A new novel by an SPG officer involved in the prime minister’s security from 2000-07 looks at the lives, customs, rituals and struggle of transgenders.
Rasaathi: The Other Side of a Transgender is Sasindran Kallinkeel’s debut novel.
He was with the Central Reserve Police for 23 years and had a seven-year stint with the Special Protection Group (Prime Minister’s Security) as a senior security officer when Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh were in office.
The main character in the novel, published by BookMitra, is a transgender named Rasaathi born in a well-to-do family in South India. Rasaathi, meaning princess, is in the late 40s who wants people to treat transgenders like human beings by showering love, affection, sympathy and recognise their pathetic and horrible life.
Kallinkeel says Rs 100 from every book sold will go to transgenders’ welfare. According to him, the community has been facing the ignominy of being humiliated, ill-treated, isolated, teased and abandoned. “We have always turned our back whenever they approach us for anything and even don’t give them a chance to work for a decent living. We neglect them and deny them the basic amenities,” he says.
“They are sensible like us – they laugh, cry and fall in love. They are just like us, in more ways than we know. ‘Rasaathi’ is the story of every transgender,” he adds.