“Sharon, Priyanka is completely fine. You need not worry. Once she’s ready for labour we can move to the operation theatre.” “OK Dr, Thank you. I’ll be right here” Even though the doctor said that Sharon felt nervous. Every doctor would say the same to console the patients and bystanders. He felt the tension popping his nerves as if it would burst. Sharon didn’t watch the elderly man sitting near, watching him for a long time. “Excuse me, son, I don’t know whether I can ask this. But are you OK?” “Thank you for your concern Uncle. I’m frazzled. My wife is in labor. Even though doctor Rajeev said there’s no need to be worried, still........I don’t know.” “Be cool son. This is the beginning of a new chapter in your life. It’s natural to have tension, anxiety, fear, and a wide range of emotions." Sharon felt great relief by the old man’s presence. “May I know your good name Uncle?” “Vishwanath” “And what is yours, Beta” “Sharon” After looking around as if searching for someone Vishwanath asked, “Are your parents not here?” “No Uncle. And I guess they’ll never. “ “Beta, If you don’t mind you can share your worries with me. But if you feel I’m a disturbance right now, I’ll move away.” “No Uncle it’s OK. In fact when I saw you the first time I felt there are some resemblances with you and my father.” “Oh! Then tell me Beta, Who are you? Where are you from? What is your job?” “My name is Sharon. I was born in Punjab. It has been three years since I started living in Mumbai. I am not sure whether you have heard about the foundation DHWANI?” “Yes, of course. It is one of the leading foundations for the LGBTQ community in Mumbai now. Am I right” “Yes Uncle, My wife Priyanka and I are the founders of DHWANI. Mm... We were not Sharon and Priyanka 5 years back.” “Then?”Vishwanath asked perplexed. After a deep breath, Sharon said " We were Sheethal and Pradeep. We are a part of the LGBTQ community.”Sharon saw there was no reaction on Vishwanath’s face. “Why did you stop Sharon?” “Usually when I say this everyone would turn their faces and go away. In this modern era even when the government accepted us there are still people who treat us differently.” After a short pause, Sharon continued. “Even I had the same view about this five years ago. It all changed in the least expected moment.” My family consisted of my father Dr Krishna a reputed medical surgeon and my mother Rema Devi a College Lecturer. Being the only child I was not pampered. But they never forced me to do anything unless I liked it. But when I realized I could not lead a normal life as a woman by hiding the fact I am a man inside I decided to confront my parents. They burst out. I was taken aback and that day I left my house. After coming to Mumbai I underwent many sufferings. It was hard to get a job. Tea shops, hotels, Construction sites, and where not. Finally, after one year I was able to collect the money needed for surgery. Dr Srikanth helped me to be Sharon and lead the life I wanted to. I became part of 'Rainbow' the LGBTQ trust in Mumbai. During a cultural program organized by the trust, I came across Priyanka who was Pramod. We became friends and then founded 'DHWANI'. Later we found we are not just meant to be friends and it’s time to take it to the next level. After becoming a woman and wife Priyanka wanted a child. As it's said a woman becomes complete when she becomes a Mother, I enquired how to make our dream possible. After a long search, we found Dr Rajeev who assured us we can have our baby. And now we are here, waiting for the little one."
Sharon finished and looked at Vishwanath who was keenly hearing.”Uncle, I forgot to ask. What brings you here?” “I am also here to welcome my baby.” “Uncle.....What happened for this to be too late?” “I also have a story like you Sharon.”
"I was born in Tamil Nadu and lived there for 25 years. During my college days, I had a love affair- Seetha. But it was strongly opposed by both the families because of the rigid caste beliefs. After completing graduation, I came to Mumbai to join the University of Bombay as an English Professor. After retirement, I was part of some trusts for social activities and two years back I started an educational initiative VEDA, for slum children in Mumbai. One day accidentally, I came across Seetha during one of the events hosted by the trust. She was also not married. Meeting her after a long time was awkward. But I decided to start a new life with her. As you said, there will be a desire for every woman to be a mother one day, which will make her complete in all sense. We knew late pregnancy is a high risk. But if we could bring life to this earth and our lives then we will be contented."
Sharon and Vishwanath fell silent. Both belonged to different age groups, had different backgrounds, and entirely different love stories. But what they had in common was the desire to bring a life into the world that would also make their life meaningful. The cry of a baby pierced their silence. Both of them looked at each other stunned. Dr Rajeev came out of the operation theatre and looked at Sharon."Congrats Sharon, it's a girl." "I don't have words to Thank you, Doctor." Congrats, Sharon" "Thank you Uncle" "Mr Vishwanathan, I have good news for you too." "What's it doctor?" "Your wife has given birth to a baby boy." "Thank you, Doctor." Sharon turned to Vishwanath and said. "Uncle, Both Priyanka's and my parents will not come here. I would like you to take my child for the first time in place of her grandpa." "Sharon, Are you serious?" Vishwanath asked teary-eyed. Sharon nodded. The nurse handed over the baby to Vishwanath. He held her with mixed up emotions. One more nurse came out with Vishwanath's child. He gazed at Sharon asking him to receive the baby. Priyanka was the first to be shifted to the room. "Priya, This is Vishwanath Uncle." "Namaste Uncle." "Namaste Beti. My wife also gave birth to our baby today." "Oh! How's auntie now?" "She's fine. Not shifted to the room yet." "Are you both happy?" "Yes, Uncle. Finally, we have our daughter. And this year the month of June is considered pride month for the LGBTQ community and this adds to our happiness. " "Oh! That's great. By the way, Have you thought of any name?" Sharon and Priyanka shared looks with a smile. "Yes, Uncle A name which we felt befitting for our little one, 'SRISHTI'. A name irrespective of gender, caste, or any social group we have. The one created by God." Priyanka smiled and looked at Vishwanath "Uncle, Can I ask you something? Forgive me if I am wrong." "What is it Priyanka?" "If you ever find out your son is a girl deep inside and if he wants to change, will you try to change his mind or abandon him? Or will you support his desire?" Priyanka stopped, waiting what will be his reply. Vishwanath smiled "I understand your concern dear. I will not compel my son to do anything against his wishes. I know you would feel I am saying this like any other parent who would in the end force their children to leave their desires. But Seetha and I know how it would be when we bury our desires for others and live as nothing happened. We'll never put our child in such a situation. It's his life." Three of them smiled and looked at Srishti- The creation of God, the omnipotent who has no shape or gender, but present in everyone.