the sly remarks .One day

one of my classmates ‘Vedant’ tried to pull a practical joke on

Raghav to appease his friends . His friends were amused.

Raghav broke into bounce of tears. He went to the

classroom, holding his books in one hand and wiping his tears

with the other .Raghav reported the incident to our class

teacher who reacted with indignance to the treatment of

Raghav at the hands of Vedant and his friends. She had

known that Raghav was non-heterosexual and had helped

Raghav go through a lot of challenging phases. She

pronounced that this was unacceptable. She called for

Vedant immediately and reported him to the counsellor. The

counsellor was a learned lady but what she did was

disappointing. She admonished Vedant and then sent him

back to the classroom. The counsellor did not know that

Raghav was a homosexual . When Raghav disclosed this to

her , she was speechless for a minute and then reacted by

calling his mother to her office. His mother broke into tears

as soon as she heard that Raghav was not ‘normal’, the

words used by the counsellor. While she was on her way, the

counsellor told Raghav that she would help him behave like

a ‘normal’ person again. Now, i being his only friend was

summoned to the counsellor office. His mother , her eyes

filled with tears sat beside him and kept asking him why he

was different than the rest. That day, i felt very sorry for

him. His own mother does not support him. After having met

the counsellor, Raghav’s mother rushed him out of the office

and took him home. I was sent back to the classroom.

However, having tried long and hard i could not get my mind

off what had happened that morning. I tried to contact him in

the evening but he did not respond to any of my calls. The

next morning , I met him and he informed me that his

mother had made him join therapy and that she would not

pull him out until he was like the other normal kids. I was

disturbed at his mother’s words. Her son, who she used to

love more than anything was suddenly not ‘ normal’.