“When She Fell in Love with His Lavani Dance.. “

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Note: This piece is inspired from Lavani. Lavani means “beauty” and is a folk dance of India performed by Women, on the beats of “Dholki”. It is mostly performed in the states of Maharashtra, North Karnataka, and southern Madhya Pradesh. In our society it is believed that Men should not perform Lavani and those who do, are judged and insulted by the society or are considered effeminate. But here I want to question that what if someone is effeminate..? Who are you to judge..? Also, I feel art is beyond all these binaries created by our society. Therefore I wrote this piece as a form of awareness for humanity and also to portray the sad picture of our society..

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She often saw him dance.
Away from the world,
Under the gulmohars..
Felt as if he was in a beautiful trance..
And in that divine moment
She fell in love with his Lavani dance..

She was scared..
But that day she dared,
“You stole my heart and never gave it back.
Now can you give me a forever..?
We will be together,
And I will watch you dance..”

He kissed her hard.
And like the blooms of a scorching Indian summer
Their hearts bloomed with love.
That scorching Indian summer – a tale of their desires so pure and naive.

The aftermath was a fairytale.
They walked hand in hand
But their love was not “normal”
People would tell.

She told him to shed his insecurities and reveal himself more…
But people had their own judgements and they were sore.
“Stop your effeminate dancing, its queer.
Wash that red off your feet before you come near..”

He payed no heed,
Danced to the rythm of her heartbeat.
But then the line got crossed
And she was the one who was cursed the most..
“He will never be a husband, will offer nothing much,
Better leave this society with your shameless trans..”

Her insult finally ceased his alta clad feet.
His smile grew dimmer,
Her sorrow sang its own woeful bit.

But soon he extinguished the final flame.
And she could only scream holding his dead frame,
“You took your life like sometimes lovers do
But I want to tell you my love,
This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you…”

Now this is the story, Dear Straight people.
She dared to love unconditionally
And she was one of you.
And there was a time….
A time when they walked hand in hand,
When she fell in love with his Lavani dance.

“What if I am another Shikhandi?”

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.

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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….?”