Blue Diamond Cinema, a movie hall of the yester years which was witness to many silver jubilee films wore a deserted look that evening. When Sam and Aditya dawdled into the theatre fully drunk there was hardly anyone besides an equally drunk security and a young kid at the ticket counter who was preoccupied with a phone. As soon as they opened the rexine paneled door, they were greeted by a strong odour, a dangerous concoction of musty old carpets, pungent urine and foul smelling cheap liquor.
My whole life has become a joke. Charu has single handedly ruined my life. What is the purpose of living? I can’t bear this humiliation anymore.
Both of them settled somewhere in the middle of the auditorium. They could not decipher the language of the film beamed on the screen. It was an old film; the sepia tint was a definite give away. A fat lady with just a towel wrapped around her chest was trying to seduce a young boy. The boy looked nervous and constipated, which made Aditya burst out laughing choking him into a fit of hiccups. He downed a few gulps from the Coke bottle, a mix of Coca-cola and rum.
“Dude, what the hell are we watching?" Aditya chuckled.
Sam continued drinking from his bottle. He looked disturbed and unsettled. He did not reply.
“I am sorry for everything that happened, machan."
“So did you actually fire up all her devices? So if Charu and Alex make out can we see it online? Is it going to be public for the world to see?"
Sam looked at Aditya from the corner of his eyes and smiled triumphantly.
“It’s show time folks!! Stay tuned!!"
Sam had tweeted earlier that evening after he had learnt that Charu’s overture was actually a lie and her sexual liaisons with Alex still continued. He felt cheated and angry. “I feel cheap and exploited," he had said to Aditya. He went directly to his room and fired the cameras in both Charu’s phone and laptop using the hacking program “Jarvis" that he had developed. He then set up a public webpage where one could view what the cameras saw. Anwar, Alex’s investigator friend had hoped exactly for this. They wanted to provoke Sam into doing something stupid which might expose him. But little did they realise that their actions would trigger a whirlwind of unforeseen consequences.
“My whole life has become a joke. Charu has single handedly ruined my life. What is the purpose of living? I can’t bear this humiliation anymore," he told Aditya and left the room in a huff. He left his phone and other gadgets in the room.
Much different to what Sam had hoped for, the camera in Charu’s phone had recorded Mani’s carnal aggression on Hari and Sam’s app had uploaded it live on the Internet.
In a few hours the video had gone viral. Comments of ridicule and hate, were being lashed out by hundreds of users on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Youtube, Reddit. #GayRape began to trend on Twitter and Facebook.
"These guys are behaving like animals. Are #Gay men more sexually active compared to heterosexuals? #JustAsking #GayRape"
"It seems like rape to me, but who took this video? Who uploaded it on the net? Boy or girl rape is rape. Someone needs to report this to the police. #TakeAction"
"Okay, #SeriousQuestion. I thought I loved girls but I am turned on looking at this video. Am I gay?"
"Homosexuality is a disease. Before you accuse me of bigotry, read this article on Manu Shastra which explains that it is unnatural and homosexuality was always considered evil. No one can deny that our ancestors were definitely more knowledgeable and wise than the pseudo liberals of today."
"I just don't understand what's the brouhaha about the video. Has anyone had anal sex? It is painful, but immensely pleasurable at the same time. It looks like consensual to me."
What does AIDS stand for? Anally Injected Death Sentence. LMAO #GayRape"
"Seeing this video reminded me of a joke;what does a gay man and an ambulance have in common? They both get loaded from the rear and start screaming. LOL #GayRape"
"Is it horny in here or is it just me? #GayRape"
"Why did God create gay men? So fat girls could dance. #Homophobic #Sexist"
"Two couples decide to spend the weekend away together in a hotel. When they get there, one guy suggests they indulge in partner-swapping as a trial. After 2 hours of solid sex by the fireside, the guy turned to his new partner and said, "Wow! This is the very best sex I've had in years! I wonder how the girls are doing? #GayRape #GayJokes"
"#GayRape These are dumb. And homophobic. And the people laughing are sick, but they sound like rich straight teenagers. Ones who flunked out of high school. It's not a fun thread; it's a stupid thread. Who would read a bunch of AIDS jokes and call them hilarious?"
While the social media reverberated with insults and innuendo, the key actors to this drama, Charu, Sam, Mani and Hari were oblivious to what was happening around them. It was the middle of the night and the video had spread like wild fire.
@FiddlerOnTheRoof - Oh my fucking GOD!
@CaptainOCaptain - What happened?
@FiddlerOnTheRoof - There are two guys groping. Eeewww :( There is this video online. It’s trending everywhere. Two guys are having sex.
@CapatainOCaptain - Holy crap. Do you know them? Send me the link.
Even if you are so desperate to have sex like a dog, does it give you pleasure to record this and put it up on the internet? What kind of a son are you? You have disappointed me Hari.
@FiddlerOnTheRoof - Don't know, but the room looks familiar. Maybe my college. Woah, this guy is really ramming him. Shit, shit, shit. This is scary. The other fellow is screaming. It is definitely rape. Oh my god! Crazy!
@CaptainOCaptain- This is really serious. What is happening? Are you sure these guys are from your college? Can you take a pic?
@FidlerOnTheRoof - Why do you need a pic? Pervert!! This is just mad. I am calling the cops. I don't feel good about this. Something is seriously wrong.
Hari was in deep sleep completely unaware of the events that had unfolded. He was upset and disappointed over Mani’s aggression earlier that evening. Hari loved him; he liked the physical intimacy with him. He felt he was secure with him. He always believed Mani would protect him. He wanted to make love to him. He loved Mani more than he had loved anyone. But Mani had violated his trust, his body and his heart. It brought memories of him being vulnerable and powerless in the clutches of his uncle. He was afraid again. Their love made him feel self-assured. He was feeling happy. Hari felt he could be himself in Mani’s company. Mani destroyed all that in a few minutes. And Hari was not willing to forgive him. Not for now. He needed to secure himself. He wanted to breathe. He wanted to cry. Alone.
He heard a bell ring close to his head. It felt like a nagging headache. He wished for it to stop. It wouldn’t. It was getting louder.
“Phew!!" he got up from sleep and sat up straight. His mobile phone rang for one more time and stopped.
“27 missed calls. What the hell? Why is everyone calling me?"
There were dozens of unread messages.
“So you fuck guys? Are you gay? This is fucking crazy mannnn"
“What the hell is happening man? Your sex video is all over the net? You are a homo?"
“Is that Mani pounding you? Eeeks!!"
“#GayRape is trending now. You are famous! ROFL"
He composed himself and walked towards his laptop. Microsoft OS was the slowest operating system software in the whole damn world, he thought.
He did not have to search; someone had posted the video on his Facebook timeline.
t took some five minutes for him to gain some courage to click “play." He watched the entire clip; it was brief, not very long.
The phone rang again. This time it was from his father, Mr. Hegde. He did not pick up the call. His father had already called him 12 times.
He was scared. It was past midnight.
Mr. Narender called again.
"Appa," Hari said tentatively.
"I have called you some million times in the past 2 hours. What the hell is happening?"
"Let me just get to the point. Is that you in the video?" Narender's voice trembled in anger laden with emotion.
Hari remained silent. He did not know how to respond.
"I will ask you one more time. I will accept whatever you say. But I hope you will not let me down more by being dishonest."
"Is that you having sex with another boy, dammit?"
"Yes. Appa I am sorry," Hari answered in a low voice. Hari was petrified now.
"How can you do this to us Hari? Are you gay? Oh my god, oh my god. You are gay! Please tell me that this was just an accident." Hari's father begged. "Your mother doesn't know this yet. She will commit suicide if she gets to know it."
"Even if you are so desperate to have sex like a dog, does it give you pleasure to record this and put it up on the internet? What kind of a son are you? You have disappointed me Hari. I have never imagined in my wildest dreams that you will bring about such shame to our family. How will I face our relatives? How will I face my friends? Did you for once think what Anju might have to face with her in-laws and her husband? Are you sex obsessed? Did I send you to college so you could have sex? Answer me, dammit."
"How can you be so evil and selfish? You have truly broken my heart. No one has ever hurt me so much in my life."
"Why don't you say anything? Why don't you say it's a mistake and will not do it again?" he wept.
Hari remained silent.
Kanna, its okay. Just come back to Bangalore. Maybe it's the company you keep. That ugly boy must have definitely tricked you into doing this. You are my son. I did not bring you up this way. Just come back. All these gay fantasies are a passing cloud. I will come and pick you up tomorrow. You can make a fresh start. I will speak to your sister and your mother," he pleaded.
"Dad, I am gay." Hari was calm and resolute now. "I am not straight. My sincere apologies for the video. I do not know who took it or how it got online, but I am not apologetic about being gay."
"I am sorry if I have disappointed you," Hari said calmly.
"Then don't come back to my house ever. I will imagine that I never had a son. You will never lead a happy life by hurting us Hari. You will be miserable, know that. You don't know how much you have hurt us, especially me," he was livid.
"Perhaps both I and your mother will have to commit suicide because of what you have done."
I am ashamed of you," and he disconnected the call.
then walked to the door and bolted the second latch, drew the curtains and switched off the lights. It was eerily silent. Everything around him had turned black. He stood against the wall staring into the darkness as if he had been possessed by a djinn. He stayed there motionless while his brain turned blank.