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An Untold Story!

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I have a story to tell you.
For a change, an uncharacteristically real one. No lousy figment of imagination or any alliteration and rhyme- scheme patched  literary modus operandi  to make it look like a bizarrely compelling piece of writing. No clichéd introductions or vague explanations. Nothing to cater to your thrill seeking appetite today. Not because I do not want to, but because  in dealing with issues like these, there is a need to be loud,clear and fiercely honest.

 If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.
– David Brin

So, there is this woman I know. She didn’t win any flashy awards or do anything extraordinary to catch anyone’s attention. Yet she seemed profoundly fascinating to me. The day I met her, she was wearing  this faded pair of brown pants and a midnight black shirt to go with it. Her shirt looked a size smaller for her and for one whole second I worried if she would go out of breath. I didn’t see vestiges of any high-priced feminine make-up residue on her face. I assumed she didn’t particularly waste any of her time making a naive attempt to matte her blemishes or pimples with artificial paint. There was no flavor of an exotic perfume or  a flowery talc flowing out of her. Her hair was long and thick but she chose to pull them together in a careless knot to her back. No trace of even the faintest disguise over her mind or body. She looked confident to me.Yet she chose to keep secrets. She looked happy to me. Yet she was not even remotely close to being happy . She was  beaming at everyone who walked in. I decided to say hi .We started exchanging pleasantries and slowly she began pouring her heart out to me.Well, she is educated, she is married, she has a family and a place to call home. In one straight look, she had everything any Indian woman born to a middle class family would probably ask for. Somehow, there was this kind of emptiness in her eyes which reflected some deep remorse pressed against her inner chambers of heart that was impossible to miss. I asked her a few questions about herself. Her problems were not exactly simple.

 

She doesn’t want to be a woman. OK. I got what it meant. I mean literally Yes. The words were clear and they implied something crudely specific. Still my ingenious mind refused to comprehend the immense  possibilities of a short sentence as that. I quickly started asking myself too many questions. A lot of them.Now, how do you think any woman can not want to be a woman? It is not like anyone had a choice anyway. Well, if our parents had it their way, there would not be a lot of women left in our civilization. But this was clearly not about that. Now, I can totally understand that it is an absolute ordeal to practice the life of a woman. To bleed 40 years of your life, seven days every month and yet keep it to yourselves like a dirty secret. To  bear a child in yourself for 270 days, to feel her grow inside you and to nurture her every single second.  To give birth suffering a pain of a 100 bones breaking together and still feel proud of it.  There is just so much to being a woman. But she did not hate any of it. None of these were her problem.

 

She did not know. Her husband had always thought that her instincts were predominantly man-like. Obviously neither her family nor her husband understood her struggle.She had probably realized the truth about herself through her early stages of puberty. She always involved herself in deep romantic relationships with other females. She knew this made her happy. But then she just did not know why. How was she supposed to know anyway? She hated this body of a woman which she was bestowed with. She loathed the moments of intimacy with her husband. She felt nauseous when he tried to touch her. I bet it would have been hard on her. To not know that truth about ourselves for which we are going to be blamed forever. To seek answers and not find them anywhere. The first obvious explanation she got herself was that it was in her genes. She was told that her aunt had lived the life of a lesbian before she committed suicide fearing that she can never come out. She feared that she will never gain acceptance in her society. Not only had she inherited her Aunt’s name, she had brought down her very orientation down the biological tree. Her mother feared that history might repeat itself. She was rushed to doctors and hospitals regularly afterwards.

“Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common.”

― Dorothy Parker

I know that our society has not yet started understanding homosexuality fully (or even partially). Social acceptance is still a distant dream for people in love with someone of the same sex, mutually. Most of them are still forced to live dual lives.While they secretly pursue their true affinity and publicly marries and bear children with the opposite sex in an attempt to remain socially acceptable. Although I differ ideologically with them, I can empathize with them. I know that everyone has their own ways of dealing with circumstances like these. I know that it must have been their only solution to maintain balance in their personal and private lives.In this state of total uncertainty and mayhem, I wish to confuse you a little more with this piece.

 

Here, the issue is not her attraction to women. The question is , if she believes that she is more of a man than a woman,  Don’t you think her falling in love with a woman is a very straight thing to do? Is it not an obvious result of her sexuality? Well, we as a society never had issues with straight people right? Are we ready to accept her then? Why do we call her names,tease her ,bend down to abuse her or decide to not react when we see her getting humiliated? Why don’t we put on our inquisitive shoes for once and try to at least fully understand this ‘abnormality’  scientifically? I know that you will now tell me that her saying that she wants to be a man doesn’t really change anything. Now tell me, Why wont it ? Do we know better? See, forget all these. You know what? Don’t you think this was all about us not liking them? Is it not about our war against what (we think) is not conventional? 

 

Yes, It is true that she still bleeds seven days a month and has a fancy pair of breasts. She keeps her hair long  and carries an ovary inside her. She can never scientifically prove to anyone that she is not what you would like to call a woman. Why is it that we cannot tolerate their right to manifest characteristics of their own choice? Living with an identity crisis has never been easy for her. Initially she would just try to make it look like her breasts were non-existent and dressing up like men came quite naturally to her. That was the only one possible way in which she could manifest her inclination.  Then, she moved on to emotionally associate herself as a man. Consequently, she fell in love with a woman. And I don’t see anything strange about it. I think that as long as she continues to live as a law abiding citizen of the country, we should have no business in telling her how she should live her life or who she decides to live it with.

 

Shouldn’t she get a chance to be defined by a gender she identified herself  as without undergoing any sophisticated surgery to remove her feminine remains?

 

I know that like all other inconsequential attributes that *define* us today like our caste, race or ethnicity,   gender , has never been one of those things we could choose. I totally know.  But how long are we going to stay blindfolded to people like her? How long are we going to pretend like they don’t exist ? Aren’t they humans like you and me who deserve to be treated equally?  Don’t they have an unconditional liberty to study, to work, to marry or to lead a respectable life like everyone else? Now we can’t stop anyone from being what they want to be. We can only make them pretend. Why should they sacrifice their happiness for an entire lifetime just to feed our customary ego? I can be a woman and can sure as hell want to be a man. A man can manifest womanly characteristics too. Why is it that we as a society have no tolerance for it? Why is anyone’s sexuality any of our business ? Are we never going to learn let live ? Can’t we just let them choose their own preferences? Today I wont give you any answers. Because, I don’t have them. You can choose your own answers. You can choose to differ with my stream of thoughts. You can choose to remain silent. But remember if you don’t decide to speak for anyone today, Tomorrow there will be no one to speak for you.

“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis”.

-Inferno – Dan Brown.

Published by Anju Dinesh

A writer is how I would love to have myself defined as. Who makes a lot of typos though. Thank God for all these apps that has come to my rescue. Probably not a very good one or successful one at that yet. But someone who did make an effort. Although I finish most of my articles in a haste every single time. And constantly worries if the piece is worth it or not.. Hasn't grown out of the cocoon yet. Hopes to one day write something for myself and not worry of being judged. Because invariably I write about things that makes it easy for the readers to judge to me. Yes I am hopelessly prejudiced about my writing and choice of topics. Goes low on self esteem more than often although I vaguely know that there is something about my writing that can probably strike a chord someday only if I tried a lot harder. Never works too hard. Never works too less. That Never been part of my system. Which means I always play the safe game.I hope to someday break out to that realm of fictitious world where my imagination will stay raw and free, my flow of words be effortless and there would be nothing around me that can stop me or bind me there. Oh Yes! I want to get there.

21 thoughts on “An Untold Story!”

  1. Shamil Gafoor says:

    Good ! Use of words of Latin origin and clever way of questioning yourself along with the readers is noteworthy. Keep going ! You will achieve your dreams with ease at this pace.

  2. anikrishna k says:

    Well, I dunno y the writer is supporting all these LGBT and stuff like that and getting too personal with it. She has talent and potential with the fire inside to portray a vehement protest or outcry. I believe there’s even more unknown and undiscovered areas where she should concentrate and with more experiences in life the writing will mature as well… All the best!!!

    1. Anju Dinesh says:

      I support “stuff” like LGBT because I strongly believe that they are humans who are are in no way inferior to us. Probably if you read it carefully you would have noticed that the real topic of relevance was not queerism, but her very own identity crisis. I still think we all should graduate as a society to accommodate our queer friends too. I got personal about this because the protagonist is a woman I met 2 days back.
      Having said that, thank you for supporting my writing ettaa. And I will surely not limit myself to this one aspect , I will write more and write good.

  3. Issac says:

    Nice thought. At first I was not sure where u were going with it. I thought u were talking about transexuals. But that’s not the case. As u said she cannot be called a lesbian .She hates her body. Homosexuals don’t hate their body. It’s just that they love people from the same gender. Usually people in her situation does surgeries and become transexuals. But that’s not necessary. They should be able to live their life the way they want. It’s their life.

    1. Anju Dinesh says:

      Yes Anoop. My thought processes were something similar. It is not only a matter of choice for them, its a matter of social acceptance. They deserve to lead a normal life like ours where they won’t be looked down on, or abused just because they didn’t follow our rules.

  4. Vivek Surendran says:

    Firstly, I am glad that you made an effort to write about this topic and fired questions to the readers. My answers are going to be long. Very long.

    Secondly, I don’t care if I am offending the on who commented above, but it is sad to see such comments where people wonder why you’re supporting ‘LGBT and stuff’. Such people are what is wrong with our society.

    Before answering your questions, I would redirect you to my blog where I have tried to explain queerness in detail. Issue is that we as a society never understood queerness the way it should be.

    Now coming to the ‘answers’. Your primary question is ‘why can’t the society let her choose her gender?’ and the answer is simple. Because of the strict societal norms which have been followed since ever. When a society can not understand that being homosexual is not ‘unnatural’ and can not be ‘cured’ by a marriage or medicines, expecting them to understand sexual identity crisis is too much to ask for.

    Also I read “I think that as long as she continues to live as a law abiding citizen of the country, we should have no business in telling her how she should live her life or who she decides to live it with.” and would like to bring to your notice that in our country, being a homosexual is an offence. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code states that. So, if she decides to live with a woman, and indulging in sex, it is against law in our country. And thus, we fight to strike down Section 377 which was constituted by the Britishers back in 1860!

    Repeating, I am so glad that you empathize with them and would want to fight for the LGBT community’s rights.

    1. Anju Dinesh says:

      Well, thank you so much Vivek. Yes the social norms. I don’t know for how long they are going to have to wait for the law to accept them, for people to accept them, for adoption to become legalized, for each of their basic rights. You cannot send everyone to queer friendky countries. What about those a few who don’t have the resources to do that? So the change has to come someday. And I decide to stand with them. And I seriously hope that in the years to come, section 377 will upgrade itself to accommodate their rights too. Oh yes! I am gonna redirect to your blog right away.

    2. Athul Raj says:

      Vivek, you mentioned your blog ! Could you please link it in the comments, or update it in your profile under website so that others may visit it too.

      1. Anju Dinesh says:

        Oh yes.. Vivek blogs at bforiforget.blogspot.com
        Please do visit. 🙂

    3. Athul Raj says:

      Just a thought. I’m no expert. Just what I feel.
      I understand the frustration that could arise out of seeing comments like those and hence agree with your ‘ don’t care if I offend him’ attitude. But, next time, take the time, try and educate. Because the so-tagged ‘ wrong with our society ‘ is often just the uneducated or wrongly educated. We have forums, posts, talks etc, so that we may try and persuade people to see through our eyes for sometime and think on their own. An outright ‘ You are, what is wrong with our society ‘ may wash away any interest they may have in trying to see beyond what they believe to be right. An average individual of the age group 20-30 today, is in all likelihood brought up with the notion that LGBT is sin/banned act/unnatural etc. It takes time, an open mind and people to show him the other views.

      1. Anju Dinesh says:

        I really agree with you Athul quite completely. And I see your point. Well in Viveks post he has tried to cover a lot of technical aspects related to the queer population. I am more of an emotional person , so I chose to pen down an experience. And we have decided to put down our aggression and take things slow.

  5. Vivek Surendran says:

    Yes Athul. Thank you for pointing it out. I realise that I have made a mistake there. It was misplaced frustration. I apologize.

  6. Dhyan Maya says:

    Surely its a grt attemt u did anju. You pointing out a serious issue tht dis society need attention. Yet am nt think it has a priority tht it actualy deserv. Only sm ppls shows d courage to speak up abt it. Others only reacted wen dey get affectd on it. Only d victims suffrd alot for d kind acceptnce by d society. They hv no freedom to liv lik they wish. No way to expres their feelings. Nobody accepting thm as a norml human being. Everbody stairing at them lik smthing strange thy posses themslf. No family to support, no frindz to hold bravely.
    Evrywhr facing ignorance. It sad to say bt it is true.

    1. Anju Dinesh says:

      Well, I should really thank all of you there who shared your stories with me. I walked out of that hall with a heavy heart. I totally empathize with my friends who do not get the support and respect just because of their varied romantic preferences. And I hope, in the days to come, we will see a holistic change in the very approach of people. And keep fighting your battle. 🙂

  7. Lloyd Francis says:

    Hey Anju, I don’t believe I know you in person, but Athul asked me to read your article and to give my thoughts.
    Um, personally, I am a person who refuses to accept homosexuality as being morally right. I believe God made us male and female, and that’s the way he intended us to be. So a lot of my worldview comes from my faith, so if it might be offending, I apologize, but I don’t regret what I say.
    But I could see a lot of places over which we could shake hands. Though I do not believe homosexuality is morally correct, I stand with you on that they are also people like you and me, and ostracizing them on the basis of their sexuality is not a humane thing to do. We live in a world where murderers, thieves, and rapists are part of the society too, and have a sense of acceptance in our society. I don’t see why homosexuals should be any different. Do I think what they do is right? Well no. But do I think we ought to separate them from our society? No to that too.
    I liked the article, and I can see the way you think, and the way the poor woman would feel. Social acceptance? It’s a yes for me. Moral acceptance? Meh. Let’s not fight. But it’s a no for me.
    But honestly, though, I think there are more things to be concerned about right now than a gay persons right to cake. Like people defending abortion on the grounds of personal choice. Like the terrorists killing thousands who think differently from the way they think. Like our screwed up educational system.
    But keep up the good work! It was a good read. Cheers!

    1. Anju Dinesh says:

      Hello Llyod.. Its a pleasure to meet you. I could totally write a whole blog in trying to give you the right answer. Well, I respect your decision to not support homosexuals. As long as you let them be, I think it should be pretty fine with them too. You tell me that God made us male and female yes. I think your God made them transgenders, bisexuals and gays. And I don’t think he created a whole lot of them in one of his weaker moments and is probably guilty about it now. And yes I don’t argue that this is not the only pressing issue that the world is facing. I am totally fine with hunger, rape and corruption getting priority 1. But then, if you and I can marry a person of our choice, they deserve it too. That’s all I’m saying. Having said that I appreciate that you decided to spare it a thought. Thank you.

  8. john Thomas says:

    Good work anju…
    The rules and stuff were made by people who thougth, tats the right way to live… bt if someone things otherwise, i belive they should have a choice.Rather than pleasing the society, they should b given a chance to live the way that like.. at the end wat we all want is happiness.. nt a ceritificate tat, we lived as per sme rules made by someone.

    1. Anju Dinesh says:

      Absolutely John. I am glad to see that there are many of us willing to see things differently, willing to adapt to change our moral mindset when the situation demands. Now, If I am able to make you think differently for one second, I win as a writer. At the end of the right, the right to change/not change is totally left to the individual. Thank you John.

  9. Rahul Priyaranjan says:

    Just 3 days ago, Luxembourg PM was in the news as he is all set to marry his gay partner.
    Imagine the upheaval this sort of news would generate in India if it concerned an eminent personality of our country. No wonder, Indian LGBT community doesn’t feel at ease in their own country.

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