Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Gay Prince from India...

This appeared in Bombay Times on monday....
Gay Pride and rainbows ….

Last week over 3,000 people turned up at Gowalia Tank to participate in Mumbai’s annual Gay Pride march. The numbers are impressive as compared to the motley crowd that once made up earlier parades. Significantly, this year, most participants chose not to hide behind masks. This is a major shift given the sort of self-consciousness and fear that had marked earlier marches, the first of which kicked off in 2005. This new confidence has a lot to do with the sort of support generated for the Gay community by high profile activists like Prince Manvendra Singh of Rajpipla – a soft spoken, charming and refined man, who has become the main spokesperson for Gay rights from India. The community could not have picked better. Manvendra’s mission is very defined and he works tirelessly towards realizing his dream. After his appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s show a few years ago, Manvendra’s international profile went through the roof. He was one of the hand picked participants to be invited back by Oprah last month for her much anticipated finale which will feature her favourite guests over the years. This is both an honour and a very big deal. Manvendra is well aware of his unique positioning and has made the most of this opportunity to push his agenda for Indian gays.
When I invited him over, he floored me straightaway! His vision is clear, and he feels no sense of anger or bitterness towards anybody who judges him… not even his mother, who stopped talking to him when he decided to come out. He spoke easily and candidly about his life, without over dramatizing any aspect of it. These days he shuttles between Rajpipla ( a few hours drive from Baroda) and Mumbai. That is when he isn’t jetting off to Paris to meet Carla Bruni and other high profile celebrities working for the same cause. I would have liked to join him and the others at the Mumbai march, where pamphlets saying “ One World – One Hope’’ were distributed. Being known the world over as ‘India’s Gay Prince’ may have alienated Manvendra from his own royal relatives, but he has found countless admirers across the globe for his courage and grace.
I have been looking at all the recent Red Carpet appearances of our super glam movie stars and wondering why we just don’t seem to get it spot on . Is it because this whole business of Red Carpet dressing is itself comparitively new here as compared to Hollywood? Or are we getting oppressed and bogged down by international fashion brands that desperately require the high wattage coverage such events automatically provide? What has happened to individual style statements and some originality, for god’s sake? All the ladies look like clones of one another… and the men? I miss the eccentricity of say, a Raaj (‘Jaani’) Kumar, who’d show up ( if he at all deigned to), in a vivid velvet jacket, boots and his trademark carrot red wig! Those marvelous Divas wore their sarees so stylishly, so sexily… they didn’t reveal an inch, but got all the eyeballs ! That’s class. Today, our Sridevi turns up in a risqué, backless gown….and I think to myself, whatever happened to that blue saree of hers from Mr. India that turned on the nation? As for the younger lot - all those dreadful gowns! The spangles and feathers! Miles of cleavage – and still no sex appeal! Come on, Bollywood. Go back to your roots and floor your fans once more!


regani said...

Most use full article. i have knowledge of ur article .i like it

Akshay singh said...

Keep working towards gay rights...I am sure all of us will see i na change very soon
our community needs people like you and Manvendra Singh ! :-D

Saurav Chatterjee সৌরভ said...

gr8 writing :)
One more thing i would say it was "LGBT PRIDE PARADE" and NOT just "GAY PRIDE PARADE".. As one of ma friend had gone for it so i knew about it.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Manavendra Singh is a classy man. He would have been classy even if he did not have the gleam and gloss of old money. His kindness and sense of purpose transcends the hackneyed "noblesse oblige". He is the real thing... genuine. We need more like him, gay, straight or otherwise.

Manavendra Singh Gohil, the spokesperson... needs to be marketed (and there is no other word for it but marketed) more fiercely across the broad spectrum of the Indian population. He has the touch and the word that can make Aids/sex/health education and even more importantly the issue of basic human rights... relevant and palatable to every strata of society.

Bollywood celebrities are mostly declasse brand name fashion victims or dress badly in mostly plagiarized designs. There I said it.

sunil golcha said...

no one talks about lesbians rights or are the indian girls / women so timid not to admit that they are gay

Radhika Gupta said...

hats off to manvendra singh for being bold enough to express his view...inspite of being alienated from his family...n i like your take on the western outfits being chosen oven indian outfits by our celebrities...

Naina said...

Very truly said that the so called Bollywood divas & hunks have lost what is called originality in dressing.Mere copy cats swishing down the red carpet aping the Oscars!!

Anil Kumar said...

The raands from Bollywood should get one fact right. They can never be physically as fit as their western counterparts.

Therefore long cleavage or butts in Bollywood who grew up eating goal-gappey and Aaloo-tikki all these years can never get that finesse and only encourages people to SPIT on them.

Please convey this to all RAANDS in showbiz who claim they are actresses but are actually better suited in the bylanes of Lahore's KANJAR communities.

Anil Kumar said...

Rahul ki Jawani???

May be he is a GAY and practicing the tricks preached by Prince Manvendra Singh.

Its one thing to have natural gay instincts and another thing to bring this abnormal behaviour on front page and encourage people to become GAY.

REMEMBER ONE THING...You only put at risk millions of POOR boys in India who will become victim of these monsters who prefer young boys over grown up men for gay sex.

Anil Kumar said...

If you want to help these abnormal people ask them to masturbate.

Kudrat Dutta Chaudhary said...

this is amazing ..
I support gay rights as well :)
I've written about homosexuality to be accepted in my blog as well which is : .
PLEASE DO check . :)

Pooja Rathore said...

welcome back, missed u.
Prince Manvendra Singh deserves a pat for his guts, honesty and applause for doing his bit for the gay community.i wish him the best for his mission.
About the red carpet i agree with your view they all look same its high time they drag on with the new which showcase their unique style and individuality.
I loved your article on Rahul gandhi the valentine very nice!

goodluck said...

Wish every man becomes gay so that population will not increase anymore. Then there will not be any girl children who will be mercilessly murdered. No dowry deaths. No harassment at workplace. No rapes. No titillating dances. Who will they titillate?
Society will be cleansed and Utopia will be there for the grabs. Long live and flourish the gay population.

Anonymous said...

To turn on Mr is missing these days maybe

Alokita Bose said...

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Tsomo85 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tsomo85 said...

Bollywood back in days was killer when it comes to their cinema, fashion/style, or the music. Forget about hero & heroine, even the villains are top to bottom super duper stylish & talented. Stars like Amit ji is now receiving more awards in his late 60s then during his own prime time. Now that just proves Shobha De is sooooooooo RIGHT.....*****

*Aham* said...

manav is a friend. he travels by train, much to the amusement by the bystanders.

he is young-at-heart, quirky and in no way "unapproachable" or outlandish.

so soft spoken, he would not speak ill of any, and would happily hand over his number to anybody.

he is no Raja... but a Pari of sorts. no wonder rajkumari oprah likes this raja.

he is undoubtedly the voice of india. homosexuality is a cause that chose him, but in reality, his heart bleeds for a lot of causes and he is just a great person. ekdam wonderful...

you like him... and that proves that law of magnetism fails. LIKE POLES ATTRACT.


people dont understand that fashion is about attitude and not clothes. one could wear a tent like salwar kameez and still amaze and amuse with their personality.

khair, the recent filmfare (read please-all) awards had madhuri looking like a prop that needed immediate attention... looked as if she had come right from her sleep. Jeeejus.. what ever happened to her sense of fashion

half of the other actresses who wore atrangi and satrangi costumes in an attempt to ape firangi counterparts. all the miss and missus... it was all tai tai phiss.

good thing is... when everyone was looking sorry... vidya fashion faux and rekha trademark were a breath of fresh air in Saree.

fashion is such a saree state of affairs i say!

Neena S said...

What you said is so true about fashion! But there are still some people who don't mind donning original stuff. I know she receives a lot of brickbats for her fashion sense, but I sorta like Vidya Balan when she dresses up in sarees, especially Sabyasachi's. Most of the others look similar!

IndianIndoorPlumber said...

Manavendra Singh Gohil is an inspiration to all young gay men in this country. Although his coming out did not usher in a revolution, he has made quite a substantial contribution to gay visibility in India

Eric said...

Good to know India is finally getting more and more accepting about the gay population. India's only free gay/Lesbian dating site.

Shankar said...

Very true.

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Ekta said...

Good to noe our country is accepting facts about gay
I AM a bollywood movie releasing in India on 29th April is based on homosexual to know more …. It is Your Story!!!!

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