My 10 day trip to Delhi couldn't have gotten more excited if I would not have attended this meeting, which Vaibhav was talking about the day we met for the first time. It was quite entertaining and empowering too. When Vaibhav asked me to join the event that was going to be conducted by NAZARIYA group regarding educating the people. Providing knowledge about LGBT community to the crowd who didn't have the minimum idea about it and to all the homophobic crowd out there. I was really excited to make my presence on that day. So he has sent me a link where I could join their Whatsapp group. Vaibhav and his best friend Reyansh were hosting the event as Captains for one of the batches in Delhi. As Vaibhav was organizing the rally from Lajpat Nagar, I have promised him to meet him there.
It was Saturday, and I was already missing Delhi as I have planned to leave the place on Monday. I woke up that morning and dressed, indeed decked up to spread the Gayness through my attire. I felt, it could add an extra flavor for the March, that was conducted in the month of April. So I started from my hotel, courted Airport express and reached the destination through the Pink line metro. Metro travel was also one of the things which I would be missing a lot. I have called Vaibhav and asked about the location. He instructed me to come near Gate no 5 of the Lajpat Nagar metro station. I was feeling the queer vibes when I was about to meet few members of Nazariya who has already made their presence. After hugging him tight, I have seen few people sitting serially on a brink that attached to the station.
A few cozy smiles have welcomed me and one of the girls, has offered me space to fit in. Then I met Reyansh, best friend forever to Vaibhav. It was the first time I was meeting him and Kunal. I knew them through those Unicorn Instagram stories of Vaibhav (wink wink) and they too knew me virtually. It was nice meeting them in person. Then all of a sudden, my ears were sensing few English songs and two persons (whom I never knew that they would become my closest pals too soon) were literally arguing for the lyrics of a song they were singing. Such a positive vibe to make myself comfortable with people around because I could easily get connected to people who appreciate music. It was Lochan and Vihaan. Lochan was so fun to hang out with and Vihaan was too informative where I could spend some geeky time with him.
I have introduced myself to them and they also responded to me well. We started having conversations about music and television shows. I have kind of embarrassed them by talking about my Sex playlist, where Lochan was quite shocked because she didn't know that people could feel orgasmic through listening to music while having Sex. She was sweet, kiddish but matured in the concept of Love. She was this 18 year old girl, who didn't like to get into random people and was looking for something serious and only exclusive. She was a music addict and the first person I have ever known who could sing Despacito lyrics too fluently. I really got connected to her way of talking and the way she carried herself. She is an extrovert and loud with people around but totally a shy and introvert with girls (especially the ones she like). She mentioned that she wanted to take things slow in her love life. That point has literally triggered me somewhere, because I was totally opposite to it. She was with her school friend here, Vihaan. He was also another best person I met on that day. Interesting fact was, he proudly said, he was gay and open to the family. Such a positive and brave soul. I got connected to his geeky yet informative stories. Fun fact was, he claimed to be the person, who made Lochan realized that she was into girls. They were adorable together. And I was with them the whole day till the meeting wrapped up.
Arts and Literature are the two interesting things which make me get comfortable with new acquaintances.
So we have waited for quite a long to let people come, so that we could have a huge gathering. It was collectively around 20 to 25 people when we were about to start the rally. The captains have instructed the group Nazariya, how the event would be turned out, what slogans must be delivered aloud in those streets . The slogans were empowering and straight to the point to let people know what we wanted to deliver to the society.
One... Two.... Three... Four... Come out of the Closet Door.
Five... Six... Seven... Eight... Don't assume your Kids are Straight.
I broke into laughter after listening to those slogans. But, seriously, they literally wowed me. They have also sent few slogans in Hindi too. Ruth was kept on updating in the Whatsapp group, portraying her responsibility to let the march happen peacefully, successfully and particularly on time. I met few other cool people named Charmi, Simran and two girls who were having same taste. We talked a bit, but didn't get a moment to ask their names because I was wholly chilling with Lochan and Vihaan. There were many interesting people who came to join the march. Some were the members of Nazariya since it has started and some of them were like me, who were non members and who wanted to support the march.
It was a hot sunny day, we started around 12.30 when the sun was literally dancing above our heads. Shades and Umbrellas have protected us. We were enthusiastic and energetic in screaming the slogans aloud. As I was a proactive in shouting, my adrenaline levels were quite high. I was also on my anxiety pills. Because I have an anxiety disorder regarding huge gatherings which affects in loosing control over me and become sweaty out of anxiousness, named Agoraphobia. But I was doing good. Vihaan has handled the Electronic Voice Speaker and he started shouting from the bottom of his stomach (his method of screaming) saying 1 2 3 4 and people have joined him by shouting those interesting slogans.
All the Nazariya members were holding few written boards, printed messages, some facades and pamphlets which portrayed the meanings of LGBT community terminology. It was not a huge gathering pride march though. But they have focused on delivering what they really felt about educating the dumb homophobic minds. There was this slogan, particularly designed for so called Homophobic people which says " Hey Hey... Ho Ho.. Homophobic has to Go!"
I was quite comfortable in shouting aloud because I normally do that on the crowd who stares and pass judgments at me. When it comes to empowering and educating, my volumes reach high decibels. The same thing has happened, I went on high volumes, but definitely not more than Vihaan. And everyone was actively participating except a few who has restricted themselves in just walking.
I normally don't attend pride marches because of my anxiety issues, but I get the information and I work behind the marches for designing posters and styling people for marches. Many, think that participating in prides are just a task of getting styled and holding posters. But if you don't raise your voice against the odds, how can you deliver what you want to say.
I loved the Delhi crowd for the reason of active participation in every aspect. I have mostly mingled with everyone who gave me positive vibes. I was confused a few times with the slogans and have laughed at myself. I was appreciating those moments. After a few repetitions, Vihaan has handed over the mike to a guy who could nail the Hindi slogans. I have tried repeating them too. It was fun, encouraging and indeed entertaining in my brain. I have continued to scream, but suddenly found everyone has already stopped screaming the slogans aloud. Unfortunately we came across the hurdle in the form of Cops in the middle of the busiest roads of Lajpatnagar.
The Police have interrupted to provide some moral policing to us. They were asking about the permissions for conducting the rally on the roads. While Reyansh, one of the captains who was heading the group, have tried convincing the police and those cops weren't in a position to understand the scenario. Sarcastically, Delhi police were good in understanding the difference between Queer gatherings and Political rallies. They misunderstood us that we were conducting some political campaign. The Funny part was, election day has already passed two days back by then. It was a complete reflection of stupidity and embracing the power of police in stopping something which was empowering and educating the society.
I felt ridiculous to that situation and also to those cops who were taking videos of us as if we have done some rigging or caught in some drug case. Meanwhile, Reyansh, suggested me to tell people to back off. Most of the people have left. Me, Vaibhav, Vihaan, Reyansh, Charmi and few other were still there. I was in a mood of using F words in their faces. Being a Non-Delhite, I had to control myself and my pills didn't let me do that. After a lot of heated arguments, that police sounded in a frustrating way and warned us not to repeat those slogans anywhere in that region. They have considered it as a disturbance which was a disturbing thing for us indeed. I really needed a smoke to kill that incident in my mind. Charmi had also felt the same and we shared a smoke. While returning to the place where we met, I quite gelled up with others. They say right, bad situations make people even closer and thick. We have found all the fellow members at the Metro station of Lajpatnagar who were with us during the rally. We have shared what just had happened with those cops. Hence, we dropped off the idea of shouting the slogans on roads and decided to meet the other union who were also doing a rally in Connaught Place.
Before wrapping up the march in Lajpatnagar, the captains asked us to be get picture framed. Hence, everyone who has participated came together as a large group for a Grand Click. I felt so good and indeed didn't want to get it wrapped so soon, until I have got to know that whole group was going to meet other Nazariya members who were conducting the same sort of rally in Connaught Place...................
Pics Courtesy: Vaibhav
Hosted by: Nazariya, Delhi.
March taken place at: Lajpatnagar, Delhi.