I hate the word ‘Lucky’. Especially when someone uses that word to define anything that has happened to me. I believe in destiny of course. But luck? Not a chance! Despite all the curve-balls that life threw at me, if I’ve managed to sustain so far, it’s because of the faith I have in myself, the people around me and the one above. Do not defile hard work & skill with a word that denotes probability.
It is my journey and the situations that have prompted me to accept who I am and signaled me to be the change I wanted to see.
Childhood days: A phase of apathy
I was a good student (I hope). Math, languages and science fascinated me. Favorite of the teachers and unsurprisingly, good at creative stuff. Sketching, dancing, theater and what not! Anything but sports. I was passionate about dancing (Bharatanatyam) and saw that as a way of meditation even. Kids at school used to make fun of that, although it never bothered me. Somehow I found ways to avoid bullying at school, thanks to my quarrelsome nature. I knew how to bicker well and since I was good at a lot of other things, I used them as a shield against any sort of bullying. Silly, yes, but it worked brilliantly.
Coming to my family, destiny did a number on me. Being the youngest child, I had to witness my parents succumb to illnesses. A mentally challenged brother and sick parents would not be an ideal combination for anyone. However, the love we had for one another seemed to help. And their only pleasure seemed to be hearing good things about me from their kith and kin. That was the little gift I could give them for all that they did despite their shortcomings. And so, I carried on, falling in love with girls (And no, they were not my ‘beards’), focusing on studies and extracurricular activities. I did idolize a few senior guys but assumed that to be similar to fans glorifying their heroes. Growing up in an orthodox neighborhood, it never hit me to even imagine otherwise.
College days: When the world comes crashing down
I lost my brother and father even before I could complete school and became the sole responsibility for looking after my (bed-ridden) mother. Naturally, I had to toughen up and handle it. But I couldn’t do it all alone. Regardless of all the tough act that I was displaying to others, I started aching from within. And I could no more hide the fact that I liked men. It was all new to me. I had an on-off thing with a guy then but it was a confused phase in my life. Growing up in a culture where heterosexual couples are the only things you see, hear and talk about, an alternate reality seemed improbable for me. Moreover, I was the only solace for my mother then. How crushing it’d be for her to deal with something that even I couldn’t understand.
But she disproved that idea by her sudden demise. My world officially crumbled. My life seemed to have lost its purpose. And simultaneously, a new life began to evolve in the garden city of India, with my paternal aunt (whom I greatly admired) and her family. It was all very confusing, to say the least, to lose everything at 22 and move to a new city, hoping to find peace. Bangalore understood my needs and seemed to wash away my sorrows. My family, consisting of my aunt, uncle and my (cousin) brother started cherishing me as their own and so was I. I also made lovely friends. Friends whom I could call at midnight and ask to meet without asking why. Bangalore understood my quirks and I didn’t feel odd for the first time in my life.
For some time, my relationship also went smooth. What started as a simple Facebook chat with this guy went on to become a lovely 3.5 years of companionship. We had our own idiosyncrasies, but our understanding of one another helped us work it out. But he wasn’t sure of whether he can be in it for a lifetime and soon made it clear that he’d have to marry a girl in the future. I hadn’t come out until then because of all this uncertainty and now it looked like that time may never come. I was sick of living dual lives, of constantly lying to my close ones, of having to portray someone I was not. Although theater is my passion, this drama seemed to be going on for ages now. I needed a breather.
It was then that my family decided to go on a 21-day long trip to Europe. What a way to change my mood from this break-up, I thought. Little did I know that I’d meet my soulmate there!
2014: The time has come
He was a part of the trip. Quiet, attentive, neatly dressed, well-spoken and extremely kind to everyone (even the most annoying aunties). There was this air of sophistication, humility and kindness about him. We were both with our families, closeted and had no idea that the other person was gay. Yet we ended up spending our nights talking about mysteries of the world, of ‘detached attachment’, of ‘Maya’. Little did we know that we were getting sucked into it as well.
He went back to Canada after the trip (where he lived) and we started having email conversations. It started very formal initially (‘Hope you landed safely! ‘Twas great meeting you!’), and soon reached a phase of signing the email with our names together. We even expressed our love for one another by email! ‘For heaven’s sake, this should be the next Nicholas Sparks’ novel’, my friends said. We had the same set of interests, finished one another’s sentences and literally completed each other. I began to finally believe that life will be happy after all since I’ve found the missing piece of the puzzle, the ‘One’. Months later, he decided to come out to his family and he did. My prior relationship, however, made me tread the path of caution. So I decided to come out when I go to study in Canada and after moving in with him. Life would have been so different had that happened. If only!
A week after his coming out, he suffered a fatal rupture of tumor in his lungs and passed away.
That describes my state! I went blank. Everything went black. All the bold acting I had until then wore off. I cried day and night. I took his death as my liability. That I had lost my family too made me think that anyone I would ever love would face the same destiny. That I was cursed and damned for perpetuity.
I could have taken the extreme step. Pills, plastic bag – I could have come up with innovative ways to end my life in a painless fashion. But, I didn’t. I had promised my (late) mother that I would never succumb to suicidal thoughts and realized that I have to survive this. There’s nothing more to lose anyway. After all, shouldn’t the world fear a man who has nothing to lose?
So I decided to open about myself. Accept that this is who I am and only have those people in my life who’d accept me as such. I called everyone. My brother, close friends, colleagues. And I told them finally what I have been meaning to tell them for years – that I’m gay. People went through a wave of shock but they loved me no less than before. It also did take some time. It is not one of those coming out stories that can lead to a discussion. They could see that I was hurting. That it was true love for another soul, regardless of defined societal constructs. And they conceded that love is love after all.
Right now I’m in one the world’s most liberal cities, Amsterdam. In a company that lets me create inclusive programs for everyone. What a roller coaster ride has it been! Life will never be a bed of roses. But it’s not going to be all thorns either. A happy ending just needs a lot of hard work, both mentally and emotionally.
47 thoughts on “shouldn’t the world fear a man who has nothing to lose?”
More respects and power to you da, kanna. God bless!
Aww, sharry… Tight hugs. Xoxo.
It’s inspiring to read about your life. Have fun with the roller coaster ride. ?. I am on the same ride.
Roller coaster indeed. Hold onto the seat belts tight. Hugs.
Those privileged few who know your life. Love you as always..
Love you always too Roh <3
You are a true hero. I am very inspired after reading about your life.
* Goosebumps *
The headline was so powerful. amidst all the difficulties and the emotional issues, You’ve shaped your career . Kudos to you!
shine bright and stay happy! ✌?
Thank you Ravi!
Darling Sai. Your life sure has been a roller coaster ride. But mind you, every life has a story to tell. Some just fade away, some take their disadvantages as assets and create new lives. As Shakespeare said ‘The world is a stage and we are mere actors who play our parts and depart. After 50+ years I have realized there is nothing called LOVE. It is just a superfluous feeling which only brings heartache when taken seriously. But yet we mistake LUST for LOVE. You have been super strong and I have a deep regard for you. Stay blessed forever. Looking forward to seeing you…….
I am indeed blessed to have met and be inspired by people like you. Thank you for being there for me <3
Love you loads. Eagerly waiting to see you too…
Underneath the humbleness, therein lies the heart of diamond. Simply strong, pure & brilliant!
Always happy to have u in my life.
As mysterious as you are, you’re equally kind and sweet. Thanks for the love!
You are braver than you think. Cant imagine going through such tough times and being so positive. I hope you find love again and peace. Inspiring story indeed. Thanks for sharing. My family and friends have also been extremely accepting and supportive and sometimes it is because you were so responsible in your life but it is mostly the unconditional love and that is the biggest asset you also have. Hold on to that. Take care . I hope you have a wonderful life ?
Thank you, dear Tarun. I am just grateful to God for being with me in all hardships. Much love to you.
That was so harsh on you, after suffering from pain of loosing family, you lost your love too. It must have taken strong will and determination to come out of that emotional turmoil. I wish you good for your future. Thanks for sharing your story. You are a source of inspiration for many.
True that! But I guess life decided to test me more & more to see whether I break somewhere. So far I haven’t and I hope not to in the future as well 🙂 Thanks Keshav for such warm words.
May there be only love for you and happiness from now . God bless your beautiful soul ❤️
Thank you for such a wonderful wish Sneha. Big hugs.
Deeply moved by your story and also feeling fortunate for having met people like you in life. You have always been an inspiration to me in school. May it be your amazing acting skills or your excellence in studies. Never knew you had undergone so much in life. You managed to put a smile on your face always. Be the same. May you get all that you wish for. All the very best Sai 🙂 would love to meet you again some time in the future.
Thanks, ma. I am honored by your kind words 🙂 Such a sweet soul you’re. I hope we meet again too.
Thank you once again.
Your placid smile & charm never made me realize you have such a grave ,yet brave story to tell sweets ! I couldn’t stop my tears rolling down when I read ( n i did read it thrice) about your promise to yourself & your loving mother that you’ll not escape from life at any circumstance. If that can’t inspire the hundreds who think death/ drugs are the sole way-out to end sufferings, I don’t know what else can do ! And never ever think you are jinxed for your loved ones, no matter what ! We all LIVE to LOVE & our lifelines, who have left us, have loved us till the last breath 🙂 More power & love to you ❤
Can’t really suffice to say thank you for such love Soham. One sweetest person you and Suresh are. Both of you cried after reading the article. I should really be thankful for having met you two. More love and lots of hugs your way!
All the best bro
It really so touching … you have faced so much in your life…. while reading I unable to stop my tears… Though u lost ur loved one … u r strong in ur will and your permise that you made by yourself and with your beloved mom. I don’t know who you are and where are you but as longs I live in will remember you and pray for your bright future.
That really made my day. Not knowing me, but still offering a prayer in my direction. I am blessed indeed. Thank you very much, Yesudas. May God bless your kind heart.
I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do
it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to create my
own blog and would like to know where u got this from.
Very good information. Lucky me I ran across your website by chance (stumbleupon).
I’ve saved as a favorite for later!
Hey! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone!
Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your
posts! Carry on the outstanding work!
The most important thing in life in my perspective is accepting yourself along with carving a great future and be an independent person whether you are gay or straight, which YOU have done it even though you have had a difficult childhood and gone through so much at such an age when one do require family and loved ones to be by your side. Have a great life ahead dear and be you 🙂
Amen to that Naisarg.
Regardless of what happens or had happened, the need is to be yourself and aim to be a better person every day – personally, professionally and in every other way.
Thank you for your warm message and wishes. <3
I like this site so much, bookmarked.
Saiganesh, You are proof that there is always hope and always something to look forward to.
You not only inspire to everyone and anyone who reads your story, but motivate people like me (I am blessed with a good life, but struggle with my orientation) and millions who struggle with their identity and live constantly a dual life and out of fear. Please continue inspiring and I really wish to see you in a platform like Ted Talk or something similar. Take care
Definitely you will be an inspiration to a lot of guys.
I’m also learning.
Best wishes xx
its really touching dude
may we know ur lucky soulmate name ?
Very heartwarming. Wish I had your courage..
I share your story somewhere.
Right now, I am feeling what you have gone through.
Hats off to your strength.
I would be looking up to You…?
Your story was really touching and inspiring. I had first come across you on instagram and admired the charm on your smiling face. Little did I know that you have been through all these things in life. I was taken aback and got blank for a moment, when I read about his passing away. I’d really like to bow down to your (late) mom, as she is the person behind your strength.
What inspired me is how you focused on your career to become the person you are today.
The opening remark you’d made about luck is something which really changed my perspective. And I draw inspiration from you to work hard, and not to complain about the circumstances.
Was deeply moved by your story. Wishing you a great life.
Love and best wishes. 🙂
I landed in this page today by chance.
I have been following you for few years now (in other words.. stalking). you do not know me…
Ever since I came to know about you, I have always thought you were:
– kind, humble, & down to earth (bcas of the kind of messages & posts in your profile)
– knowledgeable, skilled & successful (bcas of yor career, educational, and other accomplishments)
– good looking (obviously)
– spiritual (again from the posts that appear in your page)
– privileged (no reason.. I just assumed)
– confident (once again..from your ssocial media profiles)
I always thought that you were one of the select few who had everything in life one could ever want.
Never ever did I even imagine that there could be such a story…
I grouse even at the slightest of discomforts that life throws at me…
To come across all this and to be where you are today, you must have been very strong and courageous.
Knowing this about you makes me respect you even more…
I am not very good with words. I might not have conveyed the intended message in the way that I intended it to…
But, please remain the way you are now. A kind soul…
I wish you abundant happiness and love in your life…
You will always be in my prayers.
Much love, dear friend. I’m sorry that you had to go through many extreme situations. But I’m sure that your story bought some courage in me to come out to everyone. I’d like to talk or text you too sometime. Hugs!!
I can hug you right now. God bless you. All the power to you.
Stay the same. Keep smiling, trust me it is amazing.
You are such a Brave person…
Thank you for sharing your emotional but inspiring story with all of us… it’s life and it goes on..
But the way we deal with our situation makes it special..
But one day you will be happy and nobody will leave you..mark my words Sai… universe is listening you very patiently…and it will give you all the happiness you deserve very soon with compound interest..??
As I read it on 1 Jan 2021
I feel like my newyear had to being by know you and reading this story
It feels very personal thanks for sharing it with us.
More power to you Sai!! ur journey is inspirational!!
A tight hug to you bro with lots of respect.