My Hijra Friend Will Live
Today was a regular day overall, except for that one phone call on my landline that made me ecstatic. The friend who I thought was going to die from a gruesome battle with blood cancer (ALL) today after my tuitions called me on my landline from the hospital…he said that the doctors told him that he had got his second chance…he is going to live!
Danny Roe just a few weeks ago came out proclaiming to the world that he identified himself to be a Hijra or a transsexual. This was done during a time when we both thought he was not going to live…that we would lose each other because of the cancer in his blood that was killing him. Danny had always wanted to be a guest writer on my blog insaneowl.com and he always wanted to create a blog of his own dedicated to the Hijra or transsexual community of India…he is going to get his chance to fulfil his dreams right after his doctors feel that he is better to sit up in bed and meet his friends.
Danny Roe is an unusual Hijra. He does not flaunt his feminine side in public and dresses like a regular college going male…and he looks really very handsome doing it. He reads books like we drink water and plays the guitar…he is my rock star! Danny is disgusted with the way Hijras are treated in society but at times he thinks that in a way, it’s his community’s fault too for them being treated the way they are being treated by people in our country. Danny feels that if the community had stood up united for their rights maybe today he wouldn’t have to be ashamed of being what he really was. Danny feels that maybe if the Hijras of India were mobilized under a strong leader like the Dalits were mobilized as a strong force under the guidance and leadership of the great Dr B. R. Ambedkar maybe today Hijras would at least be treated with some dignity. I don’t agree with many aspects about Danny’s stand, but I respect his opinion.
When I saw Danny last month on the hospital bed, weak and pale at that moment, I thought this was the last I was going to see of my Hijra friend…but he came back with a bang, this is his true spirit…his fighting spirit…his Hijra spirit as he calls it.
Danny informed me that his mother was currently reading to him John Green’s book ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ and he was in love with the book. He wants to see the movie but the doctor does not think it is such a good idea just yet to let him roam around outdoors. So we are waiting for the DVD to come out after which we will watch the movie on my laptop in his private room in the cancer hospital. Danny joked with me on the phone saying that he represented two different social issues faced by society in the 21st century: Cancer and Transsexuality. He feels it is pretty cool to be a problem but then I retort saying that I being a girl had more social issues stuck to my back than he had: rape, girl child trafficking, molestation, eve teasing, bride burning, dowry deaths(and debts), female foeticide, female infanticide…the works. Danny had to admit defeat and he called me a sadist.
However, today Danny told me that his doctor had given him a second chance; he is going to live…not long…but he will live and that is more important to me. My Hijra friend is going to live…Danny Roe is going to live and as a living mortal, he just wants to live in peace with his close family members and friends. He does not want to make a big show out of his survival and neither does he want to make a show of the fact that he is a Hijra cancer survivor…that’s my Danny, does not like to make a fuss about anything. However, that does not stop me from spreading his message to my readers, a message of hope, courage and determination.
My Hijra friend will live…Danny Roe will live, but for how long? Will he live long enough to secure his family’s future? Will he live long enough to see the Black Sheep documentary about Hijras? Will he live long enough to come to my next book launch? Will he live long enough to see that he has got friends who love him for who he is and not what he represents in the eyes of society?…and finally, will he live long enough to say at the end of it that ‘yes──I lived’…these are the questions left to be answered, but who cares about anything…the friend who I thought dead is going to live, and that is more important than anything else right now.
Copyright 2014 Fiza Pathan