Nagpur’s famous choreographer Imran Khan has been a closeted gay for years. While Imran says that it’s been tough and heartbreaking being a homosexual in a small city like Nagpur, his close ones’ unconditional support has made him more confident and forthright about his sexuality. In an exclusive interview with Nation Next, Imran Khan speaks about his initial struggle of trying to be ‘straight’ and how he came out of the closet.
How did you become a choreographer?
Since my school days, I used to dance at certain shows in Nagpur, where an event coordinator Minaz liked my work and gave me an opportunity to work with him as a fashion choreographer. I did my first show for Kalamna Market Urban Society. I got recognition as I performed amazingly well. Thereafter, I started getting regular shows in Nagpur.
Being a homosexual, you might have faced hostility in Nagpur, as we still have a regressive approach towards LGBT community?
How does it matter what people think about me? I’m extremely comfortable with boys and I love to be with them. I don’t give two hoots to what people have to say about my sexual orientation. I’m a trustee of Sarathi Trust in Nagpur, an organisation, which comprises primarily middle class and lower middle class people. All these people appreciate me for my thoughts and they are extremely impressed with my nature and aura. Nothing makes me feel bad about myself or whoever I’m. You should always be the way you are. I’m proud that at least when people look at me, they want to become like me and get motivated because I’m a self-made man, who takes care of his familys livelihood.
When was the first time you realised that you were a gay?
When I was 16, there was a girl in my life. It was then, when I realised that I was not comfortable with girls. Gradually, I started getting attracted towards men. In fact, I even got an opportunity to date a boy in my college. I still relish my memories of romancing him, kissing him and roaming around with him in the city! We even shared our personal feelings with each other. Whenever he would interact with females, I would get insecure.
I dated a girl with whom I lived in for two years. I tried to change myself; I tried to develop feelings for her but soon I realised that it wasn’t my cup of tea. Never change yourself for the society! I associate myself with boys only. I don’t like girls the way I like boys. I would prefer a boyfriend rather than a girlfriend.
How difficult it was to make your parents understand your situation and emotions Hows your rapport with them now?
Initially, I was completely unaware of my feelings. People used to physically and morally trouble me by abusing and humiliating. People in my society even tried to do awful things with me. There are few senior citizens and others in my locality, who always try to bully me. Even now, some family friends always crack jokes on me and mock me. People always had a problem with me; they always found me effeminate. I couldn’t come out of my shell due to such incidents.
I told my parents about my sexual orientation as soon as I realised that I was a gay. To my utter surprise, they were extremely supportive and said that I was a jewel in the crown for them. I faced a lot of discrimination from my friends and some other family members. It was the worst feeling ever. At times, they would pass comments on me and would get uncomfortable whenever their kids would interact with me. But now, my parents and I are indifferent towards such behaviour.
How do your close ones, including your friends, react to your sexual orientation?
One should never go against the law of nature. Instead, one should accept what and how he is. Initially, I was extremely embarrassed when I realised that I was a gay. Since this is against the so-called ?law of society, I felt that I was a burden on my family. Things worsened when people started getting sarcastic and insensitive towards me. I made myself feel better by saying, Imran you are born for a reason. Today I can proudly say, Maine sath samundar par kiye hai yaha tak pahuchne ke liye. (I have crossed seven seas to achieve whatever I have achieved today). All the negative comments were like lessons for me. I feel a sense of pride in myself because I feel it’s not easy for other gays like me to express them so boldly. My close ones love the way I am. They have accepted me with open arms. Now, my sexual orientation doesn’t even bother my peers anymore.
What are the regular challenges you come across as a gay?
There are always two sides of every coin – one is good and the other is bad. I always prefer to go with the bad side because it gives me motivation, energy, power; and that’s my key to success. I believe the more I’m with negative and abusive people, I’ll be a better person. Girls ask their boyfriends to get physical with me thinking that I might help their boyfriends with their careers. I usually get weird messages on Facebook like – Hi Imran are you a gay?? I reply by saying, ?yes, I’m a gay? and then I would say, Ok, tata! Bye!’ I receive many friend requests from closeted gays in Nagpur, on Facebook. There are more than 50,000 gays in Nagpur. Very few out of the 50,000 gays reveal their real identities and I’m one of them and I’m proud of it. I’m never ever ashamed of myself.
People who know me are comfortable with me and the way I’m. The ones who don’t know me have preconceived notions about me. They ask the people around me to stay away from me, so that they don’t get tagged as gays. Then there are people in Nagpur who say that I’m a star and my aura attracts them. This certainly motivates and makes me feel special and different from others. I mostly get positive response. I don’t care about negative response.
What do you have to say about LGBT rights Do you feel you are an easy target in the society?
Yes, we are an easy target for the society. It’s way too difficult for us to express our emotions and feelings. In fact, it’s even difficult to communicate or spend time with men, for whom we don’t have any feelings. Due to non-abolishment of section 377, we are in a trauma. We are in worst condition. I don’t know why people have problem if two people are comfortable with each other; third person has no right to go and check whats happening in their room.
Sometimes, when I meet people for work, they behave so absurd and unusual that I feel why am I doing this work I literally had to beg for work despite being talented. Such behaviour hurts me but I take things in my stride. I feel lonely when people around me pass comments on the way I talk and walk. When I visited few metro cities, I realised that I was not the only one like this. Being a gay is not a crime or a disease.
Did people’s insensitive attitude deter you from chasing your dreams
Being a Muslim, I had the worst experience during the holy month of Ramadan. People say that mujhe dekh kar logo ka Roza kharab ho jaata hai! (When people see me, their Roza gets spoiled) People’s insensitive behaviour would leave me in tears. People used to look down upon me. I have no qualms about how God has made me. I’m the chosen one and I’m proud of it. With my sheer hard work and dedication I have got an opportunity to work with reputed people in my career so far. I come from a lower middle class family from Chimur (Chandrapur). It was difficult for me to make ends meet. My father is my hero, a gentleman, who deals with brokerage of property.
How do you express your feelings for a man you like?
I love a man’s body, beard, lips, voice… In fact, I like everything that makes a man look attractive. It’s a wonderful feeling to be with another man and making love with him. I don’t get an erection if I touch girls. I get an erection if I touch boys. I’d love to smooch my boyfriend but it’s very difficult for me to think the same for a girl. I can’t describe my feelings but all I can say is that I love men.
Are you in a relationship?
I had a boyfriend who would pamper me a lot by giving me flowers, taking me out for drives, parties and everything that I love to do. I would send my nude pictures to my boyfriend if he ever got angry. We would fight and make love with each other. That’s how we lived.
How do you foresee your future?
I can’t spoil any girls life by marrying her. I want to take my choreography career to greater heights. I believe that life will only give you good results when your attitude is positive and you work hard.
I would like to say something to all the people who dislike me:
‘Kya kuch nahi kaha mere bare mein – cheap, vulgar, ghatiya, sexy. Waise bhi kuch logo ka naam unke kaam se hota hai, mera to badnaam hoke hua hai. Dance karaya apne, na kise ne meri mehnat dekhi na lagan. Sab to kuch aur hi dekhne mein lage they. Fir bhi ghatiya main hoon. Yaha sab shareef hai mere alawa. Aap isi tarah apne sharafat ka chola pehne rahiye or main apni dirty pictures banata rahunga!
RMBRCN celebrates Charter Presentation & Installation, Rina Sinha becomes Charter President
The Rotary Means Business chapter of Rotary Club Of Nagpur (RMBRCN) celebrated their Charter Presentation and Installation of Board on September 17, 2023 in a crisp official ceremony at Hotel Centre Point, Nagpur.
Rotary Means Business encourages Rotarians to support the success of their fellow Rotarians by doing business with them and by referring others to them.
Charter President Past President Rtn Rina Sinha presided over the ceremony. Renowned entrepreneur and Rotarian Aspi Bapuna, Chairman of Bapuna Group, was the Chief Guest and Rtn Namita Sharma, President of RCN, was the Guest of Honour.
The Board of Directors of RMBRCN include Rtn Navneet Jain, Vice President, Rtn Mohammed Master, Honorary Secretary, Rtn Sanjay Aggarwal Treasurer, Rtn Rakhi Bhatia Director Chapter Service, Rtn Rahul Shrivastava, Director Vocational Service, Dr Ruchi Choudhry, Director Membership Development, Ranjana Duseja, Director Attendance.
Past Rotary District Governor (PDG) Shabbir Shakir, Past Presidents- Bharat Goenka , Khushnoor Chugh, Sanjiv Chugh, Akhtar Parvez, Tejinder Singh Rawal, Alok Goenka, Jerestine Watchmaker, Sandeep Dhodapkar, Sanjay Arora, President RMB Nagpur, and Behram Patel and Amitabh Sinha were present.
President Rina Sinha informed that within a short period of its formation already 48 members representing various businesses have joined the chapter and the numbers are increasing . The Chapter has already crossed 5 crores of business amongst their members and RMB will further strengthen Rotary in membership growth and retention .
Chief Guest Rtn Aspi Bapuna lauded the chapter’s success and reiterated that its comfortable and safe to do business among fellow rotarians as all follow the Four Way Test of Rotary. Jerestine introduced President Rina. Aspi Bapuna presented the charter and installed President Rina Sinha . Rtn Namita congratulated the RMB chapter and informed that this is the new initiative at RCN.The Board was installed by Rina Sinha and all members were installed by the Past Presidents. An exclusive digital Monthly Magazine ‘Growth Engine’ was launched by Editor Niharika Chugh Vali.
Navneet Jain and Rahul Choudhry conducted the referral and thank you session where enthusiastic members informed about their successful business details. Nishchay Sinha launched the social media and MYRMB app which connects members to other chapters digitally, Treasurer Sanjay Agarwal gave treasurers report, Rtn Rakhi Bhatia managed the event. Rtn Parag Datey and Niharika were the Masters of Ceremony (MOCs). Secretary Mohammed Master proposed the formal Vote of Thanks .
Nitin Gadkari inaugurates double-decker electric bus availed for senior citizens in Nagpur
Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, on Saturday, inaugurated the double-decker electric bus designed for senior citizens in Nagpur. The initiative has been undertaken in association with Ashok Leyland’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Committee and Jyeshtha Nagarik Pratishthan.
Executive President of Jyeshtha Nagarik Pratishthan Datta Meghe, Vice Chairman of Ashok Leyland Limited Yash Sachar, CEO of Switch Mobility Mahesh Babu, and other dignitaries were present during the inauguration.
“I am very thankful to Ashok Leyland’s electric vehicle arm ‘Switch Mobility’ for donating an electric bus for our senior citizens. The bus can hold a capacity of 65 people and will benefit a lot to disabled and senior citizens,” Gadkari said.
“We already have a green Electra bus available to us for the past five to six years. Krishna Reddy has taken the responsibility of repairing and providing air-conditioning to the bus, moreover, he is providing us with one additional bus. A Tata Motor bus will be arriving this month as well, giving us a total of four buses to operate. This will solve the issue of waiting list due to the lack of buses for senior citizens in the city.” he added.
With the help of these buses, senior citizens can avail the benefit of free trips to religious places like Ambhora, Adasa, Shegaon, Mahur, Dhapewada, and Kalamb.
Nagpur: Married man accused of girlfriend’s rape commits suicide on Facebook live
A 38-year-old married man named Manish alias Raj Yadav, on Sunday, committed suicide during a Facebook live-stream after allegedly being accused of rape by his girlfriend and her family in Nagpur.
During the live stream, Manish, who was married and a father to three children, stated that his 19-year-old girlfriend, Kajal, along with her family members demanded a sum of five lakh rupees and threatened to press charges of rape if he failed to do so.
On September 6, the situation became grave as the woman’s family accused him of eloping after Kajal went missing from her residence.
The deceased refused the claims of having any sexual relationship with the woman and identified her, her family, and a photo studio operator responsible for his condition. He, then, jumped into the river.
After the live video surfaced online, Kalamna Police launched a search operation and recovered the deceased’s body from the river. Four people have been detained in the case for questioning. Further investigation is underway.