Love that the world loaths

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Dear Helsinki,

Several years I have been fighting for my rights to be recognised. The language of human and fundamental rights have become an integral characteristic in the way I speak to decision-makers, general public and other stakeholders about legalising the love my heart longs for, desperately. I quote significant individuals who have come out in support of the battle I am struggling with, I refer to the international human rights instruments that protect all humans from oppression and discrimination and I compare the situation to other states which have made remarkable advancements. But this time Helsinki, I no longer wish to convince the rest of the world with abstract notions of love, rights and equality. I want to tell you my story. And I wish you to help me understand what it is about my feelings that still today make most of the world shiver with disgust.

I met a man in India a few weeks back. We started conversing on Grindr, an application for gay men to meet each other, and that alone felt strange as I never have a conversation on it. I use it for my own amusement and maybe three or four times a year I actually respond to someone, but his message and profile sparked my interest instantly that I responded without thinking the possible consequences.

We sent each other long messages, getting to know each other and soon enough I discovered myself having a chat with him every single time I had access to Internet. I would stay up until 3am every night, just talking about our lives, dreams that kept us going on, people that we had loved in the past and TV-shows that entertained us. It was effortless as if you had been discussing with a person who had known you the entire lifetime. Without realising I had let all my guards down with him, I had allowed him to enter my life and to access all parts of it without a hint of caution. My heart had not experienced such a magnitude of attraction and desire in years and she yearned to have more of the infatuation.

He had asked me a few times if I was able to visit Chandigarh, the city where he lived. I had been planning to travel there before we had started to talk, but then I realised it was four hour drive down to the mountains and as I was with my family my freedom was constrained. My lungs were thirsty to see him and the crippling thought of not seeing paralysed my entire body. Just a week before I was leaving the town, he found a compromise that worked for both of us: we would meet in Solan that was two hour ride away for both of us and have a coffee there. It was not much, but it was all we could have and I was willing to take it even though I was certain that the moment that meeting was over, the yearning for him would intensify conspicuously. Continue reading

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Songs of May 2015

Dear Helsinki,

I know May has not come to an end yet, but I am leaving tomorrow morning for India and I am sure I will not have that much access to Internet. Therefore I am sending you my favourite songs from this month already now and I am sorry I am in a rush so will not have time to write about them; I still do hope you enjoy them.

Lots of love,
Nitin

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Eurovision & kindness from strangers

Dear Helsinki,

Last weekend I hosted a Eurovision party that simultaneously served as a celebration of me turning one year older and also as a housewarming. It was a brilliant success, not just because of realising what amazing friends I have here in Helsinki but also because I discovered what tender kindness exhilarates in the neighbourhood that I am blessed enough to call home since April.

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On Friday I posted on a local Facebook group a request and the response I received exceeded the imagination I have. Notifications popped on my iPhone like there was no tomorrow; within hours random strangers donated me decorations that they no longer needed, lent me their disco balls so I could throw a party so that my friends who disliked Eurovision would not be able to hide their excitement and even those who could not offer me anything wished me best of luck with organising the event and asked to see photos from the party. Continue reading

Happiness, oh dear the happiness I have experienced

Dear Helsinki,

I turned 26-years-old last week. My birthday is not my most favourite event of the year, particularly because I have never enjoyed growing older and each time the day takes place I seem to look back at my life and wonder all the things that I was supposed to achieve but still have not accomplished. I build so many expectations for my birthday and set the bar so high that I have rarely been able to enjoy the day the way I should.

But this year it has been different; for the first time I decided to let go and embrace the amazing things I have in life. I have been blessed with an amazing loving family, I have friends who love me like regardless of my flaws, I have a job where I feel I make a difference, I still travel and experience new countries that keep capturing my hearts and let us not forget all TV-shows that take me another place whenever needed.

I might have not published my debut novel yet or visited all the countries in the world or in love with a person who loves me back, but I am not worried or anxious either as I would be on my birthday. Rather I am happy with the abundance of great things I have in life and I am certain I will continue to doing great stuff this year as well, not just because I am an amazing person but also because I have lovely people supporting me on my journey.

Letting go is perhaps one of the hardest thing to do, at least for me but last week it finally happened and I had perhaps the most splendid birthday week one could ever imagine. Without expectations and with unsuspected events I experienced this comforting feeling of happiness that gently embraced my soul. Not only I enjoyed the world beneath my feet, but I also took a full advantage of all the treasures yielded in my life.

I visited cherry blossom celebrations that I have yearned to see for a couple of years now, but always missed for apathetic excuses that you make when you wish to skip a class. Visiting your Eastern suburbs where the pink flowers beamed against the blue sky and presenters spoke both in Finnish and Japanese kindled a feeling of belonging to a world without borders. Then the sky became grey and it poured rain, but my friend and I decided to cherish the situation and take pleasure in watching the art of melancholic Japanese dance. Continue reading

Songs that conquered my heart last month

Dear Helsinki,

I must admit I am quite amazed that I am actually writing you this letter — I know I told you a month ago that I would like to keep a record of the music I listen to each month, but I did not think I would actually succeed doing that. Partly because I have thought of doing it for several years but never got around it. And fine this is only the second time I make the list, but that alone is an accomplishment from me — a brilliant one if I may add.

So let us go straight to the point: the bewildering tunes that made love to my ears.

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