“I was born in a very Orthodox family where our marriages are arranged at the time of our birth. I was forced into the old tradition of child marriage. I always felt that people should have freedom of choosing their life partners but being young at that point of time one can’t say anything and one has to follow the old rituals and traditions of family. As I was growing up I observed there was no physical change happening in my body, and that wasn’t a good sign.
Boys of my age used to have a lot of physical changes and it used to upset me, but I never discussed such issues with my friends or family and just kept the problem to myself. There came a time when after consulting a doctor I finally came to know that I am a third gender (Hijra) and I was born intersex with no reproductive system. My life came down crashing and I was broken. I was scared of telling about my identity to anyone, even my family didn’t know about this. By that time I was 22 and marriage was on the cards and I was clueless. I didn’t wanted to spoil that girl’s life but due to our child marriage agreement we had to get married.
Few years into the marriage and I was feeling very guilty of cheating my partner with my identity. I was intersex and was unable to satisfy her sexual desires. I had no reproductive organ in my body. Basically, I felt like a woman trapped in a man’s body. One fine day I decided to break the silence and told the truth to my family including my wife. Soon I was estranged from family and ostracized from the society. I advised my wife to start a new life by getting married to someone else. The decision to become a hijra was traumatic. Once one becomes a hijra the doors to one’s earlier life are shut forever. It isn’t easy for a hijra to come to terms with his new life. The family, and indeed society as a whole, reacts strangely.
Leaving my past behind I ran away to a place with no plan in mind. I didn’t know how I would earn a livelihood or where my next meal would come from. But I just wanted to run away from myself. I became more and more aware of myself, I met many people like me. My quest to be a woman led me to a totally different life. I was taunted on my state of being, where I was not accepted by my birth family and yet I found my family in other people like me. I started performing “Baddhais” at weddings and during the arrival of a new child. I started dancing and singing to bless the newlyweds and newly born. Everything seemed fine and I was enjoying my hijrahood and suddenly one morning my wife turned up at my door with a small boy in hand. The guy she married was an alcoholic and used to beat her everyday. He would not give her the money and spent all the money on girls and drinks. I was financially sound by that point of time so I gave her a place to live and advised her not to go back and back instead start filling for a divorce.
Six months later divorce was accepted by the Court and I bought them a new flat where she and her child could live. I would provide her 20,000 rupees per month for household and gave the finest education to her boy. I considered him as my own child and even paid his college fees and today he is an MBA graduate. Recently I got him married to the love of his life and I bared all the expenses of marriage and reception. Today three of them live a peaceful life in a different city and I am happy that even though being an “abnormal” human I have changed the lives of three normal humans. I guess at the end this is what life is all about.
I couldn’t become the best son to my father, and best husband to my wife but I am sure that I have been the best father to my son. Although I couldn’t father a child due to my intersex but life gave me another chance to become a father by bringing my wife and her child back into my life.”
Submitted By – Pray Bavishi