Category Archives: sexuality


(Another of these…about Ishwari herself now…..)

“So tell me why you dare to cower before the one who turned your spine into an iron rod.”

“Parashakti please! You were never meant to stay back here, I thought you didn’t have to come back here anymore.” Ishwari was weeping bitterly, but she couldn’t look at the abominable apparition that darkened the room. “Mother, you shouldn’t be here, it’s not natural! You’re scaring your grandchild!”
“And it was you who burdened her with something so powerful as a curse!”

Parashakti snarled at her daughter, and reached down to Ishwari’s ankles. The living woman drew back again in terror as her mother started taking on a solid form, something that she knew could touch her. Only her touch made her skin crawl. She locked her eyes, not even daring to scream, and ringing metallic clangs filled the bedroom, an orchestra that chilled the blood to the lowest degree.
Ishwari shut her eyes, but she still saw her mother bending down and tighten the manacle she made specifically for them. She saw Parashakti’s body becoming so solid that the day of her death was clearer now.
Ishwari could even smell the ominous sweetness of camphor, coconut oil and kerosene in the room. Her mother’s screams of madness had turned into roars as she cursed at her disease as it took over her body with terrifying speed. The cries pierced Ishwari’s heart like a knife as she ran out of her mother’s bedroom, and onto the street.
Now there was nowhere to turn, nobody to turn to either. But the flames shot up through the bedroom window, the stately, albeit still maddened woman clutching her burning, oil-stained sari against her body and racing out of their house. “What are you doing? What is this?” shouted the sixteen-year-old in protest as the crawling, clawing bundle of burning humanity tried to reach for her. But she only kept feeding her flames with more oil that she had stored in a tiny bottle.

“I…trained you….to be powerful!…Ishwari…Ishwari Ramakrishna…if you cry I will hunt you down and…kill you….” The disjointed voice was swallowing her up, and it was indeed her mother’s. But this burning monster couldn’t be talking through her murderous yells.
She had been backed into the alley near their house, and some of the beggars there tried to extend their hands to her. But the flaming, tottering monster who had fallen down in a heap at her daughter’s feet was practically Kali incarnate. They were unable to even move in without fearing death at any minute.
“Mother…Para…Parashakti….you,” she tried her best to bite back tears as she hid her face in her blanket, “you…you were the richest devadasi of them all! Why did you have to do this and leave me alone? You are the one who wanted to turn me into a sex-crazed demon like yourself! But this? And in front of me? Why?”
“I wanted you to be strong!! BE STRONG! I live within you!” screamed the devilish voice once more, although it was obvious that the scarred and charred carcass was not the one who was saying it. “We had our nights together, I showed you how it was to dominate any man you met! Look how they’re looking at you now,” the monster kept stabbing her daughter with her words. The alley became as dark as hell to Ishwari.

Soldiers who had been on their nightly city patrol were rushing to the aid of some of the servants who were struggling to make it out of the inferno…

One or two offered to carry Ishwari, but she could only feel their hands as sweaty clamps trying to break into her again and make her shriek in pain…the same way Parashakti watched with cold eyes as her daughter bled out in torrents under the power of the drunk nattuvanar. He had roared maliciously like a raging tiger as he pinned her down and gored her with his manhood, the tearing pain shooting from her legs to her chest as he bore his great weight on her young breasts. Then came the climax.
Sharp teeth and nails caught hold of the drunkard’s neck and he screamed as she used all her strength to attack him, ripping his skin as a vortex of anger, sorrow and pain swelled in her.
“Well done,” was all Parashakti had said, pulling the bleeding man off her horrifically broken daughter, “now you can be stronger than any man you chose to be with. Clean up that blood you young fool, clean it up! Never let him inside you, never let him cross the line when it comes to sex. Women are prayed to, as mothers we are goddesses, we undergo hardship to bring about life, and we continue to suffer as the men around us keep gathering wives like cattle, only to mate with us and enslave us. They might have several men and women in their lives, all to treat as playthings. So remember that…”
Her scream was ten times more powerful now than it was then.

“MOTHER STOP IT PLEASE!” Yashodha was crying as only frightened children could cry, burying her head in the protective folds of the sheet.

Ishwari’s moans of agony tore above the cries of her poor daughter.

She still shut her eyes and her tears flowed freely down her cheeks. “I strengthened you! Never fall in love if you are to be on top, to be a strong woman! We must always be powerful and beautiful, carry our heads high and beat down whoever male idiots who cross us, let no man be above you, in life or in bed. You’re just an ordinary woman, small before everything more powerful than yourself. Will you jump on a bloody pyre when the father of your brat dies?” Parashakti snapped coldly. “Abandon that other woman of yours! The women of our family were never meant to find true love, and that heartless northern witch will never love you back. She will be the reason for your undoing, Ishwari. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. Why else would we be tied by an iron chain? Every feeling of love you have towards her strengthens it and every time you resent…”
Her daughter lifted her head slowly. “Resent? Resent? I…That’s an understatement, I…I want you to burn in hell!” Ishwari growled. “You were always a monster to me, my sisters and I all hated you, but they were lucky! I had to suffer, I was a girl and the youngest, a double curse upon me.” She straightened her back. “Let me and my daughter find real love! I don’t care if I have to die, but the woman I want shall be mine, and when I’ve lain with her I’ll spit on your grave.”



(Hi there Internet! Now as you can imagine, we’ve been in a state of hiatus and inactivity, but we have by no means closed shop! As proof here is something to work with. Tell me if there are any continuity issues and I’ll fix them. )

“You’re impossible, I mean…most women would be quite okay with this! I don’t know Minakshi, you’re just not normal. Most men I know, some of them are of high status in this city, and they have more than one wife. They’ve had more lovers and mistresses, harems in fact. Are you telling me that it’s impossible?” He was stabbing her repeatedly with his questions as he pushed away the plate and rose from his seat.
“Excuse me?”
“You heard me…” In his heart he felt like he was losing battle, something unlike what he had trained for. She now felt like a powerful shield, iron in frame with many firm leather covers stitched together, doubling and tripling the protection factor. No sword could pierce that, he knew. Quickly he turned to look at her darkened face.
Minakshi said nothing to Brahmarajan, instead sitting down with her fingers toying with a wooden spoon. “And here I thought I knew you. But I don’t care how many bigamist friends you have. I don’t car how many women these so-called lords and commanders keep in their houses, in fact I don’t care if the Emperor himself has hundreds of women in his house. You, Brahmarajan Narasimha, you married me, and you live under this roof, so you’d better start acting like a normal man because a normal man is supposed to be loyal to whoever he marries. Because…I’ve never been with anybody else except for you! It’s…it’s…harder for me…”

Her hand went close to her mouth and her voice felt choked.

He tried to look at her again.

“Never? Even as a young girl? Well, fine we live in a city with a deeply religious outlook and everything, but…it’s not like everyone prays to the gods and does pujas every waking minute of the door. Did you think that that was what Thanjavur was like when you were in the Punjab are up there?”-he raised his arm to indicate the north-“or did your….I don’t know, your…ancestors or something? Because that is not how it works for us! Look, religion doesn’t watch over us like an eye in the sky, alright? There are always exceptions to every rule, and”-
“Shut up! I don’t want to hear about this stupid philosophy, I’m, I’m tired of it!” Minakshi drew in some phlegm suddenly. “And why bring it up? It isn’t even our damn religions that matter. It’s the kind of person we make ourselves to be in front of our child! And he’s five! And you, you go out drinking, probably sleeping around”-


“What, did I strike a nerve there? Guess I’m not as stupid as you think! So this was it huh? Ishwari was right you know, and now I feel like such a fool for not listening to her,” she continued through gritted teeth, shaking her head as she did, “and, and I…” She choked again, angrily attacking her tears, not even looking at Brahmarajan’s back which was turned towards her. What was wrong with her? She was proud, proud being a woman and a strong rebel against even her own culture, against his culture. She was supposed to embrace and worship him-sure, lots of women did, but even more didn’t, that much she knew-but she knew that she had to have a word in between.

What now? Hands had reached out of the walls and caught her in their powerful, unbreakable net, so she thought.
“You…will…stay…” Minakshi could feel her own slender hands working on her sari, rhythmically unwinding it, the lengths of soft cloth falling off her in a heap. Putting on a giant stream of cloth was not the simplest thing in the world but she always enjoyed pulling it off. Now Minakshi didn’t feel as constricted as she always did. It was like there was a difference between the powerful, domineering south and the heavenly north that she never truly knew.
And now the gap was to be bridged.
A moan erupted from her in a cascade of passion as she held herself against him. Brahmarajan glanced back at Minakshi and saw, from the corner of his eye, her large, perfumed breasts and soft, firm belly open upon him, her navel and nipples gently brushing against his as she turned him around for an embrace.
She started to kiss the powerful form of his neck as she pushed deeper into him, letting him drown in her body and its heavenly aroma. “You will be with me Brahmarajan,” she murmured as she swayed her hips to an unheard beat, gently moving him onto the soft carpet.

“What are…no, no please,” he replied in anguish, trying to move but not touching her, although he couldn’t help but stroke her body slightly, fingertips struggling against temptation and yet screaming out for her now heated skin.
She looked stunned for a minute. “Why?”
“Because of her strength! She is a terrifying force, Minakshi, with a terrible god she chains within her walls. He gives unto her pain and pleasure all at once,  partner and torturer all in one. A being against whom there is no defence. Minakshi, I’m trapped. But I can’t help it. If I were saw a tigress would I want to chain her? She is sensuous, fearsome graceful, a wild and dark dancer with blood on her nails and lips. But this tigress is also a witch….a force with the power to shake the heart and turn the minds of men unto her…I…I….”

Minakshi silenced him with a long,drawn-out kiss as she locked her arms and legs around his body. “Speak no more of this,” she crooned softly, “and let’s finish this in the bedroom. We can forget her completely.”

Anguish kept rising in him. “No Minakshi, no, no.”

She guided him slowly, allowing him to hold her body as they both lay down on the bed,
Minakshi lay down first, legs open in invitation to him as she pulled him onto her. For a few minutes she kissed him, then fumbled with his dhoti eagerly. Yet he brushed her hand away gently and sat down on the edge of the bed, head in his hands.

Born this Way

The following story may seem slightly irrelevant. Of course the day to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS came and went. I never saw any red ribbons, but then, I can’t remember if I left the house that day. There were tweets about AIDS, although they had to share the spotlight with #RIPPaulWalker tweets. However, for AIDS Day I wrote a story that also highlighted the issues faced by the LGBT community. And we are sharing the story here because race, religion and ethnicity aren’t the only reasons for conflict. We come to many wrong conclusions and thus act in a shameful manner. Society corners them and is even repulsed by them. The question though is this, why are we so bothered by what one does in private? Why can’t we love someone of our own choice, without letting our sex get in the way? We were born this way, so why can’t we accepted for who we are?

Understanding the psyche of LGBT Community

Understanding the psyche of LGBT Community

There was a time when HIV/AIDS was unheard of in Sri Lanka. However, the situation is changing drastically, which could be due to an increase in awareness of the virus. It could also be due to the society being more aware of sex and sexuality.Years ago sex wasn’t a topic that was discussed. It was assumed that what happened between two people was none of society’s business. Sex and gender were assumed to be synonyms. However, people gradually realized that sex isn’t an act between man and woman only, or that what you are born as isn’t what you need to be recognized as. With such realizations, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities and activism groups sprang up and pride parades were organized to fight for gay rights.

The island’s legal system considers homosexuality as an offense. Many believe a conservative nation like Sri Lanka is still not ready to accept non-heterosexual relationships as a real thing. Many believe interest in the same sex is a phase or an illness that can be cured. In most cases, homosexuals are forced into marriage with the hope they could be cured. 

Fortunately, society is gradually becoming more open-minded and the conservative mindset of many is changing for the better. Organizations like Equal Ground organizes many campaigns and events where the LGBT community can meet and raise issues they have. Such events are also attended by heterosexuals who want to fight for gay rights and also understand the LGBT community.

Sri Lankan authors like Shyam Selvadurai have addressed issues faced by homosexuals in novels like Funny Boy, Swimming in the Monsoon Sea and Cinnamon Gardens. More and more Sri Lankans are now open about their sexuality and encourage others to raise a voice for the LGBT community.
With the growth of the community, the term LGBT too is seeing an addition of other letters and now also includes questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA). However, there are many factions within the community, as the subgroups believe the rights they fight for aren’t similar. Further, communities of this nature tend to focus on one issue at a time. Campaigns are carried out, but gay marriages aren’t recognized by law in many countries. 

“LGBT communities must adopt a holistic approach instead of taking up issues individually,” UNAIDS Country Officer and Public Health Specialist Dr. Dayanath Ranathunge said, adding that a lack of active campaigns, support groups and services have led to the alienation of homosexuals in society. “We are in denial that such people exist, although society has to work closely with them to understand them,” Dr Ranathunge further commented. He also said that the LGBT community has no real definition, which could be a barrier to both understanding sexuality and recognizing their rights. Dr Ranathunge also spoke about why HIV/AIDS is believed to affect homosexuals the most.

Hypodermic needles, from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery or breast feeding and contaminated blood transfusions are ways in which HIV/AIDS can be transmitted. Yet, common belief is that HIV/AIDS can only be transmitted through sexual intercourse which could be virginal, anal or oral. In fact, many wrongly believe that AIDS is a ‘gay disease’ which has also led to an increase in homophobia.

The truth however, is that HIV/AIDS is not something that only affects the LGBT community and sex isn’t the only way the virus can be transmitted. Yet, it is one of the most common methods, which is why it seems like HIV/AIDS cannot be discussed without also discussing sex and homosexuality. Due to the nature of anal sex, an individual who indulges in such sexual practices is more vulnerable to the virus. Another reason why homosexuals seem the most affected is due to the stigma that surrounds homosexual relationships. Religion plays a huge role here, as many faiths consider homosexuality a sin. Further, the law of the nation also creates anti-gay beliefs and attitudes in the country. “They can’t confine to one relationship and can’t have stable partners due to a fear of exposure,” Dr Ranathunga said, adding that many homosexuals have unprotected and casual sex. Further, due to the law and social stigma, homosexuals are afraid to get tested and thus may spread the virus without their knowledge.

Special programs
However, homosexuals should not hesitate to get tested. Dr Ranathunga said, “according to our oaths, a doctor cannot be biased,” adding that doctors who handle HIV/AIDS patients are trained to be impartial and not let the patient’s sexual orientation or preferences get in the way of treatment and care. “However, this doesn’t always happen as some doctors can be insensitive about the patient’s feelings,” he added. “There are now special programs where the Ministry of Health and society works together and actively encourages individuals to seek help,” he commented, saying that, “the infectivity of a patient drops to nearly zero percent if they seek treatment regularly,” and, “if a patient is diagnosed at the age of 25 and receives proper treatment, he can live up to 65.”
It is also important to look at children who were ‘gifted’ HIV while still in their mother’s womb. They have no choice, but to live with a virus that will forever label them and restrict them. There are also those who go abroad, especially to the Middle East, in search of work. They are often raped, which has led to many Gender Based Violence (GBV) movements. “It is important to catch them on return and make sure they are not infected,” Dr Ranathunge said, adding that, many practice unsafe sex due to their vulnerability living alone in a foreign land.

However, why is HIV/AIDS feared so much? Why is a day dedicated for AIDS on December 1? Red ribbons are worn with pride to spread awareness. Organizations like Lanka Business Coalition for HIV and AIDS (LBCH) organize awareness programs in commercial institutes and address issues regarding stigma and discrimination. The National STD/AIDS Control Program has clinics around the nation, where tests are carried out and treatment given. Further, anyone who suspects they have AIDS can find listening ears at the clinics, where pre and post diagnosis counseling is offered. The importance of counseling for HIV/AIDS patients and homosexuals were stressed too by many organizations, as many are emotionally affected and often need to share their feelings, fears and insecurities.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection / Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is caused by the HIV virus and affects the immune system. Due to prolonged periods without symptoms, patients are often not aware of the disease until it’s too late. The virus weakens the immune system which makes patients more vulnerable to other diseases, leading to situations where the immune system cannot even fight against a common cold.

There are many myths about AIDS, especially on how one can be infected. Due to a lack of sex education, many assume AIDS can be spread through touch. There was a time when AIDS patients were treated like lepers and were feared by society. However, campaigns now reveal the truths about HIV/AIDS and awareness programs are conducted around the country.

Further, prevention methods are also discussed and people are encouraged to have protected sex. Sadly, Sri Lankans are still quite oblivious about sex and protection, although condoms are now sold at most pharmacies. People are however, reluctant to purchase condoms as they feel humiliated and embarrassed. Earlier this year the Rotaract Club of Cinnamon Gardens posted a video titled, “Buying Condoms in Sri Lanka” which aimed at helping people purchase condoms. There are also gels that can be used to prevent being infected. Further, people are encouraged to not have casual sex and be aware of the sexual history of their partners.

However, it is important to remember that HIV/AIDS can be transmitted through body fluids too. Blood transmissions have led to the spread of the virus and injecting needles that carry blood with the virus has also significantly affected the spread of the virus. While mosquitoes or other insects cannot transmit the virus, people are told be aware of needles used for tattoos, piercing and other types of branding. Thus it is important to know about prevention methods and stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The campaigns and programs all boil down to a message of equality. Heterosexuals aren’t ‘normal human beings’ and non-heterosexuals are not abnormal and if our sexual orientation defines how human we are, we definitely need to rethink our beliefs and values. Thus it is important to not only fight for the rights of the LGBTQIA communities, but also dispel the myths that surround HIV/AIDS.