“Psst…, in India, there are lots of gays!”
That piqued Bhondoo’s ears.
He was having his lunch at the cafetaria and there was this group of medical students talking excitedly nearby. Some of them were from Malaysia and were obviously freshers just arrived from that country.
Now, Bhondoo had spent a good part of his life in Manipal, India, pursuing his B.E. course at MIT, Manipal… pretending to study engineering and, in the 2 years that he has been there, never did he see anything ‘gay’! Manipal was, and is still a very conservative place.
Things must be changing and he did not even know about it? Wait till he tells his friends about this!
Being curious, Bhondoo asked one of them freshers to explain why she thought there were many gays in Manipal.
She answered, “The guys there were touching each other in public, you know, holding hands, putting their arms around each other’s waist and shoulders. They even kiss each other! EeeeeewwwWWW!!!”
And then it dawned upon Bhondoo!
What they had witnessed in Manipal is a very common sight among people who are from there. When students from Malaysia first step foot in India, they have a bit of a culture shock! In Indian culture, a guy holding another guy’s hand does not denote ‘gayness’, rather it was a sign of good friendship. The same goes for hugging, kissing, putting an arm over the shoulder or around the waist! Why, you even see them do it among the migrant workers in Malaysia!
Unfortunately, in Malysian culture, such a thing would be quickly and easily misinterpreted as an overt sign of homosexuality!
Sigh… Bhondoo thought, now I can’t give any new news to my friends 🙁
There, another myth, de-myth-i-fied!