Pillow Talks

By Beunic
11 Jul, 2022

In the time of covid-19 and lockdowns, many single folks can’t help but feel lonely at times. Questions such as “Was my ex really that bad?” to “Am I going to stay single for life?” are frequent, and there’s no better way to inspire ourselves than with real stories of love from people we know and adore. So here’s our first couple interview as part of our brand new series on the blog – Pillow Talks!

Divesh Tolani, 18, was born and has been brought up in Mumbai. He is a student, currently doing his 1st year in correspondence and has been a dancer for as long as he can remember.

Atulan, was raised in Kolkata in a joint family and later, around the age of 8, he moved to Delhi, where he was born. He did his BA in Psychology for three years in Delhi and trained alongside in dance.  After graduating, he moved to Mumbai to work with a dance company there. He is 23 years old.

We got in touch with this adorable couple, which has got everyone going awwww and asked them a few questions that many would like to ask –

When did you know you were gay? When did you come out and how did that go?

Divesh – I actually came out to myself when a high school senior approached me for a date and I said to myself, “Oh! He’s cute.” My best friend and close ones found out and they ‘introduced’ me more to it and made me more comfortable. I am out to my parents. It happened over a series of events when they found me crying because of a tragic incident that involved a guy I was interested in earlier – that’s when they heard it for the first time. It has not been easy for them to process it, but giving them respect, time and information, which helps them understand me better, is what I am doing as much as I can.

Atulan – I didn’t know in school until others started pointing out and bullied me extensively. Although in my college years, I met like-minded people who accepted me and found loving friends (who I’m blessed to have in my life). My boyfriend back then also helped me become who I am. Having said all that, I’m still not out to my parents and don’t intend to yet. My younger brother is aware though.

How did the two of you meet? What do you remember of that day?

Divesh – We both danced together in the same company and happened to be in our respective long distance relationships at that time. There was a spark between Atulan and I – we had to figure how to tell our long distance partners about. It was hard because of the given situation that we found ourselves in, but the heart wants what it wants and if you genuinely feel that way, you gotta work for it. And so we did.

Atulan – I remember it like a movie in my head with every single detail intact in my memory – what he was wearing, what we talked about, everything. I could feel it in my bones that it was the beginning of something really special.

How did you take it forward? How long did you date until you made it official?

Divesh – We didn’t really date as such. As I said, we were in the same company, but never really flirted or anything and yet it went where it had to. One day over a coffee date, we made it official knowing that we were both in it.

One thing you love and one thing you hate about your partner?

Divesh – I love that he’s so vulnerable and yet so affectionate. And hate, maybe not hate, but at times we do have conflicts or a negative energy created due to a few egos – that we both create from time to time. We’re learning to move past that with time helping us understand ourselves more and more.

Atulan – I love how genuine and simple he is. His reasons for doing something are not complicated like we often think they might be. He sees the world through simple loving eyes and I admire that. Hate is too harsh a word that I believe should be used as minimally as possible. Everyone has his or her own pet peeves. Like one of mine would be leaving stuff around. We work around it, try to communicate to the best of our capabilities and often fight, but also make sure we figure out a way to deal with it.

What are your views on open relationships, monogamy and marriage?

Divesh – Open relationships can’t be stopped as far as it has the consent of both partners. However, I feel like they destroy the whole point of a marriage. I personally believe in monogamy, but you never know what the future holds for you.

Atulan – Open relationships and marriages can work if both partners are willing and have complete 100% honesty and openness about their choices and actions.

Monogamy is a personal choice just like open relationships. I didn’t believe in monogamy much until now. I guess it is all about meeting the right person.

What are the major challenges you’ve faced? Did you face any discrimination? Are there any family members that haven’t accepted you?

Divesh – No discrimination. Every friend or colleague that we’ve come across has always been a support. However, my parents do find it hard to believe that their son is gay and that challenges us to find new ways to explain to them, that it’s natural.

Atulan – I was bullied a lot in school to the extent where I wanted to end my life.  But I had a good support system and I’m grateful for that. Otherwise, everyone I’ve met have been accepting.

Have you thought about your future? Moving in, marriage, having children?

Divesh – Which gay couple hasn’t?! 🙂 If you say you haven’t, you’re lying! Marriage – hell ya! In the most incredible style and with as many events as possible (aka dhamaka). Children, um we love them but we also hate them. I personally wanna adopt, yet I feel being an 18 year old it’s too soon to make a decision anyway. And moving in, we’d wanna do that any time now. We’re just finding a way to settle in terms of career and other stuff. In fact due to the lock down and extensive pleading with my parents, I got them to let Atulan stay with us. It has been over a month and we’ve been in the same house, I love it. There are problems of course, but fuck that; we’ll get through them anyhow.

What do you think is wrong with the community today? Why are people having trouble finding love in recent times?

Divesh – I actually think it’s influence that stops some people, or most of the times it’s them not knowing themselves. Start by living and being yourself, and let who has to come to you happen by itself.

Atulan – Is it hard to find love in today’s time? Yes. People have standards and expectations, which ruin the possibility to accept a person with all their flaws and imperfections. If everyone can see beyond physical wants and give themselves a chance to allow love to come in their life, then this tiresome process works – I swear.

What is a message you would like to give to the single gay men looking for love and to couples in relationship having problems?

DiveshSingle men: I think, yeah, love yourself, heal yourself and then only will you be able to translate that onto somebody else, because a relationship means you have the responsibility of a life in your hands, don’t take it lightly. Don’t take your own mental health lightly and of course stop being creepy.

Couples: Know each other, as my psychologist says – do shit together and don’t take everything too seriously. I always have said this for anything in your life; if you know you want that thing or person and problems are coming your way, don’t just say destiny is not allowing me to do it my way, so let’s give up. Instead fight, do what you feel you’d want the other person to do. After all what matters in the end is unconditional love. So make it work. Don’t give up, unless of course, it’s really toxic.

AtulanSingle men: You’ll know when you want more than just a one-night stand. Just be brave enough to communicate that to the person. If they are not interested, MOVE ON and don’t be creepy.

Couples: Problems are just a part of relationships. Healthy communication is the key to discuss your problems with each other, with the attempt of understanding each other’s needs, without judgment or expectations. Lastly, don’t go to bed angry. Kiss and make up.

Do follow their amazing couple Instagram page – @honey.imm.home

Special thanks to Kunal Amarish for putting this together.

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