Our Lives, Our Words: Telling Aravani Lifestories - download pdf or read online
By A. Revathi
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Extra info for Our Lives, Our Words: Telling Aravani Lifestories
Whether you castrate or not, if you are a hijra, you are one! Once Rajaji came to power they passed a resolution against the devadasi system. Where could the hijras go? Some began to do household chores. Some others rented a house and got into sex work. Those who went to homes became servants. They survived on the wages given to them. Some are still doing sex work on the beach. I too went to Mumbai and became a chela. My Guru (mother) is no more. I did not want to be with any other Guru. I am with the group of members who are in the lineage of Padavetta Amman temple dasi.
That was true. The wound healed. They would add ghee in black tea and give us. It was supposed to strengthen the body. We were not supposed have milk till the 40th day. We were given a full bath including a hair wash on the 11th, 20th and 30th days. On those days we were served the head of a goat. The hijras, young and old, visited us. They gifted us money by circling it over our heads. They brought us wheat flour, jaggery, tea and ghee. Till the 40th day, we were not to see a man's face or a mirror.
Now I have learnt to fill the form myself. I book the tickets for all the hijras at the hamam. I mention that we are female in form. I buy dresses wholesale from Chickpet in Bengaluru and sell them to hijras. I sell them with a profit margin of Rs 30-50. Neighbourhood women actually place orders with me for some sarees. When I went to buy wholesale for the first time, I was hesitant. I was not sure what people would think. I was scared that they might think I have come to beg. Actually, when I was looking at a churidar at a shop, a boy gave me a Re 1 coin.
Our Lives, Our Words: Telling Aravani Lifestories by A. Revathi