I had two opportunities to go back to India and visit the country my parents were born from. The first was when I was 15. My dad was going back for a visit and asked me to go with him. I said no because I wanted to stay home for the summer holiday and had no interest at that time in India, growing up I had no strong affiliations with India even though it was right there in every curry, jalebi, art work, lounge room ornaments. But at the same time I had my cousin’s Iron Maiden posters, my He Man and Transformers, Star Wars and a tornado of western culture that I was swept up in. India was where my parents came from, not me. There are two regrets I have when it comes to my father and this was the first. That I never went with him on this trip. The second opportunity I had was to take his ashes back to where he grew up. At the time we had a family dog Jessie, which if you have been a fan of mine from the beginning, you would have noticed I used to wear a blue dog tag, this was Jessie’s tag that I would wear after he died. Needless to say I was very close to that dog and neither my mum or I wanted to put him in a shelter so when she and my brother went back to India with dad’s ashes I stayed back to look after the dog.
I have yet to visit the birth country of my parents and now being older I am really excited and eager to go to India and travel the country. Even more so now that I know I have such a strong presence there withen the gay and bodybuilding community that support and follow me.
Covid has taken a lot from me and the people I love. Careers, homes, work, money, self worth and purpose. It has replaced those with despair, depression, need, self doubt and worthlessness, substance abuse and mental illness.
If Covid has had any affect on me it is to make me feel the importance of home. Belonging to somewhere. I was living out of a suitcase when Covid struck and because of that I was forced to lockdown with friends and lovers, both of whom I lost due to the un-natural living conditions. I have never felt so unsettled and desperate for a home. A place to call my own. And in turn I can appreciate the importance of where I came from, my history and my family’s history.
Now Covid is raping India without mercy. As I person with Indian blood in me I have to speak out and help these people I donated to the Hope Foundation as it helps people in Kolkata where my family is from. But there are many foundations that you can donate. I have listed two below.
The pictures I have attached are paintings my father did. He was a copy artist. He could draw ANYTHING! But he would need to copy an existing image or combine existing images. If you know me or the artist you will recognise Frank Frazetta in those paintings. Me, my brother and mum and dads legacy. As for the 2nd regret…