‘It’s a small token of appreciation, call it love for an often misunderstood genius’

‘No, I can barely keep this restaurant afloat, it’s my family’s money that keeps it alive, I’m burning my inheritance so to say, I mean, who would ever eat Indian in Montreux?

‘It is barely a 300 meter walk from here to the statue. I don’t like it too much, it’s too macho you know, too much his public appearance, his stage act, doesn’t show any of his sensitivities.’

Did you you know fans threw disposable razors on stage after he grew a mustache? They were disgusted by it, thought it looked too gay. It was, of course, at the time he adopted the early 80s San Francisco gay scene look. He showed the people who he really was, but no one actually wanted to understand or accept it. Not even now I think.’

‘I believe he also did it to show his Indian roots, as a subtle homage, a reflection of his heritage. We Indian men love mustaches, and no, coming from me that’s not a racist remark. It’s a shame he never really used his power to liberate non-Western gay men living in masculine societies. A man of his stature, Indian and gay, he would have had such enormous influence.’

‘Ever so often I walk over to his statue to keep reminding myself how much I love and miss him. Sometimes I even dream about him entering my restaurant and commenting on the menu, telling me I don’t even have a dish named after him, that I should have at least one spicy Freddie Mercury dish. A Vindaloo curry probably.’

‘Sad thing is, I would give anyone who even mentions the Indian roots of Freddie Mercury a free meal. Instantly, no questions asked. But no one comes, no one mentions it, for most people the Freddie Mercury statue is just a selfie moment, part of the things to do when visiting Montreux.’