I am Vidya
Posted on: January 10, 2012. Comments ( 21 )

Review by R. Manasa, a Student from Sacred Heart Matriculation School, Church Park, Chennai

What sin have tirunangais committed? If, to be male and feel

female is a sin, it is nature’s creation.

What can we do about it?” (I am Vidya 88)

Vidya was a woman trapped in a man’s body. Though born as a boy named Saravanan, right from her childhood she always loved to dress up in her sisters’ pavadais (skirt) and saris and dance to film songs. In school and in college, she struggled to hide her female qualities but reached a point where she felt it was meaningless to lead a double life and was daring enough to undergo the painful and risky sex-change operation, unmindful of the dire consequences that lay in store for her.

Vidya was dissuaded by almost everyone she knew including fellow transgenders who lacked the courage to disclose their own sexualities. Unlike them, Vidya, was strong and determined to undergo the sex-change operation and finally became what she always longed to be – “a Woman.” Today, Vidya has no regrets. Actively involved in theatre and employed in a voluntary organization in Chennai, she hopes society will be more tolerant towards transgenders and offer them equal opportunities instead of taking to begging and prostitution.

Vidya’s biographical book deals with the plight of transgenders – right from the time they discover they are born in the wrong body, how they reveal this secret to family and friends, how the families  refuse to accept them, how they suffer humiliation on account of being rejected by society, how some of them brave the odds and undergo the sex-change operation despite lack of professional medical expertise in the field.

That the book does not have a title is a clear indication that transgenders are denied identities and spaces in our societies. I have very often wondered at the lack of feeling towards transgender in our societies. After reading Vidya’s sad life-story, I long for a time when our societies will treat tirunangais with respect and dignity.

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Comments (21)


    Devi says:

    I think that this story would definetly change the ongoing attrocities of trans genders . we fail to understand that they are also humans and humans are social beings.

    awesome . manasa

    Vijaya says:

    Transgender can lead a decent job without begging. They are good people.

    Tania Im says:

    I too am a teacher for higher secondary students. lately we had a discussion in class about this topic. we respect and accept them as they are.

    Senthilkumar says:

    Excellent review Manasa…

    I agree the fact that Transgenders should be respected. But society alone is not responsible for they being humiliated. Transgenders need to change their attitude. I’m a frequent traveler and I see most of these people begging and they harass the passengers, who do not contribute to them. When these people start respecting the society, for sure society will also respect them.
    I can see many of these people are celebrities and are respected, because they respect the society. Society is like a mirror and it reflects what we show to it.

    Kalpana says:

    Good review by Manasa and good eyeopener most of them are found begging our govt should take more efforts to help all of them.

    Rameshwar says:

    it is an awesome story.hatsoff to vidya’s determination and spirit.

    Venkateswarulu says:

    really impressive but the concern is liberty should never be taken to abuse children by pervert.

    S.Sumathi says:

    very good review.While the society has an empathy and has various reservations in most of the fields for all handicaps who can lead a life as good as others,it is not so in the case of trans genders or sexually impaired….it’s time the society takes it seriously and takes active steps ….

    Packialakshmi says:

    It heart touching and surely will bw a eye opener. It turns our mind in different directions.

    Sudha says:

    Let us accept all and embrace all .
    Review by Manasa is good. The fact that she ended the review with a heart felt : “I long for a time when our societies will treat tirunangais with respect and dignity” is an indicator that the Y gen will work towards an equal society

    Priya Gopalen says:

    Great review and perspective Manasa.

    Nidhi says:

    Hi parents,
    Secret by Rhonda Byrne is an excellent book, and the second part Magic is also the same, I would go to the extend to include these books In the curriculum. This book teaches us to achieve what ever we want in life. Moreover it teaches patience and the power of gratitude.Parents who have young kids can practice the techniques with them and older ones can read on their own. These books are key to happiness please avail it
    Thanks NIDHI PATHAK, mumbai

    Sangeetha says:

    it should be considered on a serious note no indiviual should be set alone, as a democratic country everyone should be treated equally without any difference

    Poongundram Subramanian says:

    Really its a eye opener;not only for our society for those who are having these types of feelings and problems. They should come forward to disclose it to their near and dear who can really help for them. Also every one should read this book to have a respect on them and treat equally to others.

    Mohamwd junedulla says:

    Touching but certainly eye opener for the society to accept and respect individual

    Usha says:

    People like vidya are similar to God Arthanareswar they should be respected atleast as the resepct to human being

    Rajeswari says:

    our society will surely give a dignity and respect to vidya and many other people like this

    Hubert says:

    Good and will be a eye opener for our society

    Rajeswari says:


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