I can tell you that growing up queer in an orthodox household has not been a walk in the park. Yes, I do have certain privileges that I can take advantage of. But then there are also hundred and one afflictions one is raised with. Throughout my life, I have always managed to find a way to get away from home. But during the pandemic, spending all my waking hours around people who are in the habit of scrutinizing each and every thing I do and stand for has been truly agonizing. This brief letter I have written/would like to write to my mother might just be a scream into the void as I try to grapple with my sanity and communicate with my family, even though in vain. So here is a letter I never wrote:
I’m not your perfect child. I’m just a good liar. Not as golden as you think I am. I just wanted to show you what you desired. And now I think I’m lost. Lost myself being the perfect reflection of me you always wanted. Everything that glitters.
And now, as the cracks form, you don’t like what’s underneath. Disorderly, shameful, ugly, frivolous. You may have loved me, but you never liked me. At least the me you knew. Not me you know. Holding up my dead self like a puppet for you to see. And I’m slipping. Strings are coming undone. My jaw doesn’t snap shut anymore. Not all the way at least.
Rey is an architect and artist from Mumbai. Art and literature have been her two great passions and she finds herself delving deep into them at all times. Now, more than ever, she has found herself using art as a refuge from the world.