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...Because We're Worth It
With no available synagogue services to attend on Friday night, Pat and I watched a couple more "Mad Men" episodes, including one -- spoiler alert! -- where the female friend of the most gorgeous secretary in the office reveals that she's in love with the secretary.
Looking at her unrequitedly, yet lovingly, the secretary replies, "You've had a hard day. Let's go out and forget all about it." This was in 1960.
With respect to my own lesbian identity, at times, living in India has felt like living in the United States in 1960. I am open about my sexual orientation at work, since IBM has a legacy of inclusion and since we have a global non-discrimination policy, but outside its walls, Pat and I don't tell, no matter how self-evident we might be.
While getting my hair cut yesterday, though, I opened up.
The guy cutting my hair asked about Pat, "Where's your friend?"
"She's here, too."
"Pat's on the other side, getting her hair colored [blond]."
[Here goes...now, this was a calculated risk, since my gaydar told me he could be gay, but if my gaydar were wrong, or if he were not comfortable with his orientation, I would be in trouble, as I still had half a haircut to go(!):] "Pat and I are a couple and I was thinking about how typically, other than our brothers-in-law and some friends, Pat and I don't have men in our lives routinely...but in India, the people, who have helped me most in some essential ways are men; the chef, where we eat most often feeds me well; the man, who keeps me safe and on time -- my driver; and the man, who keeps me stylish! All of you are men. It's nice to be taken care of by men, too."
He smiled, and moments later said, "Yesterday, all of us went to our boss's house to set off fireworks [for Diwali], and then I went to a gay party with my friend."
"What's your friend's name?"
He told me.
"Was the party all men?"
"Do you have any female friends who like women?"
"In Sri Lanka, I had many, but not here yet...
Bollywood En Route to Montclair
Who do you like of our actors?"
"Kareena Kapoor is beautiful," I said.
"She is, but she's too girly. I like Bipasha. She's sexier."
"Which actors do you like?"
"Shahrukh," he sighed.
Pat read a biography on Shahrukh Khan, which referred to him as being more popular than Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt combined. I asked him, "Which are his very best films?"
After my haircut, which did turn out stylish, he wrote down the movie titles for me and we found two out of three of them at Planet M afterwards: "Devdas;" "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" -- couldn't find this one; and "Veer Zara."
The salesguy also persuaded me not to miss "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" and Pat found "ChakDe! India," which excited us because we didn't realize it was on DVD yet.
Pat and I opted not to go to the movies yesterday, but rather to buy a series of DVDs, so we could have our own Indian film fest upon our return to the States. In addition to the Shahrukh Khan films, we bought "Life in a Metro," for which I had seen a video trailer on Indian MTV this past summer, and "Corporate: Paisa Power Politics," which the salesguy handed me when I asked if he had any films that were more seriously dramatic. As a bonus, I saw that it featured Bipasha Basu.