Let me be honest that I was not ready to encounter upfront what I had only read and heard in the recent past. A light tremor shook me when Peter introduced me to Paul, his ‘husband’, and he had reciprocated with a smile.
My conservative upbringing was in for a rude shock. exposed to the grey shade of human relationship beyond the conventional black and white. Many of you will mock at me for my naivety, knowing well that like many, I am witness-to and participant-in several transforming realities the world is tossing up every so often.
Legal sanctions notwithstanding, same gender co-habitation is for real now. Proclaiming same gender partner as ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ in public is a brave new expression, heralding a new era in human relationships. If marriages are indeed made in heaven, as they say, then same gender marriages may also have a divine sanction! My bewilderment was no more than a fleeting emotion because the gays were cool about it! Two husbands under one roof without a wife or two wives under one roof without a husband. Bravo!
If family means putting arms around each other, then that is what they are doing. If family means caring for each other, then that is what has brought them together. What goes behind closed doors is none of anybody’s business. Chill! The world has lived through polygamy and polyandry for long, it is time to give new meaning to monogamy now. Though I doubt if there is anything new about it. Our ancient monuments stand testimony to such relationships, stone carvings on derelict structures depict that such relationships were in vogue then.
Stone or plastic, these couples give two hoot to what the carvings are all about and what the clerics or the biologists might be thinking. They hold no obligations towards either! Darwin may have started rolling over in his coffin, however, the fittest have sought their own ways to devolve. Nurturing new-found relationship, they have left the task of procreation to the test tubes and the surrogate mothers. Why should all eggs be put in the same basket, they question? As science takes charge of procreation, relationships are beginning to go beyond the obvious. Same gender relationship is just the beginning!
When Aaron Chervenak, a native of Los Angles, married his smartphone recently, he went beyond gender stereotypes in tying knot with a machine instead. The priest in the Little Vegas Chapel in Nevada proclaimed them ‘husband and cellphone’. It is not startling, as one-third of Americans say they would rather give up sex than lose their cell phones. As people touch their smart phone more often than they touch their spouse, a new relationship is indeed evolving in every living room.
If you have touched your cellphone few times while reading this, you know what I am driving at!
(Sudhirendar Sharma is director, The Eco-logical Foundation, New Delhi)