Letter From The Other Child

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Dear Mom and Dad,
I do not know how I should address myself to you. Your son, who is the heir of your family or your daughter who is the apple of your eye, I am different from both of them. But I am your child too, am I not? Why would you, then, disown me? Why would you punish me for a crime which I didn’t even commit, for a crime I didn’t even know was one?
I do not remember when or how I found out that I was different but I did. But I never thought that being different would mean that I deserve no love, that I deserve no equality, that I have no worth. The first time you asked me not to play with the kids in the street, I did not understand; bhaiya and didi were allowed and even till late in the evening but I could not play even in the morning. I am sorry for complaining, back then I did not understand that you were ashamed of me, had I have known I wouldn’t have troubled you.
But I learned the hard way, when Saxena uncle came home and you introduced us as- my son, my daughter and the other child. I knew I was no prodigy for you, but that was the day I realised that I was in fact a disgrace; a blemish on your family’s lineage. And I found out that I was probably the result of bad karma. But mom, you don’t need to blame yourself every time dad reminds you that I was born out of your womb, that I was your fault.
Didi explained it to me, you know, how it is just a disorder of the body. What I never understood was why Didi could never explain such a simple thing to you, or others. Maybe it wasn’t that simple.
I had learned not to complain when bhaiya along with his friends made fun of me. It felt really bad, mom. Sometimes I felt so angry but later dad would tell me that it was what I deserve. The anger would turn into angst and pain. But I did not kill myself, I tried to be strong. I tried not to cry in front of you, not because you did not care but because it enraged dad even more and he blamed you.
When people called me all possible adjectives- hijra, kinnar, chakka– I never understood their meanings, all I understood was that they were meant to humiliate me, to demoralise me, to make me feel inferior and to make me feel unwanted.
I never could tell anyone how alone I felt. And that time when you had the pooja and all your relatives came home. Gita masi’s kids were playing with me, for the first time I felt happy. And then masi came and scolded me and took them away saying- “in jaiso se dur rehna chaiye”. She said I would defile her kids by being around them- though I didn’t understand how- I decided it was better to be alone.
Mom, you and dad always ask didi to stay indoors- ‘bahar ki duniya safe nahi hai‘. But for me, with dad’s threats of burning me alive, tell me, where should I seek safety? With him threatening to kill me in a place I should be allowed to call home, where should I feel at home, mom?
I never asked for any toys, ice creams, fancy clothes or shoes, because I was made to believe I didn’t deserve them. But did I not deserve even your love? Did I not deserve a pat on the back saying ‘that’s my kid’ or a caress on my head when I felt the most scared? All my life I asked myself what I did wrong? And the only answer I ever could comprehend was ‘exist’. All I ever did wrong was to exist. And I am really sorry for that mom and dad.
Yours,
Other Child
(Being intersex or transgender isn’t something to be ashamed of and I don’t know when people will start realising that. When will people start seeing them for the people they are and not the bunch of cursed sexually disoriented people who sing in a cacophonic baritone and demand unnecessary alms? When will people start openly accepting them as a part of their society instead of avoiding them?
In a patriarchal society, frothing with superstition, trans-sex people are treated as invisible specks of insignificant existence and are denied a dignified life, harassed for no apparent reason and looked down upon as unwanted weed.
To all the believers, who hold that God loves all His creations, I ask were not ‘transgender’ created by God and do not they deserve an equal treatment as any other creation of God?  To all atheists, who believe in the empiricism of science, I ask hasn’t science proved that transgender are no less human than other sexes? On what grounds do you then discriminate, harass and humiliate them? Kerala became the pioneer in opening the doors of education for such kids and providing them with the means to lead a meaningful life. So, why can’t we? Let’s follow their footstep and let us follow this example, so that India can embrace the principle of equality in its true essence.)

About the Author:

Purva Dwivedi (MCM DAV 36)

Purva Dwivedi (MCM DAV 36)

Poet by heart; realist by mind
Curious to the core 
I’m weirdness redefined.

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