Note : I wanted to write something on LGBTQ and therefore thought would take inspiration from India’s greatest Epic Mahabharata. But in order to make sure that everyone understands this piece it is important to know about ‘Shikhandi’.
Decades have crossed, but the winds still whisper the name of Shikhandi. In Mahabharata, Shikhandi was not a glorious character like Pitamaha Bheeshma who was a symbol of sacrifice, Warrior Karna who always was a tragic hero, third Pandava Arjuna, the devotee of lord Krishna and the ultimate winner. But if the success means proving identity; then it can go through various ways and Shikhandi was one of the successful endemics in Mahabharata. Shikhandi was born a woman. But the Rishis told King Draupada, who was the father of Shikhandi, that she would one day become a man and aquire a male body. Though born a female, Shikhandi was raised as a son and was taught warfare and statecraft. She was even given a wife. And it is believed that finally Shikhandi met a Yaksha called Sthunakarna and was able to aquire his manhood. So there has always been a doubt about Shikhandi’s true identity and hence has been considered a transgender.. My today’s piece is inspired by this story of Shikhandi.
What if I am another Shikhandi….?”
End this discrimination, it hurts.
I too am Lord’s creation,
made of flesh, blood and a heart.
A disgrace to humanity ; some say I am cursed.
I think they forgot,
The same female womb- source of my birth.
Mindless youngsters mock and laugh
and play their guessing games as I walk.
“Lumps or balls? or none of the two?”
I want to ask, “what if both? what would you do?”
A form I want to fill,
But which box do I tick?
Grown sick of all these,
wish my mother had taken a pill.
Existing without any identity I lost my Self,
Woolf’s Sublime Meditation on Gender did no help.
Now to all the wise men I tell;
“Look in-between the binaries,
and go back on history.
What if I am another Shikhandi….?”
Photo Credits – Madhurjya Borah
Once upon a time, there lived a little boy.
He said he was scared..
And uncertain of his existence.
Wait a second,
Can you hear his voice..?
“Can you hear my voice..?
I can still hear mine.
The way I cried STOP….
But he said, ‘Shh….’
And I made no noise.
He touched me..
Said he loved me.
But then he hit me, ripped my shirt..
Pushed himself in, to a point where it hurt.
The power he had over my body and heart…
I see children being loved…
Loved by their parents.
But can I understand that word called LOVE..?
I guess my Father shoved the wrong definition between my thighs.
I was eight
My mind, terrorized.
Now, dirty from malice
I have a body – disgraced.
My soul – raped. ”
Oh Victoria, your secret hurts.
But she has to keep.
‘Keep what…? The secret…?’
Yes… And the pain.
She wants to let loose.
Let loose her hair…
But they call it shame.
‘Push up now..’ they say.
There are worms inside your skin.
Let the wire of the cups dig inside your flesh.
But she is scared.
‘What if the catterpillars turn into butterflies…
and die in a day..?’
They are least bothered.
So do your curves.
And you know what? So does a flat chest.
So layer them up.
‘What? You can’t breath easy..?’
Because you are not supposed to.
Has history taught you nothing…?
“It is that time of the month” they say and shrink back…
Is it the time to smell the iron and the shame between my legs..?
Is this a gift of Innana that courses through me?
I hear them whispering, gossiping.
And those warnings,
they never stop coming;
“Watch out for your daughter, it is that time of the month… ”
The flow might wake up my hoe soul.
And what if I spread my legs?
Sin? Yes… unforgivable, Sin.
I too worry.. But our worries differ.
As I continue to shed my insides, I worry…
“How they never noticed the cry of my body ?
How they never acknowledged
that life comes from between our legs,
that life costs blood…… ”
Such hypocrisy… astounding.
When humane they despise.
When idols they worship.
A pious disgrace, my existence.
Trapped amidst those famous red light streets, Cigarettes and cocaine became her only sweets.
Dirty looks ,dirty talks, a daily affair. Different sizes, part of her business not so rare.
She satisfies each one of them,
adorning a body bargained since eighteen.
Goes down on her knees now and then,
a part of her high paid routine.
Humanity resents her- a dirty whore.
Only money, she expects nothing more.
Between the self-inflicted wounds her days pass.
Fifty and still a woman without class.
Aged and now grown weak,
They say she is no more a tight grip.
Still some thrust her hard and deep,
Free condoms her only tip.
Many loathe her,even her name,
For she is not a part of their fame..
Happy she is, in her solitude,
Yes, she is the prostitute.