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. ⁣

At thirteen, ⁣

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.⁣

At sixteen, ⁣

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,⁣

MAN-UP" ;⁣

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.⁣

At eighteen,⁣

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


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