I’ve just discovered a kink in my sexual make-up. I have a thing for gender role switching. That’s not men dressing in lingerie (nope, not for me). It’s a woman who’s sexy because she’s wearing a guy’s long tee-shirt that comes down to mid-thigh. It’s the breath-catching oomph of a rolled-up cuff revealing a slender arm. Or ooh…a chunky, sporty man’s watch on a delicate female wrist.

How about the reverse? Hrithik Roshan gliding across an airport, pink tee-shirt, coloured sunglasses glory, the cool criminal in Dhoom 2. Oh he kills me, he kills me.

But the true master, the one that transcends gender, who takes sexuality beyond female or male has to be Sting. A voice that feels like a caress…of a man’s tongue. When he lifts one foot to step forward and a field of golden corn springs up within him, it makes me think…that’s the kind of sex that makes life, it makes you come alive.

How come all the lead guitarists, the famous ones, the images you have of a rockstar…are all male? There’s obviously something vaguely sexy about a guitar. The curvaceous soundbox, the long phallic arm and what about the strumming? I’ve played the guitar and I know it doesn’t have to be held at crotch-level. And yet, why not? It goes from song-making to love-making.

I’d love to be straddling a guitar with my torso, strumming in tune to the master, letting his melody caress my song.


Oh, it’s my phone. That buzz in my pocket feels so good.

Down with flu. Can’t make it to practice today.


My mother’s grim throat-clearing conveys that she is very, very angry about my checking my phone in church.

It’s about choir practice.

Her thin-line mouth is a pointed reminder that we are still in church and I’m talking. I drop my gaze and shut up.

Twenty minutes later, I am settled in as comfortably as is possible in the confessional. Why do they make these seats so uncomfortable? Probably to punish the confessors for the sins they confess to.

Yes, my child.

Father, I have sinned.

Tell me about this thing you have done.

It’s not something I did. I’ve been having…wrong thoughts.

Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep brooding silence. Presumably to make me ponder on my wrongdoing. Shame me into confessing all and purging my sins.

The silence is music. The silence is sexy in its own way.

About what, child?

About three notes too low. But low is good. It takes me higher. Go down, down further, go down on me.

I’ve been thinking of quitting the choir.

The silence is different now. Taut tension knife-edge sharp like the orchestra falling away to leave just that one high-pitched note behind.

I want to be in a rock band instead.


I take a bow.


Epilogue: This piece was the result of a writing exercise in a fiction-writing workshop conducted by Manisha Lakhe and Annie Zaidi.

The participants were asked to write down one secret, drop it into a box. These were shuffled and everyone was given an anonymous secret and asked to write something about it.

The secret I received was,

Always dreamed of being a lead guitarist and performing with Sting.

The exercise made me think about the kinds of secrets we keep, the smaller ones that may become life-changing decisions some day…or just stay as that random debris in our minds, occasionally seeping over like the stench of sewage into our dreams.

2 thoughts on “Rockstar

    1. @Poonam: Thanks, love. This was part of the Kala Ghoda Art Festival. I’ll let you know the next time I hear of something. You could check out Caferati’s local chapter. They’re the ones organizing these literary events. Also, I’m looking for fellow writers to do exercises with. You game?

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