Where Heaven meets the Earth
Where Heaven meets the Earth9 mins 57 9 mins 57
When Apsara was born, she was showered with all blessings from her family and relatives. Her father was extremely happy at the birth of our first child, he fondly called the child"Apu". But when our child grew up it resulted in to differences, family started to act incongruously, people of the society closed their doors for her. Publicly there was an unwritten ban to her entry to any occasion, family gathering, restaurant or travel. . . . . . Her father left us, when the whole world was against us we looked up to him for support but he was long gone cursing our little child. She was a "Kinnar". Born a male child, Apu had a great fondness for dolls and other toys, she always wanted to dress as a girl, at her age when male children plays outdoor games like cricket, football, she was more prone to decorating herself as real"apsara". Hours after hours she would spend time in front of the mirror wearing the duppatta as saree, with a red bindi on her forehead, green glass bangles, earrings, lipstick which she would gather from my ornament box. This was initially thought to be the whim of the child, but with the preceeding time we saw the differences and that is when she faced the tortures, both mentally and physically, socially and by her own family.
When Apu's father found out that our male child was actually a transgender, Apu was forced to physical assaults. The tortures grew day by day, she was even thrown out of the house in my absence. But as a mother how can I see my own child go through such abuses, I took her side and needless to say faced the consequences. The society disapproved of our living and Apsara's education, she was treated badly by her fellow mates. Apsara was very soft and the tortures that she faced tore her off. Though I tried to get her the early education hiding her true identity but something was not correct, the problems that she faced were constantly being teased and harassed, her fellow class mates would be bullying around her. The thought of being an outsider where she was forced to project as a male when her inside was purely female made her life topsy turvy. The constant tortures, harrasment, unwritten social bans led her deep down in to the black hole of depression.
After her father left us we started living a very hard life. Even though we had a different and harsh life in the society, I never left my child. The transgender society wanted to take away my child from me but I was not ready to be separated from my child, we had to flee. But where can we flee, where ever we went we faced the same consequences.
I still remember my child's face when she came running from school, sweat pouring her body, the color of her face had drained out, eyes turned red, the heart pulse beating to her ear blocking out all the sound, she could no longer control her hands, they were shaking in an odd trembling rhythm. She gripped me in her arms like a dead knot. Her face expressing her death fear and her eyes pleaded me not to leave her. In a fraction of seconds the rattling sound outside led to crashing our door open, a mob had followed her and she was helplessly run towards me. The parents in the school had known her true identity and had barged into our little house. They would not allow my child to study in the same school as their children.
The neighbours jostled in and we were forced out of the rented house, we were now rendered to the care off footpath. Days passed by with my little child in difficult situations. I some how managed to get a job of cooking in the houses but my mind would always think about my child, incase someone treats her badly, in case someone behaves unconventionally as if they are considered the outcast of society. But these were not enough. The curse of society, people, family led to a more drastic life when Apsara was diagnosed with blood cancer. With no enough money to treat her, I was disheartened. She was a gift of the Almighty, still she was an outcast of the society, she was treated poorer than animals.
An enchanting hamlet located on the banks of river Baspa, a charming valley decorated with lush green during spring and summer and the last motorable settlement on the border of India and Tibet is a doorway to the winsome beauty of a landscape, ornamented with exquisite meadows, a babbling river, and glorious mountains. A real place where Heaven meets the Earth. . . . Chitkul. . .
Life was shattered for both of us, doctors had not been able to give any good words. I wanted to take my child to some quite place where the discrepancies in the society would not trouble her in her last days. This was our village and I strongly believed no one would throw me and my child away from here.
The journey to the village was a life-changing experience, Apsara was astound in the realm of divine nature surrounding her. I felt my child may feel relieved in the organic and unadulterated atmosphere of Chitkul
Chitkul is a magnetic locus of serenity, divinity, and tranquillity.
The historical background of Chitkul Valley is vague as there are no concrete, authentic records. But one can get a glimpse into the tales of the past through the people and their lineage, as well as through the houses of worship and the relics we possess. According to prehistoric legends, the dwellers of Chitkul were called Kinnars as they were believed to be halfway between a mortal and deity. They were considered to be midway between God and people mainly for the location of their home. The Kinnaur District was home to these supernatural beings as the place was a paradise that made one feel close to God while living in an earthly environment. This was the reason I took my child Apsara to our village. She was a "Kinnar" whom the people of the society hated but this was a divine place and the abode of "Kinnars". I was very positive about the fact that the entire nine years she suffered the pain and tortures, this place would definitely give her relief.
The mighty white snow capped Kinner Kailash visible in the backdrop stood silently, a brooding presence of sky punching majesty. Brooches of snow covered their lofty peaks, encircling them in wreaths of angel-white.
A turquoise-blue Baspa river wounding its merry way through the village. Babbling and burbling, it sprung over the limestone rocks in its way. Pebbles whisked about in the under wash like pieces of glitter. Chords of soft light speared down from above, bathing its surface in gold. It was glinting with little sparkles, like a thousand diamonds blessed with an inner fire. A galaxy of dragonflies fizzed through the beams of light, wings a-glittered in the sun. The surrounding looked like paradise with thick, tall, green pine and oak trees. The expanse of orchards of apples and apricots stole Apsara's heart, for the first time in so many years I saw her smile. The playfulness in her hands when she swiped the crystal clear water of the river, the giggling in her voice when experiencing the eclectic view and the happiness at heart that made her forget all her pains made me think that I was right to bring her here, hoping from the core of a mother's heart, my child would recover.
The slopes of this magical land flaunted by the majestic Deodars and the dignified Chilgoza amazed my little one. She danced merrily as if she was a true apsara of the paradise.
The Mathi Temple is dedicated to the goddess Shri Mathi, one of the oldest temple where the goddess is made of wood in contrast to the stone statues commonly found in temples. Carved out of the walnut wood Shri Mathi is decorated and clothed with garments made of yak’s tail hair. According to folklore, the Devi settled in Chitkul Village after embarking on an arduous and long journey. Upon reaching the village she brought prosperity to the village, the temple is famous for its spiritual healing, when we entered the temple, it embarked spirituality, with watery eyes I folded my hands to the deity to cure my little one. When medical science gives its way out, mother like me often rely on the strong faith. . . . Miracles will happen.
A warm welcome to my village in contrast to the turmoil that we faced in the society was heart whelming. In to the lush green paradise embraced by mighty abode of the Lord Shiva, which enlightened itself with the vibrant shades of red during the setting of the sun and those rays striving through the peaks of the Kinnar Kailash fell on my child's face as blessings and made me realise, she was a blessed child, she was not a curse to the society. A child is always a blessing to her or his parents. . . . . a gift that God himself gives to the parents. How can human treat them in such cruel way. Now this place, the surrounding and divinity would cure my child;something encouraged my heart.
After long long days and night my little child had fearless day, delighted with the food she had and all the activities she did that day. The caring lady who sheltered us that night, spoke genuinely with care. "Donot worry, your child will be cured"
My hope was airing up and the faith that had crept in my mind like a caterpillar in a cocoon tried to flutter its wings and fly. I was happy.
That night I slept with my child cuddling her and she had her best sleep in long time.
When I woke the next morning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Peace and tranquility had embraced her.
The raising sunlight peeped through the open window. . . . . All the shades of reds mixed with the blues and yellows washed Apsara's face, there was a golden glow, calmness, and serenity.
She was at peace and was slowly and gradually ascending to her abode in peace. . . . away from the curse of this society. . . . . . to her home, her real abode. . . . . through the pathways where Heaven meets the Earth. . . . . . .