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‘I'm scared to return to India'

International Mr Gay contestant Zoltan Parag Bhaindarkar speaks to Kirti Mehta on Indian media and gay contest.

fashion and trends Updated: Feb 02, 2008 17:12 IST
Kirti Mehta

"I don't want to come back and to be frank - I'm scared to return to India," said Zoltan Parag Bhaindarkar. This 23-year-old boy from Mumbai went to Los Angeles, USA for the International Mr Gay contest. Although he did not win the title, he won many hearts there and compelled many to change their perception of India.

When Bhaindarkar heard about the contest, he readily risked everything and participated in the contest. But now he has some apprehensions about coming back home. He said, "Indian media has exposed me so much that now when I call my friends back home, their parents do not let them talk to me."

Bhaindarkar refused to comment anything about his parents' reaction. "This will lead to intrusion of the media in their lives too and I don't want that," he said.

So how was the experience of participating in the international gay contest? "It was a learning experience," he said, adding "I got to know about many countries' gay culture. People were actually surprised when I did not win but I got enough complements." The competition might have given him the strength to declare that "it is okay to be a gay" but now he is skeptical of his return.