Mrs. Jones:- Gene, wake up. They will be here anytime. Get ready.
Gene (rather groggily):- Maa, I told you I am not into marriage and all. I don’t want to get married so soon.
Mrs Jones:- So soon, what do you mean so soon? You are 24 years old. When I was 24, I had you and your little sister.
Gene (irritated with the pestering) :- Why don’t you get sis married? She is 21 and dying to get a man.
Mrs. Jones (now a little infuriated):- Gene, I don’t want to hear anymore argument. Get ready quickly. I have kept that pink salwar kameez in the bathroom. Wear some makeup too, please. I really don’t understand why you shy away from all the girlie things?
I have raised both of you single handedly. Never stopped you from buying anything for yourself. I wanted you to help me with my beauty parlour business but you wanted to become a bartender. I have never seen you wearing anything nice. All I ever see you wearing is that silly Jeans and T-shirt. Don’t you feel like looking really pretty like the other girls do. The Good Lord gave you some pretty features else you would have looked like a man, I tell you.
Gene (now out of the bed and visibly agitated, screams):- Ma, please, stop that rambling right there. I don’t want to look like a pretty girl, I don’t like being a girl. I love my Jeans. I hate putting makeup on my face. I hate it. I love my job as a bartender and I just don’t want to get married to any guy. I mean any random Guy.
Mrs. Jones (screaming too):- What do you mean, random guy? David and you have known each other since childhood. And now I don’t want to entertain anymore arguments. Get ready, get married and let me live in peace for God’s sake.
Gene, slams the bathroom door and runs the shower.
Gene is any other girl you might get to see in any metro. Works as a Bartender at one of the Star hotels and is very good at her job. Lost her father at a young age. Like all mother Mrs. Jones wants her daughter to get married as marriage is the ultimate happiness any girl can get. Gene, on the other hand, has never done anything that a girl of her age should do. Though, she has a lot of girl friends and Tina is her best friend (well, that’s what Mrs. Jones would want to believe)
Gene (out of the shower, on a cellphone):- Tina, when are you going to get the tickets? I told you my mother is getting boys after boys for me to see and get married.
Tina:- I am trying. I have already asked the agent to make hotel reservation and help us with the Visa too. I will talk to that bugger again after sometime.
Gene:- Tina, baby I love you. I don’t want to lose you. Why can’t we just stay in another city? Here my mom also is alone. Sis is too young to take care of her.
Tina:- Another city? Where? As long as we are in India, our parents are going to pester us to get married. We can always come back after 6-7 years when this pestering stops.
Gene:- God, I can’t take it no more. I feel so suffocated. I wanna scream out loud and tell the whole world, I AM DIFFERENT. GENE DAVIS JONES is DIFFERENT. Why is it so difficult? Why cant i love and marry and choose the person I want to be with? Why the person I choose to live with can not be of the same sex? Why, who made this rule, for who? Why cant I, why cant you, live together, get married and have a life together? You know Tina, sometimes I feel that we are living in a time of hypocrisy. We talk about love, we make movies on love, we read love stories in awe, but we can’t fall in love. We have to fall in love with the person who is acceptable to the society, to our families, to our peers.
Tina (tries to pacify Gene who is now crying uncontrollably):- Baby, don’t cry. We will follow our heart, no matter what. You don’t give up so soon. I love you.
Mrs. Jones now knocking on the door.
Gene (hurriedly):- Tina, listen baby, I will talk to you later. Maa is on the door. I have to go and meet David now.
Gene, quickly gets ready and scribbles a note. Wipes her face, puts on some lipstick and opens the door.
Mrs. Jones:- What took you so long dear. You look so pretty in that dress. David and his parents are here. C’mon.
David (smiling):-Hi Gene, you look nice.
After the usual tea, cookies and conversation, Gene tells David, “David, I have to go now, I have to meet Tina. She just called. I think there’s something important.”
Though, Mrs. Jones did not appreciate her daughter’s attitude she let her go never the less on David’s insistence.
Gene reaches the place where Tina was already waiting for her.
Gene:- Hi Tina, Why did you call me? Is everything OK?
Tina (with a sly smile, takes out a piece of paper and gives it to Gene)
Gene (with all excitement):- Wow, air tickets. I don’t know what to say?
Tina (holding Gene’s hand):- Baby, agent says, Visa also is not a problem. Start packing your bag. We have to leave on the last Sunday of this month.
Gene (all ecstatic):- Last Sunday? What an irony of fate? My wedding date got fixed for the last Sunday and maa is busy making all plans for the D-Day. I feel bad for her.
Tina (empathetically):- Don’t feel bad for her baby. She will be OK. We are going to come back any way. Aren’t we?
Gene and Tina stay in each other’s arm for few minutes as passersby give them a strange look and smirks.
Last Sunday of the month. Gene had already left her home a day before to follow her love and dream in a different country with Tina. Mrs. Jones knocks Gene’s bedroom door early in the morning. She is all too excited and happy. All her prayers are going to be granted. Her lovely daughter is going to get married to a good human being and will happily live in a loving marriage. She knocks again, this time a little harder and calls out for Gene. Suddenly she gets to see a note sticking out from under the door. She picks it up to read.
The note says, “Maa, I have a little something for you. It’s my torn Jeans that you always hated. Its in your bathroom. Everything that I ever wanted to say, its all in the Jeans.”
Mrs. Jones goes to her bathroom in anticipation, thinking she might find a pleasant surprise, or may be a nice little gift from her darling daughter for finding her such a nice groom.
She unfolds Gene’s jeans to find a small packet rolling down. The packet has Gene and Mrs. Jones black and white pictures. Mrs. Jones smiles with nostalgia and begins to read the note written behind a photo. This was Gene’s 1st birthday photo with the family.
“Maa, I am sorry. I am terribly sorry for having disappointed you. I am not ready for any kind of marriage. I did exactly what you wanted me to do and I honestly tried to do things which was accepted out of me. I tried learning beautician course so that I could help you but I was thrown out of the classroom because the teacher caught me and Tina making out.
We were humiliated and ridiculed by the entire college. I tried to put that incident behind me and move on but I could not. Tina left the college and I had to be with her.
I lied to you when I said, I don’t like beautician’s course and that is why I don’t want to do it. The fact of the matter was, I hated the course, but I left it because I was humiliated for falling in love with another woman.
Believe me maa, I love you very much and as I write this letter I know you might not want to see my face ever again. But there are things I want you to know because you gave birth to me.
Maa, your daughter is no other girl. She is different. Her not being any other girl has always invited trouble for her, humiliation for her.
Tina and I love each other and have decided to spend our lives together. We don’t see any other option but to leave the country and come back after few years. We have faced enough humiliation, glances that used to turn into stares, comments that would be nothing more than taunts, jokes were cracked on us. Comments, stares coming from friends and strangers. Our relationship is no joke but it always remained the butt of it.
I am going away because I don’t want you to be a part of this humiliation that you would have faced if Tina and I started our lives together in the same city.
As my mother, I hope you would understand my state of mind. I don’t know if I have done the right thing given the circumstances. May be I am plain and simple selfish. All I can ask for is forgiveness.
I am sorry Maa.”
Mrs. Jones now sitting on a bathroom floor, holding her cross says a little prayer.
“MY darling daughter, I am happy that you found love, may God be with you. You are lucky you found Tina. You are lucky that times have changed, you mother was not fortunate enough to follow her heart.”