A transgender until much later in life
Because of the societal pressure, parents don’t even talk about it with their kids. Even in schools, transgender children are bullied. In many cases, we’re subjected to harassment too. But who do you talk to? Your parents think you’re being stupid and school doesn’t even listen to you. Situations like these force young transgender kids to run away from home. They live on the roadside. They have no access to education. Think about it. If you have no home, no education, no background and you belong to a gender that isn’t even recognised well by the society, do you think you’ll have a good life? They’re left with options like begging and sex work. On the other hand, there are a bunch of transgender kids who survive bullying and tortures during their childhood and manage to study. But life isn’t any easy just because you have education. I used to work for a couple of companies. In each one of them, I was subjected to discrimination and insults, which leads to traumatic conditions. For how long in life can you survive battling all this? The whole society is against you. How do you prove yourself? Where is the question of employment and education when living a basic life with three meals a day becomes difficult? Despite various talks, protests and representations, all bills are on hold. Either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha or some other authority who is sitting on it.
The thing about trans people is we feel normal
It’s the way we are. It’s only others who say we’re not normal. Trans people are the same as everyone else, our ideas in life are to be happy, to be respected, to be comfortable and to be equal. Is that too much to ask for? “Gardening is a soul-satisfying job. My plants are like my children. Even today, seven months into my miniature gardening business, I get emotional when a slots customer takes away a plant. People often laugh when I say this, but there have been times when I have cried. Lately, I try not being around when the delivery happens. Also, I try and stay in touch with my customers to make sure the plant is safe. In fact, I replant it for them, in case they’ve not been able to maintain it well. I take my job quite seriously, or maybe it’s the love I have for my plants!I first explored the idea of miniature gardening when I moved to an apartment. We had limited space to set up enough pots. Forget trees! That’s when I started using pebbles to decorate my balcony.
Gradually, I started reading more about it and it soon became a hobby
Once I figured out that my family and friends liked it, I started gifting it to them. I wasn’t keen on commercialising my passion though. But my sister convinced me to start a small scale business. It’s been seven months and it’s a hit! To my surprise, Hyderabadis love their greenery. In a recent exhibition, I set up a stall. You might not believe me when I say this, but out of the 60 miniature gardens I created, only three of them remained unsold.Although I get a lot of orders and calls, I try and keep it low-key. Gardening is my passion. Also, it’s an art that needs patience and time. You can’t force a plant to grow in a certain way or in a particular amount of time. I take my time in understanding each plant and setting it up accordingly. I only deal with containers plants. My favourite is jade. It represents positive energy and that’s what you need in life, isn’t it?”