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I was really happy today. After all, it was mother’s day; one day dedicated to me, a mom! Today, I was going to spend my day with my son on a picnic to a beautiful spot in the valley. I needed to hurry as we were getting late. My son had lovingly picked up a saree of his liking for me to wear today! He says, “Mumma, you look really beautiful in a green saree.” And here I was, fulfilling my son’s wish by draping this saree around me. He is such a great kid. Well, every mom feels the same about her son. But I truly feel that about my Vishu!
Since this morning, I had been really busy cooking for our picnic. This was the first time since this morning, I had a moment to look at myself in the mirror. I realized that I am growing fat. Even after working so hard taking care of house and my son, I was still gaining weight. My bra felt tighter around my chest, and I could see skin folds coming out below my bra band and blouse. Ah, it was bound to happen sooner or later. I looked into the mirror once again after completing my makeup. Something felt missing. Oh! The earrings! I quickly found a pair of jhumkas and began to put it on my earlobes. To avoid getting further late, I called my son, “Vishu beta, are you dressed yet?” And he shouted back from his room, “Yes, mom. I am just wearing shoes now.” I was ready to go too. Feeling satisfied with my looks, I headed towards the kitchen. (Beta: A term in Hindi language meaning son)
Vishu’s favorite sweet dish is suji ka halwa prepared by his mother. And that was the only thing left to prepare. I started roasting suji quickly. I was finding it a little difficult to cook with my long hair open. But Vishu had a special request today that I keep my hair untied today. He is just like his dad! Well, who am I kidding? Yes, I love my looks in open flowing hair. I continued to make halwa somehow managing my hair, and began to pack the picnic basket simultaneously. I once again called my son, “Vishu beta are you ready or not?” You can never trust kids when it comes to getting ready. They can take forever. “Yes, mumma. I am coming out.”, he called back from his room. The sweet dish was done too. “Vishu beta, please bring mumma’s purse from the room. And please bring a pair of black sandals from the closet too.”, I said to Vishu from the kitchen as I finished packing.
“Mummy, I can see there are 3 pairs of black sandals. Which one do you want?”, I heard Vishu’s voice from my room. “The one that has low heels, beta. Your mumma has to walk a lot today. She needs comfortable shoes for her feet.”, I said. “OK, mom”, he replied.
He is such an adorable kid. He never says no to anything that I ask him to do. Anyway, we both were the only ones in this home supporting each other.
I picked up the picnic bag and walked to the front room. My lovely son was sitting there on a sofa. “Beta, where is my purse?”, I asked Vishu. “Here it is, mumma”, he handed my purse to me. I checked my purse to see if everything useful is in there. Any mother needs a lot of things in her purse to take care of her kids. And then I realized that my forehead felt a little lighter. I touched it with my fingers and found that I must have dropped my bindi somewhere. I took out a packet of bindi from my purse and applied it on my forehead. I smiled at Vishu and asked him, “So, how does your mumma look?” He replied instantly, “Very beautiful!”
Now, all I had to do was put on my sandals and leave. I pulled my saree pallu to the front as I sat on the chair to wear my sandals. As soon as I picked my sandals, Vishu stopped me. “One minute, mom. Today is mother’s day. Won’t you let me touch your feet today?”, and Vishu bowed down to touch my feet for my blessings, and began to slide my feet in sandals. The joy in my heart saw no bounds at his gesture. I don’t know where did he learn to do such sweet things for his mom. But I kissed on his forehead to express my love.
“Mom, this greeting card is for you”, he handed me a card to read. And I began to read it with joy and excitement. The card had written “World’s best mom ever” on the top. When I opened the card, I saw that there was a sweet small message written inside by Vishu. “Tvameva mata cha pita tvameva. Tvameva sarvam mam dev dev. (You are my mother. You are my father. You are my everything. You are my god.) I love you mom!”
I had tears of joy after reading that message. I cannot describe how happy I felt. After so many years of hard work and love, I got my reward in the form of love from my son. His words were so true and meaningful. I was his mom, and I was his dad too.
He was about 7 when his mother left this world. A young kid was barely learning to live without his mother with the help of his grandmother. But after 2 months, even his grandmother had to go back to her home to take care of his ailing grandfather. He used to remain sad after his grandma left. And after a few days, he came to me and said with a lot of innocence in his eyes, “Papa, I miss mumma.” My heart was shattered hearing those words from him. I was already broken due to the loss of my wife, but I could not see my son like this. I hugged him and said to him, “Vishu, why don’t you watch a cartoon show for a while? I am coming back in a few minutes.” I thought that a cartoon show might distract him from the sadness for a while.
Though I was a crossdresser, but I never had dressed as a woman in front of my son before that day. And after my wife left us, my life had become empty and my desire to dress up had vanished. But that day, hearing the words of my sad son, I thought probably this is the only way left for me. I took out one of my wife’s saree from her closet for which I had a somewhat matching blouse of my size. Holding that soft silk saree in my hand, I was reminded of my wife whom I loved so much. She looked like an angel in this saree. I touched that saree on my face hoping to feel her presence. I wanted to cry. But I controlled my heart, and began to wear that delicate saree slowly. As I wrapped it around my body, I felt as if my wife was hugging me and telling me, “You are doing a good thing, Shrikant. Please give Vishu the love of a mother. Take care of my son.” I cried within.
When I started doing makeup, my hands which were otherwise skilled to do so, resisted my efforts to look beautiful that day. My heart was in so much pain. I put on a wig and took out my wife’s necklace from the closet. I thought that may be looking at his mother’s saree and her necklace, Vishu will fill the void in his heart at least temporarily. When I held that necklace in my hands, I had droplets of tears in my eyes. I had bought this as an anniversary gift for her. How happy she was that day when she looked at it first! I put that necklace on my neck, and gathered all the courage to go out and take care of my son.
He was silently watching the television in that room. To get his attention, I changed my voice with a high pitch like a woman and said to him, “Vishu beta, see who is here to meet you!” He slowly moved his sad eyes to look behind at me. The moment he saw me, there was a big smile on his face. “Papa, you have become a girl!”, and he began to laugh out loud. “Not a girl, your papa has become your mummy!”, I said to him. He was laughing at me, but at least he was laughing after so many days. And I felt happy to see that. I then bent down and said to him, “You missed your mom, right? Aren’t you going to hug your mumma now?” And he came running into my arms. The satisfaction I felt hugging him in my arms, probably that’s what being a mother is all about. The feeling of being a mom was incredible and satisfying. That night he played with me and kept repeatedly calling me mummy, mummy,… and he slept peacefully. I went to my room and slept after changing too.
When wearing a saree that night, I was thinking that this was going to be one time thing to amuse Vishu. But he was an innocent child who would miss his mother anytime he would see some kid with their mom in his school. And he would come to me that day and say, “Papa, I want to see mumma today.” And I had to oblige his request by becoming his mumma while stopping everything else I might have been doing at that time. I had began cross-dressing once again in my life; not for me but for him. And slowly, I had to become Vishu’s mother two or three times in a week. It was a hassle to say the least! Well, making Vishu’s lunch box or helping him get dressed for the school in the morning would take the same amount of time whether I was being his papa or his mom. But to be his mom, I had to wake up at 4 to dress up. And now, I had to wax my full body from time to time. Ouch! Vishu didn’t want his mother to look less in any manner. Imagine doing a makeup at 4:15 in the morning! But I loved to do it for my son who considered his mumma to be the most beautiful woman in the world.
Still everything was fine until it happened within our home, I had learnt to live with a little extra effort. But my loving son was going to show me the kind of days I had never imagined!
One day Vishu had to go to his classmate Tanisha’s birthday party. As Vishu’s dad, I used to drop him off after the school to play with Tanisha under the supervision of Tanisha’s mother Smita. And Smita who was a single mom herself, would take a good care of him. She knew the kind of love a child without a mother needed. And on Tanisha’s birthday, I was planning to drop-off Vishu as his dad like any other day. But that day, he got adamant that he would go their only with his mumma. I tried to cajole him but he didn’t budge. If I didn’t take him on Tanisha’s birthday, her mother Smita might feel offended. Seeing that Vishu was being adamant, I agreed to become his mumma.
Never before in my life, I had stepped outside the four walls of our home as a woman. But that day, I took Vishu into the car and began to drive towards Tanisha’s home. Afraid of being caught as a woman, I carefully tried to avoid eye contact with anyone on the road. There was an unknown fear but thankfully, we didn’t meet anyone we knew on the road.
I stopped a little further ahead of Tanisha’s home and said to Vishu, “My dear beta, now you need to walk from here. Take this gift and give it to Tanisha. And walk slowly on the side of the road. Do you understand what mumma is saying beta?” I was being a careful mom.
But Vishu had something different planned that day. “I am not going there alone. Everyone comes with their mom. I want my mumma too! I am not going without you.”, Vishu frowned his face.
“Come on, beta. Won’t my lovely son listen to his mumma?”, I hugged him with love and tried to make him understand. But he remained obstinate. He got out of the car and began to pull my saree pallu to take me along with him. This was not going to be easy to convince him. As a father, I could be stern with him but as a mother, I could not even if I wanted to. Something changed in me as soon as I become Vishu’s mother. I tried to prevent my saree from unraveling due to Vishu’s constant pull as I remained in my car like a clueless mother with a kid throwing tantrums.
My worst fear was coming true. I could see from a distance that Smita, Tanisha’s mom, had come out of her house for some reason. And she had noticed Vishu pulling my saree pallu. She began to approach towards us. My heart began to beat faster as I got really afraid of getting caught. “Please listen to your mumma, Vishu. Aren’t you a loving son of mumma? See your friend Tanisha must be waiting for you at the party. Please, let your mumma go. I promise your mumma will come back after the party to take you home.”, I made my last effort to convince Vishu as I planned to drive away. But with him continuing to tug my pallu, I could not just drive away safely. And soon, Smita was there.
“Finally I get to meet Vishu’s mother today!”, Smita looked at me smiling. Feeling embarrassed at the situation, I could only give a half jerky smile in response. “Please, join us for the party. Tanisha would be happy to meet Vishu’s mother!”, Smita said. “Yes, mumma. Please come.”, Vishu pleaded assertively as he had a supporting partner now.
“May be some other day”, I was turning red with embarrassment.
“If not me, at least listen to Vishu, Shrikant.”, Smita said to me. She was calling me by my male name. Now there was no doubt that that she had recognized me. “Please come. I promise there is nothing to worry about”, she said again.
How was I to tell Smita what my situation was at the moment? I felt so humiliated to even utter a word. But now that Smita knew, it would not take much longer for this news to spread to others. Feeling humiliated, I came out of my car. I held Vishu’s hand with one hand, and began walking with Smita. My saree pleats on shoulder had unraveled due to Vishu’s pull, and I had to hold my unraveled pallu with another hand as I wrapped it around myself. I had never felt more uncomfortable in my life. And it was only going to increase in the presence of others at the party.
“Vishu had told me that he has a mom as well as a dad. And he even said that they both are the same”, Smita looked towards me as if she wanted some kind of explanation. But my lips were sealed. And I could only utter “Hmm”. I should have thought about this mother business a long time back. I should have realized that kids can say anything to anyone anytime. I should have explained to Vishu beforehand that he should not mention his mumma to anyone. But it was too late to regret now.
“Anyway, what name do you go by? I mean I know Shrikant is your name but …?”, Smita asked me politely. She was not being insulting in anyway. “Vishu’s mom”, I replied. Though I had a feminine name as a cross-dresser from long time back, but now I was Vishu’s mother. And I wanted to keep this identity separate from that of a crossdresser from the past.
“But you must have thought of some name to identify yourself?”, Smita asked again.
I was crying inside due to the situation. I found it very hard to take another step towards the party where there would be many more people. I mustered all the courage I had and said, “Smita, I am really sorry. I should not have come here like this. Please don’t feel offended but I request you to keep this Tanisha’s gift. I would like to go back with Vishu now. And if you decide to not have Vishu at your home again, I would understand. But I seriously request you to not punish these kids who are good friends because of the mistake of his father.” I pleaded with hands folded in front of Smita.
“Sushmita!”, Smita exclaimed. “What?”, I was perplexed.
“Smita’s friend and Vishu’s mom. Yes, Sushmita is a good name for my girlfriend and Vishu’s mother.”, Smita said excitedly. She grabbed my hand and began to pull me to take me to her home. And this is how, I got my new name Sushmita as Vishu’s mother! I can still remember how I humiliated I felt that day.
Inside Smita’s home, she introduced me to all the parents present at the party as her friend Sushmita who also happens to be Vishu’s mother. But everyone knew that Vishu’s mother was no longer in this world. No matter, how feminine my appearance was, but everyone knew the truth. Those who didn’t know me before, now knew me as a man who showed up at the party wearing a saree. And slowly people began to talk about me in a hushed voice in that party. Some were laughing behind me, some were looking at me with surprise; some lady walked up to me to tell me that she could not believe I could drape a saree so well. She loved my blouse design. Some were talking among themselves, “There are so many kids who grow up without their mothers. But what kind of father does something like that?” But Smita kept me closer to her for the entire party. As if, she was trying to be protective towards me. I appreciated her gesture. She was being really kind to me. May be she understood the challenges of being a single parent.
“Tanisha, come here my pretty girl! Won’t you give a hug Vishu’s mom?”, Smita called her daughter. And that little angel came up to me to give me a hug. I bent down to hug her back with a lot of love in my heart. “Wow, you look like a fairy Tanisha!”, I said to her. “Thank you aunty”, she said and then ran back to play with Vishu. Becoming a woman had made me a better loving person. I smiled looking at those two play. My eyes met Smita’s. We two were mothers who were happy that our kids got along very well.
I came back home with Vishu after that party was over. It was already past his sleeping time, so he was already asleep in the car. I held him in my hands and pulled him upto my chest. I took him to my room and tucked him in the bed. I looked intently at my loving son, thinking about what he made his mumma go through tonight. I slept next to him after removing my bangles and earrings. That night, I didn’t know what was going to happen next but I could remember what Smita had said to me last, “Sushmita, we will keep seeing each other!” I laughed at my ordeal. It didn’t matter if I go out as Shrikant or Sushmita, I will have to face the same amount of humiliation now. So why not become Sushmita occasionally for Vishu’s sake?
And that’s how a new friendship began between Smita and Sushmita, and between Smita and Shrikant too. We two had become good friends and our kids were already good friends. Tanisha was really a sweet girl who accepted me both as an uncle and as an aunty.
When Smita gave me the support, I began to go out with her as Sushmita. Time was flying fast. Vishu was growing up and maturing fast. He understood his mom’s dilemma, and he began to ask for his mumma only occasionally. Now, I would be his mom only once or twice in a week, and that too only for a few hours. Smita supported me a lot in raising Vishu. Whenever I tried to thank her for her support, she would say to me, “Shrikant, Tanisha doesn’t have a father. And you helped me fill that void.” If I have to be honest, something was happening in our hearts as we began to spend more time together. But for our kids’ sake, we did not act on it, and remained good friends.
Time flew by and my son Vishu was now 13! And today on mother’s day, we were going to spend this day together. Today, his loving greeting card message made me realize that I became successful as a mother too. Wherever my wife is today, she would surely be happy to see this moment. And in that happiness, I had tears of joy in my eyes.
Vishu wiped my tears and said to me, “Mumma, you are so nice. You have done so much for me. You know I would like to become like you.”
I hugged my loving son back and said to him, “So, you want to be like me? But why? You are already so much more adorable and loving than me!” Mother’s unconditional love for her son was speaking.
“No, mumma. You didn’t understand. I want to be a good person like you. But I… I… want to look like you too”, he said looking into my eyes. “… do you get me, mumma?”
I laughed with love. “You want to wear sarees like your mumma?” I knew Vishu was not a cross-dresser. Because I had a talk with him a couple of times about what it means to be a cross-dresser sometime back. I didn’t want to hide this truth about me from him. But at least on this front, he was not like his father. He was just trying to show his love and admiration to his mumma. “My stupid son! You are gonna make your mumma cry and ruin her makeup by making her emotional today!”, I gently stroked his hair. I pulled his head into my chest with love, and covered him with my saree aanchal. “I love you, beta.”, I said to him.
“Mumma, even if your makeup is ruined, you are still the most beautiful in this world.”, Vishu said smilingly.
I smiled and rolled my eyes mischievously, “My dear dialogue master son! I know you would have used the same dialogue on your Tanisha. I know everything. Afterall, I am your mumma!”
“Mumma!”, Vishu revolted and shied away.
“Come, get hold of this picnic bag. Your girlfriend Tanisha and her mom must be waiting for us. We are already getting late.”, I got up from the chair. I kept that beautiful card from Vishu in my purse. I wanted to show it to Smita. Oh, my loving son! How he would blush every time I mentioned Tanisha’s name. He was being teased by his own mother!
We both walked up to our car. I teased Vishu once again and asked him, “Tell me one thing. The day you get married to Tanisha, are you going to invite your dad or mumma? You know we both can’t be there at the same time.”
“Hmm.. I don’t care who comes for the wedding, but when I bring my bride home, I want my mumma to be there to welcome her daughter-in-law!”, Vishu responded laughingly.
“So, it’s confirmed! Tanisha is going to be my daughter-in-law.”, I laughed. We, the mother-son duo, both laughed and began to drive.
I don’t know what lies in the future. May be Vishu and Tanisha will get married, may be not. But I would be happy if she becomes my daughter-in-law. She really accepts me as a woman. Smita, who had been there to support us always, would become related-in-law. I know it is years before anything like that happens, but it gave me joy thinking about that.
When I remember my old days as a cross-dresser, I always wished to become a mother. But I never had imagined that this is how my wish will be fulfilled. It had not been an easy road; but the experience of motherhood is invaluable. Now, I know what it means to love unconditionally and what it means to be a mother. I don’t know how much Vishu will be there with me when he grows up, but these moments filled with love with my son, I want to live it to the fullest.
Have you ever dreamt of becoming a mom, or ever experienced being a mother? If you liked this story, please write a comment and use the star ratings option at the top of this page to give your rating for this story.