The story must have a beginning. But what if the ending is the beginning? And what if the beginning was not the beginning? Confused? But what if this confusion becomes the essence of one’s existence? This is the story of Kushal.
Rewind 20 years back...
Kushal was born in a rich, well educated family of Rahata- a small Taluka in Maharashtra. His birth brought happiness in the entire Taluka. Atlast the Sonavane family had a true heir. To Mrs Sonavane his birth meant no more abortions which was another relief.
At 7, his dream was to be like his mother. To be at home and dress up like her. Years later he remembered only her, all other things were somewhere hidden in his sub conscious mind. The only other thing which he remembered was his Baba. Baba was his nightmare. He remembered his father taking him for “walks”. What happened there was never clear to Kushal! What was clear was his mother. Home was his heaven. It saved him from the harsh world- a world which groped and touched him.
At 12, he loved staying at home with his Aai. “Aai me tumchya bindiya prem kara” (Mother I love your bindis.)
“Ho ho, I know you want it for my bahu!”His mother knew his liking for Indu – their ten year old neighbour.
“Aai mala tumcha sari pahije.”( Mother I want to wear your sari)
“Kushal...go and study. You are a man you don’t need this.”
“Aai, I don’t want to be a man, I want to be like you.”
“Never ever say that. Your father wants you to become a doctor. You have to take care of everything Kushal. Promise me not to utter such nonsense.”
“Ohkay..I promise” The only person he loved except his mother was Indu and he loved palying with her. Ghar-ghar was his favourite but he never liked being the husband but for Indu’s happiness he would become the head of the house. He always dreamt to do house hold works but the fear of his Baba forced him to study medicine. One thing he couldn’t let go was his desire to be like his mother. He never talked about it but like a fly in the sweet shop this desire was always there.
At 13, Indu was no longer allowed to play with Kushal. She had grown up and would now play with real crockery and utensils.
“Aai, why can’t Indu come here?”
“Well because she is growing up and so will you. We all change biologically and it is time to be serious in life.”
“How do we change aai?”
Mrs Sonavane went quiet. Was it safe to discuss these things with Kushal? She didn’t want Kushal to be anything like her husband so she turned to him and said, “Kushal listen to me carefully, when girls grow they menstruate. This helps them to bear children. They face a lot of pain- physical and mental- for their family. You must learn to respect every woman.”
Kushal was fascinated by this. Every night he would check himself in the bathroom and wished to bleed but he never did. He loved the idea of giving birth, of menstruation and of womanhood.
At age 27, Kushal completed his course in gynaecology. His father wanted him to be a doctor but it was this field which fascinated him. He never told anyone but he loved to experience the thrill of a woman giving birth or talking about her biological issues.
“Kushal,O Kushal, your patient has been calling you for the last ten minutes.Talk to her or I will murder her!Even I gave birth to you, pregnancy is not World War!Aaj kal ki generation toh oooffff! You are not even getting paid for this!”
“aai...chup basa!(Keep quiet)Its emergency!”
Kushal loved treating his patients. He gained pleasure by understanding their body parts as if he was understanding his own self.
At 29, his marriage was fixed with his childhood mate, Indu, but Kushal was devastated. He felt like a beggar who was thirsty but was given food instead. It was unfair to enter into such a marriage and he tried explaining this to Indu,
“Indu, I don’t think we should marry. I am not ready.I don’t want this.”
“But why, we have known each other for so long...Do you..do you love someone else?”
“I..I am .. I am not what you think I am.I am not happy with my body. I feel suffocated. And marriage with you will be another wire around my neck! Please understand.”
“Are you gay?”
Was he? No he wasn’t attracted to guys. So what was it? “No, I am not gay.”
“See Kushal, you are a doctor I guess you are just nervous about this step. Think about it. I know you love me. I know you love me. Please marry me. Everything will be fine.”
Kushal couldn’t understand what to do. Indu was his childhood friend, why couldn’t he marry her? Why?
His marriage life was not a happily ever after. He couldn’t touch her neither could he sleep with her. He was plagued by questions of children. Year later his Baba confronted him.
“Why can’t you just have a child?Is it that difficult? Be a man this is your responsibility. If you can’t do the deed then I will but I need an heir.”
Kushal was shocked. Never had he imagined his father saying this to him. What was he even implying?
“I can’t. I told you I didn’t want to marry, I am not happy in this marriage.”
“Oh Why because you are not man enough to actually have sex with her. Chaaka hai tu! Kash tujhe main tujhe pehle hi maar deta ya chod deta us hijada ghar. Tujhe koi shauk nahi hai na apni biwi ke sath sone ka? Ab main tujhe batata hu!”
Saying this his father unzipped his pants,he held Kushal tightly and pushed him on the floor.
Kushal was too shocked to cry, to plead and scream.
After finishing himself off, Mr.Sonavane left the room.
Mrs.Sonavane died a few weeks later. No one understood her cause of death.
Kushal and Indu too left the house the next day. Indu never knew what happened that night but she knew that Kushal had changed and it was her fault. Kushal knew all answers. He lea