The time when a phoenix glorified Ré’s CTT!
CTT with Ms.Kalki Subramaniam:
She came in like a breeze of fresh air!
We were not expecting such composure in an electrifying way as her presence lightened the atmosphere with grace. Ms.Kalki Subramaniam, a renowned TedX speaker came in and she’d inspired us to fight relentlessly to fulfil the purposes of loving one’s own self. We were shook as she poignantly began her speech. “Never had we, encountered such confidence”, remarked some of the KCTians who had attended the event. She came down, and sat amongst students as she told that she felt a little uncomfortable being the centre piece of attention and that she wanted to be one amongst us. She sat near two girls and she held the microphone in her hand with pure elegance. There, she marked the inception of new thoughts in young minds of KCTians.
She had begun. She introduced herself with a smile and she carried on embracing her true self. She pointed out the endless struggles she had gotten succumbed to, all these years. She told how similar in nature, she was with us. As a child, she had always aspired to be the sophisticated woman that she is now. But just like any other child, she was quite the mischievous brat. She told how her teachers despised her for her activities. She stated that her teachers would leave the other boys for having committed the same amiss but she’d be reprimanded more. Very little did she care, for such stones of imposters were nothing but pieces of paper in her dictionary, as she kept moving on with patience.
She remembers every ounce of love and acceptance from her mother. She was poured in with love as an effeminate child from her family folks and some promising friends. However, her school days weren’t that promising. She reminisces the hard days. The dejection she experienced as a child who got bullied quite often. She wanted to escape but she couldn’t find a way out of this unhealthy mishap.
So she started finding solace with animals in the park. She stated with a nostalgic smile and remarked how animals were much better than humans. She made us smile as well. The park is where, she found women similar to her. She remembers how her trans-sisters illuminated with exuberance and amicability back then. They remain her closest friends till now. Her growth started there. She blossomed every day, as a woman who accepted herself. She emphasized how acceptance was important to her more than anything. She advised the same to us. We, the people of millennial era hide our true selves and we don’t bother wearing a mask. But, true happiness comes with accepting our true nature and learning to let go of all the demons. We learnt that it is pivotal to embrace and nurture our true selves that day. She surely did teach us a lesson.
As moments passed by, she spoke of the demeaning customaries in the society that her friends had to face. She saw her women dying; she saw them take the wrong route too many a time. She however, was determined to choose the right one. She marks out the bitter reality that many of her trans-sisters’ families had not furnished acceptance the same way her family did. She struck a chord in the hearts of young minds, as how deep the scars could go when someone rejects you for being who you are. The consequences are pretty bad. There are trans-women who beg for money and take up sex work for their livelihood. This wasn’t spontaneous whatsoever. This is the aftermath of what these women had undergone as little children with the thoughts of little girls. We often fail to look beneath our skin as we fool ourselves with the imbecile notions of external appearances. It was heart breaking for her to see her sisters suffer in silence. She reminds us how crucial it was for them to smile concealing all the pain within just like women do.
“I never forget to wear my secret enthraller called smile”,she said with a smiling face again. We were all taken aback as we realized that it was more important to feel the moment, rather than dissolving it in the ocean of distress.
She asked the girl folks who had come there, regarding their first feeling as a woman. One of the girls stated the change over of uniform being the compelling factor to feel as a woman externally. However, one other girl talked about her first crush and how she felt butterflies moving inside her stomach and that had her femininity speaking out for the first time. And Ms.Kalki followed up saying that it was such a similar happening that had instilled her feelings as a woman. “My first crush”, she said with a smile.
She knew from childhood that it was important for her to be the woman she is today. She never wanted to exclude herself from such feelings nor did she ever want to exclude herself from other people. She remained calm and she pursued her dreams with aspirations. But, her heart kept ringing bells, asking her mind to patronize transwomen depriving of education. She desired to bring a change. So, she strived real hard and has now earned the epithet “Artivist” from us for her exhibition of pure altruism.
She then, answered all the questions put forth by students with sheer ease and phlegm. Barely did she stumble or lose her patience during the intense questionnaire session. Firstly she was enquired, regarding the behaviour of transwomen towards other people. “Their cruel ways of speaking and their hesitant nature to receive help are quite unappealing”, remarked one of the girls. Ms.Kalki, replied her that transwomen have gotten accustomed to being abused on a regular basis and when they are offered help, they rebuke immediately. Apparently, they don’t feel safe in the society and hence the resistance. It’s quite complicated. When one in a million offers help, it’s quite natural for you to generalize that one person with the rest of commoners.
A storm of questions, arose from different corners of the hall and she was ready to answer them all. When she was asked, whether men or women dominated transwomen more, she emphasized on the fact that we’re living in a patriarchial society and she told that women could relate to transwomen better. She also pointed out that the discrimination from the side of men is more in comparisons with that of women. She also felt that “transwomen are free souls” and they enjoy freedom unlike women who get caught up amidst inevitable circumstances.
She was then enquired regarding her love life. She took it all for kicks and laughs and she certainly did open up. She told how her love life was complicated and how she ended up falling for the wrong guy again and again. She recalls how her first love impacted her during her school days that she’d write stories portraying her love interest as the protagonist. She’d then circulate them to all her peers but her crush was never smart enough to realize her love. She recalled with a nostalgic smile.
One of the highlights of the event was when Bharathi Kannan, an aspiring poet from the department of Electronics and Instrumentation engineering read out a poem and left all our hearts drenched in tears. The way he emoted the baffling struggles of transcommunity was incomparable and Ms.Kalki was awe-struck as well.
Ms.Kalki often released her emotions through her words and art. She is an astounding poetess and a creative artist. She’s an eminent blogger as well. She left us with indelible marks of joy and clarity.
Her presence shall always be cherished in our locked up memories. Ré will always reminisce her glorious coffee table talk.
Cheers to a new beginning and to all such impeccable CTT’s presented by Ré in the times ahead!