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Poem by Hoshang Merchant

Hoshang Merchant  is India’s pre-eminent voice of gay liberation. Born  in  1947  to  a  Zoroastrian  business  family  in  Bombay, India, he  graduated  in  1968 with  a major in  English  and a  minor  in the culture of India. On his mother’s side, he descends from a line of preachers and teachers. He holds a Master’s from Occidental College, Los Angeles, USA. At Purdue University, Indiana, USA, he specialized in the renaissance and modernism. After leaving Purdue  in  1975,  Merchant  attended  the  Provincetown Fine Arts Work Centre, Massachusetts, USA, and lived and taught in Heidelberg, Iran, and Jerusalem. He has studied Buddhism at the Tibetan Library, Dharamsala, India, as well as Islam in Iran and Palestine. Since 1979, seventeen of his books of poetry have been published. He recently superannuated from the University of Hyderabad, India, after twenty-six years of teaching.

There is a man, a woman and a child in all of us.

D H Lawrence

Man becomes woman

Woman became man

In love a woman becomes a man

But the man becomes the Sea....


In Kabuki, the onnagata i.e. female impersonater

Uses cunning make up, costume

Becoming Woman an entire stage life

So too, in Jatra

Chapal Bhaduri

Rituparno playing Bhaduri....

In the marriage bed

Men and women mingle

Who is who?

It's as if two flames mingle

Yet at parting become two again

But while one

He becomes she

She becomes he

Futile to talk of he and she

May be there aren't two

But six genders

May be there aren't six

But only One

like black subsumes All color

And a rainbow only white light


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