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An open letter to the most important woman in my life. 

Hi Mom, 

I write this letter to you as you sit on the couch watching this really shitty Bollywood rom-com with me and dad, complaining why neither of us is paying attention to the movie. There’s light summer breeze blowing from the balcony right into the room right on your face- you look so beautiful- and my heart is swelling from the quiet happiness of these harmless familial jabs. But as you chide us for not being attentive enough, I laugh at the sheer thought of emotions this letter is going to make you feel.

I remember being 7 and telling you about the boy I used to fight with all day at school. I, then, remember being 10 and finding my afternoon cartoons more interesting than our conversations. I also remember being 13 and absolutely hating talking about myself because you just didn’t seem to understand what I was saying and then I remember being 16 and taking baby steps towards understanding you- and understanding us. 

If you ask anyone about what defined our relationship, they’d say our arguments. And honestly, they’d be right. If there has been one constant throughout the years as I’ve grown up, it is the way I’ve never stopped arguing with you. As an 8-year-old, it used to be about dal and playtimes. As a 19-year-old, it’s about my lazy routines and your constant nagging. despite how much they exasperate me at times, it is these arguments that have made me what I am today; they remind me I shouldn’t settle for less and speak my mind. There’s no way I would be able to do that without them. You know (you really do know) I suffer from a lack of ability to verbalize my emotions properly- I’d rather shut them down and never talk about it. An ability I’ve inherited from dad, it is these arguments with you that have gently made it easier for me to speak freely. 

I know it has been very hard to understand me when I was younger, and I am so sorry about that. I remember being 14 and so angry at you for not getting me- In hindsight, I realize I was growing and changing too fast to understand these changes myself, there’s absolutely no way you could’ve understood me. I also remember being so jealous- your conversations with my elder cousins were full of comfort and understanding- something I yearned to be a part of. But as I wasted my early adolescence being angry at you, I forgot somewhere I needed to understand you too. 

Funnily enough, for as much as you scold me and I defy you, you’ve never scolded me about the important things- you’ve always let me arrive at my own conclusion (after passing some disappointed looks, which, to be honest, are fair enough) and been there for me as I correct those. And it is always these moments that make my heart ache with the desire to make you and dad proud of me. Since I could never thank you verbally for raising me the way you do, it is only by my actions I can assure you that I really am grateful for how you’ve raised me. 

I see your glimpses in me more as I grow up- in the way I go all out for people I love like you, the way I deeply prioritize my emotions over everything else, the way I like everything organized a certain way (even if it is not the way you want) and the way my cheekbones sit on my face. I see your glimpses in me in all these little moments of my life and I can never truly think what to make of them. These days though, I’ve been feeling so much happier and prouder about them. 

Now, as I sit in front of you at 19 at this very moment, it seems you’ve moved on from the rom-com and are now describing your and dad’s marriage story. There’s nothing more adorable than listening to you talk about it and there’s nothing warmer than the knowledge that I finally get to be on the receiving end. Despite all my complaints, and our argument today morning, I know we understand each other so much better by now, and it feels great. 

Mom, thank you for being the person you are. Thank you for letting me be the person I am. And of course, all of that amazing food.


Your (very annoying) daughter

Featured Image Credits: Dhaka Tribune

Satviki Sanjay

[email protected] 


Nineteenth century called and they want their classics back because contemporary culture has no room for them, or wait, do they?

After ample endeavours by countless people who desired to comprehend love let’s just add a marginal attempt to give that pursuit a whirl. With time the construct of our perception of love has changed. A chronocentric argument which is often contrived is that love of the older days was more meaningful than what it is today.

A connoisseur of classics would perhaps by all means list the nineteenth century Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which bewitched us body and soul, on the top. What sets this novel apart is its rebellious narrative axised around love to counter class hierarchy and associated pride. It was not just love but the struggle of love in those times. The fallacy of the aforementioned argument lies in the reduction of it to battle great art set in times to counter Orthodox but with the layer to suit the likes of generational battle where older times of classical culture has to be viewed in superlative forms. If you make it boomer versus millennial, you my friend have digressed. Great contents on love have emerged in those times and still continue to surface up. Of Course deterioration also happens but absoluteness of disgrace for expression of love in today’s time comparatively is not acceptable.

From Mir Taqi Mir’s composition, Dil laga ho jo jee jahaan se uthha maut ka naam pyaar ka hai ishq” to the twenty first century extracted quatrain from Vikram Seth’s poem, ‘Through Love’s Greatest Power,’

“To sneer at love, and wrench apart

The bonds of body, mind and heart

With specious reason and no rhyme:

This is the true unnatural crime” we have come a long way. These two expressions of love are so dynamic yet so beautiful and far from ordinary.

But ordinary love also has a charm of its own.” After all, I am also just a girl, pretending to not like clichéd flicks, secretly hoping to have one for my own.” It’s already an achievement that chick flicks are somewhat considered guilty pleasures and not normalised to be constructed into a reality.

Clinking teacups in London or gulping Bordeaux in France, the backdrop of the falling sunset, beverage and in love in the bourgeois public sphere has been romanticised enough.

So where did we fall short between Faiz’s notion of mohabbat (love) and answering if, ‘is it better to speak or die?” (Dialogue:Call me by your name) on celluloids?

The answer lies in popular culture. Mass reproduction of ideas of say Shakespeare or resorting to making of remixes rather than original compositions or making raps which demean some socially deprived groups have been sold and deemed successful which is problematic. A movie director spews that if you don’t have the liberty to slap each other and be violent with each other then he sees no LOVE there. On the contrary another movie surfaced which debunked f the myth that in the name of love you are not given the license to domestically abuse your own wife.

Love for God is used to justify honor killings and ignite riots to cause social unrest. Such normalisation of violence and other social evils in the name of love is problematic.

Expressions of love over the years through art has widened the horizon for how far reaching it actually is. This expression defines the transition which love faces over a period of time surviving Orthodox, archaic elements, tokenism, false glorification and plurality.

Feature Image Credits: New Indian Express

Umaima Khanam

umai[email protected]


Popular culture and social media can’t get enough of love and significant-others, but are relationships really that important? 

Love and relationships have been celebrated everywhere in the world, mostly to an unhealthy extent. The entertainment industry and the media have been the biggest players in glorification of messages like “love will find a way” or “love is all you need.” They paint a pretty picture as they go on to associate a happy life with romantic relationships. But, there is a need to investigate the pressure that amounts on individuals, when it comes to finding love or “the one”.

Nobody ever talks about how important it is to be comfortable with your own self. We are made to believe that we are unlovable up until we find a significant other. Nobody ever talks about the toxicity, insecurities, jealousy, fights that come with relationships. Bhavya, a student of Daulat Ram College opines, “A healthy relationship, no doubt, supplements one’s growth and plays a monumental role towards keeping oneself happy. But this does not mean that one forget their individuality and sense of self.”

We often strive to find “the one” romantically, but nobody tells us that it is absolutely okay to love single-hood. Nobody tells us that it is completely okay if you do not have a partner. In addition to this, the entertainment industry thrives on heteronormativity. Ayushi, a student of SGTB Khalsa College states, “Every love story somehow has a happy ending, and every love story is heteronormative, indulging us to believe in the fact if we are single, there is something wrong with us.”

The society has instilled this fear of being alone within us and it is so deep-rooted that we fail to identify the indirect effects it has on us as individuals. Being single is so much better than being in a relationship in a plethora of ways. Relationships tend to take a toll on you if they are not going your way. You will have plenty of time at your disposal if you are single. Most of all, there is no relationship drama and you can focus your undivided attention on yourself. 

Feature image credits- Thir.st

Suhani Malhotra

[email protected]


Attachment, fondness, or desire? Let us try looking at love from different perspectives. Let’s attempt to define love. 

Defining Love Graphic Aishwaryaa


Graphic Image Credits: Aishwaryaa Kunwar for DU Beat

Graphic Image Caption:  Definition of Love according to dictionaries.

In school years, love was a feeling when nothing else mattered. With no real experience to this point, it was often just an attraction. That one glance from someone you loved, had the capacity to make your day. Looking back at it as an adult, now, you may find it amusing. But you know how it felt back then. Growing up you realize that it can be more than just a feeling. You discover desires and expectations through one or many ‘real’ relationships. You might have mistaken the feeling of falling in love with the action of losing yourself to someone. As we grow old, we start defining the feeling according to our own convenience. We decide when it’s love and when it’s not.

Celebrated as the day of love and expression, Valentine’s Day, for the longest time was only about the cis-gender. It would ostracize different identities, pushing unnecessary gender norms. Of course, not anymore. Couples are now celebrated with more diversity across the spectrum. Female friendships and relationship independence are popularly celebrated as Galantine’s Day. Love is a choice, but alongside all the social emphasis on romantic and sexual relationships, we alienate the space for aromantic and asexual people – who don’t experience any such attraction. While we de-centre heteronormativity from our idea of what love should look like, we consider romance and sex as obligatory.

When it comes to ways that human beings can experience love, we forget the incredible amount of diversity that exists. Individuals who identify themselves as aromantic or asexual do not experience romantic or sexual affinity respectively. This is widely misunderstood, given the lack of media representation, ignorance of people, and invisibility from forums like sex education.

A Delhi University student on the assurance of anonymity, says, “My sister is apparently ‘woke’. She would often talk about being ‘out and proud’. But when I came out to her, I was told that I haven’t found the right person yet and that eventually, I would come around to the idea of sex and romance, of course, irrespective of gender.”

“So, what if I’m aromantic, I still get attracted to people if they look good or we share something in common – music or movies. It is rather platonic, she says.

Talking about platonic love, Priyanshi, a second-year media student, says, “As a third-grader, I remember wishing my teacher a Happy Valentine’s Day and she had scolded me. I thought about what was wrong with that; I just wished someone I loved. Instead, she asked me to not engage in any such nonsense.”

Love can be redefined as admiration towards someone may be because of common interests or emotional connection. People who get along have an understanding between themselves opening ways to the many facets of human experience. Why limit it to just attraction? All relationships and experience are worth celebrating.

Open your minds to accepting and creating new definitions of love. Do not let outdated tropes constrain your understanding of what love looks like.


Aishwaryaa Kunwar [email protected]

Third-wheeling is considered an art whereby one learns to be comfortable with oneself in some cases. They call it third-wheeling because you stabilise their terrible relationship.

Third-wheeling is a skill that only a few can expertise in. It comes from the analogy of a tricycle, wherein two wheels are happy at the back; meanwhile, the third wheel is a lone rider just casually hanging out with the couple as an awkward plus one. Moreover, Valentine’s Day is a considerably harder time for all the third wheelers out there. The duo seems to be more involved in each other all of a sudden, and the third-wheels have no choice but to put on a happy face and click pictures for the couple. Being the third wheel teaches you a lot about life as a whole, and you have your couple friends to thank for that.

First, they give you instructions as to how to be in a relationship like a normal, sane human being. They give you real-life demonstrations about the dos and don’ts of a relationship. Second, if you end up doing something insane, you have your two idiots to console you with their own stories. In addition to this, you get to use your diplomatic skills to solve their fights and act as a tie-breaker. Third wheelers offer stability to their pals’ relationships. Also, you get to be a part of their inside jokes, that are hilariously comforting. Essentially, third-wheeling involves walking behind the couple on a sidewalk, and not having to share your food with anyone. People often think that you can’t find a date or you awkwardly cling to the couple because you do not have a choice, but that is not always the case. Worst case scenario, if your friends in relationships make you feel unwanted, confront them and make them feel horrible about it. Make the best out of this situation and make them pay for your food. This is the least they could do for you.

Being the third-wheel, also gives you many golden opportunities to brush up your photography skills. Clicking pictures for the duo is fun and you could always jokingly tell them to pay you for their photos. Being the occasional photobomber does not sound too bad either. Many people claim that third-wheeling is like being the couple’s child, and, they love every minute of it because for them, their so-called mom and dad are their best pals and spending time with them is a privilege. Take advantage of the couple and ask them to set you up with one of their friends. The least they could do for you is be a supportive wing-person. To be honest, the stigma surrounding singularity and the constant need to find a significant other, is a result of society’s excessive focus on marriage as an institution. Being in a relationship sounds wonderful, but it has its downsides too, which seem to go unnoticed. If your friend and their partner invite you to hang out with them, try not to get your awkwardness in the way while getting to know them.

Third-wheeling is an art because you get to offer advice, clean up their mess, learn from them, provide stability to them, and lastly, third-wheels get to become the children and, hijack the romance of couples. Third-wheeling is extremely fun because of the invasion of privacy you get to indulge in. However, if you ever get the feeling that you are not welcomed in a setting that your friend and their partner invited you to, and they are not paying any attention to you, the best option is to escape and grab a cup of coffee. Third-wheeling is a bizarre experience altogether, and especially when you have to be the third-wheel on Valentine’s Day, or otherwise known as the most romantic day of the year. Your friend and their significant other may be considerate about inviting you on their date, but nobody would be happy to be in that position honestly. Tejasvi Mohan, a student of Lady Shri Ram College stated,“Valentine’s Day is overrated and third-wheeling with a couple makes it much more worse, and I hope nobody ends up in that position ever.”

Feature Image Credits: Reddit

Suhani Malhotra

[email protected]

One can cross paths with an introvert and might want to cross paths again and again. However, dating an introvert might get a little ambiguous sometimes, and human psychology only makes matters worse. It is time to put on the thinking hat and unravel the mysteries.

1. Initiate with the ‘Hi’

‘Should I text first?’

‘Won’t I sound too desperate?’

‘But I am not desperate’

‘This is going downhill already!’

This is what goes down in an introvert’s head, loosening the wires of brains. Try to initiate the conversation with a humble ‘hi!’ before the overthinking trigger is pulled, and the neurons undergo a rough patch even before the actual rough patch begins. Here is a thing about introverts- the imagination level reaches the epitome of visualisation, for instance, imagining being called a creep for the next thirty eight years for sending that one ‘hi’. Start the conversation, a two lettered ‘hi’ never did any harm.

2. The ‘hard to get’ card will not work

The ‘mixed signals’ have to take the back seat when it comes to dating an introvert. It is strongly advised to not use millennials’ (in)famous ‘hard to get’ card or one would have to get slammed by the reverse card. If an introvert assumes that the other person is not interested, they might immediately initiate the ‘distancing protocol’.

3. Three Es: Express! Express! Express!

A simple ‘I liked the thukpa we had at that place you recommended’ or ‘I really loved the song you suggested yesterday’ might add a little but significant sparkle to your conversation. Vent out all the feelings because introverts often bottle up their emotions. Compliment them if you like the colour of their shirt or their collection of novels. Introverts are not akin to Sherlock when it comes to analysing nonverbal communication. Hence, the only solution is to dissolve interpretation and literally do the talking.

4. Slow and steady wins the race

It takes time to open up. Put in your time, effort and everything possiblt. Do not feel disappointed if it takes time to know about a person. Introverts are fond of their personal space, so wait till all the layers unfold. Nevertheless, once they start opening up, do not force the necessity of sharing whatever goes down that brain. It will take time, and a fast forward would only have counter-effects. A person might feel like Mr. Darcy, and you might want to shut the novel but once you come across the underlying introvert self, you can’t help but fall for it the way Elizabeth did.

5. All silence isn’t awkward silence

An ideal date option would be an intimate space, preferably a place which is serene and quiet. For instance, a walk in Champa Gali would work much better than any club in the capital. Silence does not necessarily have to be deafening or awkward. Sometimes it works the other way round, and with introverts- it is the road less taken, literally and metaphorically. Walk along the lanes and streets and enjoy the silence that surrounds. A bonus point- if one starts feeling comfortable even when silence surrounds both, let them know!

6. The trust fall

Once an introvert turns the unfiltered mode on, it means the trust fall was successful. They finally find a person who can be their human diary. It is important to understand that this step is a giant leap of faith as the fear of being judged or the negative consequences of letting out of emotions is a pestering thought, once the trust trembles, there is no coming back.

Remember when Lara Jean said- “The more people that you let into your life, the more they can just walk right out,” Introverts felt it! Just like the Wallflowers, there are Perks of Dating an Introvert. They are great listeners and with the right proportion of time and space, are the most fascinating souls, and as the millennials say- definitely keepers. And just as the universal law of dating applies, “you know when you know”. Give them some time, the way Rajat waited for Ishita. It needed some time, but the fall was way more serene than a random park story. The wait will be beautiful and worth it. Till then, be a part of the stories they share, enjoy the seconds spent. It happens, one step at a time.

Feature Image Credits: Study Breaks Magazine

Priyanshi Banerjee

[email protected]

In the age of instant gratification, longterm commitments can sometimes seem burdensome. Presenting to you, an insight into the weird contrast of being ‘friends with benefits’.

Friends with Benefits, in simple terms, is being friends with the added benefit of a sexual relationship, sans the feelings. In theory, it seems like the perfect idea: you are sleeping with someone you trust and like enough, who has mutual respect for you, but there’s never the added baggage of emotions and commitment. However, contrary to the simplicity it promises, it is a relationship that requires utmost care while being dealt with. Friends with Benefits (FwB) is an interesting dynamic, for it falls between romantic attraction and sexual attraction. There are people you could be romantically compatible with, and there are people you could be sexually compatible with; while there are people who you might have the hots for, they don’t need to be the same people you visualize a happily ever after with. In those cases, if you and they are interested in being around each other sexually, having a chilled out (but a well discussed and thought out) friends with benefits relationship can do wonders.

Like all healthy relationships, the key to a healthy FwB relationship is understanding and communication. For a friends with benefits arrangement to work, you have to know each other and understand what feelings the emotional and sexual dynamic evokes in you. It is also important to communicate about what each person expects and where each is, as the relationship evolves. A third-year student, shared, “Given the difference between sexual and romantic attraction, along with the fact that some people are better as friends, I think a friends with benefits arrangement is ideal. Labeling relationships always leads to unnecessary expectations, which friendship is free from. I find that it is quite liberating in that way. The only thing that one should always keep in mind is that it stays consensual and that there is complete clarity on the terms of the agreement”. But, before getting into one, it is very important to check if you’re both on the same page: that you’re neither looking to commit to the person nor do you want them to commit to you. This helps to avoid misread signals and hurt down the line. It is also important to both remember and remind that this relationship would not develop into anything more intimate.

The romanticisation of friends with benefits in popular culture does not help either. While all FwB might begin with communication and understanding of the equation between the two partners, it is also very likely that one of them might develop feelings down the road. Stringing along the other person, and being the one strung along, are both unhealthy mentally and emotionally. And among all of it is the greatest fear of them all: losing your friendship over this new dynamic.

“FwB is all fun and games until one of them catches feelings and if you’re anywhere like me, you are doomed. I have had my fair share of encounters but a sense of companionship and the possibility of something more always loomed largely. To each its own, but I have gone from liking to majorly disliking friends with benefits solely because I have zero control over myself,” said Anandi, a first-year student. While a friends with benefits relationship is not the most convenient dynamic to initiate, apt precautions on both the partners sides with a truck full of communication and understanding can sustain the relationship. Regardless of the relationship dynamics, being sexually involved with someone is a churning pot of emotions: emotions build, as does trust, intimacy, connection, and familiarity. If there is room to work through challenges to maintain the friendship, even at the expense of the benefits, then you are in a successful FwB relationship.

Feature Image Credits:

Satviki Sanjay

[email protected]

Since childhood, we were brought up with stories and fables of happy ending and, quotes saying,“And they lived happily ever after..,” or wait, hang on, did they?

For years the common narrative of marriages, being the sole purpose of a woman’s life has been fed and sold to us in the form of romance novels, movies, songs, soap-operas, etc. She must abide by it, even if things go extremely south, since it’s her duty to serve (courtesy: patriarchy of course!)

As per India Today, unsurprisingly, India has the lowest divorce rate, which go as low as being less than one percent, this in a country which has the highest domestic violence and depression rate. In India, one out of every three married women, face domestic abuse, and, yet we have so many happy successful marriages.

Are people really happy or have they forced themselves in wrong relationships just because of the stigma that comes attached with a divorce?

One such example is of Ross Geller from Friends, Ross Geller received  much flak for going through three divorces in the sitcom. Now, imagine, a Rosselin going through three divorces or a Roopa or a Rubiqa. Society seems to develop a very cold exterior when it comes to judging females with history of failed relationships. In this situation, either of the two things happen: Regressive society makes it tough for you to quit marriage, therefore, you find yourself in a spiral of silence or worse, you, yourself endorse the normalcy in a toxic relationship. So how does this normalcy get propagated? It’s a complex work of the culture that is structured around it.The structure includes, triggering Indian soap operas, which apart from popularising superstition also endorse patriarchy on their lavish sets of never ending television series. Just in case, if you think, it’s primitive thinking and the novel millennial mindset which detests Indian soap operas and, the western culture, is way beyond it, then again you might want to reconsider. Calling it quitsis not only stigmatised for marriages but similar patterns are observed in millennial dating as well.

Notion of women being a therapy centre for poorly raised men is very much part of a popular culture even today. After book series, (later turned into a movie) authored by Anna Todd gained handsome popularity because it sold good, chast, pious girl Tessa Young and bad boy Hardin Scott. In yet another famous book It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover, readers were left agitated when the protagonist left her abusive husband Ryan for the good guy Atlas. Most readers shipped the toxic relationship that protagonist had with her husband, over the good one.

Prachi Khare, Journalism student, Kamala Nehru College, who is fanatic about American TV drama Grey’s Anatomy, when asked as to why she shipped the toxic relationship of Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd said,”It’s so engaging to watch the vulnerability of characters trying to sustain their relationships.” She further added, “I understand it’s fictional but I find myself like an idiot correlating it with my own life.”

The dangers of such content is that it subconsciously reinforces the wrong relationships, thereby, making adults be in wrong relationships albeit the fact that generational timeline has progressed. Hate to play the devil’s advocate, but the media is based on the preference of people’s taste and, a reflection of the society. Perhaps, we can be more progressive about our choices for structuring an environment which permeates healthy relationships, and is accepting towards the ones, which have failed.

 Feature Image Credits: thedelhiwalla

Umaima Khanam

[email protected]

It’s been 12 years since one of Bollywood’s biggest Rom-com took over our hearts with a beautiful chemistry after Jab we met was released in 2007

Imtiaz Ali has always managed to portray extraordinary stories about love, life and friendships that always have a heartfelt impact on us walking out of the theatre. Jab we met is one of those few Bollywood movies which had a Hollywood remake. A Hollywood movie called “leap year” was inspired by the Bollywood classic and also won several hearts. This story about two completely different people and their journey of finding love in each other in extreme circumstances sounds cliche but in this movie, there’s a lot of craziness and laughter with moments of self-realisation and tears.

Geet, a charming bubbly girl who has unrealistic dreams and doesn’t think much, makes stupid decisions and then endure them like they weren’t the consequences of her own actions, a character we can all relate to. She lives her life unapologetically and doesn’t seek anyone’s validation no matter what the outcome. When she comes across Aditya, a serious guy who always had everything planned out for him and had real pride in his thoughtful way of living. You’d think for a man who reckons so thoroughly about everything and is a lot more serious in life wouldn’t face any sort of setbacks and awful times. That’s when the movie teaches you that you could choose to live either way but life would surprise you in every aspect and you would have to face terrible times no matter what. There’s no winner or loser here. 

This movie has also taught us that no matter how hard you hit the rock bottom, tough times don’t last forever and things work out eventually. This might sound like a utopian thought but it’s just all about perspective. The movie took the common problems of the audience and gave a viewpoint for the way out. The hardships of heartbreak, rejection, being cheated on, issues with family, and career problems. How many times have we seen a future with someone and planned everything with that person and witnessed it turning out a lesson for life? It’s true that things don’t work out the way we always want them to. And it’s fine because there’s always a better side to it. It doesn’t always have to be with the person you’ve had a history with. Jab we met made me realise that it’s not about your first love, but the love of your life.

One’s never too grown-up or proud to try the most childish ways to get over things if it makes them feel better. If it makes you feel better to flush down a picture of a toxic ex, DO IT. If you’re not happy with what you’re doing in your life, it’s never too late to start over, go with it and turn things around. And you don’t always have to hate the people who are not in your life anymore, you can always learn from them and thank them and ace in life. 

Let’s not ignore the unrealistic romantic standards the movie has set for us. If the movie was a happy ending for Aditya and Geet, it was a disastrous end for Anshuman. But let’s face it, we have all been at both ends and after seeing the movie, I definitely do not want to be at the third end where I miss my train at Ratlam station and get lectured about how “Akeli ladki khuli tijori ki tarah hoti hai“.

Twelve years and no other story beats that combination of love, laughter and tears. Thank you for all the life lessons better than any Tedtalk.

Feature Image Credits: IMDB

Avni Dhawan

[email protected]

In response to Pride celebrations, a reactionary movement has sprung up to “reclaim” space for the black and white of heterosexuality amid rainbow hues.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender,
Queer+ (LGBTQ+) community has
only recently garnered widespread
acceptance with the advent of increased
representation, favourable leaps in
legislative matters, and a heightening
of social awareness, which were
achieved after arduous struggles by the
marginalised community. The concept
of Pride in queer context implies the
promotion of self-affirmation, equality,
and dignity within individuals with a non-
binary sexual identity, a remembrance of
the bigotry (still) faced by the community,
and a celebration of the strides made.
Pride events like parades, festivals,
marches, and formation of queer
collective aim to normalise homosexuality
in the face of the tyrannising
heteronormative binary. Pride is also
quite a revolutionary concept that has
emboldened a community to embrace
their identity, which, earlier they had
to veil with a monochromatic shroud.
The conspicuous and colourful nature of
these celebrations reflects the collective
coming-out of the long-closeted
community into the mainstream.
Most Pride events happen annually
during June, which has been instated
as “Pride Month” to commemorate the
New York Stonewall Inn Riots of 1969 –
the first robust act of resistance against
a repressive administration. This year
witnessed the 50th anniversary of this
pivotal moment of the gay liberation
movement. Queer representation hit
the peak of main(lame)-stream with the
release of Taylor Swift’s kind of excessive,
kind of stereotypical, yet allegedly well-
intended “gay” music video, You Need to
Calm Down.
In India, on 6th September, the first anniversary of the scrapping of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalised homosexual intercourse, was celebrated with great fervour across the University of Delhi (DU) in various institutions. Kamala Nehru College, in collaboration with Nazariya, a queer, feminist resource group, organised a Pride event in their college. Lady Shri Ram College observed a hearty affair as well, with a queer-themed open mic, and a Pride party, followed by a Pride march organised by the college’s Women’s Development Cell. Throughout the North and the South Campus, a galore of Pride celebrations with a multitude of Pride flags, representing the multitudinous sexuality spectrum were fluttering through, strewn across streets, sewn into outfits, and painted on faces.
However, the ostensible nature of these celebrations, going in full-swing irked the likes of a few. A reactionary movement to reclaim the allegedly tarnished pride of heterosexuals, given the increased homosexual social movement, sprang up. Boston, and Massachusetts observed a Straight Pride Parade on 31st August. The organisers, who hold ties with the extreme-right movement in America, justified the event by accusing the identity politics of the left and calling for greater representation for straight people.

An elementary school in Mumbai, which goes by the name of Sanskriti School, joined in on the fad and insisted upon a Straight Pride Parade. An Instagram handle was made to perpetuate the novel idea but it can no longer be found on Instagram, reportedly owing to the negative feedback it received from the community on Instagram.
The Straight Pride Movement is not an idea in its nascence, and can be traced back to the 1980s, but something is to be said about its fledgling popularity. Even though both the aforementioned efforts were dwarfed by counter-protesters, they still gained traction and were valid enough for a few to latch on to it. This reveals the fragility of a small group of heterosexuals who feel insecure and attacked by the growing acceptance of a long-ostracised community.
Pride is a resistive, cultural movement with a lot of history, gravitas, and significance for the LGBTQ+ community, which is being undermined by such reactionary, shallow ventures. It is rightly said, “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”

Feature Image Credits: Akarsh Mathur for DU Beat

Prisha Saxena
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