On a lazy Sunday morning even when the rooster is waiting for its wake up call, 50 years-old Ram Prasad woke up early in the morning to catch up with his busy schedule. He drives an ambulance at a local hospital and Sunday is just another day for him. 20 years of this job has left him unenthusiastic about anything in life as he encounters death more often than life. He left to work like every day and as expected had to attend an emergency call, he was told that a couple attempted suicide by jumping off a building. Blowing the siren amidst city traffic, scrapping through the busy signals he reached the ground zero, the hospital staff with some assistance from the police and people around got the couple into the ambulance and they drove back to the hospital. Stretchers were waiting for the couple at the hospital and he got down to assist the staff. Ram Prasad frowned curiously looking at the couple and shrugged off thinking that he had wrong information as they were not a couple (boy and girl) but boys.
The boys were moved to the emergency ward and Ram Prasad got into his ambulance, as he has been behind that wheel for 20 years he thinks he owns it, to clear the blood soaked covers and other emergency equipment. He reached out to the perch under the seat to clean the blood stains and found a letter with blood all over. He glanced around and tucked the letter into his pocket, as if he was Sherlock Holmes investigating a crime scence. He reached home tired and irritated about another Sunday being wasted and reached out for his bed. Just when he was about to fall into a deep slumber, he jumped out of the bed, reached out for his shirt and grabbed the letter out of it; his dull and boring job has left some thrill to be experienced. The letter read “The society has failed to understand our situation, yet we were indifferent about it but our families have not accepted our love. With no other option left we are ending our lives to stay united at least in death”. The letter left Ram Prasad with a deeper frown but this time confusion prevailed. Fighting his curiosity he managed to sleep only to return early to work the next day to learn more about this letter and the boys.
Ram Prasad reached the hospital and headed straight to the emergency ward to enquire about their condition, luckily he had no emergencies to attend as well. To his vain he could not gather any information about the boys from the busy doctors and attendants but he overheard the off-duty nurses talking about the boys being gay. Being a fifth grade drop out he did not understand what being gay meant. Unfortunately the boys could not survive the fatal jump and succeeded with their motive and left Ram Prasad thinking about these unusual lovers. He handed over the letter to the police and helped them with their enquiry only to know more about these boys, he got hold of their addresses and reached out to their families. Ashamed of their sons’ fate the families could not reveal the details about their love but left Ram Prasad with the impression that being gay was a sin. The society and its taboo towards same sex couples convinced Ram Prasad to accept it. He returned to work having learnt something new and having convinced that the boys deserved that death.
Ram Prasad represents that ignorant society whose indifference towards same sex couples has left innocent people living in fear and ashamed of their situation. However Ram Prasad is not to be blamed for what he learnt and understood out of this experience because homosexuality is generally considered to be a taboo subject by the Indian civil society. Public discussion of homosexuality in India has been inhibited by the fact that sexuality in any form is rarely discussed openly. An open dialogue should be encouraged not to encourage homosexuality but to understand this natural phenomena that co-exists because homosexuality is not a physiological or a psychological dis-order. Hope this “Love Taboo” perishes and the society has the freedom to live in peace.
[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosefirerising/383185622/]