Amish Singh, 24, has furtive glance in his eyes. As he loiters around Gandhi Maidan with his college friend Sunit, his right hand scrabbles to go inside Sunit's back pocket. But as the place is buzzing with people, midway Amish puts his hands in his pockets instead.
Amish, a PG student of Patna University, and Sunit, a BPSC aspirant, live in the city. They are gay, though not in a live-in relationship; they have been physical for past six months. The duo has also been physical with gays who come from different parts of the state.
"We enjoy each other's company. I like him and he likes me too. Everyday we spend hours together," Amish, born to a businessman father and a homemaker mother, told this correspondent during a recent late evening informal chat at Gandhi Maidan.
"I do not think gay culture is a new phenomenon in Bihar. There are a large number of gay couples, many of them in constant touch with me," Amish said. Amish showed exchange of late night SMSes that regularly takes place among them.
One such SMS, on July 11, 2011, reads: "Dili se apna B cl kiya tha. 28 ko Patna aa raha hai. Mere ghar pe sty krega."
Sunit describes the SMS: "B means 'Bottom', a guy who is the passive player in the 'gay game'. In the world of gay, Sunit said, T means 'TOP', a guy who is the active sexual partner."
As many as 476 people from Bihar are registered at one of the most popular websites in India among gay people. "I define myself. I'm a straightforward guy ... ... looking for fat and heavy, chubby dads....mail me on ... ... call me on ... ... ...," writes one of the registered persons.
Almost 99% of those registered have provided their e-mail address and contact number on the account. The number of persons registered at the site is growing day by day.
The state capital tops in Bihar in terms of the number of gays. According to figures obtained from the website, 287 people have registered from Patna. Aurangabad is second with 65 and Bhagalpur is third with 26 gays.
A gay, Raju, from Munger, SMSed this correspondent that he was planning a gay live-in relationship. "I hv prtnerd politicians, CEOs, and even some rickshaw-pullers. I plan gay live-in relationship."
"In a recent hookup with two friends (one of whom is a Patna policeman and another a professional), we enjoyed at a place in Fraser Road," Sunit said. The policeman and professional friends of Sunit are married and have one daughter each.
But, in a society where sexuality in any form is rarely discussed openly, Bihar gays feel the sword of the society hanging over their heads. "It is a taboo. Only extremely close friends know that I am gay. I am sure my parents will commit suicide if I ever disclose my sexual orientation to them," said a gay, on the condition of anonymity.
(Names have been changed for keeping their identities secret)