She made the change....and so did I.
June , 2020
At the age of eleven,
When Baba caught me draping Ma's Kanjeevaram Saree,
His visible angst metamorphosed into violence
And my body was imprinted with red , masculine bruises of the shame he bore of having given birth
to a son like me.
When my classmates locked me up inside the school washroom while choking me with words like chakka, 0.5 ,faggot on the pretext of "funny" ;
I felt those rants were synonymous with four holocausts old concentration camps,
They held me a hostage
Inside of my body,
Inside of my head.
When I told my brother about those un-welcomed touches of deceptively civil strangers,
Sliding down my physique like waterfalls down valleys,
He feigned indifference while rebuking,
"That's how the society treats feminine boys,
Self-hatred and disappointment overlapped in a venn diagram,
While I helplessly stitched my lips
with threads of agony.
I started wearing my entire body
Like a W-O-U-N-D.
I left my house in search of a 'home',
Only to have found it in a dainty slum
with people who clapped outside doorsteps when a child was born.
They didn't look at me otherwise
when I draped a saree or
flaunted my jingling bangles.
I willingly followed them to various
houses to give blessings of
good-health to new born children
while feeling like an unconfined
prisoner breathing under the blue sky
after years of oppression.
At twenty three,
I found a wailing infant next to a lamp post;
And had the premonition that she
was a part of my community.
As her petite hands clutched my finger ,
I felt the exultation of motherhood rhythmically running down my spine.
I named her 'Adya' -
[verb : Ma Durga]
while promising myself,
I would never let the society clip her
wings because of her identity.
If needed she would be the temple
built on a burnt graveyard of all
the mortals who tried to mortify her.
She'd be a bewitching goddess who would make a change someday.
At twenty nine,
When the Principal of the best school in town rejected Adya's application
because it had 'others' ticked,
I rebelled against it claiming , "She'll make a change someday,
only if you allow her a chance, today"
I vehemently attained a seat for Adya in that school.
She consistently excelled in her
academics, valuing the hard-earned seat,
attained a scholarship and moved
out of the state to make the 'change',
slowly and steadily.
Then at sixty two,
When arthritis tried to consume
the best in me,
I saw Adya's ex-principal lying next to my bed at the hospital.
We exchanged a few words and then she enquired-
"Could Adya make a change?"
I smiled and told her
"Ma'am , this hospital belongs
to Doctor Adya".
- Dipjoyee Aich