“Take out five hundred rupees or we will piss off your faces” threatened the naked Hijras
By LB THAPA, in Rampur, India FOR ONTOTHEROAD.COM
With bright make up and cladding in glittering saris the Indian hijras always draw public attention, many times for bad reason. Indian hijras have always made their presence felt due to their strange behavior and mysterious lifestyle.
Though Indian law has recognized hijras as third gender, their actual lifestyle has not changed much. They are aggressive, abusive and unmannered on many occasions. Perhaps this was the reason why when British came to power in India they passed a law in 1897 and declared all eunuchs as criminals.
Prostitution is widespread among hijras as a result HIV rates among hijras stand at 18% in Mumbai and 0.3% in India. Hijras are shameless and their shamelessness is their tool to cough up money from the people. It is cultural belief that hijras do possess the power of curse and that can result sterility and bad fortune.
The other day I was coming to Pokhara, Nepal by boarding a bus from Delhi. At about 9 o’clock in the morning our bus left Jahangirpuri, Delhi. Before our bus crossed Delhi the bus was stopped by three different Delhi police patrolling jeeps.
And each time the khalasi (cleaner) paid three hundred rupees to them. I asked the cleaner why he gave them money each time. He told me that if not then they would check each and every luggage. Like this way they make us late to reach our destination. “To avoid all this hanky-panky we simply get rid of them by paying three hundred rupees” said the cleaner.
Our bus was heading straight towards Sunaoli border on the smooth road of Delhi highway. There were toll collection points after certain intervals. It is a good system of collecting toll from the vehicles and maintaining the roads. However, as soon as our bus left the Delhi border the quality of road was extremely poor.
The cleaner warned us “Beware of HIJRAS”
Right before our bus entered Rampur; the cleaner popped his head out from the driver’s cabin and warned us. “Shut all the windows and hold them tight. Don’t open anyone of them lest Hijras will sneak into the bus”. Every passenger in the bus was surprised.
“How is it possible to enter the running bus from outside? It is even not possible for commandoes” said one of the passengers. The cleaner was perhaps not in a mood of explanation. He locked cabin’s door and sat on his seat.
No sooner had the cleaner went inside driver’s cabin than some Hijras began following our bus on motorbikes. They were attempting to get into the bus. In the meantime one of the ladies was very excited to catch a glimpse of those Hijras.
She opened one of the window panels and craned her head out. The Hijras were waiting for this opportunity to come. One of the Hijras held the window panel tight and swung itself into the bus. Other Hijras also followed the same course of action and in no time there were all six Hijras inside the bus. The cleaner ran fast and closed the window panel and asked the driver to accelerate the speed of the bus.
But it was too late. They had already entered the bus. The cleaner was helpless so were all the passengers. He shouted at the lady for opening the window panel. The lady did not reply. I could see a sense of fear and guilt in her eyes.
All those Hijras were very professional because they were doing all this for the last several years! One of the Hijras stood at the front door and another one stood at the back seat of the bus and the remaining four Hijras took the command. One of the Hijras must be the leader of the gang started speaking at high pitched voice.
“Take out five hundred rupees in your hands before we show you our true colour” the leader Hijra warned us. Almost all of us protested and denied to give five hundred rupees. Upon this the leader threatened us to remove all clothes from their bodies.
When we did not agree to give them five hundred each two Hijras who stood on the front and back seat of the bus removed all their clothes from their bodies and began dancing on a popular Bollywood song Kanta laga, hai laga….piya… They exposed their semi developed genitals without any shame.
I think it was for the first time for everyone of us to see Hijras genitals. Stealing the eyes of other passengers I tried to look at their genitals. I had heard many stories about their genitals but on that day I had a rare opportunity to look at their genitals. Looking at naked Hijras dancing with many twists every passenger burst into uncontrollable laughter.
“Now show is over. Take out one thousand rupees in your hand. Sanno and Banno will collect from you. Hurry up and don’t delay” said the leader Hijra.
“What?” we exclaimed.
“Before you said five hundred rupees and now you say one thousand rupees” we objected.
“You watched Hijras naked dance. Don’t you have to pay extra charge for watching naked dance? It is still very cheap. If you go to a dance restaurant to watch a naked dance you have to pay more.
So, now no more argument and take out one thousand rupees” shouted the leader Hijra. All of the passengers were at a loss as to what to do. In the mean time the driver and the owner of the bus came to interfere.
They had long discussion and in the end Hijras agreed to collect one hundred rupees each from all the passengers.
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