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Fire (short story)

(By Sage Sweetwater ) In Bombay, India, a Hindu film about two sisters-in-law in a lesbian relationship was pulled for public showing when a group of right-wing activists broke into Bombay's only theatre, breaking windows and tearing down posters of the showing of "Fire," which the activists call an insult of Hindu values.

Like America, this nation censors same-sex passion. Eroticism suffers at the hands of invaders. Lesbian scenes in erotic Hindu paintings date back to the third century where they were quite common. Now the hard-liners are crying foul, contrary to Kama Sutra, the techniques of sexual ecstasy bedchamber book written for lovers in India between the 3rd and 5th centuries.

Fleeing from sniper fire in Pakistan to movie "Fire" in Bombay, Devi's spirit twirls her baton blazing with fire, fighting fire with "Fire." Kama Sutra likens sex to a battle, recommending a list of blows to different parts of the body, and equates spirituality with spontaneity.

Devi's spirit floats through the movie theater watching over the Hindu women easing their way into ecstatic trance, taking marijuana and betel.

Hindu women enter a trance as a means of access to a public voice. Indian society just as American society is male-dominated and traditional women are subordinate, and mostly in the home. At times of rebellion of their social status, they enter a trance, being possessed by a spirit who is not from within their village, but from outside.

Devi assigned herself their spirit when she heard of this censorship. The theatre owner called off the showing, refunding money to the ticket holders, which are mostly women, until censors have a chance to review it.

Feeling stoned from inhaling the levitating marijuana smoke, Devi's spirit drifts into reefer oblivion. She lays the form where her head once was into the lap of Jaivi, a woman smudged with vemilion powder who has just stumbled to the floor until she is fully possessed. The spirit crawls through the hole of her vagina, consuming her lesbian-curious soul.

For seventy-two hours, Devi's spirit snakes through the Hindu c*nts, giving them erotic southwestern hallucinations from the Superstition Mountains, Arizona. Comely and Cadence in Bombay. She sustains the trance state so these women can find their voice to foster the development of and uphold lesbian cinema. LadyHawk, a fictitious week-long festival, an independent organization for the desert lesbian filmmakers in Arizona who wish to write, produce, and direct lesbians in film and theatre, have bred the lesbian gene back into the Hindu vaginas, sealing the holes temporarily with sandalwood paste so that the gene don't leak out through vaginal secretions.

In the seventy-third hour, the trance state fades, and the women come out of the movie theatre with colored powders they use in their village art to create kolamas, hexagons and overlapping triangles known in India as the star of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and plenty, good luck and good fortune. They draw kolamas with the colored powders on the sidewalk in front of the theatre. With the lesbian cinema gene back intact, the sandalwood paste chips off from their vaginal walls. They share sticks of acacia they chew and spit, chew and spit for half an hour to clean their teeth and breath from marijuana and betel, then they walk the dusty road to their village with their bangles to their armpits clanking, prepared to be scolded by the men of the village. The spirit stirs, in recognition of feminist groups. As she takes her shadow place in the line of women, she thinks. "This is what our species was built for!"

Authors note: Rent or purchase this movie "Fire."  It is a wonderful cinematic portrayal of a lesbian relationship in India and caused quite a stir.
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Upload Date: 31/12/1969

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