We live in an era where each day is dedicated to someone or the other. We have Mother’s day , Father’s day etc…
On one such day my mailbox was flooded with many friendship day messages. It was then that I realized that it was “Friendship day”. The whole world was celebrating this beautiful day. On this memorable day I picked my mobile to wish my most beautiful friend Bindu.
Me: Hello. Happy friendship day, Bindu.
Bindu: You too Sukanya.
Me: Hope you’re doing good. Happy Friendship day. I am blessed to have you in my life
Bindu: Same here, Sukanya. I am good, How about you?
Me: I am doing great. Once I get break from college, we will meet.
With that note, I dropped the call.
Suddenly, my pressure cooker began to whistle, and I realized that I was done with my Rajma preparation.
While savouring the rajma dal I began to think. My life appeared to be like the waves in the sea, full of ups and downs, but I enjoyed my journey so far. Although my life was no less than a rollercoaster ride, I never complained to The Almighty . All that I did was prayed for Him to give me the strength to face this challenging ride.
With my blurred memory I recalled the day I first stepped into this so called social world . Yes it was my “school”, a place where numerous people walked in as friends and are still there with me even today. I am blessed to have them.
However, the year 2016(Diwali) marked a special phase in my life as I was going to meet a person who was going to change my life drastically.
Unlike other Diwalis this Diwali was going to be very special for me as I was going to have a friend who would give direction to my life.
Diwali like we all know is a time for shopping and cleaning. I was busy enjoying this task of cleaning along with my younger sister. Suddenly, the door bell rang. I opened the door only to find myself mesmerized with the beauty of a lady dressed in a red cotton saree with black border. She had extremely good features. Without a second thought I complimented her by saying, “you are a very beautiful lady.” I welcomed her and asked what her name was. She replied ,”I am Bindu.”
Me: Bindu, Please come
Bindu : Thank you.
Me: How can I help you during this Diwali season?
Bindu: We came here to collect fund, for my society.
Me: What society and what’s the purpose?
Bindu: (Introducing herself), “I am transwoman, trying to collect fund for my society”.
(I was astonished. I could hear myself continue the conversation with her)
Me: You are so beautiful .No one can say whether you woman or transwoman. Your name itself has a deep meaning “Bindu – The infinite” you are boundless then why you capture yourself in the box of male and female. You are the most beautiful woman I have ever met in my life.
Bindu: Thanks Sukanya for such encouraging words.
With that interaction she (Bindu) shared her contact details and address.
Bindu left. The cleaning session continued. My young sweet sister , I must say is a little finicky when it comes to doing the household chores.
The Diwali day had finally arrived. My sister and I were busy decorating our house . I love to draw Rangoli. With its beautiful combination of colors , Rangoli does enhance and add to the beauty of the house. To me it brings eternal happiness.
Diwali in Jaipur can leave you spell bound. The beauty of this majestic city during the festive Diwali night cannot be described in words alone. Such is the Diwali in Jaipur.
Our Diwali was celebrated well.
The day after Diwali is celebrated as “Snehamilan day” , where friends and relatives visit and exchange blessings .On that most auspicious day I called Bindu and wished her . We planned to meet her that evening.
I told my maa, I was going to meet Bindu at her place , that evening.
Not a day goes by where I don’t thank God for blessing me with such wonderful parents. They never taught me to judge people. My mother specially packed sweets for my friend Bindu.
I started my scotty with a lot of anticipation to meet Bindu. As I was not aware of the location, I asked people to guide me. However, I began to notice the weird expression on the faces of the people. Their eyes popped out like popcorn. By the way I reached Bindu’s place
I was given a warm welcome at Bindu’s place. The welcome smile especially made me feel at home. It was for the first time that “normal people” other than NGO/ government community people came to their society to visit a friend.I could relate myself with Bindu’s community, “they are happy and accept all imperfectness”
It was for the first time I found eternal happiness far from my perfect society. I had made a special bond with this new imperfect world. It was for the first time I introduced myself, without my profession, designation and marital status.
As I entered Bindu’s place, I met “Chahat” Bindu’s guru. She complimented me saying, ” You have a beautiful smile.” I replied saying my smile was an asset to me.
Me: You have a beautiful name “Chahat”
Chahat: Thank you, Sukanya
Chahat: Yes, name is beautiful, but it has no meaning in my life. I have no identity with this name
(I was left without any reaction. I felt cold)
Chahat: Our life is like that of the birds. We are born somewhere and brought up somewhere. We don’t have any existence.
I had no words to comfort or console her. I had assured “Chahat” and “Bindu” that our bond was going to last a life time as it was from the boundaries or boxes that the society tries to fit you in.
For the first time I came to know about the “Hijra culture and community”. Bindu’s guru “Chahat” shared the entire history of the Hijra community. After my interaction with her I walked to Bindu’s room and asked her where she came from.
Me: Bindu, which place do you belong to?
Bindu: Jalpaiguri, North Bengal.
Me: Wow! I am happy to know that you are a Bengali.
My eyes moved from Bindu and were struck by the things on the dressing table- cosmetic products and black and white photographs of Bindu.
Our endless talk continued. I realized, throughout our conversation, Bindu hadn’t uttered a single negative word. She hadn’t played the victim card by discussing her sorrow, struggle and problems. For the first time I felt positive vibes. Then I released, words make a powerful impact in person’s life. That instance changes my perception, after that moment I used to avoid negative words while interacting with people. Words play a big role in person’s life.
But good things come to end. With that note I had to bid goodbye to Bindu for that day.
I started my scooty and on my way back home Bindu’s words began to echo in my ears. If you don’t experience sadness, you will not be able to enjoy happiness. Sad and happy both are complementary words.
I reached my destination. As I was parking my scotty my dogs “Inku & Minku” approached me by wagging their tail and licking my feet. I understood that they wanted Parle-g from my society shop.
I do not know why days go by rapidly during Diwali, which ultimately brings an end to my holidays. With that I packed my bags and started off to my work destination. Sometimes I wonder whether my life is packed in a suitcase.
But this Diwali I was contented. The Almighty had blessed me with the greatest gift in the form of my friend “Bindu.”
Days passed by and our companionship grew stronger. Whenever I feltl stress at work, I called Bindu. Her powerful words motivated me.
Those days I was staying in Udaipur, searching for a new room. Finally, I selected two rooms, but because of my (divorced) marital status, landowner denied me to provide the room. I was totally frustrated.
I called my stressbuster friend “Bindu” and shared my experience with her. She told me, ” You are frustrated because of two rejections??? Look at me. I face rejection every day. Rejection and humiliation are now a part of my life. Don’t lose hope. God has a plan for you. Be patient.” Like always her words had a therapeutic effect and it healed my pain.
I didn’t lose hope and continued my search. After a few months I found a beautiful room. The landowner too was a gem of a person. Despite my marital status she gave me the place to stay. The day I shifted to my new room, Bindu’s words echoed in my ears “God has plan for you”
Days passed by and new year vacation started. I was happy to visit my hometown “Jaipur.” I finally reached home.
One weekend I called Bindu for lunch. She had requested me to cook “doi katla” fish curry with rice. I kept the promise. I still remember the expression that Bindu had on her face the day she came home . I told Bindu that unlike my other friends she was very close to me. It was she who always taught me the importance of life.
Days passed by our friendship grew stronger.
I am reminded of this one instance with Bindu. Jaipur experiences high temperature during the summers. One summer Bindu and I were on M1 road for some official work at General Post Office. Both of us were hungry and thirsty. I insisted on having lunch in a restaurant nearby. I could read discomfort on Bindu’s face and body gesture. She couldn’t say no to my repetitive requests and agreed for lunch . We entered a non-vegetarian restaurant. Our entry into the restaurant was accompanied by people’s strange gaze and weird smiles. Bindu’s body spoke of discomfort in volumes. Her pale face suggested she was scared. I held her hand and told her that we would not leave that place. While we ordered food , I said, “Don’t think about people. I accept you as my friend and our bond is far beyond societal norms.”
That small episode struck my heart.
Till today I have a beautiful bond with Bindu “Infinite bond of friendship.”