I was born in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh. I loved donning a variety of dresses, wearing bangles and doing makeup. When I was young, my parents ignored this behaviour of mine by considering me a child.
As I grew older, I myself came out and explained to them my true self, that I am a female.Upon learning that I was not a male, they threw me out of the house and called me "chhakka" and "kinnar." They expelled me not only from the house but also from their lives, claiming that I did not exist to them. For them, I am dead now!
I was only 17 years old when I was brutally raped and thrown on a railway track.When I told my parents about the horrific incident that occurred to me, instead of showing concern, they blamed me and my personality for the entire scenario. Before I revealed my true self in front of them, they used to love me a lot and call me "mera bacha," but as soon as they learned that I was not the gender they were thinking of, they switched to 'you are not our child, get lost!' Does gender play a vital role in parent-child love?
The irony is that my father is a well-educated doctor. But, along with being a doctor, he is also a homophobic man. My mother is also a homophobe. They believe that everything the so-called society says is true. Without even realising that I was their child, they evicted me from their home and life and uttered awful things about me. I was a teenager at the time, and things were so confusing for me. Everyone understands that this is a phase when the child requires the most attention and understanding from their parents. In my case, that never happened which ultimately landed me in depression.
I was fortunate enough to have amiable relatives.
At the time when I was raped and needed my parents the most, and they kicked me out of the house, my aunt and uncle were the ones who offered a helping hand.Before meeting them, I thought that I had no future now. When my parents did not accept me, then how is the world going to accept me? My aunt and uncle changed my entire perspective. They nurtured me the way my parents should have done. From providing me with proper education and all that I needed, they became ideal parents of mine. After my higher studies, they sent me to Mumbai to follow my passion, 'photography.'
Relocating to Mumbai was another challenge. I came here to further my career, but even in the metropolitan city, people were homophobic. I had no choice but to disguise myself as a man to complete my education. My uncle stood by my side amidst all of the turmoil I went through. Against all odds, I worked hard and got a quality education.
As we say, hard work leads to success. I was able to bag a job as a fashion photographer at Reliance Studio. It was no less than any achievement for me. I was happy working here as a professional, but COVID came to add a full stop to my happiness. This joy did not last long as the pandemic hit the country. I lost my job and was left wandering for months. I applied for a job in various other places. Sometimes I was harassed by people.
It took me a long time to accept myself as the person I am.One should never lose hope, even when your near and dear ones leave you at the time you need them the most. Remember, God is always there for you. Today, I stand as a strong activist. I am grateful to everyone who has backed me on this journey. Acceptance provides me far more enjoyment than attempting to identify faults and defects in others. Regardless of one's identification, if we simply accept a person as a human, our world would be a much better, happier, and safer place.