Friday, January 11, 2013

Up close: Another colour of the rainbow

The hurried exchange of addresses and stolen glances hid my destiny for the next sixteen years of my life - our lives.

In the first ever national three days conference held in Mumbai, 1996, in between, talking politics of love between same sex women, watching films, discussing, making new friends, I fell in love with a woman from Delhi. She was the sole reason why I left everything behind me in Mumbai, to start from scratch in Delhi.

Yet, it was not a fairy tale story right from the start.

Our letter crossed and in each, in indelible ink was written the same story in five words – I am attracted to you. Then onwards, our love was a journey fraught with difficulties, doubts and deliberations, in spite of over powering love for each other. At the end, having held the torch for over three years, in November, 1999, we met finally in Delhi. The physical sparks went off immediately and we were on the carpet, making love before the welcome lunch had time to settle in my stomach! After fifteen days of bliss, I went back to Mumbai, knowing I had to return, to the first major love with a woman in my life.

It’s now thirteen years that we have been together. There is no contract between us, no written or spoken document that says that we are in a committed relationship. I prefer, therefore, to acknowledge our same sex relationship as companionship; we are sakhis. We do have many things in common and lots where we are differ from each other.
A same sex relationship is different from a heterosexual one.

First things first, the sex is fantastic as long as the 18-months major invasion of hormones in your body is there and then you have to work at it. This is common to both. And sexual intimacy is not about penetration, but being there for each other, sharing, touching, loving, kissing, fondling and of course, the big ‘O’ which in the case of heterosexual sexual contact may just be one sided, or result in women faking it and men asking that dreadful question: how was it? However, I am told by some that many ‘hets’ do make it, to the orgasmic oneness, not one after another, but together. I must confess, I haven’t been able to match the ‘het’ claim to cosmic contractions, together in my same sex relationship. Nor have sexual encounters given rise to pregnancy, thank god!

In our relationship, the political power lies with Tamil Nadu, but if you ask her, she will say, that all Bengali Didis are dominating and hold the feudal sceptre as if they were born holding one. But I ascertain power politics in a relationship by the cuisine that dominates the kitchen. Ours is kapi in the morning, followed by sambhar, rasam, paparam.

Naturally we fight a lot! We suffer spouse deafness, malicious gossip sessions with our friends and family. It’s in fact just as ‘het’ as it can get! However,  the big difference is, there are no laws in the land that can save a drowning same sex partnership/relationship, and very little family intervention to save it too, in most cases. Thankfully, gender driven roles, don’t plague our partnership – cross dressing, emotionally and otherwise is highly appreciated.

Our relationship is governed by never sleeping on an augmentative pillow, talking things through, if possible, and if we don’t sound like all the utensils in the kitchen falling on the floor with a loud clatter, which is increasingly becoming a trend, by the way! No wonder then, we have taken recourse to yet another strategy, that being, maintaining silence on the subject of argument and making as many spiritual trips together.

For me, all relationships are part of a self actualisation process. We are constantly changing. In thirteen years, our needs have changed, our priorities keep changing. We have some commonalities which are timeless, but change is permanent and finally, even if we are like our bel tree rooted in one place and branching out in different directions, or do take our togetherness to another level, we will still say, we are sakhis, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Julia Dutta
is author of this piece and author of Until death do us part and other books available on Kindle version from

The article was first published in December 2012 issue of Atelier Diva
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Durgasankar Mandal said...

After a long time I am visiting your Blog Julia. I like the way your thoughts have been expressed. Went to amazon to download your kindle book "until death do us part". will read it presently.


John Hilston said...

Nice to know about that news, congrats to her.
meet and greet stansted