The Straight Story
There is no such thing as 'normal' - as a wise madwoman/ philosopher on a bus said the other day, "Normal is a setting on a wash cycle". As someone living in what is known as 'the gay mecca' of the world, I have come to understand 'how the other half lives', in a way I had never been able to before.
Which makes me sympathize greatly with a high-profile signature campaign being staged in India, aiming to get rid of Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code that considers sodomy (and, in effect, homosexuality) a crime. But, while I agree that a law that criminalizes homosexuality is misplaced and wrong, the gay community are not the only victims of India's middle-class morality - we all suffer from it.
Anyone who has lived in New Delhi for even a few months knows that women do not have it easy there. Venturing out alone after dark is an absolute no-no in India's (rape) capital, and sexual crimes - be it eve-teasing or actual rape - take place in broad daylight. Added to this are the jeering stares young couples often get. PDA is not taken lightly in Delhi - at best, you can get away with a crowd of at least 20 people staring at you if you so much as hug a member of the opposite sex. Young couples often resort to cuddling beneath overgrown trees in parks, or furtively holding hands in restaurants. Anything more, and you come across as a "loose character".
I also remember an occasion when a family friend was relating to us how he caught the daughter of a colleague of his holding hands with her husband on their honeymoon. He then went home and called the girl's father (his colleague) to report his daughter's 'disgusting' behavior in detail.
I would like to believe that these interfering individuals honestly think that they are benefiting someone when they take on the role of being society's moral policemen/women. But schadenfreude is intrinsic to most Indians. Its a crying shame coming from the land of the Kamasutra, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.