Friday, March 23, 2012
"I needed medical help desperately. As one of my lover had badly hurt me. I was bleeding profusely from my private parts. But no doc was willing to see me."
"I begged. I cried. I even offered them double the money they would take for consultation. But they would look at me and turn there face. I am just as human as you are. So why such discrimination?" The speaker spoke with urgency and pain in his voice.
There was pin drop silence in a small crowd of 30/35 people who were specially invited by my artist friend. I could not take eyes of the speaker as he narrated the woes of a woman in sex trade. Dressed in a richly brocade sari, with jewelry suitable for a bridal decor, Pandurang the speaker looked no less than a bride. A very dark tone of his skin complimented the glitter of the brocade. His raspy tone was the only give away of his gender.
Pandurang means Krishna , the dark god. Pandurang is a cross dresser male sex worker. Born to a sex worker mother, Pandurang grew up in the ghettos of red light area in Sangli village. “ My mother never wanted me to be a sex worker. But I chose to be one” He admitted to the crowd with a emphatic smile. At a very young age he experienced the discrimination of a woman and a sex worker's world. His mother toiled day in a day out to keep him in the school. But tired of discrimination,prejudice and humiliation being named as sex worker's child, Pandurang turned to the only world od sex trade to seek solace and comfort. But why he chose to be a woman and a sex worker? Asked a guest in the audience. “ I am a woman” pat came the answer.
An awkward silence spread in the audience . Every one seated had only one question in their mind. Is he or she? It was very evident he did not liked to be addressed as male. Pandurang was his birth name but operated by a female name( I have forgotten his female name).
A friend besides me just leaned on me and whispered “Isn't he more woman than us?” “Indeed” I retorted. I was still gawking at him to measure his feminine candor. Was he just pretending to act female like an actor? What makes him a woman?
I again scanned Pandurang from head to toe. His appearance was of an impeccably dressed Indian woman. A highly decorated bindi on the forehead matched the brocade of his sari. His nails were painted in bright red nail paint and so was his toes. He was tall at 5'8” inches and wore an inch high heeled sandals. “ I can walk with grace with heeled sandals” he had explained with a smile. He was fully aware that every gesture is being scrutinized judged and questioned. He did not feel offended by such questions as if he came fully prepared for such scrutiny. And he answered all the questions with all honesty.
“Well this is choice I have made. Because this is what I love to be. A woman and a sex worker. Government did try to change our ways and even gifted us with cows so can we can earn a living. But I don't want to be a farmer . I love all the pleasure of my trade. And I am proud of it. I don't want any sympathy from anyone. I am fighting for my right. I am protesting against the social stigma and discrimination that we face. Every section of the society tries to exploit us and that is what we are objecting. That is what we want you to make aware of her troubles. Not your pity or sympathy. I work for a living like all of you. So why does society treat us like dirt.” His voice did not have any air of apology, for being and doing what he did.
In fact he was proud to be in woman's skin . Happy to be in woman's skin. Suffering the pain in woman's skin.
Every story he told before audience, spoke of of pain and suffering he felt as a woman. There was no doubt in my mind at the end of the meeting SHE is a WOMAN; celebrating a woman's life not just by cross dressing but celebrating its joy and pains. Pandurang had summed the debate for the audience" You cannot learn be a woman because you Know it inside you if you are one or not. '.
Simone de Beauvoir seems to be wrong when she said 'One is not born as a woman but made in one'
As I walked out of the building, I thought to myself do I know the anatomy of a woman?
(Images are only for a representational value and does not depict the character described in this blog)
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Don't remember when I breathed last
between memories and forgetfulness
lies a life.
that was given to me.
that was never mine
repeated over and over
in space and time
that belonged to you
one by one
bit by bit
inch by inch
left to right
right to left.
till the last breath escapes lungs
you were not there