P was my friend . We took tutions together . He also supplied me with PentHouse letters and Nancy Fridays . Organic Chemistry, Adolescent age, inquisitiveness and interest towards forbidden things were the common link for friendship . One of those conversations made him break down . He was confused . Did not know what to do . Whom to tell . How to lead his life . How to handle parents , friends and society ? He pretended to be happy but there was an underlying pain . Some friendships come with shelf life . We drifted . Never met him again in last 20 years . But I still remember his despair and pain .
We had no conducted tour planned at Zurich and once we reached Bahnhofstrasse we started exploring the city . Colourful clothes , designer shoes and ever smiling people around only added brightness to the otherwise overcast cloudy sky .
While we hanged around trying to decide our next destination the traffic stood still and there was an anticipated excitement in the air amongst people around .
Then they came . Defying all rules , norms and tradition which are mostly laid down by society . They came with a confidence , colour and charisma . This was the first time I was seeing a LGBT parade . The experience was like any first time. You don’t know how to react but get engrossed in the happenings .
Colour was in abundance . In an otherwise dull overcast day, they sprayed colour in the canvas . Pink , green , yellow , red , purple were no longer only colours but they represented freedom of expression . They came holding hands with their partners like any other happy couple , like me and my wife . They paused , posed , smiled and kept moving . The message was simple and yet a strong one – marginalization to inclusion .
This continued for about 3o mins . As a photographer I was happy . As tourists we were happy to be a part of the LGBT parade in Zurich . As human beings we had long discussions after this . On inclusion, on viewpoint, on the situation India . This was 2011 . As on 1st january 2015 there are only 17 countries and certain subnational jurisdictions which allow same sex marriage and its yet not legal in India .
I don’t know where is P now . Hope he is happy and settled in life . Stay good and keep smiling my friend . I promise I will solve all the Organic chemistry equations now without your help .
You can read about our Zurich diaries 1 here – Zurich diaries I – with camera and without plan
Our other Swiss travelogs are here –