New Delhi: Pulsating drum beats, rainbow hues adorning the crowd, and faces beaming with pride and joy -- the capital`s alternate sexuality community got together Saturday to celebrate the second anniversary of the Delhi High Court`s landmark ruling decriminalising homosexuality.
The over 200 people who gathered at Jantar Mantar were throbbing with excitement, though the evening`s message was clear - there`s still a long way to go.
"This is a long fought battle. It is just the beginning, friends. A long, long way to go," said Mohnish Kabir Malhotra, member of the Delhi Queer Pride Committee, addressing the crowd.
Many people were dancing to the tunes played by Delhi Drum Circle, a group of music lovers from various countries, who played a wide assortment of musical instruments like the didgeridoo -- an Australian wind instrument.
In the hour-long celebrations, gender did not matter, nor did class, as college students, members from the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, and various supporters came together as one.
For 38-year-old Shamina, a member of the transgender community, it was all about "celebrating life".
"I don`t know any human rights, any law. All I know is that I have a right to live with freedom just as other people do."
"Respect and dignity are a part of this life that we want," Shamina said, not missing the chance to whistle and clap for her friends performing on stage.
Hugs were the preferred form of greeting, with some flaunting their colourful masks, while others chose to surrender to the foot-tapping music being played in the backdrop.
"Those days are over," was amongst the most often heard phrases.
"We are students. In our `queer campus group`, gender does not matter, nor does your identity. It`s all about becoming frank on sexuality," said a member of the group.
The celebrations also honoured the decision of a New York court to legalise same sex marriages.
"The whole world is watching. We hope India walks the footsteps of New York that has legalised same sex marriages," Swedish tourist Gibrela Swinton told reporters.
On July 2, 2009, the Delhi High Court decriminalised consensual sex between same sex couples, ruling that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises gay sex among consenting adults, was a violation of fundamental rights.