Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Brunch
5 THINGS PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PEOPLE WHO’VE TRANSITIONED
“PEOPLE WHO GO THROUGH A SEX CHANGE GO THROUGH A LOT. IT’S SUCH AN INTERNAL STRUGGLE! ” —ABHISHEK KAPOOR, FILMMAKER
1. It’s not the moral responsibility of every person who’s transitioned to ensure that you’re aware enough.
2. We’re as normal as you; there’s literally no difference.
3. Because at an early age, or even at a later stage, we have learned to take a stand for ourselves, we are generally more fearless, or stronger, than most people.
4. Euphoria. People only talk about the dysphoria related to transitioning, but once you actually start the process, and every day you come a step closer to being the person that you’re supposed to be, that entire process is very, very euphoric.
5. Lastly, mind your own business! Don’t be nosy.
seriously,” says Abhishek about the idea behind the movie, that has earned accolades for both him and its actors. “She narrated a thought to me and then threw in the transgender angle and I was quite taken aback. I didn’t think anybody would be interested in the way that she wanted to tell the story, but the trans angle to it—it really stayed with me. So, I asked her to park the idea with me.”
Simran, 46, is the mother of twin girls Saher and Reyza, 25, both of whom have transitioned in their teens. One an architect and one in marketing, the twins themselves had no idea their mother had met Abhishek.
“I actually went to meet a lot of directors,” Simran says.“most of them said, ‘No, this is too bold’. ‘This is not Bollywood.’ ‘This is not commercial cinema.’ ‘Humein art cinema nahi banana. ’‘ Humein awards circuit mein nahi jaana.’ But I thought: this is normal, and it’s as normal as you make it.”
What convinced Abhishek to listen to Simran? “You know, we take for granted that our minds and our bodies are in sync. We don’t even think about it,” he reflects. “But what if they weren’t? And what if it was so traumatic, but nobody outside could understand it? And people who go through this journey, go through a sex change and transition, they go through a lot. It’s such an internal struggle.”
The idea Simran had suggested stayed with Abhishek for a couple of years; he made Kedarnath in that time, but couldn’t let go of what Simran had told him.
“I didn’t think even she thought that it would be made,” he says. “But she needs to have her voice heard, you know. Somewhere, I think I didn’t choose the script; it chose me.”