I’ve known her for a year. We frequent the same crossing. She moves from one car to another, and I push my way between them. I’ve said ‘Namaste!’ to her every working day that she has knocked on my window.
But the day after Deepawali, I decided to burn some prejudices I’ve been hostage to, in my social upbringing. Previously, I never would have (and probably no one else would too, given a choice). Transgenders, asking for money on the street, were always to be avoided. They, as per others’ expectations, often resorted to preposterous acts hoping the shock would empty some pockets. Many have found other ways of living and are being slowly accepted in. Its a tough transition.
She: *knocks on the rolled-up window*
Me: *Namaste* “Happy Diwali!”
She: *walks off as usual* *turns back on second thoughts* “What did you say?”
Me: *rolled down the window* “I said, Happy Diwali”
She: “That’s okay, but how about giving something?!”
Me: “You know I never give money like this”
She: *tried a smile* “You really are a miser, you know”
Me: *laugh out* “I am. And usually, broke”
She: “You won’t take this car on your death bed, you know” *Scowls and walks off*
She: *knocks on the rolled-up window* *peeps in* *shakes her head, rolls her eyes* *walks off*