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One Sunday Evening.....

I usually get my Sunday Mass in my parish Church on Saturday evening for convenience, or failing that,  I attend on Sunday morning.  But if I miss either of these services, there is always the Cathedral service in the city centre on Sunday evening.  This was one such Sunday.  Early on Sunday evening, I asked Yash, my husband, to keep the children amused for an hour or two so that I could disappear for a while.

There is an autorickshaw service from my area to the city centre, so I had no trouble getting one of those (for those unfamiliar with the public transport situation in north India, an autorickshaw is a small taxi which seats three to four people).  Most people travel by 'auto' an a sharing basis.  On this occasion, I noticed (out of the corner of my eye)  that I was sharing the auto with a young couple.  I was busy texting on my mobile, so I hardly glanced at them.  However, when you are sitting close to people, you become aware of them without even trying.

I could understand that the couple were sitting very close together.  The boy seemed to have his arms wrapped around the girl.  Not that I was the least bit interested, but that is not very commonly seen when you're out and about in India.  Okay, courting couples may be more in evidence  now than when I first visited here twenty two years ago but still....  It seemed that the girl was a visitor to Lucknow, my city, because the boy kept on pointing out landmarks, and explaining them carefully to her.  His behaviour was very typical of a fellow besotted by his girl, because he was so sort of, well, tender and protective....I was absorbing all this without even looking up from my mobile, I was concentrating so completely on my message I was like someone hypnotised.

I woke up with a start!  Something strange, very strange, was going on.  I listened to the boy, the way he was speaking and realised something else.  The boy was a girl!  The voice was a young woman's voice.  For sure.  I listened, dumbfounded.  The two voices were female!  But the body language!  Another thing entirely, as we say in Ireland.

Was I shocked?   Yes, certainly.  But judgmental?  No.  It is not my job to tell other people who they should and should not love.  I didn't tell kindly to people telling me that I was wrong to be in love with someone of a different race and religion twenty years ago.  It  was certainly not my place to sit in judgment on this pair.  We have to live and let live.  I kept on looking at my handset, and didn't look directly at either of them.

When we reached the city centre, they got out of the auto at the same time as me.  I got a good look at them then without appearing to be over curious (which I was, I admit it!).  The 'boy' was a stocky and well built girl, in a shirt and jeans, with a short haircut, which had grown rather long.  There certainly wasn't a trace of femininity about her (apart from her voice), but to be honest, not much masculinity either.  She had soft features, clear skin and did not have a hard, male look.  And the girl?   She had a sweet, delicate, appearance, but without wishing to appear over critical, I would say that her figure lacked womanliness.  To  say that she resembled a stick insect might sound cruel, but it would indeed be accurate.

As I watched them stroll away to enjoy their evening, my heart went out to them.  They were like two lost souls adrift in a cruel world.  They were finding happiness together, but something told me that they would soon be paying a terrible price for that happiness.

A few days later I chanced on a newspaper report, about a girl from a neighbouring city, Kanpur, who had left her family and come to stay with a female friend in Lucknow, with whom she said she was in love.  No names were given, nor were there any photos.  I read that the girl's family had come and taken her away, in spite of her protests.  Somehow, I think that this is the same couple.

I have no idea what happened to the pair, or where they are now, or if they are still together.  But wherever they are, I wish them well.


  1. I must admit I found this description extremely interesting. Almost felt I was there, so powerful was your story.

    Nuts in May

  2. It must take great courage to admit and face a world where you are considered to be 'different'! Any one of us might be faced with that situation by our children one day.

  3. I hope they're still together and happy. Everyone deserves love... any kind! Bless them!

  4. Interesting that you had the experience of traveling with the two of them and then reading about this sad occurrence. Eventually the world will grow up and just recognize love for love's sake. It's just not going to happen in our time.

  5. I wish them well. I'm with Daisy.

  6. An intriguing post; I too wish them well.

  7. A poignant story very well told Gaelikaa. We get to see both male and female gays in our city quite often and I have grown used to seeing them quite lost to the world. There are some very aggressively so and that puts me off though I have had no personal problems because of such aggression.

  8. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this story! Although, if a boy having his arm around a girl on public transport is uncommon in India, then I suppose two girls who are in love must be in an impossibly difficult situation. Like you said, I wish them well.

  9. Wonderful post. I do hope they manage to work it out. Visiting from SITS :)

  10. I hope that they are safe, well and together if that is what they wish.

  11. Great post! I love hearing about other parts of the world, but it saddens me nonetheless to know their struggles and the intolerance they must face.


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