My experience with transgenders



After my college days, I was happily placed in one of the then top 5 IT companies through campus interview. Propelled by unbearable politics, I resigned my job within four months to find myself in a lengthy jobless period as it was September eleven attack time. Myself and my best friend decided to use this chance to travel to Mumbai and stay with my old school friend to hunt for a job.

I was very happy and looking forward for that moment as it was the longest train journey in my life and it was my first time to Mumbai. Before boarding the train, with the usual youth self, we promptly checked the reservation chart for any beautiful girl names around our age. I cant remember if we found any but we were enjoying every moment of it.

When a very informative co passenger informed me that we crossed Maharashtra border, it didn’t mean anything for me. Couple of minutes after the train left the first or second station in Maharashtra, I heard a little bit of unusual noise from the first part of the compartment. I looked at that direction only to find nearly 15 transgender people clapping hands and asking something in Hindi. I have to admit that I don’t know Hindi more than ‘ak gauv may ak kishan rahuthatha’. But I don’t have to know Hindi to comprehend what was happening there.

These transgender people were asking money from the passengers. When they refuse to give money or when they offer less money than their expectation, they embarrassed the passengers by touching their cheeks, partly undressing, sitting on their laps etc.

The first person refused to give money and enjoyed all these rituals. The second person gave ten rupees and got little bit of abuse. No one escaped their teasing and abuses except a person who handed over 50 rupees. What do you think I did? I took my wallet immediately to take fifty rupees and kept it ready in my front pocket. I really didnt’t want to give any money as I wasnt aware of my requirement in Mumbai. But I was more than definite not to let them anywhere near my intimate zone. They were just one row before me. I was waiting like a kid who would handover the paisa given by his mom to the temple elephant. Nothing note worthy happened. They got the money from my hands and moved on to my very informative co passenger who refused to give any money. I enjoyed all the rituals done to him. But you know, he escaped with out giving any money at all.

I saw similar incident through out Mumbai in my one month long tenure there. This is almost like a theft. Instead of threatening to take your life as other thieves do, they threaten to damage your self respect. I was very furious loosing my money in this way. I remember blaming even the government and police people for not taking any action for this. Even in Tirupur, where I live now, one transgender person entered my friend’s office in a complex and threatened to create chaos if he doesn’t give money.

Though these activities of transgender people seem to be uncultured and disgusting, I got other ideas when I thought deep in to this issue with empathy.

I have never seen anyone employ a transgender. Even their parents get rid of them once they come to know their identity. No one in the society, right from street youths to elderly people, recognise them as human being. I have never seen a movie depicting them with respect other than Manirathnam’s Bombay. Every one treats them as an animal to make fun off. When I was speaking to one my intellectual friends, he said ‘neglection is more serious than death sentence’. How will we feel when we are neglected by our own parents? They are facing neglection from the whole society. I think this sense of neglection and hunger put together made them as what they are now. At the time when court recognised the homo sexuals, I wish the society would recognise transgender people. When we can treat a blind as handicapped and help crossing a road, why can’t we recognise them? Aren’t they handicapped?

Image courtesy: http://www.shaarique.com/miss-koovagam/.

27 comments:

Shankar said...
July 10, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Transgenders get money only because they have no other way to make money....its not that they cant make money.but they are not allowed to by our fellow citizens and peoples. SO what do theydo for living? the only way is getting money from others...The feel of neglectance you mentioned in your last paragraph was a worthy point. We would feel very sad even one of our friends neglect us.. but just imagiine how they would feel when the entire society neglects them?? incredible...

Bharathi said...
July 10, 2009 at 3:11 PM

@ Shankar: I am happy that you can understand. Thanks for your comment.

Shankar said...
July 10, 2009 at 6:59 PM

bharathi..how do you think we can put an end to this..? ofcourse they are humans and they have to be treated well...

Bharathi said...
July 10, 2009 at 8:40 PM

@ Shankar: Only by inspiring others. You have done the first step by understanding. Now a days I can see many persons thinking forward in this society. believe this would be over soon.

Vipul Grover said...
July 10, 2009 at 10:22 PM

"Before boarding the train, with the usual youth self, we promptly checked the reservation chart for any beautiful girl names around our age."
lol.. how i pray evry time um travelling by bus, train or plane tht in my adjoining seat I am accompanied by a beautiful girl.. bt unlucky me, nvr got this wish fulfilled:(

nd yeah on serious note, this post reminds me of dicussion i hd with dhiman in my 'let the gay be gay' post where he objctd 2 d knd of behaviour of eunuchs u just describd.. These were my exact wrds:
"..eunuchs r a highly discriminated section of the society. they cnt evn pretend nd lead a normal life like LGBT's. those who enter 'begging business' r groomed like tht since childhood nd end up behaving the way u described. Lets show empathy to thm:)"
Man once again our viewpoint is 'ditto' same:)

Bharathi said...
July 11, 2009 at 10:45 AM

@ Vipul: I pray my favorite God to get a beautiful co passenger in your next travel.

Its really nice to see more people favors this way of thinking. Now I believe my dream of seeing India filled with more of humanists is indeed a reality.

I am happy that our ideas matches. As you are a sharp thinker, I am also waiting for the odd moment when you take a different line. That will give an opportunity to learn more.

kanagu said...
July 12, 2009 at 11:36 PM

Wonderfully said Bharathi... :)

when I started redaing this post I thought you are putting blame on transgenders blindly.. but you are not..

you have given the answer for their behaviour in the end...

It's high time we must consider them as humans... that will do many a good for them :)

Bharathi said...
July 13, 2009 at 12:26 PM

@Kanagu: Thanks Kanagu. I am happy that you are forward thinking. comments like this helps me to write more. Keep visiting.

The Survivor said...
July 13, 2009 at 11:22 PM

Liked your post, especially the last part.

Bharathi said...
July 14, 2009 at 8:40 AM

@ The survivor: Thanks pal. Keep visiting.

Vipul Grover said...
July 15, 2009 at 7:16 PM

hey thnx 4 praying boss:)

nd yeah as kanagu said, i indeed thought u r putting the blame on eunuchs nd i thot this is the odd moment when we take a different line bt it trnd out 2 b othrwise:)

Bharathi said...
July 16, 2009 at 8:55 AM

@ Vipul: Yeah I was like that before 5 years. Later on I learned to think with empathy. But I know a long way to go in the area of empathy.

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July 17, 2009 at 3:43 AM

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sudarshan said...
July 17, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Good one Bharati..Congrats!! Nostalgic..Good Ol days...wot say?

Bharathi said...
July 17, 2009 at 3:38 PM

@ Sudarshan: Heyyy sudarshan. Indeed right. I still remember our travel inbetween compartments, vadapav, nightmare that we faced getting into train in peak hours,etc, fun wasnt it.

@ All other guests: Ladies and gentlemen, I herewith introduce Sudarshan, my best friend, who accompanied me to Mumbai.

manivannan said...
August 3, 2009 at 5:39 PM

bharathi. the same type of experience i also had in my younger age while my travel in north india. i just started weaping u know. one gentleman nearby me told dont afraid.here this incidents will be taken as god's blessings. what does it means? is the transgenders are messenger of god. i dont know. but i like the positive part in that saying. ok
is it their fault being born as transgender. they are born like that because of their parents genetic mistake. then why they are not taking care of that poor child . they just leave them or throw them away. getting a healthy child proves the capacity (? ) of parents ? so the soceity has to take rsponsibility for the insults for innocents. what they will do for the bread and butter. a person will never appoint a transgender even for household works. but lot many will ready to use them for their sexual urge ( secretly ). are they started their life as a sex labour. mostly no. there is no way to them. finally they found it as a easy rooute to earn.thats all.
can we talk with a transgender in a public place? .are can we have friendship with one. i doupt whether i can do it. still we also not raising the hand. atleast i am happy that this type of thoughts arose in some good minds. thank god.

Bharathi said...
August 5, 2009 at 5:53 PM

@Manivannan: Thanks a lot for empathysing pal. Good.

Sumeet.Shah said...
August 8, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Gud Post!!!!!!! I liked every bit of it.

And I wish very soon u r accompanied by a hot chick during ur next travel!!! LOL

Bharathi said...
August 8, 2009 at 11:32 AM

@Sumeet.Shan: Thanks pal. Pray that my wife is not accompanying me then ;-)

Sumeet.Shah said...
August 8, 2009 at 1:12 PM

LOL!!!!! For sure!!!!

Pooja Mahimkar said...
August 12, 2009 at 2:06 PM

i agree with what your friends said. but they are not completely handicapped though. they are just taking advantage of what they are and loot people. one such incident happened with me and my boyfriend. one evening we went for a walk and there one transgender came with 3 other of his friends and said gimme 50 bucks or we will take you in a corner and strip you off.
as i was with him and he didnt wanted to cause any trouble he gave him 50 rupees. but that was really disgusting. these people are just taking undue advantage of what they are. HATE THEM COMPLETELY

Bharathi said...
August 12, 2009 at 5:31 PM

@ Pooja: I agree that their behaviour is rude and vulgur. i did mention this in this post. what i tried to explain is the reason behind their rude behaviour. Thanks a lot for commenting.

Aditya said...
September 15, 2009 at 12:34 AM

I understand the injustice met to them but what about thos guys who wantedly wear sareesand lip stick and behave like them solely for money?

50 % of them are normal men who dress up that way for easy money. In fact I think its more than 50 % and sadly there is no easy way to check :(

Bharathi said...
September 15, 2009 at 9:58 AM

@ Aditya: By illtreating them, its only us who gave them choice of making easy money which attracted cheaters to intervene too. And we should remeber cheater are always there everywhere.

evanescentthoughts said...
September 18, 2009 at 12:06 AM

Just came across this post of yours.. too good.. your writing style is very impressive :) a very sensitive post with valid points!!

Bharathi said...
September 18, 2009 at 9:00 AM

@ evanescentthoughts: I am glad that you liked this post. Thanks a lot for your comment. I too value this post as my best followed by 'lessons form a dead body'.

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