I started meeting her regularly on the pretext of group studies or casual hangouts. My parents didn’t object and could never suspect anything brewing between us.
“Because I love her!”.
His voice reverberated in my head.
I tried sleeping on my tummy with my pillow over the head.
But those words kept ringing in. My anguished heart made me further restless.
When I woke up, I found my pillow soaked in my tears.
How could he do this?
Why should I sacrifice every time?
I came out of the room with swollen eyes and a sombre face.
Ma was busy over the phone and dad was engrossed in the newspaper.
Sagar gave away an impish grin as if mocking me. He knew I lacked the pluck to affirm my individuality to my family, leave alone the world. Inside his mind, he had already won the battle.
I recalled the first time I had to part ways with my favourite blue coloured toy car.
Ma had deliberated that girls never play with cars. She persuaded me to bequeath it to my younger brother.
As the son of the house, Sagar was always given preference over me for almost everything.
I was consistently subjugated to gender bias.
I don’t know exactly when I started to hate being a girl.
The period cramps and social isolation during those days made me despise Self even further.
I was forced to do the dishes and cooking while my brother got served on the table.
I felt annoyed when being asked to dress and act like a girl. People assumed pink was my favourite colour.
My sexual preference and physical appearance were incessantly at loggerheads.
Life interminably made me stand at the crossroads and I found myself perennially perplexed as to which path to take and proceed ahead.
That’s when I met Ragini in college. Her beautiful cavernous eyes and luscious lips were the first things I fell for.
She was soft and feminine in appearance and attitude. I was drawn towards her instantaneously.
She made me feel like a man, I craved to be.
This helped us stay together, perpetually.
It was during one such visit to our place when Sagar met her. He too got blown over by her beauty and charm.
He promptly confided in me his liking for her. I tried to brush the discussion aside.
His fondness for her had initiated the spark of jealousy and animosity within me for him.
Things were under control until one day he caught both of us in a compromising position, in my bedroom.
He began to employ the instance as a weapon against me.
Sagar coerced me to act normal. He even intimidated me that he would divulge about my sexual orientation to our parents.
How long could I endure the mental turmoil and humiliations?
Ultimately, this war was for love and not playthings.
Inwardly, I visualised my psychogenic crossroads melting and merging into one.
This time, I was ready to face the world.
Image source: a still from the film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
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