Bangalore Pride 2009. The Rainbow Parade
I was just a few hundred metres away from National High School Grounds in Basavanagudi to see the beginning of the Bangalore Pride parade when I heard a song dedication from a man named Indraneel, a father, to his son Indrashish, on Radio One. The song: Ma ka ladla bigad gaya. He said that he hoped his son got his 'hidden' message.
Meanwhile, at the starting point of the Bangalore Pride 2009 parade at National High School ground stands a line of Television OB Vans, and hordes of reporters with microphone and cameras running behind colourfully dressed people, most of them in masks to cover their identity. While there were many who wanted to be interviewed, there were quite a few of them who kept hiding from the cameras.
Fidgeting on the fringe is a young couple, mere boys, holding sweaty hands for comfort and debating if they should join the parade for a long time. They didn't. They were put off by the media attention.
The people participating in the parade occupied a corner of the large school ground where hundreds of children and young men were playing their usual dose of Sunday cricket. They continued with their matches while looking and giggling at the colourful crowd that was congregating. Some of them came over and asked questions. They were handed over leaflets that explained what "Bangalore Pride parade" was all about. A group invited a bunch of expats attending the parade to play cricket with them.
Also watching the show unfold were members of the traditional Brahmin families who live next to the Chowltry (wedding hall) across the road. They watched with interest as the crowd slowly increased to a respectable number.
At the Chowltry, where Soumya was getting married to Abhinand, the guests came out from time to time to see what was happening. And when a group of transsexuals, looking for a urinal went into the chowltry, they were chased away.
Finally, after a delay of about an hour and half, the Bangalore Pride Parade finally started marching to the sound of drums and dancing. A colourful, long flag, held high above their masked faces provided the shade.
Cocooned in the crowd would have been a boy named Indrashish. Marching through the streets of the city among people whom he can call his own. Here he could be himself and not what his father or Bharat Sarkar wants him to be.