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Time for a Change

by

Maliha Awan

It was a beautiful sunny day. The sun was brightening at its full and everyone was busy in their routine work. Mr. and Mrs. Aslam were in a hurry and were going towards the hospital. Soon, they reached there and Mr. Aslam went to pay the dues and, after sometime, he got the news that he had been blessed with a baby. It was the best ever moment of his life, he was so happy that he had no words to explain it. When he went to see the baby , both he and his wife were shocked. They were in a state of a trauma as the baby they were blessed withwas a transgender. They started looking at each other, and the husband refused to keep  him as he was not a normal child. He was abnormal for them, he said that they will send him to some welfare organization or an orphanage. The wife cried and said, “no, he is our child, we cannot send him anywhere. I have no issue with him and I can’t let this happen. He is a blessing from Allah and we cannot leave him like this.

Mr. Aslamreplied ,“that’s  enough. I have decided that I will send him somewhere.”His wife started crying, and they argued a lot, but at last she convinced her husband to keep him and educate him.

When their relatives came, they too were shocked and told the parents to leave him somewhere as this will bring a bad repute to their family, but the parents didn’t listen to them. They pressurized and tried to blackmail them, saying that if they were to keep him, they had to go to a remote place as they could not bear this addition to the family. They further threatened to kill the baby if they did not comply.

So, Mr. and Mrs.  Aslam   along with their child shifted to a hilly area and started living their life happily because there was no one who could degrade their child,who they named Hamid.

So, Hamid started growing up and he was a very cute and naughty kid. Heused to behave different from other children, he sometimes used to talk in a girlish way and also used to play with dolls. When her mother saw all this she became a bit worried, but she brought cars and other toys for her child and taught him how to behave like boys, soon he became better but still sometimes he used to act in a girly way.

When he became 4 years old, his parents wanted to admit him to a best and renowned school but when they went to school for his admission ,they simply denied. They tried to convince the school administration but they refused, they were really  disheartened  and admitted him to a normal school of that area on the condition that they will pay them extra for their son unlike the other students. Hamid thus started going to school but it was really difficult for him to adjust in an environment where he was not treated in a good way like other students. All the students use to make fun of him and no one used to play with him. He had a separate seat in the class and most of the time he was alone during breaks and other free classes. One day when he came back home, he started crying ,saying that he did not want to go to school. Nobodyliked him, he complained that why he was born in this world where no one accepts him. What was his fault to be born like this? Then his mother told him that he was very special for them and Allah had made him like this so there would be some reason behind it. But, he must have noticed that he was more talented than other people.

“When Allah madeyou like this, he has also made you goodat some other things in which other people are not. Like you know that you are very good in calculations and have much faster brain than others”, she said.

Then he was much relaxed and from that day he decided that he would never become sad and just focus on his studies.Consequently, he started scoring well in his class and finally topped the class. Everyonewas surprised, his parents were really happy and gave him gifts. Now they were more confident and had trust in their child and Hamid himself started living happily. He did not care about the people who mistreated him .Now he had a aim in his life to gain higher education and make his parents proud of him.

Time was passing and his summer vacations started, he was very happy and started reading different books and indulge himself in otherextra-curricular  activities. He didn’t want to waste his time and also helped his mother in the kitchen. After a few days ,their  relatives  arrived at their home to spend vacations. They treated Hamid in a good way and also brought gifts for him, he also became really attached with them.

One day his uncle asked him if he wanted to go to park the with him, he became really happy and asked his parents about it. Now they were also satisfied by their relative’s behaviour, and they were busy so they gave him the permission to go with his uncle but advised him to come back timely. He got ready and went to the park with his uncle, he was playing in the park when suddenly a group of transgenders  came and caught him. His uncle was also there. Actually, he had called them to come take him away. Hamid being very confused, asked his uncle what was going on. Hetold him to accompany them and that he would come get him after a few hours.To distract him, his uncle gave him some treats and the group took him. Little did he know, they were going to the railway station to leave for Karachi.

On the other hand, the uncle called home and told them  that while playing in the park suddenly he lost sight of Hamid. He searched everywhere but to no avail.When his parents heard  this, they were struck with grief. They, too, searched for him but it was futile. The police were also informed who then joined the search. They too carried a search operation, but in a vast city like Karachi, it is no easy feat to locate an individual.

When they reached Karachi, they took Hamid to the place where their entire communitylived. He was introduced to everyone. That area was one of the lesser developed areas of Karachi, with narrow and dirty streets, and small but colourful homes.The people themselves were flamboyant, with shiny clothes, makeup, and jewellry. Hamid was told, despite his fear and confusion, to behave like they did. He was told that this was home and they his friends. He was scared and missed his parents immensely.One of them was Rosy who had a soft heart and was really sympathetic towards Hamid. She was already not in the favourofbringing him there but no one listened to her. Their home was very noisy and all of them spoke very loudly. They usually used to turn on songs dance to them.

One day two of them got into a fight.Pinky said to Chanda, “you again stole my fair n lovely,because you want to look beautiful like me, and you are actually jealous of my beauty”.

Chanda replied, “are you blind?I’m more beautiful than you, everyone appreciates me”. It was all new to Hamid.

After some time thehead asked Nadia to go and bring some milk, she refused and said that I would not go to shop because the shopkeeper holds myhand and people comment on me. They used to go to functions and beg from people to earn. Again, Hamid was in shock to see all this.

Once they had to go to a function, so all of them were really excited and practiced their routine. On that day they started getting ready, and Hamid was also looking like a girl. When they went there, there was a lot of noise and all of them started dancing and singing songs. Hamid was sitting alone when suddenly Rosy came and asked him to come with her and both of them secretly came out of the Hall.He asked her about what they were doing. She told him that they were going to railway station the to take him home. He was delighted.It was very late at night, so they took the tickets and sat in the train. They reached there early morning and went to the police station. Rosy told everything to the police and then they called his parents. When they saw their son they became really happy and thanked Allah, and also thanked rosy. They soon got to know that his uncle was involved in all this. They had doubted him but couldn’t take action due to lack of proof, but now they had a witness. Thus, they filed a report against him and he was arrested. He was fined, and the policed ensured the arrest of the transgenders who took him. Rosy then returned to Karachi. However, their things weren’t that simple. She was punished by her community as they thought it their right to keep Hamid with them. She was murdered in cold blood.

After a few days the police had raided their area and arrested them, as Nadia had told the police their address.  So, they all confessed it and were put into prison.

Now, Hamid again started living happily with his parents  and continued his studies. He topped his school but again faced a lot of difficulties in getting admission to a good college but at last he was admitted over there. His class fellows used to tease him but he just ignored everyone and did a lot of hard work and again passed with top grades. For higher studies, he applied to a university and  by seeing his academic achievements  he was admitted.And after a long period of hardships,  he finally gained the degree of MBA and started doing a job in a renowned bank. Everyone really supported him and appreciated his work.

So, this story is a reflection of the darker side of our society that we don’t recognize  these people as humans and treat them badly. But we should think that they are also a creation of Allah and have equal rights as we have and if they’ll get the opportunities  then they can excel in any field. Here the credit goes to the parents that even under such crucial circumstances when everyone was opposing them, they remained strong and gave educationto their child, regardless of his gender and the result was marvellous, even more than their expectations.

 

 

The blog was originally posted in the Read Pakistan Mag.

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