Jarna Kataria narrates her encounter with a hijra (a marginalised member of society) in a local train, which left her dumbfounded with admiration and respect
And yet again, like any other day, I see her boarding the same train—the one I board to commute to my workplace. The eunuch carries a peculiar grace and confidence that most of the ‘normal’ people fail to possess. Never did I see her requesting money from passengers more than once (for that’s their only means of generating income), and I was baffled as to how she could afford her outfits and jewellery.
Now, you must be wondering why I am narrating this scene, which is so commonplace in India. Well, I found her inspiring and a self-made individual, giving a glimpse of queerness, devotion, and dedication to me and many others.
While most of us either give away a few coins or simply behave as if hijras do not exist, I wonder how they feel about this? Maybe acceptance is the key that keeps them going. Also, that’s exactly why they clap, demanding attention to make their presence felt, and more importantly, to communicate “I am who I am.”
So, going back to her story, she habitually praises most of the commuters, irrespective of their donating money or not. I was amazed at the way she praised people. Comments like “May God bless you with the happiest day today,” “You have such beautiful eyes,” “You skin looks so fresh and radiant. What do you use?” came with so much ease. It seemed like she loved conversing with people or maybe she was simply seeking the acceptance that we humans fail to share out of ignorance. While women around sniggered at her, she, however, remained composed as if all of their comments never reached her ears. She was the epitome of the proverb, “Ignorance is bliss.”
Well, I could tell that she was a competent conversationalist, effectively communicating in English. Her vocabulary seemed to be proficient enough to make me wonder about her education, considering Indian society outcasts eunuchs as if they’re aliens. My curiosity was aroused each time I saw her in the train.
I am not particularly good at initiating conversations, yet gathering all my wits, I blabbered, “Where have you schooled?” She blushed and laughed saying, “I am home-schooled by Seema Rai, whom I call my godmother.” Seeing that she wasn’t offended and was willing to answer, I almost took the role of an interviewer.
Me: So, this is your only means of livelihood?
She: No, I teach kids in the nearby vicinity. They too are ostracised by society just like me.
Me (astounded): This is phenomenal. I am sure you have struggled a lot in life.
She: Life is not easy for anyone, child; I am no exception. But I had this unconventional desire to do something for the betterment of society. There are so many hidden forces that helped me achieve this. I am grateful to Maa Bauchari to help me become competent. (Bauchari Maa is a Hindu goddess of the eunuchs).
Me: Are you angry with society for its behaviour?
She: (Giving a pragmatic answer I was not prepared for) I don’t blame anyone. People are ignorant because that is what is passed down to them for generations. Where should I go and fight for their behaviour? I can only control my deeds, and I am satisfied with the life I am leading.
Flabbergasted, I lost my voice. Choked with tears, I could simply smile in admiration, hoping for her to put words to my silence. She patted my head and left without speaking, leaving me wondering as to how she interpreted my silence.
The last time I saw her in the same train, I was equally astounded as earlier with her comportment. I was out of change and thus could not give her anything in exchange for her heartfelt blessings. Queerly, everyone in the train seemed to avoid her today; one of those unlucky days, I presumed. Dejected, she spoke in a monologue, “I pray to God that none of you live to see a day when you have to appeal to people for help. May your life be powerful and you survive against all odds. Thank you for letting me know that there is something else or something more to be done in my life than this. Bless you all.” Having said this, she left, never to be seen again.
She left each one of us appalled. And I, in silence, pray for her well being as I write this.
Life Positive follows a stringent review publishing mechanism. Every review received undergoes -
Only after we're satisfied about the authenticity of a review is it allowed to go live on our website
Our award winning customer care team is available from 9 a.m to 9 p.m everyday
All our healers and therapists undergo training and/or certification from authorized bodies before becoming professionals. They have a minimum professional experience of one year
All our healers and therapists are genuinely passionate about doing service. They do their very best to help seekers (patients) live better lives.
All payments made to our healers are secure up to the point wherein if any session is paid for, it will be honoured dutifully and delivered promptly
Every seekers (patients) details will always remain 100% confidential and will never be disclosed