This is a story I would never really tell anyone, let alone say it out loud because I’m scared it might raise fingers on my character but then I realised there was nothing wrong with it. It was natural and I wouldn’t normally go around announcing it but today I think it’s important to tell you this, only to give you perspective.

I haven’t really encountered too many experiences with transgenders but growing up, the few that I did left a lasting impression on me. This was probably because as a child I didn’t really understand the concept of it and nor did anyone explain it to me in the way they should have.

To be honest, when I was a kid I don’t think even the transgenders knew where they stood with orthodox minds obstructing their path. I don’t blame them for having such an identity crises because they themselves did not understand what they were…and our lack of understanding prevented them from exploring the situation in a healthy manner.

Hence the eunuchs were born. With prying eyes that scream nothing but social stigma, the eunuchs eventually decided to stick together and to not mingle with the rest of society, except for or on special occasions when they would grace your gathering with their presence, offering blessings in return for money. Threatening to strip if one didn’t cough up the funds, I think it’s safe to say my orthodox family would generally succumb to their demands out of fear.

I always thought to myself however “So what if they strip?” and I even made the mistake of asking my grandmother this question once…and might I tell you, her reaction? Priceless. I still squirm with inner satisfaction when I picture her face drop…right before she broke out into a full blown chant trying to cleanse me of the statement I had just made! I always imagined that she would break out the inscense sticks and candles and beat me with a bunch of leaves next but sadly this never happened, if it did…this story would be far more interesting but getting back to her reaction…She was almost livid with my ignorance.

But was my ignorance really ignorance though? I mean I hate to break it to her but I had seen her strip and she really didn’t doubt my ignorance then. Adults think kids don’t have a memory or an understanding of what’s going on around them and that is true but naturally, if I see my grandmother changing I wouldn’t be perverted about it but think it was alright for everyone else to do it too, right? Taking into account her reaction…evidently not!

Now I was straight out confused, what did this mean? Was it actually not natural to strip? So my grandmother looks at me like I’m the devil child and says the most absurd thing I have EVER heard. “If they take their clothes of, we will see their unholy hole!” Wait a minute, I know what you’re thinking and trust me, I was thinking the same thing. The unholy hole? What in gods name was that? How could a hole even be unholy, I had one and she didn’t think mine was unholy? Was there some sort of ritual you had to pass to make your hole holy? Oh well, she didn’t leave much to the imagination when she thought it was her moral duty to enlighten me about the unholy hole.

My sweet grandmother was under the impression that when a man decided to become a transgender, he literally worships the satanic bible and recites paragraphs from it before he takes a knife and chops off his own penis. Can you believe that? It sounds all dramatic and rather dark but unfortunately this is what I thought about eunuchs my entire childhood. When I saw them at traffic signals, I would in a fraction of a second give them all my money to avoid seeing their unholy hole which probably didn’t look any different from my vagina, but oh well, lets just say my grandmothers imagery stuck on pretty damn well. Even though I was an adult myself now and should have educated myself better on the issue, I just didn’t pay much heed to it and clung onto what I thought I knew best.

Recently I went to Goa with my friends for New Years. Goa just has this way of putting all my worries at bay and I can just relax and not think of anything. Being from Delhi where one has to look out for their safety as if every girl was a politician in danger of being assassinated…I was enjoying wearing semi nude clothes for a change. Having my boyfriend by my side also gave me that added benefit of letting loose and being myself. In my mind, nothing could go wrong in Goa because it never really did for me.

There were love birds at every beach sneaking in a smooch here and there, some making out intensely and no one really gave a damn. It was beautiful, we weren’t thinking of the Shiv Sena (moral army!) now because guess what? They were no where to be seen!

Our second night in Goa was pretty memorable, it was going to change my perception of the unholy hole once and for all. With the LGBT debate being pretty relevant, I was obviously not against the community but had to come to the understanding that because of my limited encounters, it was a field I didn’t much comprehend.

I guess I just needed a more sensitised encounter to change my perception. I don’t know if it was the alcohol in my system that night or the fact that my surroundings were so peaceful yet vibrant that led to this change in perspective but something very small changed and it changed everything.

I was pleasantly drunk, not obnoxious or anything and taking in all the energy that goa had to offer, hand in hand with the love of my life, I felt like a hippy that preached love and peace for all! I even had flowers in my hair and it doesn’t get any better than that. After dinner my boyfriend decided to take his intoxicated on life girlfriend to a shack on the beach.

We ordered another bottle of wine and were thoroughly enjoying each other’s company. That’s when it happened, I felt someone sneak up behind us and thinking it was one of our friends, I didn’t pay much attention to this presence in the back ground. Then this presence turned to human interaction and placed its hand on my shoulder and thinking it was one of our friends that were loitering around in the vicinity, I placed my hand on the hand that was on my shoulder. With reggae music playing the background, I was officially a brand ambassador for Bob Marley in this moment. It was quite the shock when the presence decided to swing his/her face over my head to look at my face. I didn’t know this person!

My boyfriend impulsively jumped out of his seat when he realised I had held the hand of the unholy hole! In this moment however, I stayed extremely calm. I don’t know what came over me but I had been sensitised. She spoke to me like she knew me for ages and told me how beautiful I was and I in my drunken state I returned her compliments. After 2 minutes of cheerful banter, my transgender phoebe boyfriend jumped into the conversation as well, it was honestly such a cute situation.

After this I realised that we were all human and that we only feared that which we did not understand.

The presence then told us her name was Laila and wished us all the best and walked off. She didn’t take any money from us and refused the offer of an alcoholic beverage stating that she didn’t drink or smoke. I think she just wanted to join in on the lovely time everyone around her was having and I was glad that we could give her that moment.

My extremely eventful night didn’t end there. As time went on, at about 00:30 am, we decided to change shacks. We went to a different beach and found a very lively shack with what seemed to be a million people enjoying themselves all at once. The shack was large and by this time I was beyond pleasantly drunk and moved on to being extremely drunk. My boyfriend found himself in the same situation. Not being in complete control of our actions, we found ourselves embraced in an intimate hug that OBVIOUSLY led to a short make out session. Oh how I was young, wild, free and invincible in that moment. Life was at its peak, a pleasant sea breeze weaving its way through my tangled beach hair. The taste of my lovers’ lips, it was all too beautiful till we were suddenly disrupted.

You won’t believe it but this fantasy was put to a complete and sudden halt when a eunuch stuck her hand between us.

I was mortified; did she want to join in? She broke us up and we were stunned hence there was literally no reaction from our sides. We looked at each other, slightly frightened and the alcohol just left my system…bringing me back to ground reality. The eunuch starts talking and making general conversation and by this point, I had already entertained one and all I wanted to do was get back to the passionate moment I was having with my man.

After making a bit of small talk, she told us that the coast was clear. I was confused, what was she talking about? I turned my head around and didn’t realise but we had attracted quite the attention with our titanic scene. There were a group of cheap Indian men gathered behind us with chairs, yes chairs watching us like we were food. I felt so violated like I had just made a porno. The eunuch then explained to us that the men look down upon eunuchs, they almost fear them in a disgusting way and that’s when I realised that this enchanting soul had just used the disgust men have for her to protect us from a potentially dangerous situation.

I was astonished and my heart melted. As soon as the herd of men vanished, so did the eunuch and I couldn’t help but think of her as a super hero of some sort. Walking the beaches of goa, protecting young couples from prying eyes. I had never seen anything more beautiful. So that’s two eunuch encounters in one night, the first sensitised me and the second restored my faith in humanity.

I’m not telling you this story to show you human spirit. I thought it was my place to address the absurd statement made by a politician in Goa who thinks he can “cure” the LGBT society with medicine and special centres. I want to show him that there’s nothing wrong with the LGBT society but with the “normal” society. If this man claims he can change sexual orientation, I would request him to change backward mind-sets first, starting with his own.

*Writer’s name withheld on request