By Indrani Kashyap
There are things that can be discovered and judged by only yourself. It’s your biological and spiritual self. But we tend to lose hope in ourselves and lean on the shoulders of the logic and reason which are by far feasible to us.
In other words, we are cowards. Just the sheer thought of being judged gets us back to the shell.
I’m Indrani Kashyap. I’m doing my Masters in English Literature and a freelance model and I’m a pre-operated transgender. Am I trying to be vocal about it just to overcome the fright of being judged? Bingo.
You are absolutely correct. And that’s what you, he, she and they must achieve.
Being discreet is a choice and completely reasonable but don’t kill the very hope of blooming. Time has its own pace. Let your time take its gear but till then you need to nurture the very spark.
I won’t sugar coat it. Life has never been a chocolate truffle cake for me. Things were never on the same page as far as social norms are concerned ever since my childhood.
My early childhood had been a tumult in the cloud for I had to go through a serious health condition and other major miseries. Getting over those hurdles almost took away half of my teenage years.
Be it psychological or physical, my needs and desires have always been on the feminine side. I would cross dress when I’d be home alone or keep an eye on my maa’s trinkets. Wearing a red Bindi used to be seen as only a mere sign of cuteness that a child of seven summers would do but that bindi soon became illegal.
Wasn’t I predictable enough? Weren’t they supposed to counsel about my obsession for bindis? Well, from a bird’s eye view perspective, the buffer didn’t really work and made me more adamant about identifying myself.
As a young adolescent, I was bullied for dancing and that in turn strangled me to suppression. I felt like a character that had no significance in the entire story. My fellow mates used to make fun of me and call me names or gay.
Moreover, some others would just be fascinated by my sexuality and be humble or sympathise. However, the negative spiral of cultural hegemony couldn’t affect much for I lived up to my passions and difference.
Just as an aside, I laugh and make fun of myself. That’s how one should eliminate the negative within.
My parents did not really give consent to my orientation nor did they refuse to digest it. They did not manage to come to terms with me being a transgender.
But a punch of inspiration was all I needed to move forward in my life. The self-realisation of being a transgender was discovered ever since I was a baby but it was high time to get real.
By the late teenage, I started up taking modelling as my secondary career option but academics still being my prime. It has to be noted that we must obey the expectations of our loved ones. It makes a huge difference. …trust me!
Modelling gave me the exposure to explore ‘the pink’. A Mughlai Biryani with kebab failed to give me that satisfaction which a double padded bra gave to me.
The flexibility of trying colour (colours are beyond gender), makeup, body language, posture and tenderness of charm cannot be put into words. She feels connected to her conscience. You get to breathe a fresh new Avatar.
Coming back to modelling, firstly the very concept of queer modelling was and is not gullible and that’s how retrospectively genders are ‘meant’ to take their roles. But it’s high time that we had accustomed ourselves with terms like drag, drag performance, cross-dressing and so on.
Secondly, your sexual orientation is not your sexual preference. My relatives always used to be nosy about my stuff and behaviour and end up with a note of disgrace and apartheid. I cannot possibly please everyone.
Please stop pleasing everyone. It does not really help. As the L’Oreal Paris campaign slogan says, “Move from ahead from self doubt to self worth”. We are all worth it. Rejuvenate your soul and religiously follow the dictum of your individuality.
P.S: We asked Indrani for her pre-transformation pics but learned that she likes to keep the two identities separate, and so, doesn’t even click pictures of, him. Which lead us to ask WHY that is so, especially when she says in her story above that she is trying to overcome her fright of being judged. This is what she said…
“Well, the truth is that things aren’t very comfortable as far as academic and institutional setups are concerned. People always tend to focus on the flaws rather than appreciate the person’s talent and goodness. Being in a patriarchal society it’s better to keep yourself guarded unless you have the weapons to defend yourself.”
Indrani is pursuing her Masters in English Literature from Delhi University, is a freelance model and a pre-operated transgender.
Afraid of death, she finds her solace in colours and love. Indrani could be found with her friends, with her dreams tucked in pocket. Although a big-time Tinkle fan, she has discovered the intricate realism of identity with her new love- Kamala Das. And, lipstick has been her first love, always.