HomeJammu and kashmirReshma: A Story of Resilience IV News
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Reshma: A Story of Resilience IV News

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Reshma, who was at the forefront of the struggle for the honor of the transgender community in Kashmir, died on Sunday. An eminent singer, she fought for the marginalized community. Three years ago, I met him as an intern for a story.

Here is a climax of the life and struggle of the iconic singer.

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SRINAGAR: While a pickle vendor’s thin tart makes for a sleepy afternoon, the dilapidated lanes of Merjanpora in Srinagar city stop outside the residence of a popular face in the marriage circuit of the Valley. A dull gray gate leads to the white painted two-storey house of Abdul Rashid, better known among the people of the valley by his nickname “Reshma”. We meet for a brief conversation.

The first impression is that of caution. They sport a smooth clean shaven face, neatly cut hair, and well ironed black kurta matched with white salwar. A radiant smile that forms the creases around his kohl-filled eyes puts me at ease.

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Reshma was born into an extended family of six brothers and two sisters. At the age of 11, she developed a penchant for singing and dancing. As the years passed, there was a drastic change in his gait and way of talking. They became more aware of their appearance and preferred to wear feminine colors. Her mannerisms and feminine dressing sense irked her family members.

“Every time I listened to a Kashmiri song in the background, I would sing and dance together. My family resented my changing behaviour. They beat me many times but I was defiant and adamant. If only they knew about my inner struggles.”

Reshma’s family refuses to accept her identity as a transgender. Fearing social protest, he expelled her from the school in 5th standard. He was ordered to learn sewing instead. It was one of the first experiences of brutal psychological violence that has been a recurrent feature of his life. He recalls: “I dropped out midway. At school, my teachers and classmates made fun of me. The last resort was home. ,

His uncle, a tailor by profession, decided to take him under his wing. Gradually, he started learning sewing skills at his shop. There came a time when he felt suffocated. He wanted to play with other children. The fear of being weird doesn’t let them explore the outside world: “I see kids my age playing hop scotch and laughing. Who wouldn’t want to join the joyous crowd of kids? How could I join them? I knew they would find me weird and make fun of me.

One day, he was asked to deliver some stitched clothes in the Lal Bazar area. Little did they know that this brief meeting would reveal the singer hidden inside them. He remembers it with a bewildering nostalgia, the expression far from eyes admits: “I was asked to deliver newly stitched clothes to a posh area of ​​Lal Bazaar. I talked to my family. His daughter insisted that I sing a song. I started singing and everyone in the room took note. I got compliments from each of them. The head of the family was so impressed with my singing skills that he immediately named me “Reshma”. That’s how my public name came”

On returning home, he expressed his desire to become a singer in front of his mother. He described how he received praise from a family he had visited.

“That day, I was excited. I shared the events with my mother. I couldn’t stop myself and asked her to pursue a career in singing and dancing. I even told her the name she had given me. Like As soon as I expressed my views, she fell unconscious. She assumed that they made fun of me which was not true.”

They knew that their happiness was short-lived and they continued to make a living with sewing. Suddenly life took a strange turn. He chose the path he wanted and this time circumstances forced him to do so.

“When I was in my late 20s, something terrible happened. The whole family is shocked by the sudden death of my younger brother. He was survived by three children. I decided to take care of them. This led to another emotional battle. My close relatives raised fingers and fought tooth and nail against this decision. They doubted my abilities. How can a transgender raise a family? This question was being asked to me continuously.”

He proved all the opponents wrong and was successful in breaking the stereotype. The meager income from sewing and embroidery was not enough to survive. More effort was required to raise and educate three young children. His passion for singing helped him to grow. He started performing in wedding ceremonies and gained fame.

“I always dreamed of becoming a singer. Look at the whim of luck. I never thought it would become a means of earning a living. I used to be afraid of living a lonely life. But now I have a family. They can’t help me without me. Bet love. I wouldn’t have asked for anything more.”

Reshma’s death plunged the valley into a sense of mourning and loss, in her songs she breathed life and soul, clearly a life beyond measure or mortal parameters.

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