The Right To My Existance ?
- Part 1 -
Louriyam Bebica *
"Give us also the right to our existence" -Stephen's plea to God in Radcliffe's The Well of Loneliness.
"We can't get any where if we're a hidden people" -Barbara Gittings in an interview with Philadelphia Gay News in august 2005.
-Mamma I am getting married tomorrow. I hope at least you will turn up.
Eli moved inside his room slowly. He enlarged his nose trying to catch hold of the tears. He looked up to the roof in hope it could stop his tears from falling in front of his mother. His word 'marriage' startled his mom who was cooking in their small kitchen. He was running 28 years old. It is right time for every parent wanting to see their kids settling in life with their partners specially the daughters. But his mom didn't seem to be happy or angry.
She sat there with no words or any reaction. Eli's word banged her so hardly that she couldn't feel the cut on her thumb. The knife was deepening into her flesh when Eli mentioned the word 'marriage' while peeling the potatoes. The blood was drifting on the table.
- Mamma, what's wrong with you? Can't you see that your hand is bleeding?
Eli's younger sister rushed to her mom. She came to get water for his dad who was reading newspaper in his room.
- E-hey! Ibemma, I didn't even feel the cut.
- What's wrong with you that you didn't even feel the cut? See, you are bleeding? Mamma, press on it for a while and let me get you the first aid.
She knew that something must've happened; else, her mom won't behave like this. Bcoz she is the epitome of 'strong will'. Though she might be lifting the pain of this world on her shoulder she won't allow her kids to get even a single hint. She was glad that she came on time; else, her mom would never say anything about the cut. Instead, she would continue her work as if nothing happened. At times, she wondered how her mom manages to factorize all those pains, frustrations into a smile for them. Her mom held her hand when she stood up to go.
- No, no, you don't need to get it.
She caught her daughter's hand. Looking at her lovingly, she made her sat down on the dinning chair.
- Mamma, are you ok? See your hand is still bleeding. Just press on it for a second until I get you the medicine.
- I won't need it. Sit here for a while with me and get me a glass of water.
Eli gave the water. After taking one or two sips, she began to talk
- Your brother is getting married.
- No, your tamocha.
- But how mamma?
- That's what I wanna ask you. You are no longer a kid, you are educated. Above all, you are the one who knows and loves Eli more than any one of us.
- Is it with that guy whom Eli introduced us last week or da Tomba?
- I don't know. I've not talked on that yet. The concern I am feeling is Eli should not get hurt. He has gone through so much pain and embarrass. He deserved the same happiness and respect that the rest of my kids are getting.
Her tears were not allowing her to speak. It seemed the tears have dominated almost every space of her face.
Elan grew up under the love of his parents, one elder brother and a younger sister who was more like his friend. Since his childhood he was different from his brother. He preferred wearing his sister's skirt than pant. He sat hours and hours in front of the mirror putting on makeup and his mom's phanek while playing house-house. His mom never objected to his choice of cloths or anything.
Unlike the rest of the people, her primary concern was her child's happiness. She ignored those cynical comments on her son's oddness. However, his dad got different way of interpretations. For him, it was all bcoz his son was mentally ill and indiscipline. He thought his son disrespected him. So, not a word was taken into his ear. There were many occasions his father taught him discipline and manner in blue & black.
-Who the hell ask you to wear your sister's skirt? Removed that lipstick from your lips.
This was the scene since he learned to walk and put on dress by himself.
- Bina, Bina, come here at once.
- What happen? Why are you screaming like hell as if someone is dead?
- Bcoz someone will die soon in my hand.
- What the hell you are talking? Why your hand is on Elan's collar? Take off your hand. She looked at her husband with fierce eye.
- Don't give me that look. I am not holding his collar for nothing. Can't you see his dress up? He was dancing in the club's dance competition held for durga puja. That also in this costume.
- So? Are you saying so? Don't you see that your son has come up to another level of madness? The costume he is wearing is not your daughter's t- shirt but your blouse. What people must be thinking about me? Didn't I tell you never allow him to go out?
- Moiba, what's wrong in that? If he wants to wear it, allow him. And he is just a baby of 13 years. He won't know the norms of your so called society.
- Oh! Yeah, he is just a baby though his moustache started growing, though he is taller than I now, he is just a baby. Right? A baby?
His dad began to chase and beat him again with the cane stick he was holding. His mom followed them shouting at his dad.
- Moiba, I mean it, leave him.
That night, his dad was so angry that he didn't allow his son to get inside the house. Elan stayed out of his room. He slept on the chair in their garden without sweater or blanket in that chilly wind of winter until his mom came out with her own blanket and dinner. When she touched his shoulder he suddenly woke up.
- Mamma. I knew that you will come.
His mom could not bear to see her child in that ailment. He was shivering.
- Elan, aren't you hungry?
- I was mamma. But now I don't. May be I am too cold that all the hunger flew off. Ha..ha…
Calling her son's name she hugs him tightly.
- Mamma, don't cry. I am ok. Is dad still angry with me? Belief me, mamma, I always try to follow what dad wants me but I just could not. I don't know why.
He began to sob like a new born baby under his mom's bosom.
- Shh.. look at me. I know you tried. It's ok, my baby.
His mom fed him the dinner she had saved. While eating Elan asked his mom
- Mamma, how did you marry dad? How did he proposes you?
- How that question stuck on your mind? That also at this hour?
- I don't know.
- Ah! One day your dad took me to the moon and refuses to take me back if I don't love him back. Is it ok now?
- Ha..ha..Dad loves you that much.
- I think so. Looking at her son, tangling with his hair.
- Nene Leibaklei said that dad does not love you any more bcoz of me.
- No, no, it's wrong.
- Mamma, dad doesn't love me, right?
- The problem is he could not see you from the sight of a mother; his eyes are located in the place called society. But it doesn't mean he hates you .In fact, he does more than I do.
It was not the last night of his dad's punishment. There were many nights and days his dad punished him but his mom was always there to stand by his side. It says his parents were too much in love until their relation experienced a son who was confused between his physical sexuality and mental desire.
[This short story is dedicated to every homosexual people to let you know that we love you all.]
To Be Continued.............
* Louriyam Bebica wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition)
This article was posted on September 10, 2012.
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