Friday, April 08, 2005


Somnath was handsome, fair, intelligent, educated (a college teacher, no less), cultured with tastes in literature and music, and a relentless fighter for his transexual identity. But the society, Bengali society in this case, looked upon him as kind of fun, but put up with his life style in its liberal way.

But all hell broke loose when he changed to Manabi, a female, with medical help. Her college refused to allow him to teach. Logic: it recruited a male, not a female, for the post. Her landlord ordered her to vacate. Logic: she would vitiate the milieu.

But Manabi, being true to her conviction, went ahead, and now married a young man called Abhijit Pahari, and began to live like a Bengali woman. Her dresses and make-up were meticulous, and you can hardly tell she was not a natural woman.

But the saga apparently ends on a sorry note. Abhijit has fled, and she is left in the lurch.

A Bengali TV channel recently telecast the episode in two instalments. My heart goes out to this fellow, and I find myself sympathising her. But she needs to be more circumspect and practical now.


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