IS THIS POSE RIGHT FOR ME?

I cannot think of any one person, who wouldn’t like to get out of their home and hand themselves over to the tempting morning dawn. On the other hand, in the summers like that of Delhi, a slight drizzle of rain is more of a cause of excitement than meeting the Wizard of Oz himself. So naturally, I had to get out of my house. The Sun wasn’t going to rise sooner than half an hour, when I put on my shorts and my shoes, and got myself out for a jog.

While I rhythmically moved my legs, the breeze turned into a strong gust of the wind and I was famished for more of that experience. I know that the tornadoes in my mind won’t stop spinning ever, but then the realization came to me quickly that these winds would certainly oppose them and continue to do so, till every atom in my abode cease to exist. With that, I continued running.

So my friend and I have this ritual, where we meet at a particular place and then gossip-cum-jog {but more of that gossip} about all the news which I’m sure, if published in a tabloid, would bring us hefty amount of rupee bills. It would have been a perfect day. I wouldn’t even have to write about this. But then again, it did happen, and I’m glad it did.

We were just arguing whether a Labrador was cuter than a pug, but we were stopped by a strange voice. We turned around and saw this man; he looked like a dad who just put his daughter in college; his voice a little heavy.

We stared at his façade, while he ran his eyes all over us, as if inspecting our anatomy. He turned to my humble friend and jokingly suggested that my motive to behave {the way I naturally do} was to make other people laugh. PERIOD!

Hearing him say so, shocked me, but to a much greater extent, amused me. Due to the realization that I had earlier, I wished to take a spontaneous yet radical step. I decided to challenge his as well as my limits.

I asked him to come a little bit closer and while he paid heed to my demand {I’ll, like to say an order}, revealed to him that I was a transgendered woman {no offense to any community, it wasn’t supposed to be funny, I just wanted to check if he had a good comeback}. At times, I do consider myself as a part of an elite group known as THE SADISTS, and that face, OH! What I wouldn’t give to see that for the rest of my life!

While I waited patiently for his reply, the expressions on the face of both my friend and the man changed. The expression on the man’s face changed drastically. His playful eyes drowned deep in anger with a little bit of confusion. His lips arched back to a straight line {which I’m glad did not show his pearly whites}. Though I wasn’t really concentrating on my peer, I did feel a hedonist taking over my body.

‘You know, you shouldn’t say these things to anybody. Let me talk to your parents. Why? How?’

‘Well, this is who I am and THIS is how it’s done.’

Chuckling, I gave an indication to my friend and we were back continuing to out tabloid talks. The whole time, we were at that place, I did look at him and found him staring directly over me.

Well, this incident, might seem as a concocted plot, but trust me it isn’t.

The reason, why I shared this certain incident is quite simple. We aren’t living in 17th or 18th century and even if we were, why do we have to hide? Is it really valid for them to punish us for being different from the masses and expressing who we actually are? Isn’t it better to be able to embrace self rather than pretending? I know that pretending might seem comforting, but on a long term, it really isn’t what you would want.

In India, whenever transgendered people are talked about, they are considered as an abomination. Even when we talk about pride in the LGBTQIA+ community, the transgendered pride is left out several times.

The last thing we need to understand is that it really is NOT unnatural or weird or any of those terms that would make you feel like an outsider or in any way makes you feel looked down upon.

THE  BOTTOM  LINE?

That is for you to decide, what your bottom line should be, or what message you want to propagate to the world and to your next generations. Like any object in this world, intellects, wisdom, philosophies, they too can be passed down and passed down along a series of generations, thus making them more prone to acceptance. Hence, it really is on your shoulders as to what hash tag you want to popularize in the coming years.

Looking for my freedom

Looking out into the light in hopes of stumbling upon the missing piece of the puzzle

When I look back to my transient steps, I see a bubbly person commanding attention. To him, spotlight felt good; the only thing that mattered. He used to assert things with utter confidence. In short, he was a very bold and flamboyant person.

The winds deviated from their path.

Now, I am just a regular guy, who attracts ‘limelight-adjacent’, who is demure and shy, with suave undertones, but an inability to express.

What changed?

Is it the fear of being rejected? Is it the fear of not being good enough? Is it the fear of being very different from my peers? Is it the inability to adapt into the societal construct?

Whatever, the reason is, it has completely modified my foundations. The fear has seeped into my spine and now is circulating through my veins.

At the very moment, I am afraid. I am afraid that people would notice me; I am scared that they would have their fingers pointed at me; I am frightened that they would recognize me.

Because of all the scars and the hazy adolescence, I have learnt to be dominated, learnt to be shy, learnt to never answer back, learnt to bow down.

Still, there is a blurry voice, in the back of my mind that tells me, that I have to rise again, that I have to fight again, that I have to find the one thing that is keeping me from becoming a my own vanguard; the one thing that is my own fear, my own enemy. And that is why; I am constantly hiding and blending in with my surroundings. I am trying to vanish, trying to become invisible to the society.

But at times, I muster up enough courage to glance out of the window {secretly} in hopes of finding out the one thing that I lost; the one thing that I am yearning for; the one thing that I owe up to my past self.

The antidote to my sick spine.

Why I kept Silent?

These lips do not part at the time of distress. These lips do not voice for themselves

Why is it important to teach our children to respect the individuality or traits of a person?

A few days back, I was in Lodhi Gardens, a Delhi landmark with some of my friends. We were there for a small picnic, a reunion sort of thing. The place was beautiful. The breeze, the scent, the aura, Oh!

There were all sorts of people, groups, couples {a lot of them}, school children, joggers, etc.

Once we were there, I saw some children {probably 5 or 6 grade} fighting amongst themselves {you know typical petty things.} I wanted to be the hero of the story, so I went to stop the fight.

What do I get?

They started grinning coldly, asked me whether I was a guy or a girl.

Embarrassed to death, it brought back old memories.

In my old school days, I used to be the centre of their mockery, but I prepared myself for the circumstances {after all 4 years is a huge time to get used to.} Ever since I graduated from the place, I did not encounter all those taunts and comments {and in this period, I came to embrace it}, so naturally, I let my guards down.

Hearing that again, I was extremely shocked, my jaw was left open, my ears turned red, the back of my eyes got wet, but I kept calm, and as soon as I knew I would be vulnerable {yet again}, I put on a hard façade.

They even asked me whether I was ‘gay’ or not {and by that they actually meant whether I was a transgendered person, no offence but the likes of those, whom we encounter once in a blue moon.}

Words do hold power.

Then, I came to realize, that these pupil are unaware of the real meaning of the words they are using. How hateful and rude they are being to a certain community just for the pleasure of it all. How their interpretation of the lingo is so derogatory and demeaning. How they have never learnt in any of their textbooks to respect a person and her/his identity.

Why is that so?

Is it because, these people see me in a different light? Is it because, the dominant trait in me is that of a very feminine person? Is it because, the society has tagged me as different {not unique, weird?}

I guess that may have been the reason.

Anyways, I went on my way, while the words echoed in my ears. I tried hard to forget, but it is not the easiest way if that trait is the very spine of your body.

This made me wonder about, other peoples like me, who do not know how to be more masculine, how to get through this stage, how to face all the hateful taunts, how to ignore them, or in extreme cases how to shut them down.

Trust me friend, I am still looking for the answers.

Lady with a Beard

The headline is a conundrum! That is the very first image that any person would form of such a paradoxical clause. Whenever we talk about the term lady, we search through our mind’s rolodex and come in terms with certain unique features on the basis of which, we differentiate a woman from a man.

We reside in a world where anything is possible. Can there be a blur between these two {and I’m not talking about HERMEPHRODITE}?

Certainly there can be. And the term is DRAG {not Formula1}.

Drag is an art form of impersonating the opposite sex. Men who opt for an illusion of a woman are called Drag Queens. Similarly women who project an illusion of a man are called Drag Kings.

Stereotypically, a man is muscular, beefy and butch and all those widely accepted qualities of a masculine abode. To do a character of opposite sex i.e. a woman, they have to feminize themselves and then work to look like a stereotypical woman {though in the past there have been many deviant changes in this field}.

Though, one may seem to consider a drag queen as a transgendered/ psychological woman, but it is not the fact. Drag queens are transvestites for art purposes. Just like any typical model.

In many cases, the culture of drag is thought to be a subculture of the larger culture of homosexuality, but that’s not the case. A person, regardless of his/her sexual orientation is called a drag performer if he/she maintains a character illusion.

Let us talk about drag in Indian scenario.

In Mahabharata, when Arjuna was exiled, he impersonated a woman {or tried to}. People may see him in the light of a transgendered person. But instead when you look closely through all the loopholes and try to make sense of it, he was actually a drag artist; a character illusionist.

In the famous show, The Kapil Sharma Show, the female characters of Sunil Grover and Kiku Sharda are female. Analogy says that they both showcase the drag culture {in a derogatory way though}.

In most of the states where PRIDE is not seen as an important ritual, the possibility of being drag artists is next to negligible.

In the end what I or for that matter anybody would say is: 

IT’S NOT PERSONAL, IT’S JUST DRAG……………………………..

Out of Iraq: A Warzone Romance

Director: Chris McKim & Eva Orner

Duration: 81 minutes

Release Date: 16 June 2016

In the Indian subcontinent, we have freedom to fight for the human rights. When we talk about the LGBT Community, even though homosexuality is criminalized, we still have the right to fight and give opinions against the said decisions {as long as we do not indulge in the Contempt Of Court}. But when me move towards the north and make a quick stop to the Middle Eastern states such as Iraq, Iran, etc. the scenario is completely different.

In these warzones, religion and culture shuts down the possibility of any debates. Specifically, in these areas, homosexuality is not only criminalized, but also punished with death. That makes it very frightening to the gay people.

The documentary ‘Out of Iraq’ showcases the romantic starry-eyed love story of Nayyef Hrebid, an Iraqi translator and Btoo Allami, an Iraqi soldier. The movie shot over 13 year takes its root from the Iraq wars of 2004. The film is also showcases their evacuation from Iraq, a long distance relationship and the awaited reunion. This has all the elements of a classic love story. 

The main agenda of the film is to depict the budding relationship of these two men. In addition to that, the documentary focuses on the war waging back then and the asylum escapade of the lovers. It narrates the story through snippets of interviews, old photographs & videos. These visuals also feature montages of gruesome activities which is one of the heartfelt parts in the entire movie. Even in the moments of war, they found something much more important i.e. love.

The directors successfully presented an amalgam between the two extreme polar dimensions; love and war. Although the concept of love is a little monotonous, but the alliteration remains invisible, thanks to the contrasting images of the war struck area.

Through the elusive use of colors {at times, pointless} and the imagery, the movie is successful in penetrating the hard shell of the audiences leading to a thorough oozing of emotions and a teary eye.