Hyderabad is that one metropolitan city of India, which has to pull its socks up to set a proper queer lifestyle scenario. Unfortunately, the city is still sleeping in the ancient era and the people are feeling difficult to digest the normality behind the modern era, especially in queer culture. Hence, it is always fun for me to explore this fast-developing city to know that it is still underdeveloped in accepting the queer culture. Every time I perform some social experiments, this city always proves me right, that it takes more than a hundred years for the people in Hyderabad to understand the proper terminological differences existing in sexual orientation and fashion.
Surely, not degrading the people of Hyderabad, but disappointed with the backward behavior in such a forward fast-pacing city. After my birthday from the Pink city, I have been to the Capital city of Telangana, to spend some time with my people in Hyderabad and also for multiple purposes. The traffic in every metropolitan city has become a very common issue. Like other cities, even Hyderabad's traffic can make a person sick and fed up with vehicles and end up restricting time constraints. Though I wasn't working, being a visitor, even I felt the same, quite screwed up with the traffic and people who have zero traffic sense.
Hence, to my amazement and kind of annoyance, I came across this particular app called "Rapido" where one can hire bikes as taxis and happily reach destinations within no time or less time than usual cabs take. As many have suggested to me, I have downloaded just before I decided to get ready to go on a date with one of my ex flings in Hyderabad. Being an effeminate yet fashionable gay guy, I picked up the theme of androgynous fashion for my birthday vacation and all I had was the Unisexual or Western wear. I opted to wear denim thigh shorts and a mesh sweatshirt to pair with my sneakers. Of course, my hair was long and I stepped out with makeup and piercings in my ear.
I booked the first ride in Rapido and was waiting for the person to pick me up from the place. Soon after he reached, I stepped out of my place and approached him. He scanned me twice and asked my OTP from the app. He updated the wrong one and said that the password wasn't working. I asked him to enter one more time. He denied doing that and he was asking me to cancel the ride. I was shocked and indeed frustrated because I could sense the real reason behind the denial. I asked once again and this time, I snapped him by saying "I know why you are asking me to cancel". His expression was quite guilty and he kept on asking me to cancel. I was stubborn enough and expecting the true reason behind it. He didn't try entering the pin, he didn't say that he couldn't allow me on his bike and when I screamed at him out of aggression, he became quiet and left just like a coward running from the masses of power. I took some time to process but didn't give up and for my stupidity, I booked one more.
This time, the driver came to pick me up and after seeing my whole attire, he suddenly realized that he was running out of fuel in his stupid bike. I felt so annoyed by the reason he gave it to me. When I purposefully forced him that he could fill the fuel on the way before reaching the destination. He said he couldn't do that. I was furious and shouted at him with many demeaning phrases. I knew I was wrong, but was my intention to court someone's bike by paying him to reach a particular destination in less time, a sin? My stubborn personality didn't give up and after taking a few moments, I booked another one, this time it was an FZ high-end model bike.
This went quite interesting indeed. I have approached the biker and he simply asked me for my OTP, he entered it and with all respect, he asked me to court his bike so that he could start the trip. I should be happy, but I was perplexed by his normal behavior. To my knowledge, the two bikers, who rejected giving me rides, were Hindus and the guy who happened to be my first ever Rapido Biker, was a Muslim named Ahmed Khan. I have shared the previous experiences that day and told him that it was my first ever "Rapido bike ride". He was happy to hear that and we slipped into many conversations before he safely dropped me at the destination. As the route was long, we got to know about each other.
Ahmed was married and blessed with a boy child, studied in Germany and Dubai, with a scholarship in Civil Engineering. Done with many projects but the wedding commitments made him settle in Hyderabad. Because of his wife's lifestyle preferences and a Shopaholic mindset of hers, he decided to spend his free time as a Part-time bike rider in Rapido. He asked me about my reason to visit Hyderabad and many more. He consoled me for the kinds of behavior I had to encounter and was sorry on behalf of those narrow-minded Hyderabad people. I felt really happy and overwhelmed that my bike ride went so well with a lot of meaningful conversations with a complete broad-minded and understanding stranger. He was so sweet to me that he waited until the person whom I supposed to meet has come to receive me. I hugged and bid a bye by thanking him for giving me a hope that the queer culture in Hyderabad could exist.
The turn of events that day made me realize two important things.
One: the people of a particular religion which most of the world thinks the most restricted and narrow-minded is not exactly rigid in its terms. They are quite accepting indeed unlike the people from the religion in which homosexuality has been described in the volumes of the Kama Sutra by Vatsayana.
Two: The education and the exposure to the world events and to know various kinds of people in one's life, surely has its effect on one's mindset. You can only mingle with anyone regardless of orientations, countries, races, caste, and creed, only when you experience and encounter endless kinds of people in your life.
This one evening story of my vacation in Hyderabad, opened my eyes that how most of the people in Hyderabad are quite rigid in opening up their arms to receive the queer people. No wonder, the queer culture is hardly existing and very closeted in the metropolitan city of Hyderabad.