Posts Tagged ‘hijras’

Let me assure you that the not-so-subtly suggestive title will slowly begin to make sense as you read on. The subject matter of this post is not particularly objectionable but may seem marginally racy to some. But what the hell! This is my page and I’ll write whatever I damn well please! So, here I go!

As someone who has lived in India for 22 years, I can, with unquestionable certainty, establish that every one of us has, at some point in time, encountered a group of eunuchs or hijras. It could be on the train, in a busy market, at bus stops, near temples, at a North Indian function – it could be anywhere, but seen them, you must have. Don’t deny it! I know it. (They are called kojjas in Telugu, which sounds more ethnically-cool. So, I will be using its abbreviation ‘KJ’ throughout this post to address them.) KJs attack you with a formidable weapon – a discordant ensemble of claps and cochlea-rupturing voices (no offence to them, but when they sing, they are sure to cause an ear-haemorrhage!) demanding money for their unearthly ‘choir performance’. They are almost always in groups waiting to ambush their prey. They catch you in the unguarded moment and come clapping and singing. They shower all sorts of blessings on you and go “Aeyi Rajaa! Chal dena. Mera Rajaa!” as the clapping persists, sometimes adding lewd gestures (read ‘threats’) to frighten you. You would be better advised to turn in the first big note your hand chances upon in your pockets as you grope. If you deny them the privilege, then be prepared to be violated, for the ‘gestures’ will no longer be just ‘gestures’, if you know what I mean! I believe, lessons are better taught with anecdotes. So, I shall take that route to elucidate.

I was traveling to Chennai from Hyderabad by the ‘Chennai Express’ which never started or reached the destination on time. In keeping with its own tradition, it was late that day too. Certain towns on its route are notorious for their exacting cabals of Super-KJs. Nellore is one such town which is supposed to pass at around 3 am, but never did. You could sleep in peace if it did. KJs aren’t nocturnal train attackers, apparently. Anyway, that day, the train arrived at Nellore at around 7 am and, as you might expect, an army of KJs boarded the train. With their inveterate clapping, singing and blessing, they combed every coach and every cabin pursing all the money they could from their helpless audience. As I heard their melodious voices from the other end of the compartment, I crammed all the 100s and 500s into my suitcase and pulled out a 10 as a token of my generosity for the promotion of the timeless art they were inevitably going to perform. I prepared myself for the ensuing concert by plugging my ears. The guy sitting on the opposite berth was unaffected by the preparations everyone around was making. He gave me a cocky look with a smirk that said ‘You silly! I can’t believe you’re afraid of them. Look at me, I’m a superhero, the invincible Shun-KJ-man’. I threw him an even cockier look clubbed with pity, that said ‘We’ll see who survives, you or Super-KJ’. And the troupe arrived, gave a memorable performance, gave themselves an applause and then it was collection time! Everyone chipped in their share of the mandatory donations. Our Shun-KJ-man’s cocky indifference irked Super-KJ and his(er) troupe.

The conversation: Super-KJ had a thick Nellore accent in Telugu.

Super-KJ: Aeyi, Saaruk Kaan, teeyi dabbulu. (Aeyi, Shahrukh Khan, out with the money!) *clap, clap*

Shun-KJ: Chillara ledamma. (I don’t have any change.) *contemptuous look*

Super-KJ: Oyabboo! Yeme, Vijaya. Vintiva? Sillara ledanta Sakti Kapooru daggara. Igo abbaya! rendu, aidu chillara teeste, muddu pedata emanukunnavo! Notelu teeyi! (What? Vijaya, you heard him? He has no change. Look Shakti Kapoor, if you show me measly change of two or five, I’ll give you a kiss. Gimme bills!) *playfully caresses Shun-KJ’s cheek*

Me (thinking): Shakti Kapoor? *trying hard to repress a guffaw* (This was the time when Shakti Kapoor made news for all the wrong reasons, hence, was known even in the south.)

Shun-KJ-man’s cockiness and superhero-ish machismo flash-evaporated at the threat of a kiss. His face suddenly wore a flushed look of morbid terror as his hands frantically groped for money. He pulled the first note in his shirt pocket and handed it over without even looking at it. I noticed that it was a 50. Super-KJ and the troupe gladly accepted their reward. In return, Super-KJ tenderly brushed his(er) palm against Shun-KJ’s cheek, gave it a caress and winked at him before they left.

I was still trying really hard to suppress my laughter that was waiting to burst. I decided to play the meanie for a bit. I noticed Super-KJ and the troupe in the next cabin engrossed in their performance routine. I patted Shun-KJ on the shoulder and said “Sir. Pilustunnaru!” (Sir. They’re calling you!) as I pointed to the troupe and guess what happened! The guy turned around and one of the Super-KJs happened to notice him. (S)He winked at him blowing him a kiss! Shun-KJ simpered and donned an I’ve-seen-enough-of-this-cruel-world-I-no-longer-have-the-will-to-live kinda look. I ran to the bathroom, laughed till my guts hurt and returned to my seat. And every time I’d look at the guy, the name ‘Shakti Kapoor’ would start ringing in my head and I would stifle another fit of laughter. This went on until I reached Chennai. The moment I got off the train, I burst into a laughter frenzy.

The following incident also occured on the same train but at a different time. Nine of us were headed to IIT-Madras to represent our college at “Saarang ’04”, their annual cultural fest. The train halted at Guntur, a major junction which arrives at around 9 pm (not too late for KJ revelries, as it turned out!). A battalion of Super-KJs had already begun their ‘Operation Clap-dance’. Three of the guys from our group were at the door of the compartment smoking, while the remaining six of us gathered into one cabin cracking raunchy jokes on each other. As the bettalion drew close, five of us prepared for the imminent third-degree torture. The sixth guy, who happens to be one of my best friends, sat there like another Shun-KJ-man. The KJ Regiment arrived, did their little gig and came to each of us showering blessings, stuffing our money into their saris. When it was my friend’s turn, he brusquely replied, “Ledu, pomma” (I don’t have anything. Just go!)

Super-KJ: Aeyi, Ritik Row-sun! Enti? Leva? Naa chiknaa, teeyi, untayi choodu. (Aeyi Hritik Roshan! What? Don’t tell me you don’t have anything. Look closely, you’ll find something, my cutie-pie!) *clap, clap*

My friend: Ekkadinunchi vastaru raa babu! (Where do these people come from man!) *indignantly, turning to the guy next to him*

In a display of annoyance, displeasure at my friends remark, one of the Super-KJ’s did something unthinkable.

(S)he said “Ekkadinuncha? Ikkadinunchi.” (From where? From here!) *Lifts up the sari upto the waist, as (s)he faces my friend*

The jolt he got from that little ‘flash’ of anatomy, seems to have snapped a few of his neural synapses. I think he still suffers from that slight loss of sanity sometimes! Poor guy! The kind of things he brought himself to see! He was obviously the butt of all the jokes for the entire trip that followed. I still pull his leg over it!

So there, people! Lessons from KJland! Next time you come across KJs, don’t disrespect them. They may not be very receptive of it. They have weapons against which even the most powerful nuke would disarm itself! Don’t try to act snooty with them, they know how to pull you down. Act wise and save your eyes (from having to watch something ghastly!). Let the ‘lewd gestures’ remain gestures!

Here’s a song that teaches you the lessons you need even more lucidly (Please excuse the obscenity in the video)! Yenjaai and learn! 😀

PS: No hate mails/comments will be tolerated. This post was inspired by this one.