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Sunday, 8 February 2015

The Third Kind

"Aye Raju , Aye babu" he called out to the passenger in the rickshaw as it stopped at the signal.He had stationed himself at the signal and waited for it to turn red. Bright yellow sari, hair tied in a pony and red lipstick completed his getup. The boy inside stared nonchalantly at him.He clapped twice to draw his attention. A smirk crept up his face as the boy reached inside his pocket and dug out a ten rupee note. He had grown used to this double entendre. It was a way of life.

The auto zoomed past as the signal turned green. He waited for the signal to turn red again. He reflected on his life for a moment. His stomach clenched immediately with anger as the old sense of abandonment came back to him. He had been born to a rich family. His family had initially showered him with love and affection. He had come to expect a lot of love from them. But some qualities of him irked them. They found him too effeminate. He did not bother about it initially but as days went by the chatter grew incessant. His own siblings denounced him.Snide comments and covert looks followed him everywhere. He really did not care about the comments and stares until his own parents started making sharp observations. Don't do this, don't do that, don't behave in a particular way. Things came to a boiling point one day and he was spanked listlessly. He resolved that onward that he would change. He tried to change his mannerism. He tried to be more virile. He even picked up fights to prove his masculinity but all to no avail. Dismayed he isolated himself from others.

Eventually he was forced out of his home. Tears welled up in his eyes as he recalled the scene.Young, as he was then his limited education further complicated matters.

Penniless he roamed the streets alone. Hunger clawed at his stomach until he found a troupe pass by. There he finally found acceptance. He truly found himself that day. Society had deigned him a criminal but here he was heard. Each day he dressed as a woman and begged for money. The garb had become his identity as he traveled throughout the city. Some days trains, other days signals, his days passed by.The troupe gatecrashed weddings on occasions.

"Hijda!!!Chakka!!!",the acerbic taunt brought him back to reality. He looked at the gangling bunch of kids that passed the comment. He smiled at them.What did they know of his struggles?

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