Those who did
Aravind Kumar Rajendran, 27, sheepishly admits to having a fondness for dolls. “I had a Barbie doll as a kid. I used to love playing with it till I was about 12 years old.” Quite a gender-bender — not many people are “man” enough to admit it.
Debolina Mukherjee, 22, who is studying for her MA degree, has much to admit. “My elder brother brought a copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover from the library when he was in Class X and got a scolding from our father. I was all of 12 then, but I read it. I don’t think he knows about this. I also used to read his diary without his permission, but created a major ruckus if he even dared to touch mine. And no, my brother doesn’t know about this either,” she grins.
Some confess to strange quirks. “I twist the corner of my handkerchief while thinking or taking an interview. And I tend to do that more if the interviewee happens to be an attractive lady,” confesses 30-year old Dipak Raj Das, co-founder and CEO of Opus Global Solutions.
“Recently while performing at a high-profile event I forgot the lyrics of one of my own compositions! I continued with the lyrics from a totally different song. No one figured out,” laughs Diptish Bose, 22, a student of computer applications and the vocalist of rock band Carvaka. He too has a lot to disclose. “I once got 1.5 out of 10 in a chemistry test. I told no one about it and simply tore up the answer sheet,” he confesses. “And I smoked in the classroom during recess at school and drank ethanol in the chemistry lab.” He now considers the last activity stupid and dangerous.
It takes guts, if you are hobnobbing with the cool, to announce that you like Himesh Reshammiya. Or that you follow “K-Serials”.
Confesses Debangana Saha, first-year student of BCA at Techno India , Salt Lake: “I started listening to English rock music after I joined college. I was listening to J.Lo and Bollywood songs before.”
Adds Debolina, the MA student: “I am completely hooked to K-serials, even though I can go on criticising them. I am a student of English, but I’m probably more equipped to write about the incongruencies in these serials than I’m equipped to write about T.S. Eliot.” But she has only told very few about this.
Poulami Majumdar, 25, admits being an online stalker. It is not a crime, of course, but it is not something you usually admit to. “I used to stalk my ex-boyfriend. I kept track of his Orkut and Facebook conversations. I read the scraps of people I have a crush on and looked at their albums. In fact I often look at their albums and just ogle,” she giggles.
Those who couldn’t
Even if they may look trivial, not everyone dares to part with their secrets. Some could tell their secrets, but would speak on condition of anonymity. Hence all names in this section had to be changed.
Ananya Chaudhuri, 26, had her boyfriend’s email password and checked his mail, sent mails from his account and even read his chats with his female friends. “I’d rather die than admit this. And I don’t do it anymore,” she protests. Says 20-year-old college student Arpita Ray: “I have something against giving change to a taxi driver. So if the fare comes to Rs 44, I pretend that I don’t have change and give him Rs 40.” Arpita thinks it’s too “silly” a thing to come out with.
Others are concerned with their image. Wearing the colour pink if you’re male is, well, “too pansy” for some. As is a confession to liking the colour. Rock musician Joydeep Sinha, 21, loves the colour: “I would love to buy a pink backpack that I saw at Forum. But pink, be it in clothing or accessories, doesn’t go too well with my image, since rockers are expected to live in black.”
Some admit to trying to be cool, which is infra dig. “I smoke because I think it’s cool. I started because I quite enjoyed the nicotine buzz, but I don’t get the buzz anymore and it feels nice to have the cigarette in hand when you’re having coffee in Barista,” confesses 26-year-old customer care executive Sudeshna Roy. “But if I said this I’d only get lectures about how it’s not cool and that I should quit.”
Many women are closet smokers, who wouldn’t let their family know. Says software professional Purabi Banerjee, 25: “I used to smoke in the loo, when everyone was asleep. And still do so if I wake up very early,” she says. Purabi’s husband believes she has quit. Purabi’s friends and in-laws don’t know she’s a smoker.
“I use a British accent whenever I have a point to prove. In a fight, or when I want to get something done or when I call to make a complaint, I invariably fall back on my accent. And nowadays it’s become such a habit that it switches itself on all of a sudden. And though it might be pretentious, I don’t mind using it as it generally gets the job done,” claims fashion designer Sahana Dutt.
To come back to where we began. If so many people have a problem coming out with problems that can’t be called severe, how difficult it must be in a traditional, conservative society to come out and say: “Look, I am gay.” Hats off to those men and women again.