Friday, January 29, 2016

EXPEDIENCE

It was necessary for me to accept the fact that it was over. A part of my mind shrank from the finality of this. And the unresolved dilemma that severed me from Wazir was invariably going to bring in its wake, a flurry of self doubt and recriminations. I could clearly see that the density of our mutual incomprehension was what sustained our tenuous relationship though the weight of silence, ponderous, gravid with unconsummated longings and suffused with unspecified hopes , eventually sapped us both. He had been a fixed point for me. And at fifteen, in a burgeoning consciousness of sexual complexity i found in him, in his tall, lithe, muscly frame and aggressive masculinity a conduit for my unformulated sexual desire.

He was in my class and was eight months older than me. He was also muslim. Wazir had a curious defensiveness about him , a belligerence which concealed emotional tumult , inexpertly concealed. He had come to Delhi from Afghanistan at the age of two and he sensed a muslim prejudice . This was in 2003 , in the aftermath of the 1993 riots and kargil and gujrat. India had witnessed a growing religious schism which dated back more than half a century ago and of which the partition was the most glaring reminder. In class whenever there was a discussion about cricket, specially an india-pakistan match Wazir would vow allegiance for pakistan. One of the girls in my batch once said, after his inveterate 'pakistani team india ki gaand maar legi' as to why he felt such a virulence about a country where he lived and which fed him, clothed him, granted him privileges . Wazir's father was a successful businessman by now and  considerably wealthy. Implicit in that girl's objurgation, i now realize, was a knowledge of Wazir's otherness, his muslim identity. And ,in retrospect his vituperation seems more like the bitterness of exile, of a sharpened, heightened awareness of displacement, both without and within. And in a government school, with its alternating rectitude and openness , he found his own ambiguous emotions unassuaged by any certainty.

I had had a fractious relationship with Wazir. Because i played with girls and experienced my gender and sexuality as anomalous in a batch of ultra masculine, pimply teenage boys , i was a soft target. Wazir mocked me throughout for my femininity, effeteness, bookishness. Yet ironically he respected me for the same reasons. At thirteen, past the age of childish petulance i entered the white heat of adoloscent sexuality. At that age, the finer nuances of another personality were unprocessed though an intuitive understanding had always been latent. Wazir was five foot eight at that time, with a growing mustache . He embodied a manliness that liquiefied my nebulous pubescent blueprints. I fell in love not only with his visceral physicality but with the very masculine qualities of sportiness, aggression, a certain violence and roughness, attributes i consciously felt myself not possessing . Plus Wazir's prick, of which i had had an inadvertent glimpse when in the toilet , subsumed my consciousness. Elaborate, rococo sexual fantasies inundated my daily life. Where earlier my peevishness with Wazir was evinced by ignoring him i now began simpering self consciously. Whenever he put his arm around me or displayed his thoughtless but generous gestures of male bonding i trembled with expectancy and desire.

And then one day, going back home i traversed the school grounds desultorily, in mild disaffection. Beyond the large playground around the school was a forest, a tame urban, stripped down forest but nonetheless something contraband. Passing through a field immediately beyond the playground studded with bushes i heard a snicker. And peeking in saw Wazir with a couple of other boys from the school.

They were smoking beedi's and i felt fearful forebodings along with suppressed erotic excitement. Wazir came up to me and kissed me. I tasted the smoky breath and his raspy mustache. Then he turned me around, took off my pants and thrust his erect penis into my anus. The pain was searing, unendurable and i felt a white light of nothingness exploding in my head. All this happened behind a bush . When i recovered i found myself hunched up in a foetal position, my ass sore and raw and the boys gone. As the film of pain receded the extremity of my predicament was driven home to me in sharper focus. I was mortified by what i had undergone and full of terror. And also a vertiginous exhilaration, a quivering, throbbing, sexual energy which made itself felt through the undertow of physical pain. And that was when i knew it was over with Wazir.

Looking back i felt sullied but not violated. I had, after all, spent many nocturnal nights imagining just such a sweaty exchange. The only difference was that my dreams were luminous with the paraphernalia of romantic yearnings and what supervened was sordid . It was my yearning for a fulfillment beyond the merely physical, though mediated by violent sex , that was left unsatisfied. I did not blame Wazir then nor do i do so now,. I absolve him from moral turpitude. But he initiated me into a realism, a coming to terms as much as a coming of age. It was a rite of passage into uncompromising reality, with all its luridness and harsh actuality, untainted by prevarication or myth making. And while i learnt that i also never successfully banished a warm afterglow of that terrifying ordeal behind the bush, which even now, despite everything, gives me a certain perverse self satisfaction.

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