“The girrllll from Copppenhaggen…” Gosh these early morning alarms make me slothful! I struggled through my satin sheets to stop it, and found my phone wrapped in a weirdly torn chunk of paper.
I jumped on the bed and took that paper in bewilderment.
“Happy birthday My Sunshine” it started, “Just imagine, it’s raining in Ecuador this day, simply to let you know that no matter wherever we are, You and Me set aflame and the 2-hearts beat the same………………… I am out for some urgent work, be ready in an hour, our new endeavour stands outside and can’t wait to see your beautiful smile”
I got so engrossed reading the entire “love note” from my husband that the tear glands got activated. So, I pulled the shimmery blue drapery aside and stretched my hands in the rain.
The fresh beads of rain intoxicate me and drives me to an elated dimension, I felt the breeze brushing my cheeks and my tresses dancing with the flow.
It made me nostalgic and I went down the memory lane 20 years back when I was just a kid of 6…..
It was raining heavily that night when she crossed by my side.
“Meye, tumi ke? (Girl, who are you?)” I did not understand what she asked, but the pain on my face was enough for her to hold my hand and take away with her. That is how I entered the most inessential tissue considered, of our society- The GENDERQUEER!
They called her Maanu dida, but for me, She was my mom and He was my dad. I started calling her/him Mapa. At that tender age, all I understood was that my birthgiving parents left me because I was a bizarre, one in the entire human being, I had 2 hearts, literally!
Mapa was ostracized from the community and facing the social stigma was dragged in as a sex worker. Everyone there had similar wounds. But for me, they were my aunts, sisters and friends. Mapa taught me the essence of being a strong human. I was cared and pampered by everyone. Mapa took extra care of my likes and dislikes, she made me feel special every moment. I was sent to the best school around, learned various classical dance forms.
My Mapa named me RHEA- Residing in Hearts of Every Androgyny.
Since a kid, I had a laureate IQ due to the increased blood circulation as an outcome of 2 hearts within me. Mapa used to say to my class teachers, “Tumi amara meyera saktisali ebam pratibha meye karate habe (you have to make my daughter a strong and a genius girl)”.
The best time of my entire day used to be those half an hour in the evening when Mapa and I used to run on the outskirts of the beaches. We shared every little incident with each other. For the world she was just a toy for sex but for me she was my world.
Who says beauty lies in how fair, dashing, affluent or glamorous you are? Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. For me, Mapa was the most beautiful human being in the world.
In aeon I grew to be a confident individual, a state-level hockey player, the lead dancer of Bhartiya Nritya Kala Academy and a Heart Surgeon.
By now, the entire world knew I am different. Doctors examined me numerous times until Mapa threatened them not even to think about giving me anesthesia again.
One afternoon there was a congregation outside my hospital.
‘Are you sure, Rhea?’ asked my Mapa. ‘Of course I’m. Survival of the fittest, Mapa. I’m not going against Darwin. Also I don’t want unnecessary scars on my body anymore. ‘It’s a known fact that we are all born to die. Frankly, I don’t understand why it has to be made into such a big deal. If it was not for my Mapa I would have said that to the bunch of people outside my hospital, some of them with young kids, shouting slogans, waving placards, literally wanting me to cut one of my beating hearts out.
“Save A Life. Donate!” they shout. For someone who is one in billions, 7.125 billion to be exact, I expect to be treated better. Scientists are still befuddled regarding my condition that gave me two hearts in my mother’s womb. But years of research and sticking needles into me have led them nowhere, and they have labelled me as a freak mutation. It’s so rare – literally one in all humankind – that they didn’t even name the anomaly (as they call it. Well, I will call it awesomeness).
I wanted to name the condition myself, something on the lines of Rhea’s Heartsawesome but the doctors aren’t thrilled with the suggestion. Instead they want to cut one of them out and save a life. Huh?An IQ of 180, increased concentration, exceptional athleticism and a phenomenal metabolism rate – are just the few boring benefits of an increased blood circulation. Why would I ever give that up?
I was not brought up to be timid, so I took the stand of never donating my awesomeness.
After Mapa and my entire trans-family if there was anyone who stood by my side was my best friend, Dr. Rhidaan Sehgal.
We completed our education together, and I never knew where in heaven he got time to plow love towards me. I didn’t understand love, despite of an extra heart, but yes there was something in him which made me crazy every, yes every time.
Rhidaan knew I had 2 hearts but every time he used to say, “Rhea, it is your life. You are mesmerizing and if you don’t feel to, no need to donate your heart until you breathe.
We became friends, turning to best friends. I fought with him over stupid things and always knew he won’t go anywhere.
We used to share every little thing together. Even before Mapa, Rhidaan knew how and when I got my periods, he was the 2nd one to attend all my awards’ sessions, he knew how did I get upset and the only way to make me smile was Bengal rossogullas.
One late evening, “Rhea, you still in your cabin?” “Yes, Rhidaan”.
He entered my cabin and knelt with a stethoscope in both his hands infront, “Dr. Rhea, I want to see your face the first every morning till my last breath. Will you marry me?”
This was sudden. I went clueless and my heart beat rose to a height unknown. I smiled and said, “You are nuts”.
“For you Rhea”.
He started making such sort of proposals almost every day. Some day he used to write short notes in my kits, the other days he left chocolates at my table. Some times he used to prepare lunches for me, and on his off duty days he used to visit my Mapa and spend time with my people.
Rhidaan was different. I loved when he caressed me, but I wasn’t sure of my feelings for him.
For Mapa he was perfect for her daughter, but I needed time to be strong on my feelings for him.
It was a rainy night, I was pissed off after 3 continuous surgeries. All I needed was a waveless sleep.
“Hi Rhea, you seem to be depressed.”
“Yeah, so many surgeries in a row Doc.” I grinned.
He held my hand took me out, no matter how many times I took his name. It was raining heavily. I don’t know why, rains have always been a turning point in my life. I was scared.
“Rhea, will you dance with me?”
“I can’t dance in my Doc coat Rhidaan”.
He took his right arm around my waistline and lifted me a bit on his feet. For the first time, I could hear the heartbeat of both my hearts crystal clearly.
“Is something happening Rhea?” I froze to the moment. We danced in the rain.
I almost forgot the weariness…
Every part of me and the ambience screamed that he was the one ! How much did I feel like shouting and telling this to Mapa. I felt like shouting my heart out and telling him that I wish to spend my life with him. I was exultant with gush of feelings.
He pulled me closer, we both were drained in rain.
“Rhea, I have a hole in my heart and I won’t survive for long! For the years left, I want to spend every second with you. Now, will you marry me?”
I was startled and loosened the hold. Couldn’t believe what I heard. Ohh Rains! Why do you always turn my life into another chapter?
I rushed to Mapa, and wept the entire night. Don’t even remember when and how did I sleep. I didn’t want to see Rhidaan anymore, when I started feeling for him, he was ready for leaving me?
Mapa tried to make things calm many a times but all in vein. The hearts in me still used to beat for him but I could not take up the heart ache!!
Missing someone for a while is a phase of love, but missing someone for ever is a cramp in heart.
Months passed….. But not the feelings. My hearts did not understand what love is, but they understood that even if Rhidaan broke one, the other failed to uplift me from the grievance.
I was sitting on my chair listening to the radio which out of serendipity tuned to “Ae kaash kahi aisa hota ki do dil hote seene me, ek toot bhi jata ishq me to takleef na hoti jeene me…” the song intensified the ambience of the room until my Mapa pressed the stop button over the radio.
“What Rhea, samanjasyapurna pyana ta sattbe’o nti aiti (pain is still consistent, isn’t it)?”
I had a strong resentment to this gesture of my Mapa.
“I am not listening to them, it is the FM which tuned into this, Mapa” I resisted.
“Rhea, you need to understand Rhidaan. He has been your best friend since years, you owe an answer before rejecting him.”
“Mapa, he lied to me!”
“No, sweetheart!” that gesture with raised brows she made, made a chill run down my spine, “He always knew you had 2 hearts and his was failing, but he never let you know this. Do you know why? So that you never become weak. He always made you feel important and strong, not with any motive, and the only thing he wished was your presence in his life.”
I kept on weeping till Mapa ended her words.
“True love is eternity, hold it before you lose it! He is leaving for Shillong tomorrow, go and stop him my girl!”
This was it. He was going!
I could have not let this happen. “Mapa, he can’t leave me! My hearts are useless if they do not resonate for him.”
I rushed to my car, it started to rain again and for the first time in my life I broke 4 continuous red lights, didn’t even bother to take the keys out.
I knocked at his door, once-twice-thrice impatiently, he rushed to open and glared at me but was bollixed, and before he could open his lips I went down on my knees at his door in the rains with a solitaire in hand, “If you won’t be there till I grey my tresses, that extra heart too won’t beat, so what’s the use of two! It’s within me or you, will always beat together. Will you share my heart from moon to back Dr. Rhidaan Sehgal?”
He pulled me closer to him, happier than ever, curled his arms round my waist and asked, “My would-be Mrs. Sehgal whose will throb faster when I’ll kiss you?” We kissed, and kissed, madly, then to realize we were surrounded by his family.
Like I always wanted, I did not donate my heart, rather shared it. We even shared scars of syringes on our bodies, and shared the line of Rhea’s awesomeness! We shared our life together.
It has been 3 years since then, and am walking on air while saying, I am pregnant for 6months and sooner will the two hearts dwell into one, again ☺
We are here to address the Heart Specialists of Hospital Alcivar, Guayaquil, Ecuador on my odessey of Rhea’s AWESOMENESS!
I came out of my wonderland when the door opened. My Rhidaan entered the bedroom and held me in his arms, kissing my forehead. Gosh!!! I still skip beats when he smiles back at me and those dimples, GODDDD… Makes me crazy!!
“Rhea, do you want to kiss me?”
“No…” I said concealing my eyes.
“I can feel your heart beat, Sweetheart!” He groped his fingers on my right cheek and all I could manage was to blush and blush more.