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It was already evening. The sun was going down. And the villages I could see from the train window looked really beautiful in the twilight hours. Bulbs and tubelights were now tinkling in those beautiful small houses. I could see people heading back home in their cycles and bikes. I was enamored with the beauty of the simplicity with which those villagers seemed to live their lives.
“Madam, please show your ticket”, my attention was broken by the voice of TTE of that train. As soon as I turned around to look at him, he looked at me for a while and almost immediately felt a little embarrassed. It was not his fault. My long hair coming up to my waist, tied with a rubber band, can confuse anyone. And then, my long khadi kurta, that too a tight one, didn’t help the case, and not surprisingly he mistook me for a girl. My kurta was not always this tight. In the past 6 months, I had been gorging on food too much due to the stress that I had in my mind. And some of that food had accumulated over my chest, giving it an appearance of a woman’s chest with modest sized breasts. If that was not all, I was carrying a small ladies purse in my hand. I needed it to keep my big comb that I used to comb my hair, and my male wallet was not big enough to carry that. I took out my ticket from my purse and showed it to TTE. He checked it and went ahead.
An uncle who was sitting in front of me gave me a smile as if he wanted to comment on what just happened. But I ignored him immediately. When I saw outside, I noticed that the train was about to arrive at the Agra station. I was visiting my eldest sister Shikha here. I took my bag and came out of the train as soon as it arrived at the station. I was excited to see my sister or didi as I used to call her out of love and respect. She was the sweetest person in my life, after all.
I took a richshaw from the station, and I was soon in front of my sister’s home. I saw Shikha didi standing outside as if she was waiting for me. She was shining in her red saree. And as always, she had a big attractive smile on her face. Anyone who sees her smile, almost instantly begins to feel happy too. And so was I. She ran towards me to take me in to her home.
“Sonu!! My brother! How much you made me wait”, she said to me with a little complaint in her voice..
“A train was a little late didi. I could not do anything about it. I don’t see jijaji (hindi word for sister’s husband) anywhere. Where is he?”, I inquired as I walked in.
“Oh, he is on a tour to another city for an official work. He will be back by tomorrow morning.”, Shikha didi said. I noticed that she had gained a little weight too. But that smile on her face, still made her look really beautiful. When someone’s heart is pure and happy as hers, they always look beautiful. Their external body shape does not matter. And same was the case with Shikha didi.
She lived in a very big house, and we two were the only ones there that evening. She had already prepared a delicious dinner for me. We both ate our dinner and talked a lot. She was the only one in this world with whom I could share all my feelings. We both had a very deep and touching relationship. Our chat continued even after the dinner. We both went to the drawing room to sit on a sofa next to each other and talk about our lives.
“Oh god, Sonu! Don’t you take care of your hair? Look how rough they have become!”, she said as she touched my hair. I didn’t say anything to her. “Wait, let me get some oil and I will oil your hair.”, she went inside and brought back a bottle of Amla hair oil. She made me sit down on the floor and asked me to put my head on her lap. And she began to slowly massage my scalp with the hair oil. What a pleasure it was! “Didi, honestly when you oil my hair, I really feel an amazing peace”, I said.
Shikha didi smiled. Really, women love to oil each other’s hair. They talk a lot while doing this and they get to relax as well. And my hair needed that kind of attention too. I always loved to get my hair oiled by my lovely sister.
“I wish I had my hair long and dense like yours.”, she said as she touched my hair with her hand. And then, she made a beautiful round bun to go over the top of my head. “Alright Sonu. You should shampoo your hair tomorrow morning. And listen, let me bring my nightie for you to sleep at night. You will get a nice sleep in that. You need to relax well tonight.”, Shikha didi said to me.
“Didi, I have a pair of night pajamas to sleep. I don’t need your nightie!”, I said laughingly. She sat their quietly listening to my response. There was something in her mind.
“Didi, will you tell me the truth? Why did you call me to visit Agra?”, I asked her. Seeing her stay quiet, my suspicions were almost proven to be true. “Be honest, didi. Is Gita coming here?”, I asked again. “Sonu!”, she almost shouted in anger. “Why are you getting angry? That woman hates me, and I can’t respect her for that”, my response was in anger too.
“But it has been 4 years since you two met. And how long do you plan to ignore this?”, she said in a serious tone. I don’t need to say this but my relationship with Gita is not in the best shape. Probably, it will never mend.
I got up from my sister’s lap in a little agitated mood. I didn’t feel like talking to my sister any more. I don’t know what came to my mind that made me touch my hair bun with my hand, but as soon as I touched it, I felt a strange sensation. As if I have become a woman. “Not again!”, I thought to myself. And suddenly, I felt the urge to wear a nightie. A smooth and soft nightie will definitely be relaxing. I was thinking to myself as I took my first step to walk away. But my steps were gentle like a girl, and my hips began to sway. Uff! How could I ignore this? “Ok, Didi. Since you have asked, I am going to wear your nightie tonight. But give me the nicest and the silkiest one you have!”, I turned around and smiled at my sister.
And Shikha didi was smiling too. There was a bright glow on her face once again. “I will give you the softest nighty, Sonu!”, and she rushed me towards her bedroom. She took out a maroon colored maxi for me. It looked really new. From the looks of it, I could guess that it was an expensive satin silk maxi. I took that heavenly treasure with me to the bathroom, and changed into it. And then I looked at myself in the mirror. Looking at the woman in the mirror, I could not believe myself. And as my heart said to me, I opened my bun to let my hair loose and fall over my shoulders. I came out of the bathroom.
Looking at me in that maxi, Shikha didi jumped in excitement and immediately hugged me. “So, my cute little sister Sonali is here! You are an angel dear.”, she said as she touched my face softly. Yes, this is my another avatar. An avatar of a woman named Sonali. There was a sense of relief and yet there was some emotional turmoil going on in my mind after becoming Sonali. But looking at the happiness of my sister, it wasn’t the time to worry about anything.
“Didi, where have you kept my sarees?”, I asked her. “All your sarees are in the top shelf of the closet, dear.”, she said with happiness visible on her face. She was too excited to see me as her younger sister. She must have felt a little relieved. She knew that now I will be seeing Gita as a woman.
I opened her closet and foraged for my sarees. I took out around 5-6 sarees and blouses of mine, and put it on the bed to look at those. Silk, satin, cotton, banarasi, you name the type, and I had that type of saree with me. I had purchased all those with my sister Shikha. I remember going to so many shops to buy those. And my poor brother-in-law had to pay for all those expensive gifts! Oh, I really loved my sarees back then. I had purchased all these with so much love, and now 4 years have elapsed since I wore any of these. I began to open and look at my blouses. Now that I had grown fat, there was no way I would fit into those. What will I do? I will have to ask didi to loosen it up. Thanks to the extra margin and stitches I had inside the blouse. It was Shikha didi’s wisdom that she made me to keep extra stitches to let out later. She knew that women can grow big or shrink anytime.
“Sonali, can you please open that drawer next to you?”, Shikha didi asked me. She was removing the red saree that she had on her. Probably, she was changing to get ready to sleep too.
I opened that drawer to find dozens of colorful bras of various types. “Wow, didi! These bras are so big!”, I exclaimed in surprise. “Oh, don’t even ask me about that. I have become fat, Sonu. Now, I need to wear 36DD bra size.”, didi said as she removed her blouse and pointed towards the bra she was wearing. Her breasts definitely looked much bigger than I knew. As Sonali, we two sisters were not shy about anything. That’s why Shikha didi was changing her clothes comfortably in front of me. She was wearing a very feminine bra. No matter what, her choice was really good when it comes to bra. I could feel like a delicate angel just looking at those. And after wearing it, it was so easy to feel like a woman.
“You should take out a few bras from that for you too. You have become a big woman too! Now, we both have the same size! You can use those bras while you are here in Agra.”, she laughed. She quickly changed in her maxi, and sat next to me. I was still looking for a bra for me in that drawer. While coming here, I had no intention of becoming Sonali again. But looking at these delicate things, Sonali inside me had awakened. I wanted to feel the femininity within me once again. What’s happening to me? It is so ironic. I was so confused.
“Sonali, don’t forget to pick a saree for you from that closet. You have worn yours many times. Try something new this time. Also, I got 7-8 blouses stitched for you. I knew that your old blouses won’t fit you anymore.”, didi said. She looked at me like a concerned sister and said, “You know what? My blouses will look good on you too!” When two women can share their clothes, it gives them a lot of joy and increases the bond between them. And we two were sisters anyway. Just the thought of being able to wear my elder sister’s clothes gave me happiness. It’s not just the clothes but the stories behind those make it so worth borrowing from my sister. Oh! Those steamy stories about her husband and what he did to her in a saree! Though I enjoyed those stories, I wish my sister could sometimes keep those things private!
Shikha didi had a breath-taking collection of designer sarees. If there was any special occasion, I would definitely have tried some. But for now, I just picked one Chiffon saree. A simple, light, easy to wear, and still beautiful.
“Didi, can’t I wear salwar suit instead?”, I asked her.”No!”, one word response from her. Gita won’t like it if I wear a salwar suit. I knew that. I sat there quietly holding that saree, a matching petticoat and bra in my lap.
“Why are you worried, Sonu? I am there with you. Everything will be alright.”, Shikha didi said. “Look, it’s getting late. You should go and sleep now.”, she hugged me once more with love. She caressed my back as if consoling me that everything will be alright. But thinking of Gita made me worry.
Still I got up and came to another room to sleep on my bed. The lights were off, and it was getting late. Still, there was no sign of sleep in my eyes. I was being reminded of all the past events. I was remembering how even after being born a boy, I was forced to live the life of a girl. I had never imagined that my luck would force me to be a woman. At least not on that fateful day, when I came back home from my school after playing cricket like any regular teenage boy.
I know you all are eager to know what happened that day when I got back home. But you will have to wait for the next part! If you liked this part, then don’t forget to give your ratings.