This Blog is for YOU...

If you are/were Gender Dysphoric - so as to know some from me and share some with me, and reaffirm that none of us is alone... To acknowledge that we have a treasure of insurmountable Courage, Strength and Hope in us. I have a feeling that we were given slightly higher quantities of those special gifts :-) [If you have a question to ask me, you could write it as a Comment to one of the posts, and either I would reply to it as a Comment itself, or probably, respond in one of the future posts on this blog]

If you have never been Gender Dysphoric - so as to understand what it means to have a Gender Identity Disorder. Of course, it primarily depends on whether you want to or not. If you don't, please do make a quiet exit and try not to be a nuisance.

If you're confused - so as to realize that everybody goes through a stage of confusion - the period could be short, or sometimes, very long. What is important is to acknowledge that being unsure until you're sure is as normal and as alright as night before day.

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If you're a human being - so as to find out for yourself whether you want to try to make the world a better place to live in, for every fellow human being, irrespective of their health, wealth, colour, race, gender, religion and any and every other line of division you can think of.

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And finally, this blog is for ME - so as to be able to make some difference somewhere by sharing my experiences, and along the way, slowly grow out of those anxieties and insecurities that have inhabited my life for over 2 decades. It is time to escort them to the door now!

Come, Join me on this journey!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Two Guys who had Everything in their Hands

Recap 1: Thus Began my Flight!
Recap 2: Hello Bangkok!

Being a perfectionist, especially when it comes to travelling, my Bua had done her research about Bangkok. And she knew that whatever else we might do, we must visit the Reclining Buddha Temple. Since my movement was going to be restricted for my entire stay in Bangkok after October 19, we would have to visit the temple within the following two days. It was also essential according to both the women accompanying me, to seek divine blessings before the 19th, for the 19th.

October 17, 2007 morning, the driver was there again to take me to Dr. Chettawut’s clinic where I met the Man himself for the first time ever, and if a sweeter doctor than him has been created by the Almighty, I haven’t met them! I still remember how soft his touch was, as we shook hands, and how patiently he listened to my queries and concerns and explained to me how he would go about the surgery. To be very honest, I wasn’t listening or trying to comprehend much. I knew that THIS was IT! There was no turning back from here or going anywhere else now. I just had to surrender myself to this man and let him do exactly as he plans.

He told me that for two days now, I had to be on minimal diet and only liquid at that. Besides that, I was given a kind of solution which I had to drink twice to completely clear my bowels by the time it was the D-Day! After my physical examination and the paper work, Dr. Chettawut promised to meet me on the 19th evening, by which time, I would have been admitted to the hospital.

It was clear now that if any site-seeing had to be done, it would have to be done today, because I wouldn’t have much energy to travel around on the 18th. No solid food for 2 days, remember?

And so, we set out to look for the Reclining Buddha Temple (Wat Pho). And since saving money was our first priority (the trip was anyway costing us over 5 lakhs), we opted for the city bus instead of a taxi. And in retrospect now, that was a very good idea.

It didn’t seem that way in the beginning though. We boarded two wrong city buses initially, thanks to the miscommunication with the locals. Hardly anybody understood English. And actually, we still don’t know whether even the third bus we took was the right one or not. We don’t, because something else happened on this bus which changed our entire plan!

At one of the bus stops, a Sikh gentleman boarded the bus [As we were to discover later, a lot of Sikh businessmen make frequent trips to Bangkok because of the cheap electronics available there]. And we didn’t waste any time in extracting everything about Bangkok that he could tell us. What intrigued us the most was an area called Pahurat, which is supposedly a mini-India in Bangkok. Completely inhabited by Indians, it has everything Indian that comes to your mind – from Kiraana shops and dhabas to halwais and a Gurudwara!

And so, we turned our countryman into our guide. We got off with him and let him lead us to Pahurat through innumerable meandering streets cramped and crowded with markets of electronics and garments. Clearly, we were approaching the mini-India!

When we entered the Sikh temple, I had to hold my breath for a moment… It was just so magnificent! The huge expanse of the hall, the grand chandeliers, the artistic lighting and ventilation, and above all, the golden abode of Guru Granth Sahib ji were truly breathtaking. We sat there for a long time – silent, in direct communication with the Waheguru. I busied myself in clicking pictures after a while, but Mamma and Bua were not done with their prayers for quite some time.

Pretty pleased and deeply grateful to the Lord for having maneuvered our plans to come to him this way, we set out in search for food. And what better place for that than a Punjabi dhaba! I couldn’t eat anything of course, so I just had Lassi [although I have serious doubts that my doctor would have accepted THAT Lassi as liquid!]

All our attempts at shopping failed! Money, as I said, had to be saved. We did savour the totally Indian experience of bargaining in the markets, though. And after a long and tiring day spent at ‘home’ in a foreign land, finally, we reached our hotel by twilight.

Now, the ‘clear-bowel’ solution awaited me! You might want to ask me, why I am even mentioning something like that over here? Well, to underline the fact that no day can be Perfect in every way! That solution has been designed in such a way that once you have had it, you won’t feel like eating anything for days altogether anyway, forget about drinking! It was probably the worst-tasting thing I had ever had in my life, and even now, as I type this, I feel completely horrible inside my mouth! Thankfully, I only had to have half the bottle that day. The rest was for the next day.

The next day! – The last before the day everything would change, or at least, a lot would. Strangely, however, I felt no anxiety, no excitement, no joy, no sorrow, no fear, not even anticipation. If there is a state of no feeling whatsoever, I guess I’ve been there, although if you ask me how it FEELS, I don’t think I’ll be able to explain.

24 comments:

  1. hi this is sandya from keral i am born and now living as male but my inner thouts are of females ... and also i had seen ur photos and bio from weak magazine and ur dressing is so good ... i am rreally planning to leave as female kindly reply me
    with regards
    sandya

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  2. Hi Sandya... I wish you all the very best on this wonderful journey that you're planning to undertake... Keep the faith, the strength and the Hope alive! Meanwhile if you need to ask any question, please do so as a comment on this blog... Take care

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. hi gazal i have seen u on utube video.i have listen ur voice ,from that time i want to talk u.im rahul doing m.tech from bhopal.i m 27 have mesculine face and voice and less hair on heads.but i want to become pretty like u.i want to go on roads in salwar suit,high heel sandels.i want voice like u.in reality i will take 3-4 more years for money (bez no job,no money).then i will become more than 30.my family and some friend knows about my crossdressing but dont know the desire of me to become a girl.they will never support to me(mentally as well as financially).really believe me i was always get high marks during my study and presently i am topper of m.tech batch.but not really happy.i have placed in software company so not much money problem for me in future.i know my family will force me for marry but i do not want this. what can i do.can i get voice like u .can i become pretty like u.friend plz-plz help me.
    WAITING FOR YOUR REPLY.....

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  5. Hello Gazal, I'm sure you've faced this question plenty of times, suppose a man falls in love with you, you'd obviously tell him the truth, but has anyone so far accepeted you in a realtionship? Hope that isn't too private a question to ask.

    I've got a few other questions but not sure if asking them publicly would be wise....

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  6. Rahul - I apologize for such a late reply. Somehow, I thought that I already HAD replied to you, but today when I opened this post to check another comment, I realized that I hadn't. And I'm really sorry about that.

    See Rahul, if you know that your family is going to force you and you also know that you're not going to give in, then you must start working on the situation right away. Prepare your family for what they will need to face in the future. Gradually, try to sensitize them about your problems and the solution that you're going to undergo. It may look like an impossible task right now, but remember, faith really CAN move mountains. Just keep the faith and stay at it.

    As far as transition goes, I understand that it might be 3-4 years more before you can look at surgery, but for now, you can at least get your psychiatric evaluation done, so that you can start one part of the hormone therapy, to keep further masculinization in check. If your looks are a concern, I feel it might make sense for you to start the medication which will counter the male hormones in your body, but you will need the psychiatrist's certificate before that. So, may be, you could start on that as soon as possible.

    [Regarding voice, please check my reply to a comment on my latest post]

    When it comes to being pretty, Rahul, we all (including me) must introspect and try to think whether it is really important to be pretty. Our issue is our identity, our gender. There are millions of genetic women also who may not be pretty in the conventional sense. But to some eyes, they might be exceptionally pretty. Beauty 1) is subjective, and 2) comes from more than just how you look. Believe me, what you think, how you feel for others and how much you love yourself all go into making the overall beauty of a person. So, just keep worries of prettiness aside, just focus on having a gender of your choice and being completely happy. Beauty, I'm sure, would come as a side-effect.

    Take care... and All the Best!

    Anonymous - Hello! Let's get a few things clear... Why do we have to feel or think that WE need to be ACCEPTED by someone? Come on! In a relationship, both the people accept each other for who they are because they love each other, no?

    As long as WE have fully accepted ourselves and have no qualms whatsoever about our past and our present, it is not for anybody else to 'accept' us to be in a relationship. Nor should we allow ourselves to feel that we deserve anything other than the best. If somebody has a problem with our identity, then, really, it is THEIR problem, it should not be ours.

    So, let's not look at ourselves as someone who is at a lower pedestal socially, and needs acceptance to be loved. As long as WE keep thinking that our gender or transgender identity is a valid reason for someone to like or dislike, accept or reject us, we will keep finding people who do just that. Instead, believe (because it IS the truth) that we have emerged successful out of really difficult lives and it is highly admirable. As far as true love is concerned, it is always beyond the parameters of looks and social status and other pointless biases. Have faith that it will come... and it WILL! Meanwhile, practise some love - with yourself! :-)

    You can always ask me questions anonymously, if you want. However, if they're too private for me to answer, then I'll just let you know so. All the Best! And take care...

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  7. Gaz, hope you don't mind me shortening your name.
    Thank you for the response I guess I should've been more articulate when phrasing my previous question. Say love happens between a tg MTF or FTM between memebers of the opposite gender, say A FTM and a woman, now she knows nothing of your past because modern science can spin magic like that.
    What I wanted to ask you and this might be personal, if you really had feelings for someone and they didn't know of your past, would you be forthright and tell them or not because the past doesn't matter? Some people would be upset if they ever found out that such a thing wasn't mentioned.

    I realize you'll say it is better to say the truth and accept who you are, I understand but in reality relationships are more complex.

    Hope I've been able to convey myself lucidly this time around.

    Ciao

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  8. thanks for replying me........hi gazal i hope u will always attach with me in my whole life for my support.

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  9. Anonymous - You KNOW the answer to your question. You just KNOW it, don't you?

    Relationships get complex when there are some levels of dishonesty involved. Self-acceptance is one thing, yes, but come what may, you can never be at peace with yourself if you constantly know that you have not shared such an important part of your life with your partner.

    There are no two answers to this, Anonymous, and you know what the correct answer is, even if it is at the cost of losing the relationship.

    Rahul - You're welcome... You can reach out to me here whenever you want, but please do not think that you will NEED support ALL your life. That's a pessimistic approach to yourself. Be positive and work towards being your own emotional support. At the end of the day, every person in this world has to fend for him/her-self... All the best! Take care

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  10. Dear Gazal,
    I commend your strength. You inspire me in so many different ways! I have been following your blog for a long time now, but have today mustered the courage to write to you...You have touched my heart and helped me find happiness within myself. I should love myself first, and not worry about what people think about me! All my life I have tried to 'fit-in' or wanting to be 'accepted' by society. And now I know all this while I failed to accept myself. But now I know better. I have accepted myself and I love myself for what I am :)...Gazal, I want you to know that you not only inspire girls trapped in boys' body to find freedom, you help girls like me trapped in depression to see a ray of hope. Thankyou very much.
    Regards, M

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  11. Dear M,

    I can't tell you how touched I feel on reading this. My aim has always always been bringing self-acceptance into my and my readers' lives (trans or not-trans), and I feel so happy that just when I have fully accepted myself too [refer my latest post], so has one of my committed readers. It feels lovely! Do take care... A big hug to you!

    love
    Gazal

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  12. hi gazal it me babal kase hon app mujhe app se bath karne hain plz repley me sooon i am waiting of ur ans life kase jarhe hain mere duwaayee hamesah app ke sath hain app ko duniya ke har kushe milzy plz ans me soon

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  13. hi gazal
    i read ur life experience in a weekly magzine ht brunch (delhi)few days ago. despite the problems in ur life u hv managed to go in such a premier institution nit. i cant tell u how much u hv inspired me.
    u hv changed totally my view towards trans..
    i m also a btech student but dont like this prof..
    i want to be a documentary/film maker.
    tell me about ur experience about changing ur profession.
    (i m not good in english so dont mind)
    and
    i thing i want to tell u that u r so beautiful.
    u r the best female i known about, i think.
    can i address u as didi??

    --anuj

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  14. Hi Anuj,

    You can address me as Gazal :)

    I'm glad that you feel inspired by me. Also, thank you for all your wonderful compliments.

    I truly believe that one should follow one's heart, because after all, one life is all you have. You must really live it to the fullest. So, if your heart's desire is to be a filmmaker, please do go ahead and be one.

    How I did it was I did a filmmaking course in Xavier's Mumbai, and from thereon, I started exploring opportunities. Delhi is a high-activity circle for documentaries. If you do a little bit of research, you might be able to find someone who is looking for assistants on documentaries. Don't worry about not having experience. Everyone makes a beginning somewhere. Yes, you may not be paid much to start with, but that is just the startup phase, so don't get disheartened by it.

    All the best! And remember, good or bad in English doesn't matter, doing what your heart believes in, does. :)

    Take care,
    Gazal

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  15. thanks gazal ji
    for ur reply. also 4 ur suggestion on film making.
    u r elder 2 me so i think u dont mind 4 "ji".
    please dont forget me in future, i shall be in touch with u in future also .
    so till then take care
    :) be happy
    bye

    Anuj

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  16. You're welcome Anuj! All the best for the new venture! Take care :)

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  17. HI Gazal
    I wish i could also do what u have done .


    inside or out

    It is not me the one you see,
    I am the one inside ,
    oh not to be the one you see ,
    But to be the one inside ,
    But in the end I had to send ,
    The one you see inside ,
    And now you see I am inside out ,
    of that there were no doubt ,


    Thnx for being here on us .

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  18. Sandeepa - I can sense the pain in your poetry. I wish you lots of hope and even more happiness. Take care of your precious self.

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  19. how can i contact u, pls send me an email i need u at mansicd23@gmail.com

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  20. Manisha - I'm sorry I do not personally contact anyone. If you'd like to ask me something and would not like to divulge your identity, you're free to write anonymously. Wish you all the best! Take care.

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  21. Hi Gazal, This is Vikram, at least you call me with this name at this moment and i am all set to start for hrt for mtf transistion . Whatever i know about you is that you were 24 when you opted for mtf transistion so is me.like you it is just 1 year since i completed my b. pharm. I herd your voice in you tube , it was awesome just wanted to know how you managed this . I have quite masculine voice how could i be able to fix it PLEASE RESPOND SOON i am eagerly waiting for your response as your responce will help me manage thing better

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  22. Hi Gazal ji my name is saichandana, my age 40 years from andhrapradesh. i have completed HOTELMANAGEMENT. now working a small company. recently i have done MTF. now i wanna go abrod for job purpose.al the proofs as a lady name.can u help for my job. i dony know how to gothere.plz give me helping sites for me.

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  23. Hi Gazal,

    First off, you have a beautiful name. Sometimes names don't match personality, however, with you it seems like it was meant to be. I was binge watching/listening to old episodes of Satyamev Jayate at work, and when I clicked on the episode that was showcasing you, I got pulled towards your story and your strength. What struck me is that in an era where women are constantly competing with men even to the extent of walking and talking like them, and hiding their femininity, you are an example of the perfect woman who even though was not granted the correct body at birth, has not just embraced femininity, but has also advertised it in the best manner possible. Moreover, the fact that you too are from Patiala, struck a cord with me. I think you and I were in the same school, back when I used to live in India. I would like to get to know you better. Instead of replying to me here on your blog, I would appreciate it if you could reply to me at my email - vanmeettalwar@gmail.com.

    Best,
    Vanmeet

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Civility check done? :-)