Many years ago, I committed the ultimate solecism of marrying a non Tam Bram. How this happened is itself an instructive story, indicative (in my opinion) of the, Drona Acharya like, duplicity of the leading Tamil Savant in London at the time- Padma Shree Dr. John Marr- who, wishing to handicap the most able, or Ekalavya, amongst his students, cunningly convinced her that the sounds that emanate from my mouth are in fact some archaic or ultra pure version of Tam Bram dialect rather than- as he very well knew- such English as, it remains my self-flattering conviction, is spoken by poshest of posh persons- like Queenji herself innit?
The lady who espoused me- hoping to acquire what old India hands called 'a sleeping dictionary' and thus steal a march over her academic rivals- eventually came to see that she had been cruelly deceived, and divorced me in summary fashion.
My dear old Mum, who had managed to hush up news of the mesalliance, visited me a short while later, worried I had succumbed to Clinical Depression.
It was on her return to India that she outed me as a homosexual.
What happened was this. Taking tea with Mrs. Iyengar, who should drop in 'by chance' but biggest gossip of the M.E.A wives' association- Pinky Mathur only!
Pinky Mathur- So, Vasantha, tell us, your son in London- must be having girl-friend no?
Mum- No! He likes boys only. No girls at all.
Pinky- Really? But I heard...
Mum- All a mistake! When he was 20 he was as innocent as a baby. He didn't know anything. By the Grace of God all that is over and done with. Now he is with boys only. I visited just last month. Boys sleeping everywhere. No girls anywhere to be seen.
Pinky- So he is...gay?
Mum- Of course he is gay! He has always been gay! I'm his mother! Don't I know that his character has always been gay! What are you trying to imply? You have been listening to rumors.
Pinky- Well I had heard...something...I thought... but, I was wrong as I can see... Sorry, I didn't know. But, tell me, are you really okay with it?
Mum- Of course I'm okay with it! What are you talking? One boy, he is working in clothes shop, he saw me walking by on my first day and somehow he recognized me and came running to touch my feet, calling me Mataji and Ammijaan. Muslim boy. Pathan from Pakistan. He loves my son so much, just seeing my face in photo, he immediately felt I am his mother also. Actually, all the boys love my son. They are Refugees. He meets them through the Refugee Legal Center where he does voluntary work. He handles their paper-work to spare them the fees of crooked lawyers. Staying with him, they save money to send home. Every night is like a party at his flat. No worries, no sadness, no depression at all. Just all these boys being gay with each other without thought for caste or creed.
Pinky- Well... I must say, you're very broad-minded.
Mum- What you are saying- broad-minded? That because someone is Muslim I'll object? My father was in Freedom Struggle, I say! He had many Muslim friends in prison. I tell you, my son takes after my father in this respect! Mind it, kindly!
Pinky- Sorry, Vasantha, I did not know.... It seems, I knew you but never knew you. I want to tell you something... my son, you know the one in San Fransisco... the one I told you was living with a gori...
Mum- Forgive and forget. Take trip to Tirupati. By God's grace everything is possible.