I was born as a twin with my little sister who passed away in 19 days. When I was younger, I was fond of playing with dolls however, my father considered it a disgrace. He would beat me saying ‘Log Kya Kahenge?’ (what would people say?).
My presence would make him distraught and frantic. The denial was such that one fine day, he forced me to get married ignoring the fact, who I was. Though deep down he knew that his argument is senseless, yet I tried to make him understand that my gender doesn’t allow me to marry. My brothers were ashamed of my existence and did not support me at all. Young and aware of myself, I decided to run away. I’ve come here from Faisalabad to earn not only for myself but also for my mother and my sisters who held my hand when the men in my family wanted to end my life. I believe I’m an independent human being who’s capable of earning a living for myself. Now, my only dream is to earn enough to marry off my little sister and take my mother on Hajj/Umrah.
When asked whether she loves Karachi or her hometown, Rawalpindi, Sana replied:
“Of course, KARACHI! I love the people here. They are supportive, accepting and generous. I was six years old when I ran away from my home and started living with my own community. Soon after, we shifted to Karachi because of lack of means to make livelihood in Rawalpindi. There, I was ridiculed by my own family and people, for being different. Here however, most people do not think I’m unusual and this feeling delights me.
I could never imagine wearing these costly suits or having a ‘Mc. Donald’s’ burger, which passer-by often gift me.
Some women who pass by this road regularly, now know me well. They often gift me makeup and accessories. Oh, and you might wonder why we apply so much makeup? We do it because people here love beautiful faces and beautiful faces make you earn. *Naughty smile*
My dream is to be a model like Rimal or an anchorperson like Marvia, I believe I have that thing in me. They say stop dreaming, I reply why should I? dreams may turn into reality specially with the help of people like you. These lines from Mirza Ghalib’s poetry define my dreams,
“Hazaaron khuwaishein aisi k har khuwaish pe dam nikle,
Bahut nikle mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikle”
When I was young, I loved to dance and play with my hair. I had beautiful long hair which I flaunted at functions and parties and in front of my friends. I used to love two things in my life the most-my friends and my hair, both of which were taken away by my father. He chopped off my hair and restricted me from going out.
I begged and cried but he did not listen, maybe this was a punishment for being who I was. I was heartbroken, my father did not let me live inside the house neither did he allow me to go outside. He used to tell people that he has 3 children even though we are 4 or what I call sarrhay teen (three and a half). I was 11 when my life took a turn and I decided to join the people to whom I really belonged and who accepted my existence. With my people, I traveled to Kashmir where I laughed, danced and lived. This was the first time when I felt happy, fearless and free.
“What do you do when you don’t have a family? You try to make one. Since years we have been departed from our real families, our real relationships- father, mother, siblings. Therefore, we find solace and happiness in each other. We all live together under one roof and they all look out for the missing motherly love in me. That’s what the guru system is all about. I am their GURU- not their boss but their mother.”
I was 12 years old when I had to escape the living hell my life was. That’s when I ran away from Lahore- where I lived with my family. I did not know where to go so I just travelled along the highway- taking lifts from truck drivers. For ten years- I wandered from city to city and did whatever job I could find for survival. It wasn’t until 22 that I finally arrived and settled in Karachi. I started living with some other transgender people. For the first time in my life, it felt like home just that amma(mother) was missing. I miss her a lot.
Unable to find a respectable job in Karachi, I had to perform at weddings to earn a living- things an empty stomach makes you do. I am actively looking for a job that can help me live a respectable life and only you can help me with that!
We are Human too. Just like everyone else, we pray, we eat and we fast. We are EQUAL.