Bijli is about a person who passes as "Fayaaz", a man, during the day, and dances as "Bijli" in drag, to Bollywood songs at night.
Fayaaz has fond memories of his deceased parents, but has a bittersweet relationship with his faith, and the Mosque.
The silence of lonely paths
And fighting the fear of your memory
Is how I have known journeys to be
What to say of that journey
When destiny will be my companion
The book is an autobiography by Revathi, a transwoman from a small village near Namakkal, TamilNadu who talks about her upbringing, despair, struggle in the sex community and eventually as a social activist working for Sangama in this fascinating book. She weaves through a story that I can only believe is and should be untrue to every individual. At times, I cried for her - reading about the things that she had to put up with in her life, and selfishly for myself because of the struggle I did not have to go through.
He asked a direct question, and got a direct ‘yes’! Next thing I know, he wrote a mail to the Director about allotting batches, and addressed me as ‘Mridul’ and ‘he’ (since all my papers are in my formal name and designated gender, that’s how all my new employers always begin knowing me). The Director just asked a handful of questions about how comfortable I would be, getting officially addressed as Mridul and Sir (by students), and when he saw me confident – he just sent out a mail telling everyone about my decision and that he expected matured cooperation from all!
A transwoman filing for a name change in her license was surprised to find hate mail along with her new license. Gee, How happy could one be?
Apparently, the employee at the DMV office who processed her application found it perfect to teach her some morality based on Bible, while crossing the ethics and invading privacy, not to mention adhering to a concept of hate in the first place.
A very famous unbelievable incident is of King Chawda and King Solanki of Kaalri. It happened somewhere in A.C. 746 to 942 and is fabled to be true. Historical evidences to prove this incident are not available, but 5 mentions have been made of it; ‘Solanki na garba’, ‘Bhsvaai sangrah’, ‘Bahuchar maa na vesh ma’, great creations of poet Shaamal and devotee Vallabh Bhatt.
Earlier in April this year, Indian Trans activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, an invitee of the TEDx conference at Mumbai was asked to leave by the Management of the Bombay Gymkhana. All this happened while the conference was in session. As a sign of solidarity several people walked out. Dailies and tabloids wrote about this and everyone screamed at such a blatant act of discrimination. The President of the club just went into hiding, no questions answered. The Management had not expressed any regret; not even a melodramatic half-hearted apology was rendered. Not that it would have made any difference.
“There is a gang sir, not just one. The way they look, the way they talk, and the way they walk, yuck! It makes me throw up!” said Kesavan, making a disgusted face.
“Women and children who visit the temple are so scared of them. Don’t these Aravaanis realise that the temple is a sacred place and that they should not come and be a nuisance here?”
At a cynical level, I am thankful I am not one of the ubiquituous desis - being married; running behind 2 kids, attending kids' birthday parties every weekend and eating desi grub and talking about the latest tamil/telugu/hindi movies and gossip about the stars and about that friend whom we all hate, and all this while flaunting the finest silk sarees, dhotis and wearing all the jewels we could ever possess.
Looking androgynous means, I am sir-ed or ma'am-ed and sometimes the pronouns switch in the middle of a sentence and oscillates between.
What happens when your identical twin brother whom you’ve spent all your waking hours for twenty years, becomes your sister? Red without Blue
is a documentary about just that.
A contemporary activist and reformer, or more accurately a social educationist as I perceive, is Kalki. A transperson herself, she understands the emotional turmoil we individuals go through and is dedicated to eradicate the social inequities in the society. She is pushing for reforms, working with other activists in counseling and helping Transfolks earn education, get vocationally trained and hence providing a path for many who have been shunned by society a leg to stand on.
Harish Kumar on India’s Got Talent is a cross-dressing dancer from Jaisalmer, who is now one of the few remaining on the show. Queen Harish, as the performer is known, dresses in drag, slaps on makeup, wears Salvatore Ferragamo pumps and is a more graceful dancer than most women I have seen.