The reason for this post is very simple. It is just a manifestation of the worry I have over the changes in the English language as it occurs around me. The various synonyms that are attributed to a word and how a particular meaning catches on like wild fire and spreads so vastly that people even forget their actual/other meanings. We are no more happy and gay, but just happy.
According to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 2003, version 1.0, (it’s the only one I have in my laptop) the “happy” meaning gay is old-fashioned and has been taken over and replaced by the “homosexual” meaning gay. So while it was possible in our parent’s time it is no more plausible in our lives that we be gay with our relationships.
Happy and gay – when I was first taught this idiom, if I may call it so, I never thought its meaning could change so drastically over a small period of time. The magic word here, gay, has caught attention in India mostly after the epic movie, Dostana (friendship), where the homosexual relationship was exploited for marketing and promotion to a level that is unimaginable even for the actual homosexual couples of the world. And since then it has no other meaning than being involved in homosexuality, let alone being happy. So, finally what the idiom seems to mean nowadays is that if you are happy and gay, you are a happy homosexual couple.
The word ‘gay’ has become a dangerous one by itself. You may not utter it even with the best of intentions in any surroundings without leading several pair of eyes to dart on you. Especially, in front of children. They have known only one meaning of the forbidden word and will kill you with their questioning eyes and blabbering mouths.
So it seems that though I would love to be happy and gay, in order to be accepted by this world with its whole heart and without any contentions or suspicions, I will have to declare that I am not gay anymore. In fact, the whole world isn’t anymore, (most of it). I am just happy; happy with my life and my relationships. Though, however, I would always be a little jealous of those who can actually use the phrase, “happy and gay” for themselves.