LETTER FROM THE 'OTHER' CHILD
Dear mom and dad
I do not know how I should address myself to you. Your son, who is the heir of your family or your daughter who is the apple of your eye, I am different from both of them. But I am your child too, am I not? Why would you, then, disown me? Why would you punish me for a crime which I didn't even commit, for a crime I didn't even know was a crime?
I do not remember when or how I found out that I was different but I did. But I never thought that being different would mean that I deserve no love, that I deserve no equality, that I have no worth. The first time you asked me not to play with the kids in the street, I did not understand; bhaiya and didi were allowed and even till late in the evening but I could not play even in the morning. I am sorry for complaining, back then I did not understand that you were ashamed of me, had I have known I wouldn't have troubled you.
I also found out that I was probably the result of bad karma. But mom, you don't need to blame yourself every time dad reminds you that I was born out of your womb, that I was your fault.
Didi explained it to me, you know, how it is just anatomy. What I never understood was why Didi could never explain such a simple thing to you, or others. Maybe it wasn't that simple.
I had learnt not to complain when bhaiya along with his friends made fun of me or when people called me hijra, kinnar, chakka. It felt really bad mom but later dad would tell me that it WAS what I deserve. I tried to be strong. I tried not to cry in front of you, not because you did not care but because it enraged dad even more and he blamed you.
Mom, you and dad always ask didi to stay indoors- 'bhar ki duniya safe nahi h'. But for me, with dad’s threats of burning me alive, tell me, where should I seek safety? With him threatening to kill me in a place I should be allowed to call home, where should I feel at home, mom?
All my life I asked myself what I did wrong? And the only answer I ever could comprehend was 'exist'. All I ever did wrong was to exist. And I am really sorry for that mom and dad.
The Other Child
Written By : Purva Dviwedi
Instagram Handle : @purvapankajdviwedi