“Mummy I was in the boy’s toilet today. I saw something.” Roop wasn’t sure what he had seen and what to make of it.
His mother had been dreading that question. Something inside her told her that the day had come. Even though she knew, she wasn’t sure if she had a reasonable answer.
“What did you see?”
“Why am I different from other boys? Why do I look different down there? Why did you instruct me to never use the urinals? Why do I have to use the stalls in the toilet and sit to pee?” Roop had questions.
His mother pulled him closer and held him tight against her bosom.
“Because you are different, my son. You are God’s special child. But you have to keep this a secret. Don’t tell this to anyone.”
Roop was distraught. He did not want to be special. He wanted to be like all the other boys. He wanted to be able to change anywhere he wanted, he wanted to be able to use the urinals and not be made fun of. He wanted to know when he would get a beard. Roop was a twelve year old….
His mother had kept that secret hidden. She was a single mother and she didn’t want to lose her child by revealing Roop’s secret to anyone. But she was dreading the moment even more when she would have to open up to Roop. That moment had arrived, it seemed. How much longer could she avoid it?
Roop didn’t have too many friends. His only friend was Iqbal. They studied in the same class and school. Iqbal understood that there was something different about Roop. He just wasn’t sure but he was not interested to know and never pressured his friend. He would be there to ward away those teasing voices.
It was Roop’s thirteenth birthday when he revealed to Iqbal what had been bothering him. He needed someone to explain why he was different. He needed someone to tell him why he was so soft and feminine. Iqbal didn’t say anything because he also didn’t have any answers. But this was too much information for him.
A few days later, Iqbal did the unthinkable. He stabbed his best friend in the back and passed on the secret to a few school bullies to get out of a sticky situation he found himself in.
That afternoon, after school, a group of boys caught hold of Roop and pulled him into a dirty, empty lane. They hit him and tried to pull his pants down. Roop’s painful screams echoed along that filthy stretch. He saw his best friend smirk, seemingly unaffected by what was unfolding. Roop knew what had happened. His best friend had pushed a dagger through his trust in the most gruesome manner.
The boys kept hitting him and managed to pull Roop’s pants off. His cries for help and mercy went unanswered. One of them caught hold of his underwear and ripped it off. Roop’s secret lay bare. His faith in his friend and in humanity lay massacred brutally a few feet away.
The final blow came when he heard a word flung at him. A word that sounded like an abuse. A word which was going to follow him around for a very long time. A word which was going to become his only identity.
P.S. This is part 1 of a three part story for this week’s challenge. The idiom I chose was – ‘stab in the back’ and the theme was ‘gruesome murder’.
The third gender or eunuchs in India still struggle to find a respectable place in the society. This story is my hope to see a better place for them too.
Do let me know if you like my story.
Here is the link to Part 2
And part 3