My early memories of beauty revolve around watching my mother dance. Somehow I was fascinated by every aspect of it; from her fluttering fingers illustrating her flights of fantasy to the graceful way her hip swayed to the rhythm. When she would perform at the annual function in the community hall, everyone watched as if in a trance. She glittered like a bejeweled butterfly, flitting from one pose to another in her bright costumes and elaborate make-up.
It was no wonder that when I was little and no one was around, I loved to play dress up. To wear a saree like her and apply a big vermillion dot on my forehead, that rose and set like the glowing sun, in the valley between my eyebrows. Like a restless deer prepared to take flight, my carefully made up eyes scanned the horizon to note any unwanted audience. However, like all good things, this too came to a slow and painful end once the adults found out.
“Alka’s boy likes to dress up as a girl! What has the world come to? She always thought she was better than us, dancing her way around her life; look what has come of her pride. I heard they are taking him to a doctor in the city. He had come home the other day to play with Ravi…I hope it is not contagious!”
P.s. This post is not meant to offend anyone. It is just a fictional representation of a mindset that still very much exists. I firmly believe in Live and Let Live and look forward to the day when choosing one’s sexuality is not considered a crime. And no, it is not a disease.