The vibes of gay love were totally fun. I came to know a gay cruising spot in Connaught place from one of my pals. It was right opposite to Starbucks. When he told me about that, I purposefully used to visit the place, so that I could find some content for my research. I could sense gay vibes, but they were neither vibrant and loud nor calm and serene. They were quite confusing. I didn't even know why still people call it as Cruising spots. Because, there was no socializing aspect. It has been just an ultimate portrayal of intense public display of affection, out of lust. That spot lacks the meaning of Cruising. Of course, I found gay people hanging around there. But only while they were teasing others, while they were checking out the boys and whistling at them, or while they were busy in keeping hands in each others pants. There was no love in the air and it was totally disappointing. Hence, I felt having an Americano in Starbucks was the best thing instead of appreciating the soft porn opposite to the place. I was not judgmental towards them, I felt it was just degrading the value of homosexuality in the eyes of people, which was totally a bad thing in current scenario.
When it comes to restaurants, there were many bars in Connaught Place. Restro bars, Sports bars, Themed bars and last but not least Homophobic bars too.
There was this bar named "The Blues" in my favorite block. It was a Saturday and I wanted to grab some beer and get chilled for a while. When I was about to enter, he stopped and mentioned that the bar was open only for couples. I have asked the bouncer to let me talk to the manager. It was in the afternoon and I could see hardly anyone in the bar. I have requested the manager to allow me as I just didn't have the energy to walk to another bar in that hot temperature. He denied me by saying that the bar rules were limited to couples only. I have tested him by asking " If I get my boyfriend along with me, can I be allowed in the bar?" Then the manager has answered me finally saying that the bar won't allow gay couples. I had laughed at him sarcastically and walked ahead. After a few steps, I have called him and shown my MIddle Finger! Well, he deserved it as I didn't give a flying fuck to his bar and its annoying rules!
Like this, there were many incidents where I have used the Fuck word and my middle finger to all those annoying, creepy, narrow minded bags of shit. This place has kind of rejuvenated my rebellious soul. I felt so happy, related and connected to this place so much. Infact, I was in tears when I was about to leave Delhi. And all the people whom I knew in Delhi has literally made me unofficial brand ambassador of Chai Point, my second home in Delhi. I have almost interviewed every queer person at this cafe and articulated many queer stories there. If the cafe was kind of my home, obviously the staff were like my family. They were too sweet to me. I used to spend hours of my afternoon time in the cafe to escape the scorching heat. The sweetest gesture at this cafe was when one of the staff has suggested me to move to my favorite spot before someone occupy it. Within a week, the whole staff got to know every single bit of me including my orders too, Cranberry Iced tea with Cheese Maggi or Hot Filter Coffee with Aloo Parantha!
It was the day before Sri Rama Navami, where I was walking towards my favorite cafe, two Transgenders interrupted my swag walk and asked me for money. I normally give money to them if they ever ask me not because I get afraid of their aggressive nature, but to seek their blessings and also who could understand them more than me? I had a 500 rupees note. They have asked me to donate them 50 rupees as it was Navami time. I was like fine with it. Meanwhile, one among them has complimented me that I was looking good. I have started talking to them normally and then the crowd who was walking on the block has literally seen me in the weirdest way. I still couldn't understand, why they have stared at me like that. They might have expected that I should have ignored them or escaped from them without talking and giving some money. What to say, about these sophisticated yet poor mindset people? Useless to mention about them a hell lot of times.
And to the contrary, one fine evening, I was brisk walking in my black short dungaree and my cat printed shoes towards Odeon Social, the bar which I liked the most, to grab a bite and a beer. A guy with beautiful long hair and looked geeky has approached me that day out of nowhere in front of H&M store. I asked him, what did he want? He asked me a few minutes to talk to him. He looked cutesy though. I went with him to one corner of the block. He claimed that he has been observing me since day 1 of my visit to Connaught place. He was wondering that how come I was wearing different outfits every single day without repeating a single detailing in my whole attire. I didn't have any words for his question because I was kind of surprised that a person has literally scanned me every day. And also came to know that, people used to visit this place on a daily basis like me.
Before saying something to him, he interrupted me asking which city I belonged to? When I answered him the word "Visakhapatnam", he kept a question mark face which clearly stated his zero knowledge about South India. When he came to know that I was a South Indian, he has totally stereotyped me. He asked me how come a South Indian could be that bold in fashion statements. With an annoying tone, I have answered him that not all South Indians wear Veshti and eat Dosas all time. He laughed at my serious tone. He could understand my furious expressions and pleased me to calm down. He felt cool when I mentioned about the reason I visited Delhi. He congratulated and wished me the best. I bid a bye with a warm smile. He was stereotypical but also sweet too.
Unlike that unnamed person who has complimented me, there were many people who just used to stare and gossip about my dressing sense. I was not naked though. But I was dressed in a gender fluid way with the accessories and fashion detailing. And the most annoying part was they used to gossip in front of me and they used to stop by turning to either side as if they weren't talking about me in the most embarrassing way. They also knew that it was normal being gay, but they had to treat me abnormal in the presence of their friends and partners just to have some fun. I could give only one traveler trip to the people who visit Connaught Place, just be you and roam like the way you love. Don't give any damn to unnecessary attention people bestows you.
They say right little things bring big differences in the way we perceive people and places. The same has happened with me. There were many little things that have happened to me in Connaught place that let me think big about this fashion capital. There were many memories to be cherished and I still feel nostalgic when I look around the pictures. I was in love with this place literally. Right now, I'm in a Long Distance Relationship with Connaught Place. Well, we are going to meet soon because my broken soul has found many answers at this place in the form of experiences with various types of people.