The song of a single mom: The Colour Pink

Ik likes the colour pink. Now I know that in today’s gender sensitive world, where real men also sometimes wear pink and not just the metrosexuals and men who like other men, it is not necessarily a bad thing. But having grown up in the seventies, when real men prided themselves in smoking Charminar cigarettes without filters and could not be seen within a million miles of the colour pink, vestiges of clearly drawn gender lines still remain in my politically correct sanitized mind.  In all honesty, his declaration threw me off a little. What would that mean, knowing what we know today about homosexuality not being a choice? Does it mean he is predisposed to liking his gender?

Or did I have too much junk information in my brain which I was using to over analyse the situation? Junk research fills up the cyberspace now.  Men apparently are more attracted to the length of a woman’s arms rather than her face or cleavage. In a world where poverty reigns supreme, this is where we choose to allocate our resources!!!

My gay friends assured me I was probably thinking too much. Pink is a pretty colour and a child was attracted to it and would I please stop loading my brain with useless information? I desisted from analysing the situation further, but cracked opened my mind’s door to allow for the possibility that one day I might have to be open the door wider.

Ik me and my father were watching television on day when along came an advertisement for Barbie dolls. All pink and pretty. With two little pretty girls also pink and pretty. Ik was clearly attracted. His excitement shining through, he told me, Mamma, dolly. I told him, “do you want to play with dollies?”. He seemed non-committal, trying to gauge whether I approved. All my years of gender training notwithstanding, I heard myself saying, “but girlies play with dollies!!” Ik immediately changed his tune. “No I don’t want to play with dollies”.

Thankfully conscious self-training  took over before Ik stopped nodding his head. Of course its ok to play with dollies. Grown men play with action figures all the time. Why would Ik stop himself from just because these ones were pink and blond? Perpetuating stereotypes needed to stop and what better place to start than with one’s own child?

“Do you like playing with dollies, Ik?” Sensing approval, the child’s face lit up. He looked at me with puppy dog eyes, yearning approval. My heart melted into his smile. “Of course you can play with dollies Ik. And there is a slight probability you might be gay, but I am ok with that!!”

I was talking aloud to myself, really. But my 5-year-old had his own take away from that. Jumping up and down, he told my father, “grandpa, I am going to play with dollies and I will be gay and my mom said its ok”.  My father visibly reeled. 70 years of political incorrectness behind him, he was unable to bring in an element of jest in his voice when he told my son, “Don’t say that. The police will come and take you away”.

Until recently, homosexuality was still a criminal offence in India as per laws laid down in the nineteenth century. It has existed in all forms in our society since times immemorial, but we chose to turn a blind eye to the obvious and castigated people for being different.  Section 377, which penalized sexual activity “against the order of nature”,  was finally repealed in  2009, much to the joy of gender activists and  the chagrin of the moral police.

My father never cared too much for political correctness, but he cared for correctness. Factual, that is. I gently corrected him. Section 377 has been repealed. He understood and stepped back to allow Ik to dance into the blurred gender lines.


About roadlesstravelledby

I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference
This entry was posted in dating, Delhi, family, gay, love, moral brigade, pink, section 377, society, starting over in Delhi, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The song of a single mom: The Colour Pink

  1. srilata says:

    Good thought excellent expression but obviously one sided – though this is my personal view.

  2. Ch. Roy says:

    A well thought of dialogue this…. though the subject is still under-wraps in most family-circles within India and also much scorned. One thing though – you may take it as an advise, if you wish – gayism can be accepted on legal terms in many countries (I personally have no objections meeting them socially or knowing then in life) but should we not teach our children more about the natural biological ways created by HIM…. we accept this unavoidable stigma existing in the world by legalising it but should not forget it is still unnatural..! Hope you are open to such comments… Let us teach our children the right thing…

  3. Aeshna says:

    Biased as we all are…it is time we accept and appreciate each others choices…gay/straight…how does it matter?? …and why should it matter?? We are all the same…only our choices differ…that’s it….

  4. wonda says:

    I agree with Ch. Roy. Sometimes, people who are not actually gays are influenced by the present media which has become tolerant. That makes me wonder why there are more gays than in the past when I was little. My son definitely would not wear PINK. He thinks he looks sissy in it. However, I dressed him in pink when he was a baby because the obstetrician told me that I had 99% chances of having a girl. So we were prepared with pink clothings. My hubby was dumbfounded when the nurse reported to him that he had a baby boy!

  5. SC says:

    Though from point view of Literature, its good to read, I am very much saddened by you putting this kind of thing in a blog. You can talk on telephone with friends or with doctor if you have real concerns! These kind of things should be visualized as personal and not put in public 😦
    I would say many boys like pink but get over that sooner or later.
    Many girls may like blue very much but theredo not become lesbians later.
    Please do not conclude big things from small evidences as life is really not that simple!
    So, I would request you not to worry and ” please” try to respect your son’s privacy also. He may not like it in future when he comes to know that his private world was made public by his own mother!You can surely write anything about yourself since you have the right to do whatever you want with your own life but not about others and surely not about your son’s life !!!!

  6. Animesh Ray says:

    Nice writeup!
    Interesting to see read all the “morally indignant” comments in response 🙂
    Just to put this on record, I have always liked pink and I still like roses.
    Don’t worry too much about what your son would think when he grows up. Many used to say, “A mother shouldn’t work, because the child will grow up resenting her neglect.” What I observed is that children grow up respecting their working mothers for setting examples of independence. Perhaps your son might indeed resent this writing when he would be in high school…forces of conformity are not trivial…but in time he would come to respect your fortitude.

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