Monday, June 29, 2009

Bengaluru Gay Pride Parade 28th June, 2009

The three of us friends gathered at National College at 2.15 in the afternoon. It was sunny and the pockets of people already gathered there didn't portend the coming festivities.

As people strolled in, a few began to pull out colourful umbrellas, wigs, hats, flags and masks and within a few minutes I found myself surrounded by rainbows. Slowly, the media began to jostle and shove its way through for sound bytes and photographs.

The MOST vibrant lot were the transgenders. They displayed their sexuality with such flamboyance I was transfixed for many a moment.

The drummers arrived shortly after ward and then there was mild mayhem as people gyrated their hips and raised their hands towards the skies in utter enjoyment.

I felt my pulse begin to race and a smile creep up from the corner of my lips. It was so infectious that I had found it difficult to walk while tapping my feet to the rhythm of the drummers.

Three djembe players then performed intricately weaved beats in perfect synchrony as the two dogs in the car behind them looked on in mild confusion. :)

The march began and so did the sloganeering. At some points, people didn't even know what to say into the microphone. They were too busy enjoying themselves.

After much dancing, shouting, waving and photographing, we reached our destination - Town Hall and the gathering turned to listen to a few words from various members of the LGBT community.

In the middle of this, I noticed some magicians gathered at the Town Hall as well. A substantial number of activists and LGBTs went across to see what they were upto while a throng of avid magic lovers came over to see what these people in strrraange get ups were doing. Quite fascinating to watch such different sets of people mingle. Magicians and LGBTs :)

A small disagreement broke out and was quickly drowned by the voices of people, the cheering of the crowd and the drummers' intoxicating beat.

Then one final dance and almost as suddenly as it had erupted, it was all over. Brightly coloured feathers rode the gentle breezes to reach the other side of the road and silence embraced me once again as I tried to collect my thoughts on the event I had just been a part of.

We jumped into an auto and headed back home, completely exhausted and happy that we had participated in something as vibrant as this.