These Artists Are Painting Jaipur Walls In The Color Of Trans Love. Grab Your Brush & Join Them!
- IWB Post
- March 18, 2017
Paint the world in a filter that you’d use in your Instagram profile photo. No, I’m not an #InstaAddict. It’s just what everyone does today, their Insta Filter defines the most interesting version of themselves, and that’s the kind of filter we should use to look at our world.
Our world is ecstatic. It has always been, but today’s filter was more than just a followed trend. Today, the Pink City, Jaipur, experienced just that. Today, team IWB picked up paint brushes and marched towards the Vivek Vihar Metro Station to paint the rainbows along with many others in an event powered by Cartist.
The wall beside the metro station became the canvas where Artist Poornima Sukumar flew down from Bangalore to speak about the Transgender community. It all began through the Aravani Art project, that was born with an intention to embrace the Transgender Community by creating consciousness, well-being through art, awareness and social participation.
The mighty wall will portray Jaipur’s Transgender Pushpa, who is an inspiration to each one from the community. Before Lavanya and I dipped our hands into the paint, we spoke to a tiny participant, Jyotsna.
“I was begging around on the street when they stopped me.” She said.
Volunteer Ayushi explained, “It all began when we saw Jyotsna on the street. She needed money, so we asked her to join us and promised to pay in return.”
“What about your parents?” Lavanya asked.
“My mother is in the village, and father passed away.” She continued painting while making sure to keep the paint inside the lines.
“She could become an artist,” Lavanya exclaimed.
We crashed into Artist Lyla who apart from filling in the paint was also deliciously filling our tummies. The moong dal dosa was *burp*.
We picked up a bucket of green paint and tossed for who would go first. Lavanya won, and so began the art. Yes, it felt like therapy, but, more than that, we were now a part of the art for a greater cause.
While Lavanya was filling in the spaces where we had to paint green, Shanti Sonu, stood there, admiring it all. Shanti had visited Jaipur for the first time to represent the Transgender community.
“You have an interesting name,” I said.
“While I’m Shanti, Sonu is my boyfriend’s name. We’ve been living together for the past 10 years, and love each other a lot!”
“That’s so wonderful. Are you looking forward to returning back home?”
“You should take the window seat, and the take off is the best!” I said.
She nodded and said, “You know, I love Jaipur. The Trans community here is wonderful. They are a bit traditional and continue to dance and sing in badhaayis, but they are wonderful people, I connected with them, instantly.”
As Shanti got back to working, people on bikes and cars were curiously stopping at the site to see what was going on. Few of them even came forward to ask, “Are you from the Government? Can we also paint?”
By this time, I was really tempted to paint, even though my pants were green now, I hadn’t used the brush yet. Lavanya was going to be a competition. Hmm.
Before we left, I caught up with Poornima. With a draft of the final figure in her hands, she stood there instructing her partner.
“How’s it going so far? Any interesting questions from the passersby?”
She further went on to elaborate on their cause.
“It’s important to realize now that Gender is not something that we should stop talking about. We have to STOP judging the Trans community, and doubting the kind of people they are because really, they are just simply being true to themselves. By now we should be open enough to provide them quality education and good jobs, and of course, we shouldn’t shun them out of the society. Gender is our creation, and not God’s. Let’s remember that before we discriminate.”
Poornima invites all you people who shall happen to pass by the Vivek Vihar Metro station today to come forward and participate. Be the voice for their community. And when you do, don’t forget to say our “Hello” to them!
Photo Courtesy: Akshit Agarwal