Watch the Ramleela Rap: Transgenders’ Hatke Tribute to Lord Ram
Transgender Remembrance Day is observed to recognise and memorialise those who have been killed for bigotry and transphobia. The Quint is republishing this video, originally published on 18 October 2017, to mark the day.
(This story was first published on 18/10/17)
"Purush napunsak nari va jiv charachar koi, Sarv bhav bhaj kapat taji mohi param priy soi," said Lord Ram to a crow (Manas 7.87). Roughly translated, this means: “Men, queers, women, animals or plants, who approach me after abandoning malice, are beloved to me.”
Lord Ram taught us to love everyone equally. And this Diwali, The Quint celebrates with a few transgender individuals, as we trace their role in the epic Ramayana.
Legend has it that when Lord Ram, Lakshman and Sita were banished from Ayodhya and sent on a '14 saal ka vanvas', the entire kingdom followed them. Lord Ram asked all the men and women to turn back, promising to come back soon. Everybody returned, except the transgender individuals – because they were neither men, nor women.
When Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya, he saw that the transgender community was still waiting for him, at the same spot where they bid farewell 14 years ago. Impressed with their dedication and love, Lord Ram gave them the ‘vardaan’ to bless future generations.
This legend is the reason transgender individuals are often invited to bless the gathering at special occasions like the birth of a child.
Interesting, right? Watch the video to see it all come to life!
Feeling enlightened this Diwali? Share this with your friends, and brighten up their lives.
Want to sing along? Here are the lyrics:
Once upon a time,
Ayodhya ki story hai ye khaas
Kaikeyi boli Raja Dashrath se,
“Send beta Ram on banwaas”
Ram ji nikal gaye, with Sita & Laxman in tow
It’s bad to be caught in a political storm, no?
Ram ne bola, “Everyone, please return. I’ll be back in a while”
Sab chale gaye BUT,
the transgender stood still
Phir aayi Surpanakha,
tries to seduce the bros,
Chahti thi Sita ka murder,
Laxman cuts her nose!
Badle ki thi aag, Sita ko le gaya Raavan Lanka,
Is Raavan for real?
Kripya koi na rakhe shanka!
Hanumaan offers to help, aur Lanka ko kardia lit
Ram crossed the Setu, phir Raavan ko kardia chit!
Vaanar sena ne cheer kia, and
Team Ayodhya did retreat,
Jaisa filmo mein hota hai, Achhaii ne buraai ko kardia beat!
But kya aapne kia?
“Ae Hijde, chal move away”
Hashtag Hijra, Clap Clap Chhakka
Bola tha tumne? I remember pakka
You touched, abused and ran away,
But my side of the story? ‘Ae Raju’ sunn to ley rey!
Shaadi, death, ya baby ke janam ke baad,
Ye transgender kyun dete hain aashirwaad?
Saari praja ne kia tha follow, jab Ram left for his exile,
Ram ne bola, “Everyone, please return. I’ll be back in a while”.
Sab chale gaye BUT,
the transgender stood still,
We waited 14 saal 'coz, yes that’s some skill.
Ram returned to Ayodhya, dekh ke humko huye impress,
Diya vardaan, major public occasions pe karo bless!
Actors: Shyamali, Rudrani Chhetri, Kashish, Mona, Rashi, Stanley,
Lyricist: Aaqib Raza Khan
Multimedia Producer: Kunal Mehra
Singers: Mansi Jani, Add Khan, Kashiah Khan, Shyamli Pujari, Mona Worlikar, Gopi, Yoga Devi, Nadira Kadam, Mumtaz Khan, Zoya Shaikh, Amrin
Illustrations : Susnata Paul
Camera: Athar Rather, Sanjay Deb
Assistant Producers: Vanshika Sood, Abhishek Ranjan Chaudhary
Producers: Aaqib Raza Khan, Divya Talwar, Tridip Mandal
Special thanks to Aarju Foundation