I am a woman, a woman no less than the millions around me. Maybe not recognised, maybe forgotten, maybe not placed on a high pedestal, without a name, but I am a woman. I may not have borne children but I’ve nurtured one. I love her and I’ll narrate about it.

My day starts early, earlier than most, 4:00 am. I visit the temple near by before the crowd trickles in, to avoid the sneers of the masses. I come to what I have now accepted to be my home for I’ve lived close to three decades here. It keeps me well hidden, like people want me to be, hidden and silent.

I wear the mask after that, a mask I show to the world, it’s painted, painted bright and gaudy. I seek refuge in this mask, it gives me a new personality, a personality to survive the society that rejected me long ago. Wearing this mask I confront them, everyday, every minute, and then return home to my safe haven, to hide and remain hidden.

My unyielding unchanging burden of life was dragging on, when one morning I spotted street dogs pulling at something, dragging it out of the drain. I heard what sounded like meowing of kittens. Curious, I shooed them away to check if a cat litter was there and if I could save them before the dogs devoured them. As I went near I saw the black garbage bag torn at places and on closer scrutiny saw tiny little limbs of a human child. An abandoned girl child, my fears came true.

I held the child, few hours old, a , a survivor, just like me, in my arms and began walking home, missing my temple prayers. She could barely even manage to cry, with the plastic bag her sole covering. I quickly wrapped her in a shawl, while checking for injuries. Thankfully there were none. I warmed up little milk for her and fed her with the spoon. She stopped crying and I held her close to me, to let her feel warm. She fell asleep. I sat there with her in my lap. My tears wouldn’t stop, as hard as I tried.

Sensing my absence, my friends, colleagues if you may, came to check on me, all of them. Adversity has a way to create unbreakable bonds among people, bonds that go beyond words, bonds that understand silence. They saw me with a child, they understood, they were shocked, they were sad. It was a nemesis for all of us. All of us, who were counted among society’s bête noire.

We decided to keep her. She filled our lives with laughter, her cries, her innocence, made us all forget the masks that hid us. She loved us unconditionally. I was going to educate her. She was not to grow up to lead a life of ignominy or opprobrium. I was never going to let her grow up with guilt. Guilt of her birth, guilt of not being accepted, guilt at her own being.

I too had to change myself. I had to become stronger for my daughter. I had to fight the system that made me hide and feel ashamed of me. I had to rise above all the disdain and claim my rightful position. My first fight was to adopt her legally. I won the petition for adoption rights for transgenders. Thereafter I put her in a residential school to keep her out of the pervasive negative vibes around the place we called home.

She had given my life a new meaning and purpose. I decided to help others in similar predicament as me. I set up an NGO to educate transgenders so they didn’t have to go through hell like me.

I saw my daughter growing up in pictures and photograhs, for I was scared to go meet her, till she was sixteen and I got this letter from her:

Dear Ma,

I know you will not come, however hard I try. Principal ma’am wants to honour you on woman’s day but you believe “mother is beyond gender”. You are right. You are my mother and I love you unconditionally. I wanted to tell you this in person but I think you are scared of rejection. The society has let you down too many times. They have their own ideas of boxing people into male or female. Life with dignity is your birth right, but you were denied this right at birth, yet you protected mine. You were rejected at every step, yet you accepted me. You were unable to find love yet you opened your loving heart to me.

The world calls you many names, they shy away from your presence, your being, your clapping your hands at them, unsettles them, perhaps you touch a chord deep within them that they do not want to acknowledge. They keep you silent, invisible, but you have proved that you are a formidable force. You’ve chosen to be a woman, not everyone has the courage to be a woman, to raise a child with love.

I’ve seen you emerge, phoneix like- scarred from zillion battles you fought within.

Each scar a winning story, of love you embraced yourself in.

They called you sin, they called you bliss. Negating passion, emotion, beauty

Vulnerable yet serene.

Danger, darkness, fire brewing like a storm.

Undaunted Resolute Audacious A Goddess took form

I hope I can be a woman like you some day. I am coming home and I will be part of you from now on.

I was silent. She understood the woman that I am, the woman that she’ll be. I am a woman who never quit. I am a woman, who could love. I am a woman who believes I am a woman because I chose to be one.

This piece is dedicated to Shri Gauri Sawant whose petiton recognised transgenders as third gender and Laksmi Narayan Tripathi: who was the first transgender person to represent Asia Pacific in the UN in 2008. And hundreds of other women who are silently fighting a battle against ignominy everyday.


This post is a part of ‘The Woman That I Am’ Blog Hop #TheWomanThatIAm organized by Rashi Roy and Manas Mukul #RRxMM. The Event is sponsored by Kraffitti.”

121 replies on “I – AM A WOMAN”

Speechless and Spellbound. I don’t know how to treat this other than calling myself fortunate that we found you in the last blog hop. This is class piece of writing. If I was mesmerised by your ability to create fiction in the last post, I have fallen for it in this one. You have amazing talent, vision and a God’s gift of storytelling. Where ever you go whether in the country or outside, the society is scarred with discrimination, sometimes on the basis of gender sometimes color…but it happens everywhere. I hope one day we all will rise above this to realise the most important thing – Humanity. Keep flying Keep pouring out this quality work. Big Hug.
#RRxMM #TheWomanThatIAm

Liked by 1 person

Any gender that is not male is striving hard in the society. Time to change their upbringing. Take up the task in the everyday sentences that one uses at home. I believe it makes all the difference. Patriarchy has to change, appreciate and respect all genders.
Strong post!

Liked by 1 person

Deepika, as am typing my tears were rolling down. They say it’s sometimes easy to bring a smile and difficult to get the dew drops rolling.
Powerful and much needed topic on woman.
Power to your pen and thoughts.
Keep writing and would love to follow

Liked by 1 person

A heartfelt post! You have touched the most sensitive yet important topic. Kudos to you! It is always good to see when a woman recognizes the value of others. Gauri Sawant has been phenomenal and she deserves all the respect. You have done complete justice to the post by use of your powerful words.

Liked by 1 person

Gauri Sawant has set many things right for this society and her struggle is still ongoing. U have chosen the perfect one as your inspiration. It’s women’s day and everyone is busy talking about the women in the life. What about other? Why do we easily neglect them as ‘others’? u have written a very sensitive post.

Liked by 1 person

Deepika it’s no exaggeration but the way you weave your tale is exceptional. I think this is the most beautiful piece I read in this blog hop. Here we are fighting and voicing out for our selves hardly recognising the outcasted community of society. Kudos to your efforts for bringing out women like Gauri Sawant.

Liked by 1 person

I have tears in my eyes reading this story. Such a different take and striking all the right chords. More power to good human beings – whether women or men or transgenders. We need goodness and nothing else. Keep writing like this!!

Liked by 1 person

Being a woman is more than a gender. It stands for showing courage, bravery and even sensitivity and care. I’m glad that the third gender now have recognition. Hope they get equal acceptance in society too.

Liked by 1 person

What a wonderful tribute to the real woman . She is a mother by heart , may be not by gender . Society should respect all equally rather learn a lesson from their courage and love . A wonderful writeup.

Liked by 1 person

A few years back when I first came to know about Gauri Sawant and how she is a woman that we really need in our society, I decided to dedicate my women’s day post to her. It was well appreciated back then. I have been following her since then. Every other interview, TED talk and every write-up about her that I found,I read with full of my faith. Half way through the post, I had guessed that it is about her. And finally I got lump in my throat reading the letter at the end of the post.

Such a heartfelt post it is and thank you for writing on a true woman, Gauri Sawant.

Liked by 1 person

Wonderful Deepika.If we compared a girl with an angel and a boy compared with bold character than why not a transgender called as an angelic bold person.because each and every living being has the right to live with their own dignity. This is the best post.

Liked by 1 person

I loved your take on the prompt. It is sad that still in our country a girl child is left to die but then there are mothers who give them the love they deserve and may be more and that instills our faith in motherhood and humanity. You have written this piece so beautifully and may be the first i have read on transgenders. We often forget that they are humans too and deserve all the respect.

Liked by 1 person

My goodness, what an outstanding piece of writing, the story is still running somewhere back of my mind. Curiosity pushed me many times to jump over the climax and get the clue who the woman is? But believe me, I managed to control it and decided to go with the flow and let my curiosity reach its peak, finally in the climax unveil of the truth i.e. the identity of a mother left me awestruck. So heart touching story , not only one but many lines choked my throat, left my eyes in tears. Indeed I too believe mothers are beyond gender. Kudos!!!!!

Liked by 1 person

A true definition of a mother. A mother is not born with the child she grows with the child. Such a beautiful emotion it is to be a mother and yet such horrific events take place where a girl child is abandoned by a mother. Your post is such a beautiful dedication to Gauri and Lakshmi.

Liked by 1 person

One doesn’t becomes a mother just by giving birth , this not necessarily a women has to be a mother .. the one who nurtured and heals your soul from within is a mother . Yet another magnificent heart touching human interest piece Deepika . Your reflections are truly inspirational. Kudos

Liked by 1 person

Speechless! Totally loved it . Also guilty because I am also part of that society that ignores transgenders and deny them their rights. But things are changing. Transgenders are getting educated, they are securing jobs and we do have some hope for their bright future.

Liked by 1 person

What an amazing take on the prompt! Having worked with transgenders and people with gender dysphoria, I must say your story was sensitive and beautifully penned. There are so many preconceived notions about them which must change. Hopefully stories like these would help!

Liked by 1 person

Loved it. It’s so true, I am a woman because I choose to be. Motherhood or even parenting for that matter has nothing to do with gender. It’s nice to see the society is changing for the good but there’s still a long way to go. I hope transgenders are whole heartedly accepted and I sincerely pray that no infant is ever found in a bin. Very powerful writing and happy to have you in this blog hop 🙂

Liked by 1 person

Hello Deepika, it was just like you. Quiet, observant, yet, powerful, real. At the beginning, I was so curious that I smelled this woman is someone not like us, someone exceptional and most powerful, I wanted to scroll down to know whom I am reading now. But I resisted myself hard and patiently, read slowly. When I came to know about the woman, you’re talking about, it reminded me of a current Bengali serial named Firki, we watch regularly. It’s the same story you have written here. Someone inspired by Gauri ma’am’s life, wrote this script earlier. I am overwhelmed to read you again. Whenever I read your story, I feel content, I read each and every word slowly, steadily, to absorb the essence. Hats off to the writer you are. More power to you.

Liked by 1 person

There is a very negative image of transgenders and I have seen people run away seeing one of them, but trust me they are wonderful people too. Their struggle could be an inspiration for many people. Appreciate your post dedication to these outcasted citizens Deepika. #respect

Liked by 1 person

Once again a very unique take. At the same time you have touched upon a very important aspect. We are so caught in the male/female aspect of society that we totally ignore the fact that there are others as well. This was much needed!

Liked by 1 person

There are some encounters in life that cannot be expressed, they just speak to our souls. Whatever may be the binding circumstances, everyone is a human being first. Each one of us deserve respect and acceptance.
You have beautifully presented this in your narration. Hats off!

Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s