I Am What I Am

Author: Ceen, Punjab, Pakistan 

rickshawI am ceen, I am not a writer but I always feel when you have something to share, when there is pain in your thoughts, you can write what you feel. I belong to a typical landlord family where there is very common practice by men to use female maids for the purposes of their own desires. I grew up in a joint family, living with around 35-40 people. My father was a rebel of the family in the sense that he always believed in girls’ education and freedom of expression. I grew up in an environment where I saw my parents always criticized by other family members as they were a totally loving couple whereas my tayas (father’s elder brothers) were busy with maids.

In my family, there were more boys than girls and I spent my childhood while playing with those cousins. Till the age of 14, I was not aware about of what my orientation is.

From my childhood, I always felt attracted towards beauty; if I saw someone, a boy or a girl, who was beautiful, I always praised their beauty. There was no feeling of shyness or hesitation. One day, I was in school in Class 4, I was sitting in my classroom and a woman (who was a teacher, and a friend of my teacher) came to our class. She was amazingly beautiful! I just saw her and I was not able to turn my eyes away. She was pretty and stylish. I have never seen such a pretty women before.

She was busy with my teacher and I was just gazing her silently. After a while, she said goodbye to my teacher and left. I was totally shocked at that time as I was not ready to not see her anymore. I stood up. Suddenly my teacher said, “Oh, Adeela left her file here.”

I snatched that file and ran from the class. She was not anywhere. I rushed to the gate.We were not allowed to leave school during school hours for any reason. The gate guard tried to stop me but I was totally out of control. My school road is one of the most busy roads. As I left the school grounds, I saw her get into a rikshaw and leave. The road was full of traffic and I was totally out of my senses. I just wanted to see that face again. I rushed behind the rikshaw and after running about a half kilometer, I caught up to it. It was still moving and to make it stop, I pulled it; its wheels ran over my feet and it stopped as she and the driver noticed me. At the time, I didn’t feel any pain in my feet. I was just happy to see her. I gave her the file and said, “You forgot it.”

She said, “Why did you try to come out to find me? Are you crazy?” I was just silently gazing at her face. She said, “Ok, thanks,” and the rikhsaw left again.

Suddenly I felt pain in my foot and when I looked down, I saw it is was crushed badly. I was not able to move anymore. I couldn’t figure out what was happening to me! Why was I behaving so crazily? I was not aware about the concept of lesbian or gays.

When I was in Class 10, I saw in the newspaper that, “do hum jins paraston ne shadi kar li. (Two homosexuals have gotten married.)” I read it many times as I realized that it is something related to myself. After that, I kept an eye out for such news and many times I felt afraid, when I noticed that there is  news like, “ham jins parast jorra pakrra gaya ya unko maar dia gaya. (A homosexual couple was caught, or killed.)” I always thought: maybe it’s a sin; but what can I do? I have no control. This is natural thing – I am more attracted towards women.

This situation has converted me to a very reserved and serious kind of person.

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