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Mothers are the epitome of unconditional love. They are the nurturers, the care givers, the pure hearted souls that are no less than an angel in a child’s life. But Lakshmi’s life was different.
Lakshmi was born a eunuch. Her identity was kept from the world until she was known as 8 year old Pankaj. She was dressed like a boy and treated like one too. She shared a deep bond with her siblings and was living a happy life. But at the back of her mother’s mind, there was always a fear of unacceptance. She was scared of facing the society when the word about Lakshmi’s identity would spread. She wasn’t ready to face the situation and decided to talk to a local group of eunuchs. They suggested her to give the child to them. Without giving it even a moment of thought, she agreed. Next morning, together with her husband, she took Lakshmi to a park on the pretext of a picnic. The stage was set. The eunuch group had arranged for a lady at the park who was waiting to take Lakshmi to a different city, away from her parents, to join a group in Delhi. As soon as they met the lady, Lakshmi’s mother gave her hand into the lady’s and said, “This is your aunty. Stay with her, we’ll be back soon”. The innocent heart of the eight year old, had no idea that she had been deserted forever.
Sobbing, she left with the woman for Delhi. The whole environment changed. She didn’t have a school to go, her name was changed from Pankaj to Lakshmi, she didn’t have siblings to play with, her clothes were changed from pants and shirts to salwar and kameez, was made to take dance classes. Initially she cried, rebelled, tried to run away, but then she gave up. She started gelling in as that was the only option left for her.
Years after the incident, Lakshmi felt an urge to meet her siblings and parents. She was now an adult and was earning well with her group. She bought gifts for everyone and left for her hometown. Her parents had changed their house. She started enquiring about them from the neighbours when she was told that they had told everyone- “Pankaj died in an accident”.
The world came crashing down for Lakshmi, once again. She knew her parents didn’t love her and were ashamed of her, but never in her wildest dream had she imagined that they now considered her dead.
She took a train back to Delhi to never look back. Circumstances had made her heart stronger than ever before and she forgave her parents for their sins. Lakshmi, owner of an apartment in Delhi, now wants to be a mother. And when asked what kind of mother she would be, she smiles and responds- “Definitely not a wicked mother”.
Lakshmi’s story is based on a real story of a eunuch from Delhi. Thousands of such children are abandoned by families as the societal norms do not accept transgender children as a part of the society. So many innocent hearts are broken, so many dreams are shattered- all in the name of unacceptance. As a society, when will be stop this discrimination against those who have no hand in being what they physically are? And in any case who are we to reject any of God’s creation, I shudder in disgust and ask.