I sit here trying to write something. As I look to my right I have stack of books I need to read for my masters but all I want to do is work on my film and re-live every moment of the last 35 days! It’s been a while since I wrote something. I know there was a big gap from then and now and I apologize, let’s just say film making takes away every minute of your day and night!
Last time I wrote I had spoken about how I was excited to go and film these amazing women and spend 35 days with them and make this into a documentary. It gives me great pride to say we shot it and it’s currently in post production.
It’s weird I guess I had not really been involved in a group of people’s lives so much as I had for those 35 days and I have to say I loved every minute of it. I went from day one an awkward handshake to day 35 hugging and crying because we are going to miss each other.
People say to me “wow you had a 35 day holiday”. I guess you can call it that, I learned so much about myself, the world and it’s people. I had gone to prove myself wrong about these women and what had been written about them and all I can say is how shocking it is how people are so naïve. These women are so much fun, even Fiza can tell you about them. They are loving, caring, have a number of emotions but man are they confident. They showed me how not to be scared, laugh at fear in its face and smile because secretly the world is beautiful no matter what situation you are in. They have sorrows, pain and anger that I saw, it did not make them any different from me – what did stand out about them is how their final destination is about being happy and succeeding to that objective in life. They took my hand and showed me how worrying about bills, cars, houses are so materialistic but support, friendship and love is once in a lifetime.
This film does not follow me observing their lives, it shows me being accepted into their lives, letting me be part of their world and becoming their dear friend. This film is not showing them as transgenders; it is showing them as people, wives, friends, mothers and inspirations. The film shows a friendship growing, that’s it.
When I came back I was rather in a daze – it’s not easy to digest how you had been wanting the wrong things in life – of course I still want the big house, the lovely cars, the American express card but before all of that what I want is true happiness, to smile because I believe in every muscle of that smile being pulled and that what I am fighting for is right – the other stuff is secondary. Anyway as I was saying when I got back someone asked me “so how are they?” the only thing I could answer “they are more of my friends, then the friends I currently have”. Even though I am miles away from them, don’t see them everyday or even speak to them- I have cried with them, celebrated with them and laughed with them – they are more friends to me then any others. I didn’t just go and shoot my first feature film, I made life long friends and sisters, and something no film can give you. When I look at them I don’t see transgenders- I see a bunch of women I look up to and proud to call my confidant.
Here is to making a film that will give these women justice both in India and internationally – how? It’s easy by being their friends – there is no rocket science behind it, just emotions, trust and a true smile.
I will start posting again so keep tuned!
Copyright Reshel Shah