Category Archives: Hijra, the 3rd Gender series

“Hijra, the Third Gender” fictions and nonfictions by Yu Sakurazawa

“Hijra, the Third Gender” series have 9 books: 8 fictions and 1 nonfiction. In May 2015 Yu Sakurazawa published “Enchanted into the Third Gender” as the English version of her successful Japanese novel with the same title. Seven more Hijra stories were published successively after that. She also wrote a non-fiction “Transgendered People of India” based on her experience of traveling and hearing in India.

A Dancer of the 3rd GenderA Dancer of the Third Gender
This is an autobiography-style fiction about a son of an upper middle class Indian family, who wishes to learn Kathak dance (Indian classical dance form) just like his sister. In the local Indian community “acting like a girl” is considered the worst thing that a boy can do for the father. He is actually thrown out of the house and must live by himself.

A Feminized PresidentA Feminized President: Losing Bet into the 3rd Gender
Rishab Tiwari has a successful company and a beautiful wife. When he is drunk he makes a bet with his friend. Rishab agrees to live as a member of the third gender for one whole year. On winning the bet, Rishab gets the opponent’s company; on losing it, he is supposed to transfer his own to the opponent. In addition, he must also castrate himself. Rishab must live what a hijra experiences in daily life.

Abducted into the 3rd GenderAbducted into the Third Gender
Subtitle: 180 Degrees Turn
A son of  a big cheese star is abducted for ransom. Instead of shelling down the money, his father intimates the police. The criminal mafia has its own way of avenging this 180 degree turn. This, among other things, entails turning him into a girl. Subsequently, he is taken to Bangkok and given female hormones. Sanjay is renamed Sasha and is forced to offer services as a prostitute.

Born in the 3rd GenderBorn in the Third Gender
A prostitute gives birth in a brothel to a boy with intersexed genitals. He is raised as a boy and lives under constant humiliation and hardship. He has a smooth dusky complexion and lovely emerald green eyes.  At age 13 he notices his desire to express femininity.  “Born in the Third Gender” traces his life’s sojourn of enormous hardships and heart-breaks, and the ultimate triumph over them.
Conspired into the 3rd GenderConspired into the Third Gender
A young sporty son of a rich family, adored and admired, gets abducted by scoundrels and loses both of his testicles. He lost “everything”. The protagonist is a tall good-looking boy whose gender is swapped during the course of the story. He’s emasculated during Nirvaan and is forced to work in a hijra brothel.  He makes it his life’s mission to find out who has ordered all this to be done on him.

Dance Like a Woman Dance Like a Woman
The protagonist is from a family of Kathakali (an Indian classical dance form) performers. His father is renowned for portraying the roles of female characters. One sultry night, the teenaged protagonist feels aroused when he sees his father perform on stage, dressed in a female costume.  He imagines himself in the female costume and feels good. He realizes that he is a woman trapped in a man’s body. A few days later, S. Raghavan falls ill before a big performance. The protagonist is forced to replace him.

Enchanted into the 3rd GenderEnchanted into the Third Gender
A foreign businessman who travels to a northern Indian city is fascinated by exotic beauty of a gypsy dancer. He is enchanted by her and gets into a situation in which he must undergo an irreversible change.  It is a story riddled with lust, love, and faith. A story of secrets and mystery, almost too extravagant to believe.

 

Forced into the 3rd Gender Forced into the Third Gender
Pankaj was the only son of a navy captain from a wealthy family. His mother dies of illness when he was 11, and then his father almost immediately marries the second wife who has a son and a daughter. Stepmother attempts make Pankaj a shame of the family make her own son the heir of her wealthy husbandPankaj is framed into the third gender.

Transgendered People of India

Transgendered People of India: Forsaken Tributaries – NONFICTION
This is a comprehensive book about Hijra of India. The book is a non-fictionand is based on the author’s hearing and witnessing as a foreigner in India as well as substantial studies.

Dance Like a Woman – not just an mtf transgender romance/suspense

Dance Like a Woman

  • Title: Dance Like a Woman
  • Author: Yu Sakurazawa
  • Transgender Category: MTF

The protagonist, hails from a family of Kathakali (a stylized classical dance) performers. His father, S. Raghavan is renowned for expertly portraying the roles of female characters in the dance-drama. One sultry night, the teenaged protagonist feels aroused when he sees his father perform on stage, dressed in a female costume. He recognizes these feelings to be different from the natural stirrings an adolescent boy would feel at the sight of a beautiful woman. He imagines himself in the female costume and feels good about himself. He realizes that he is a woman trapped in a man’s body.A few days later, S. Raghavan falls ill before a big performance. The protagonist is forced to replace him. He puts on female makeup, dons the Kathakali costume and performs the role of the princess to perfection.



Dance Like a Woman

Chapter 1 – I was born “Mahesh”

The stage is set. My husband, Nala and I walk in front of a lamp, its thick wick sunk to the brim in coconut oil. We are newly married and sauntering through the garden. My husband is gazing at me affectionately, until a plastic flower falls on me. Nala is elated and thinks this is a blessing showered by nature on me, his wife, Queen Damayanti. He addresses me and says:

“On the arrival of their queen, nature is showing its appreciation by dropping flowers on her”. His face is painted green and eyes, lined with red and black make-up, sparkle at me. The singer in the background sings expressively and the percussionist drums away in bliss.

My red lips break into a smile. My golden face glows like a light. I am acutely aware of my dramatic womanly bulging skirts, antique ornaments, large overcoat and flowing veil. My long black hair is piled on top of my head in a knot. A grand brocade red and white scarf flows from it. As the ringing of the tiny bells around my ankles reaches my ears, a wave of ecstasy passes through my body.

“Look at that tree” Nala continues “when I was single, it used to mock my condition by hugging the creeper”. Then he gazes at the same tree and addresses it. “Dear Tree” he says graciously “I am no longer a loner. I am fortunate to be in the company of a beautiful wife”.

Both of us wander about in the theatrical garden. A bumblebee whizzes towards my face. Quick as a flash, my husband retrieves a handkerchief from his pocket and protects my golden face. A thought crosses his mind. He smiles as he articulates it. “The bee has mistaken your face for a flower!” Nala exclaims “and has come to extract nectar from it!”. I blush in an exaggerated manner. Then I say: “It seems as if the entire garden is thrilled. Flowers are blooming. It appears as if they are smiling. The cuckoos are singing and the bees are engaged in a merry dance. Gentle winds are blowing and brushing against our bodies. Oh! But how very lovely the whole garden looks!”.

“The sun is going down, darling” my husband tells me “It’s time for us to go back”. As we turn and start walking back towards our palace, the heavy curtain falls. Thunderous applause fills the air. I hear the audience screaming “Meena, Meena! We want to see more of you!” in enthusiastic appreciation. I am jerked into reality. I realize that they are calling out my name. Meena. Meena Forster. I have performed the role of Damayanti many times. But this is the first time I performed as a woman. I can’t express the joy I feel at the acceptance I have gained by my people. While performing, I noticed my parents, sister, brother-in-law and friends among the crowd. Beside them is my husband, Eustace Forster and Sunaina. Sunaina is dressed elegantly in a white Kerala saree and wearing golden jhumkis, a type of Indian earrings shaped like bells. I don’t know how exactly to explain Sunaina’s relationship to me. She has been my friend, philosopher, guide, lover, and mentor. My angel. My eyes flit back to my family, once again.

They really seem proud of me.

It wasn’t always like this. I have come a long way. And the journey wasn’t an easy one.

I was born in Kochi (then Cochin), a small fishing town in Kerala in 1985 into a family of Kathakali artistes. Kathakali is a stylized classical Indian dance-drama, noted for the striking make-up of characters, the opulent costumes, detailed gestures and well-defined body movements presented in tune with live playback music and complementary percussions. My father, S. Raghavan, a noted name in the art, was renowned for his Stripatras or depiction of the roles of female characters. My father’s playing the role of a woman in Kathakali plays wasn’t considered shameful or unnatural as Kathakali is mainly the domain of males. Nowadays, it is pretty common for women to perform the Kathakali (as I do), but in those days, women were strictly prohibited from performing the art.

Ours was a small family consisting of me, my parents and elder sister, Radha. Our parents were very conservative and brought us up in a very traditional fashion. Kochi, being the first town in India to have been invaded by the Europeans, had a greater share of foreign tourists than many other parts of India. They would rent rooms and dormitories and stay for months at an end in the town, enjoying its beautiful backwaters, lovely churches, sea food and of course, Kathakali. I had come across many an enthused Caucasian white tourist who wanted to stay in India permanently and learn Kathakali under the auspices of my father. Though my father obliged and was a good teacher to them, he never accepted foreigners as “one of us”. In order to shield us from outside influence we were exposed to so frequently, our father became especially strict and insisted that we wear only traditional clothes. Therefore I only wore a lungi, a yard of white cloth winded around one’s torso beneath the navel and tucked at the waist, and a shirt while at home. Of course, I wore trousers—a part of the school uniform—to school. Radha wore the traditional Kerala saree, which is off-white with a golden border. I found the saree indisputably more attractive than the lungi. I often thought it unfair that females got to wear the choicest clothes, jewelry and grow their hair long, whereas men were expected to do with bare minimum where attire was concerned.

My father expected me to follow the family tradition and become a Kathakali artist. He had started training me in Kalaripayattu from an early age. Kalaripayattu is a form of martial arts, which is believed to aid Kathakali dancers control their body and face movements. Even though I was fascinated by the color and creativity involved in performing the Kathakali, I hated being trained in martial arts. I would instead wish that I could help my mother in the kitchen the way Radha did after returning from school. However, since our father did not approve of boys going into the kitchen and doing household chores, I never got a chance to potter around the kitchen.

The high point of my day was early evenings when the Kathakali artistes put on their make-up. Putting on makeup was a painstaking process that took about an hour. My father was particular that I stay in the green room and observe him and the other Kathakali performers apply their makeup.

“After all, one day, Mahesh” he would look at me and say with barely concealed enthusiasm “you will be a Kathakali performer yourself. You could take the baton over from me, and portray female roles, but it is not compulsory. You are hundred percent free to play male roles too”.

During the times father said these words (which was ever so often), I would look at him and nod. I used to be too awe-struck to speak in front of my father. To me, he was a larger than life figure who dressed in huge, outlandish garments, used exaggerated expressions and depicted divinities and the royalty in his plays.

Since the makeup for artistes performing male roles was much more intricate than that of those portraying women, they used to have a makeup artist. I would watch mesmerized as the makeup artists lined the Kathakali artistes’ faces with layers of white, green, yellow, red and black, based on the roles they were playing. However, my father, who always depicted female characters, did his own makeup. I used to watch bewitched as he painted his face a lovely golden color, darken his brows, outline his lips and clasp a nose-ring around his shapely nose. The formidable patriarch of a man would, in a matter of a few hours, be transformed into a beautiful woman. It was one of the most enchanting things imaginable, to say the least.

One evening, after the customary one hour long-make up session, my dad and the other artistes disappeared into the inner quarters to change. I was thirteen years old at that time. Soon, they emerged wearing oversized overcoats, flowing veils, bulging heavily-pleated skirts, antique ornaments, and striking opulent headdresses, with wigs of streaming hair flowing down the waist and covering their backs. My father was dressed a little differently, with his wig piled in a knot on top of the head, veiled with an ornamented scarf falling over his tight red jacket. An elegant white saree covered the lower half of his body and he wore opulent necklaces, bracelets and a number of tiny bells around his ankles. I couldn’t help noticing the gentle bulge in this bosom the breastplate produced. Much to my shock and embarrassment, my penis began stirring beneath my lungi. I suppose this was a natural enough reaction of an adolescent boy at beholding the female form, but I felt very guilty. I suppose my guilt had something to do with my having been brought up to only have “pure thoughts”. I also felt terrible because the person beneath the costume and layers of make-up was my father!

As was the ritual, I opened the intricately carved wooden doors of the theatre and invited the audience members inside with a polite “Namaste”, the traditional Indian greeting. I asked them to take their seats, before checking if the microphones and the audio systems were functioning properly. When the voice of the taped commentator started giving the audience members an introduction to the dance-drama, the various emotions and movements involved in them, I walked to the farthermost point of the theatre hall and took my place there. From what the commentator had announced, I knew the troupe was going to enact an episode from Mahabharata, the great Indian epic.

The play started. The artistes started enacting the role of the Pandavas, the kindly princes of a royal family. The five Pandava brothers were married to the same woman, Panchali, a beautiful princess from another land. Since Panchali’s was the only female part in the play, my father was performing it.

Owing to losing a bet, the Pandavas were sent on exile to a forest. When living in the forest, one day, a rare enchanting flower wafted in with the wind came and fell at the feet of Panchali. Enticed by its beauty and fragrance, Panchali asked Bhima, the eldest of the Pandava brothers to bring her a few more of the same. The way my father, by mime and movement alone, expressed Panchali’s desire to possess more of the same kind of flowers, made the audience inhale sharply. The upward movement of his quivering fingers, meant to depict the flower, had everyone enthralled. The expressive movements of the various parts of his eyes—the eyebrows, eyelids, eyeballs, the iris and the pupil—while she interacted with her husband was the most bewitching piece of histrionics I had ever seen before in my life. I was acutely aware of the sinuous creeper-like gestures of my father’s hands, his dainty footwork and sweet, graceful expressions.

I had seen this particular episode from the Mahabharata enacted many a time, but, that evening; it had an entirely novel effect on me. It was as if I was looking at it from an entirely different perspective. It was as if something had changed, drastically and dramatically. Goosebumps started forming on my arms and I trembled pleasurably. Blood throbbed in my ears and my face flushed. Beads of perspiration accumulated on my forehead. Deep down in my loins, something stirred and hardened—for the second time that evening.

Yet, it wasn’t the usual, predictable lust a boy on the threshold of manhood feels for a woman (or a man dressed as a woman). It was something else I had known for a long time, but had repressed. It was such a taboo feeling, that a boy brought up as strictly as I was dared not acknowledge. That is, until that moment.

It wasn’t the female form that had aroused me. It was something else. It was the prospect of me being dressed as a woman, one day. On hindsight, I think that was the first time I openly encountered my desire to be female. I realized, quite vividly, that I was a girl trapped in a male’s body.

The realization confused and frightened me. Much to the disconcertion of the audience, I rushed past them, flung the wooden doors open and ran out into the open air. I kept on running until I reached the shore. Once there, I sat down on one of the rocks and pondered over the situation for a good one hour. After facing truth and having made peace with it, I returned home.


Please click here to read the rest of the story!

Hijra – Discrimination by State and Society

On April 15th 2014, the Supreme Court passed a verdict saying it recognizes the three million and odd people belonging to the transgender group in India. It ordered the government to provide transgender people with jobs and education as well as certain other amenities.

Yet, in spite of the verdict, not all government and private forms have the option of ‘T’ on them, leading to a lack of opportunities for the hijras in education and employment. The lack of recognition of the third gender has lead to a difficulty in procuring passports, ration cards, driving licenses and the newly introduced adhar card. Continue reading Hijra – Discrimination by State and Society

what is Jamat for hijra?

Transgender festival, 2014To  function effectively and to keep anarchy at bay, every human clan is divided along lines of a community. The hijras are no different. Most of them stay in a jamat (Urdu word meaning ‘getting together of elders’) and work both as an economic and social unit.

The head of the jamat is called the guru or the teacher. She instructs the chelas (disciples) on a day to day basis, exploits work from them, manages their activities and financial transactions. Spiritually, she is seen as a mother and protector of the hijras who, in most cases, have severed off all family ties. Hence to survive, it becomes necessary to organize themselves into a family-like clan. Continue reading what is Jamat for hijra?

hijra femininity

Even though hijras are considered neuter or neither man nor woman, they identify exclusively with the female gender. They take great pride in their femininity and enjoy dressing up in female clothes such as the saree, salwaar-kameez (a long Indian shirt worn with roomy pants) and western clothes. They grow their hair long like women and make use of typical Indian female adornments like earrings, necklaces, bangles, anklets and the bindi (the round, usually red dot that adorns the forehead of Hindu women). My experiences with hijras all over India prove that they are given to exaggerating their femininity. They walk with a swinging gate provocatively swaying their hips, talk and gesticulate more dramatically than genetic females. Nowadays, with beauty parlors mushrooming in every nook of India, it is not uncommon to see hijras getting their eyebrows shaped, legs waxed or a facial done. Continue reading hijra femininity

Miss Koovagam - transgender beauty pageant

I had the opportunity to attend Miss Koovagam, a transgender beauty pageant held every year in May as a part of the Koovagam festivities. As I settled myself comfortably on one of the seats, I faced a moderate sized stage. Unlike other beauty pageants where the judges sit in a panel facing the stage, the judges of the Koovagam beauty pageants were sitting in neatly arranged chairs on the stage. The stage background comprised a huge billboard which had lines written on it in a language unknown to me (presumably, it was in Tamil). Soon, dusky young (and not so young) transgender ladies dressed in an assortment of clothing—both eastern and western—strutted on stage with confidence and panache. Each contestant received roaring applause from the spectators and encouragement in the form of smiles from the judges. ‘Miss Koovagam’ was crowned at the end of the pageant and the two runners up were honored with sashes and bouquets. The event concluded amidst a lot of cheer, bonhomie and PDA, with judges and winners exchanging congenial hugs and bold lip-to-lip kisses.

first transgender filmmaker – Rose Venkatesan

This is how she looks and talks – Rose Venkatesan, the first transgendered filmmaker in India. After her MTF sex change .

In spite of having the world and their own bodies pitted against them, a few from the LGBT community have emerged triumphant. These select have been successful in defying all odds and realizing their potential to the optimum.

Rose Venkatesan: Born Ramesh Venkatesan, Rose desired to dress and behave like a girl ever since she could remember. Her journey was replete with ups and downs; she was recruited and fired frequently, faced discrimination at work places owing to her gender identity and lost contact with her mother who thought Rose had brought ignominy to the family.

However, Rose continued striving and became a Radio Jockey and the prominent host of Tamil talk shows such as ‘Ippadikku Rose’ (Yours truly, Rose) and ‘Idhu Rose Neram’ (this is Rose’s time). The educated articulate Rose now intends starting a political party called ‘Sexual Liberation Party of India’ for the amelioration and emancipation of transgenders.

Hijra Movie – Naanu Avanalla Avalu by B.S.Lingadevaru

Recommended movie about hijra, the third gender of India –

Movie : Naanu Avanalla Avalu
Director : B.S.Lingadevaru
Producer : Ravi R Garini
Cast : Sanchari Vijay

The trailers of B.S Lingadevaru’s Kannada movie ‘Naanu Avanalla Avalu’ starts off with the following potent dialogue:

“I am fed up of this dual life

If I die, I’d die as a woman” Continue reading Hijra Movie – Naanu Avanalla Avalu by B.S.Lingadevaru

Hijra Movie – Tamanna by Mahesh Bhatt

Recommended movies about hijra, the third gender of India – Mahesh Bhatt’s 1997 film Tamanna (meaning ‘Desire’) have made an indelible impression.
The sensitive, well-crafted Tamanna is said to be based on the life of a real life hijra called Tiku who lived in the Mahim area of Mumbai up to 1997, at least. The story line of the movie is as follows: Continue reading Hijra Movie – Tamanna by Mahesh Bhatt

Actually, How do Hijras Work as Prostitutes?

The YouTube video titled: “bangalore sex workers in majestick” shows how hijras or female prostitutes catch customers.

They sit, stand, stroll somewhere on the street and send secret signs and gestures to let customers know that they are waiting for a contact. For them it is risky. Policemen can catch them and interrogate, sometimes Continue reading Actually, How do Hijras Work as Prostitutes?

Comprehensive Guide into the World of Hijra, the 3rd Gender of India

Transgendered People of India

  • Title: Transgendered People of India
  • Subtitle: Forsaken Tributaries
  • Series: Hijra, the Third Gender
  • Author: Yu Sakurazawa
  • Category: Non-fiction, LGBT

 

Be an armchair traveler to the world of Hijras, the Third Gender. This is a comprehensive travel book about Hijra of India if you want to find what Hijra is.

Title: Transgendered People of India
Subtitle: Forsaken Tributaries
Series: Hijra,the Third Gender

The author has published seven books in the series of “Hijra, the Third Gender” which are autobiography style fictions. This is a non-fiction book based on the author’s hearing and witnessing as a foreigner in India as well as Continue reading Comprehensive Guide into the World of Hijra, the 3rd Gender of India

Is Aravani or Chakka same as Hijra?

An Indian friend of mine sent me an article about “HINJRA”. It was about a transgender subject so I thought it was misspelled. When I told her about it, she said that everybody in her family refers to Hijra as HINJRA. I checked the word on the internet and learned that there are various words to mean Hijra, which is usually translated into English as eunuch, or hermaphrodite.

Examples:

  • hijre, hizra, hinjida, hinjda
  • aravani, or aruvani, aravanni,
  • pavaiyaa, khusra, jankha, jagappa,
  • khwaaja sira, khwaja saraa
  • napunsaka, napunsakudu, kojja,kojja, maada, ali, kinnar
  • ombodhu, chhakka, bambaiya, kannada

Continue reading Is Aravani or Chakka same as Hijra?

Coming out ceremony for hijras

If you wish to learn more about Hijra, the 3rd gender in India, this is an excellent video that will teach you various facts about being a hijra.

Ritu Kala Samskara is shown in this video presentation. It is “coming out” ceremony for transgenders in which they wear saree (sari) for the first time officially in public. It is a ceremony to mark their transition into women.

Transgender Books

Recent Releases of Transgender Books (TG, MTF, FTM,Genderswap Stories and Fictions) Published on Amazon Kindle

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST LIST OF YU SAKURAZAWA’S BOOKS.

LIST OF BOOKS AS OF SEPTEMBER 6, 2015:


If you search books on Amazon by keywords such as transgender, gender swap, mtf, ts, sex change, etc. you will get tens of thousands of hits. A vast majority of the listed books are adult fictions and are erotica. It may be good for people who are looking for something erotic for getting sexual arousal. However, there are so many people who are seeking serious transgender novels. Many of them having experienced varying level of discomfort in their own body, because their real gender is different from the genitals that they were born with. Continue reading Transgender Books

Life is not easy for Hijras even after court rulings

Can Hijras live happily and easily now that the third gender is officially recognized? Not at all. The life is not easy. Majority of people don’t want to employ hijras. When Indians find somebody who is a little different in daily behavior (and especially when the difference is gender-related) they tend to discriminate not only the “somebody” but also his/her family.

As a result Hijras usually suffer economic difficulties. They can’t easily find jobs, and their families do not want to help them, so they are in many cases forced to prostitution.

Hijra Dance in a Wedding Ceremony

Here is a good example of how Hijras dance in wedding ceremonies of ordinary people.

Many Hijras live on “bhadai” given by shopowners, parents of newborns, wedding couples, and so on. Wedding ceremonies are the occasion when Hijra can get more-than-ordinary income.

Hijra’s dance in wedding ceremonies and people both appreciate and unwelcome their presence. Hijras are believed to be able to curse men into infertility. So, they give big tips to Hijra when they dance in the wedding ceremony, so the Hijras may be on their side.

A Feminized President: Losing Bet into the 3rd Gender

A Feminized President

  • Title: A Feminized President
  • Subtitle: Losing Bet into the 3rd Gender
  • Series: Hijra, the Third Gender
  • Author: Yu Sakurazawa
  • Gender Swap Type: MTF

[Introduction] Twenty-nine year old Rishab Tiwari has it all—health, wealth, a big-league company and a gorgeous wife. However, he squanders it all over an inebriated bet, which requires him to dress in drag for one whole year. Read more to find out what Rishab loses and the infinite things he gains, all in the name of Greek God of liquor, Bacchus. Continue reading A Feminized President: Losing Bet into the 3rd Gender

Abducted into the Third Gender – 180 Degrees Turn

Abducted into the Third Gender

  • Title: Abducted into the Third Gender
  • Subtitle: 180 Degrees Turn
    Series: Hijra, The Third Gender
  • Author: Yu Sakurazawa
  • Gender Swap Type: MTF

[Introduction]

The main character is a big cheese star son abducted for ransom. Instead of shelling down the money, his father intimates the police. The criminal mafia has its own way of avenging this 180 degree turn. This, among other things, entails turning him into a girl. Continue reading Abducted into the Third Gender – 180 Degrees Turn