By Shevlin Sebastian
One evening, a man was standing at a medicine shop at Fort Kochi to buy some tablets. Suddenly, a middle-aged woman came up, accompanied by her ten-year-old son, and asked for an I-Pill. The chemist gave it to her. Coolly, she took out the tablet, asked the chemist for a glass of water, popped the pill into her mouth, threw the packet in the shop's dust-bin, paid the money, and walked away.
This led to feverish speculation between the man and the chemist. “Either she is married and does not want to have a child, while her husband wants another one,” said the man. “So this was the best way to hoodwink him.” However, the seasoned chemist said, “Her husband may be in the Gulf and she was feeling lonely yesterday. So, maybe, she slipped. As the line on the tablet says, 'Worried after last night?'. Perhaps, she wanted to get rid of some worries.”
The duo laughed, even though the mystery of why the woman took the birth-control tablet at the shop was not solved.
Happy and gay
One evening, two men were standing at the Thevara bus stop at Kochi. Suddenly, one man, Kutty (name changed) turned to the other man, Murali, and said, “I am looking for a companion. Would you like to be one?”
Murali did not respond. Kutty asked again, “Would you like to join me?” Again Murali ignored him. When Kutty asked for a third time, Murali got angry and said, “You dog, don't you have any shame? Why are you harassing me like this?” But Kutty was unfazed. “I am gay,” he said. “I only asked for your companionship. You could have either said yes or no.
There was no need to get angry and abuse me.” A crowd gathered, but Kutty remained nonchalant, and, once again, proclaimed his sexuality. The people were so shocked by his frank admission that nobody said anything. When the next bus came, Kutty calmly got on it, and left.
The time of shame and fear for gays seems to be over.
Sex queen as an everyday woman
After a day’s media frenzy, in which numerous television channels recorded her every move on the sets of her latest Malayalam film, ‘Neelakurinji Poothu’ at Kochi , former soft-porn star Shakeela is in a relaxed mood in her hotel room that evening. She is wearing a nightgown and speaks fluent English even though she says, “I failed my Class ten exams and did not study further.”
She is hospitable and kind, and when an aide brings a fruit juice in a tetra-pack, for the visitor, she says, “Oh that is very bitter. Get another brand.”
When asked why there is still so much of interest in her, she laughs and says, “People are curious to know whether I am a sex symbol in real life also.”
Shakeela became a household name among adult Malayalis when her soft porn film, ‘Kinnarathumbikal’, released in 2000, became a hit. She shakes her head and says, “How did this film do well? The music was bad: some remixes of Michael Jackson’s songs, and there were only two scenes where I reveal my cleavage and my legs. Actresses nowadays reveal ten times more.”
But producer Jaffer Kanjirapally, who is sitting next to her, is not complaining. “I made 19 films with Shakeela and made a lot of money,” he says. “I am trying my luck again with her.”
Shakeela talks easily about the many incidents in her eventful life, including her encounters with another sex queen, the late Silk Smitha. “When I saw Silk Smitha on the sets at the AVM Studios in Chennai for the first time, she was leaning back on a chair, her eyes closed, with two air coolers on either side,” says Shakeela. “I thought to myself, ‘An actor’s life seems to be a royal one.’”
(The New Indian Express, Kerala State edition)