One of 1980s Bollywood’s leading ladies, Dimple Kapadia, has spoken of her admiration for a book that tells a gay coming of age story set in Hyderabad, southern India.
The book, My Magical Kingdom by Kunal Mukherjee, focuses on 13-year-old Rahul Chatterjee who discovers his sexuality through his obsession with Bollywood actor Rajesh Khanna.
This is something Kapadia can relate to because she happened to marry Khanna when she was just 16 in 1973.
‘I wasn’t much older to Rahul when I fell in love with the phenomenon called Rajesh Khanna,’ said Kapadia.
‘I could identify myself with Rahul so easily… and that shows that love doesn’t have any gender crisis or bias… it is not your sexuality but your emotions which are important.’
Author Mukherjee, who grew-up in India but now lives in San Francisco, said Kapadia’s ‘words of wisdom’ go ‘to the core of every human being’s greatest need, to love and be loved’ which ‘no one has the right to legislate’.
Mukherjee added, ‘thank you Dimple Kapadia for speaking up for the millions who dare not speak of their love’.
In an interview with Gay Star News last August when the book was released, Mukherjee said he said his ‘greatest satisfaction’ will be if people from different backgrounds relate to his story. ‘We are all really the same,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t matter how we divide ourselves into categories.’
Many involved in India’s film industry expressed their shock and sadness last week at the news that gay filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh had died of a heart attack aged 49.