17 June, 2021

‘I Had Nothing To Fight But Fear’

Tribhuvan Tiwari
‘I Had Nothing To Fight But Fear’

Being 17 is never easy. growing out of adolescence and into a “responsible youth” was traumatic enough. Battling personal demons and dealing with one’s sexuality only compounded the issue. Though Anna (Daddy) was more friend than parent and had even bought me the two huge tomes of Havelock Ellis’s Psychology of Sex when I was 15 (1962), there was major disruption about, what with talk of an impending Chinese invasion. We were singing hyper-patriotic songs (Jinkuu Kiwan Maruu being the famous Marathi number); I was experimenting with Scouts friends, my Bhangi boyfriend and anonymous chappies in Shivaji Park.

Getting ‘rid’ of homosexuality took priority. I used to catch a train to Bombay Central and go to the psychiatrist opd in Nair Hospital; a private one would mean asking my folks for too much money. But not here. Dr Patkar told me I was a ‘well-adjusted homosexual’, whatever that is, because I refused to go in for aversion therapy and other reparatory protocols. In more ways than one, that failure was the...

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