Chandrika’s face was red with anger and disappointment. She kept staring at her phone, expecting that one call from her mother which never came. She put down the phone and shut her face, hiding the tears. Negative thoughts were bombarding her head at which point, her hands started shivering.
Chandrika was in her early twenties. She was five feet and nine inches tall and had a feminine sensual physique. By a casual glance, it was almost impossible to tell that Chandrika was a transgender.
Few hours ago, an assistant director from Star Vijay had informed Chandrika about her selection as one of the speakers for a prime-time debate show. She called her father immediately to share this breakthrough moment in her life. It was her childhood dream to become a big orator. She had been posting several self-shot inspirational speeches on her YouTube channel that emphasized on the need for equal rights for transgenders. She envisioned a society where people accepted transgenders for who they really are, instead of considering them as a product of their forefathers’ sins. This gave a huge number of followers for her YouTube channel. She drew her energy from the stereotype and prevalent hatred in the society towards transgenders. Her attitude and charisma grabbed the attention of the show producers and soon she was given that coveted opportunity.
Keeping the phone aside, she pulled out her personal diary and started writing down her emotions. It was her favorite way of finding solace. As the ink flowed from the nib, draining all her stress, her thoughts drifted to that fateful night, the night when Chandru became Chandrika.
Chandashekar was 15 years old when the hormones wreaked havoc on his body making him feel detached from himself. He was getting reclusive and started having an identity crisis. He became obsessed with dressing up colorfully. He preferred women’s clothes over men’s and that confused him. He accompanied his mother during shopping and gave impressive suggestions on choosing clothes and jewels.
On that fateful night, Chandru was searching for something in the wardrobe when his mother’s clothes caught his attention. A sudden rush of excitement ran through his nerves. With little hesitation, he pulled out her clothes. He removed his shirt and took the brassiere first. It felt somewhat tight around his broad chest but with a little struggle, he hooked it. He wore the blouse next and stood before the mirror. The image intoxicated him. He saw the perfect reflection of his true self standing right in front of him. His fingers quivered with excitement. But something was still missing. He grabbed some random clothes and stuffed them inside the brassiere cup. The transformation was complete! It was the first time he saw the Chandrika in him. For the first time, he felt a strong connection between his body and soul. He swung left and right and admired his curves when there was a sudden knocking at the door.
“ Chandru, why is the light still on?”, his father shouted.
Dumbstruck, Chandru started sweating. He heard his heart pounding against his ribs. Oh my God, I am dead! What if my father sees me like this? He will kill me with his bare hands! The knocking became louder.
“Chandruuuuuuuuuu, what the hell are you doing?”, his father became restless.
“Nothing dad. I am ri- ri- reading a novel”, Chandru stammered while trying to unhook the blouse. Hooks got jammed.
“Open the door first, rascal”, father was banging the door now. And then the door was opened. Chandru had a blanket wrapped around his body like a night watchman during winter. Father looked at him with bewilderment.
“Why are you standing like this?”
Even before Chandru could say anything, he pulled the blanket and saw his son standing in front of him, wearing a stuffed bra and blouse!
Chandru’s father stood there, shell shocked. His chest froze, making it difficult to breathe. He felt disgusted and pathetic. He slapped his palm on his forehead and whimpered.
Chandrika Shuddered back to the present. Her face contorted with regret. She wanted to erase the memories of that fateful night forever, but it was the same night when she discovered that she was not like others. She wasn’t guilty of wearing her mother’s clothes but felt so for getting caught so awkwardly. After several visits to psychiatrists, her father came to terms with Chandru’s reality, that the act of wearing those clothes was not due to perversion. However, her mother was inconsolable. She stopped talking to Chandrika which left an unhealed wound in her heart. She was sent to her grandparents where she grew up as Chandrika and completed her education. Her father visited her every month and took care of all her needs but Chandrika was missing her mother badly. Her mom never picked her calls and even if she tried from other numbers, Chandrika’s mother would hang up the phone abruptly. It only pained her more and so she stopped calling. Every time her dad visited, she used to eagerly enquire about her mom. Did mummy say anything? Is she still angry at me? Will she ever come to see me?
Her dad didn’t have answers and Chandrika stopped expecting. “Be patient my child, one day she will come back to you. A mother’s love towards her child is very powerful”. Her dad’s words kept Chandrika’s hopes alive.
But today, for the first time, she started feeling like she was hoping against hope. It was such an important day in her life but even today, her mother had not called her, not even a message. The whole world was going to see her daughter’s display of brilliance, learnt from pain and yet, she didn’t seem to care. The very thought of it made Chandrika feel hollow. She took a deep breath and stood up to have a face-wash when her mobile beeped an SMS tone. She opened the inbox and it was from her mummy.
“All the best”.
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