Love Across Boundaries, the first event of Bengaluru Pride and Karnataka Queer Habba 2010 provided space for people from diverse backgrounds to express their interpretation of love. Around 40 people from across Bangalore gathered at the Indian Social Institute in the afternoon of 18th November to exchange personal stories, poems and thoughts on romance, relationships and related themes.
The event began with dramatized accounts (in Kannada and English) of the pain that bias towards caste, gender, sexual orientation and religion have caused to people in love, by Kaveri Rajaraman (ecology researcher and activist), Gayatri Geetha (working with Sangama) and Sumathi Murthy (a feminist and talented singer). Then followed a lively and engaging interchange on how class, language, disability, ideology et al influence relationships, that B.N. Sharada, a counellor at Parivarthan and Sangama, moderated well.
Kaveri Rajaraman dramatizing an intercaste love story
Du Saraswathi, a noted Kannada poet and writer, quoted from The Art of Love that "love is an act and not a feeling" while Sowmya, a Hijra, talked about the different meanings and manifestations of love in her life. Activists Shakun Mohini, Madhu Bhushan and Celine Suguna talked about the limitations of the traditional family structure and their observations of bi, homo and hetero sexual women and men who suffered because of it. Academics and acitivists, Arati Chokshi, Ramdas Rao and Anand B shared interesting perspectives on their experiences with the young at home and outside and the need to be inclusive and respect various opinions.
"Whose culture, whose tradition?" asked Gayatri Geeta
Arvind Narrain, lawyer and co-founder of the Alternative Law Forum (ALF), gave some insights on the historical, political and legal aspects of the sexuality rebellion and the reason behind the programme. Thanking everyone present for our active participation and support, Niruj Mohan, one of the key organizers of this year’s edition of the Pride fest welcomed us to the rest of the exciting Habba.