Sunday, January 27

The Dream Manipulation by the Hijrah (Eunuch)

A Personal Encounter by Keval (Mumbai, Maharashtra) 

Though I was born and schooled in Mumbai, I went abroad to the US to complete my further education. Since I lived abroad for years, my perception about the Indian traditions completely changed and I even started making fun of them. Once I grew old, I decided to stay in the US forever, as I had settled down in my own ways. I told my parents (who still lived in Mumbai), who told me that I should at least have my wedding in India and then I can head back abroad. I accepted their opinion. I took a leave from my job for a month and came back to Mumbai. My parents had already selected a girl for me (whom I had approved through the Internet). 

Once back, my parents started taking me to my relatives (who had seen me as a small boy), telling me about the various holy rituals. Personally, I felt them really illogical and a waste of time and resources. I was more than looking towards getting married and running out of here. 

One day (about 3 days before the wedding), a flock of eunuchs (locally known as hijra, plural – hijras) came over to meet my uncle. Apparently, there was a ritual involved where the hijras would be performing my aarti (where they will sing some holy prayers and apply a holy mark of vermilion on my forehead. Later, the hijras will all dance & sing together till the wedding rites are completed. 

Hearing this, I was highly annoyed. I fought with my uncle in front of the eunuchs. Prayers, meeting the relatives, wedding rites everything was fine – but this was absurd. Many of my friends were flying to India for my wedding. I would look foolish being surrounded by dancing eunuchs. I would be the laughing stock of my group. One of the eunuchs, probably the head of the group came over to explain the ritual to me. He sympathetically kept his hand on my shoulder. I was so uncomfortable and angry that I pushed him away so hard, that he was thrown to the floor and bruised a bit on his head. 

The other hijras came over to get him up and looked angrily at me, humming some curses at me. I told my uncle what a fool we were to even think of hiring these eunuchs – they were simply looking for money and they had no religious significance or social importance. The leader came over to me again and kept his hand on my head, telling me to calm down. He told me that he sees problems in my future and I should change my ways of looking at things differently to cure myself. I simply pushed his hand aside and ordered them to leave immediately. He smiled at me and turned around to leave with his group. However, before leaving the door, he turned back at looked at me and said ‘I will be back’. I am a non-believer of such stuff but there was something weird about his look. It made me shudder somewhere inside. 

Not to mention, my parents & relatives scolded me severely. My dad told me that even though I came from a different country, here in India, the hijras had a special significance in weddings and other holy functions. I just bounced back saying that this was all very stupid and that I should not even get married in all these funny rites. 

That night, I felt all weak and feverish. I checked my temperature – it was about 102 F. I avoided telling my parents since it would only trigger back the whole hijra discussion. I drifted back to an uneasy sleep. 

And then I saw a dream. I was sitting in a corner of a really dingy room. It was very dark, except for a small kerosene lamp tied to the ceiling. The walls were full of moss and the room smelled damp and dirty. I looked down and saw that I was wearing a sari (or saree – a long strip of colorful cloth worn by Indian women) and some jewelry. My nails were painted and there was a small pouch tucked inside my saree around my waist. The worst thing was however, a terrifying pain and sadness inside me, waiting to burst out. My whole body was shuddering. All of a sudden, I let out a loud wail – and I kept screaming and screaming till I couldn’t even speak anything. My eyes were flooded with tears which trickled down continuously. The more I screamed and cried, the sadder I felt. This went on and on till I finally exhausted and collapsed down on the floor. My eyelids began getting heavier, but before they shut off completely, I had a faint vision of somebody approaching me. 

I woke up suddenly. It was 6 a.m. and I was drenched in sweat. The visions couldn’t leave my mind. I had never ever been in such a place before. My fever had disappeared overnight but my head was paining terribly. I couldn’t interpret my dream or put any puzzles together. All I realized was that I had been wrong. The very same day I asked my dad to call the hijras and apologize to them on my behalf (since I was too terrified of confronting them). 

My marriage procession went well and the hijras were more cheerful than ever. They forgave me generously and blessed me through their hearts. Their leader came over and showered me with vermillion and petals of chrysanthemum flowers. I looked at him with apology in my eyes and he smiled back passionately. Before leaving, he just came over to me and told me that I had changed, and so will my life. 

Today, even after 7 years of marriage, the vision lies fresh in my mind.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for your grateful informations, this blogs will be really help for Tourism Portal.

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  2. grttt we should believe onn our tradition

    ReplyDelete