KOLLAM FESTIVAL MEN WEARING SAREE AND PRAY
I had a very nervous and tense night. I did not know what Anchal would do? I had only known her for a few months. I did not know anything about her prior to her marriage to my brother. I knew that she had a hard childhood and teenage years. Her father had been imprisoned and tortured, during the forced expulsions carried out by the Ugandan government, under Idi Amin. He had died when she was only a year old. I knew that Aunty Sharmila, who was the oldest and her mother had shared the burden of raising her and two other sisters. Having been through hardships, I knew that she could manage both the home as well as her career. She was bright, good looking and open minded. My brother was a very lucky guy to have such a vibrant, good looking and hard working wife. Since her marriage and subsequent move to our home I had only seen the ‘good natured wife’ side of her. I knew that she was not pleased that my brother had gone off to Canada on his own, leaving her alone so soon after the marriage. However she had hid her feelings well and had only shown the good natured, hard working and homely side of her to the rest of us. To the outside world she had carried herself well in all aspects of daily life and had completely won over my parents. My mother liked the way she shed her stylish urban image once she was at home, wearing simple sarees or salwars instead of skirts and jeans.
She managed the house so that my mother and father could go to the Hindu temple and spend time with their old friends, whenever they were in Nairobi. Anchal was a modern urban women with modern open minded thinking, but I was aware that she had caught me in the act of wearing her clothes secretly without her permission and that could upset any woman. It was invading her privacy. Last night I was too scared to notice her reactions properly. Now I was wondering what she would do. Would she tell my mum privately and treat the matter delicately or would she just burst out to my family and make me out to be a ‘weirdo’?. I was hoping she would do neither, but would keep silent about it and keep it as our secret.
It was still early the next morning when she knocked on my door. She was dressed casually in a simple red salwar kameez. She said “good morning, Rajesh or is it Rajani? Wash up, bring in all the clothes from the terrace and fold them. Then come down to the kitchen. You have ten minutes … no more” She was smiling but her voice was stern. I felt relieved that she was her calm, normal self which lifted my spirits. I freshened up, gathered the clothes from the terrace and went down to the kitchen. Anchal was behind the kitchen counter, getting breakfast ready. She told me to keep the clothes in different piles, one for my parent’s, one for hers and one for me. She asked me to keep her clothes in her room on the wooden cabinet, mine in my room and my parents on the old chair outside their room. I did as she said and returned back to the kitchen. She then told me to go to the back porch and bring in the aprons. She used a polite yet firm voice as she spoke to me. I was told to put on an apron and lay the plates for breakfast. I checked the pile of neatly folded washed aprons and noticed that they were all feminine looking. I picked one up and spread it noticing that it did not have any frills or lace but was definitely feminine. She saw my hesitation and told me “don’t worry, all the aprons in the pile are mine and they are feminine type. I put away all those dirty old fashioned ones used by Neena”. (Neena was our old cook and maid).“You like feminine things”. Then she added “Neena has gone to India on holiday fortwo months. My visa for Canada is delayed. You brother has already sold the business in Malindi and Mombassa and I have already resigned my job so I will be a housewife for sometime and you are going to assist me while you are here. Your parents will be here for a week, before returning to Mombassa. I know you will be glad to after last night. Come, come now we have to get everything ready for breakfast and you are going to be my assistant. We don’t have all morning and you don’t want Mum to see you wearing a nice feminine apron just yet”.
I knew she had me in a corner and the best way was to go along with what she wanted of me. I tied the apron around my waist and noticed how it looked almost like a skirt. I felt a little thrill and she noticed it. She said “good, now we get some work done here”. I was told to take the plates and run them under the faucet in the sink. Then she passed me the dishtowel and asked me to dry them. I did as she instructed me and placed the paltes on the dining table. Then she had me wash the fruits, slice them and arrange them on a large serving plate. She showed me just how to arrange the fruits on the platter. She had already boiled the eggs and I was now required to shell them. Here too she showed me how to shell the eggs cleanly. Then I was asked to toast the bread and lay them in a serving plate. She had already prepared coffee which we all liked boiled and filtered. When all was ready she asked me to wash my hands, take off the apron and fold it neatly. She folded her own tiny apron away and went to call my parents. My parents were surprised to see me up so early and waiting for them. Breakfast was pleasant with my mum and Anchal doing most of the talking. My dad as usual hid behind the morning paper or just ate quietly. My mum finished off her breakfast and as usual was proceeding to clear the table, but Anchal politely told her to concentrate on getting Dadaji, my father and herself ready for their trip back to Mombassa. They were to catch the 10 o’clock express train. She told my mother that the private taxi would be coming at 9 o’clock to take them to the station. She would take care of the house and make sure that I was well behaved during the coming weeks.
This went on for a week and I was feeling fairly pleased that till now only Aunty Sharmila and Aruna knew I was helping Anchal in the kitchen and around the house. No one knew about me performing puja with Anchal, with my head covered like a female.This was good as I was getting to wear Anchal’s aprons and dupattas while helping out in the house.
She opened the Rajesh 1988-96 photo album which was bigger and thicker than the other two. It was easy to see why it was bigger and thicker. It contained a lot of pictures of me in female dress. All the drama and fancy dress pictures photographs were in this album. She had seen pictures of me dressed as a girl. I told her about my acting in school drama’s and fancy dress. Then she asked me if that had got me into liking to dress in female clothes. I was wondering what she was getting at and said that I had liked it very much especially being dolled up and receiving all the attention. I also like the feel of women’s clothes especially the feeling of wearing a saree. She asked me if it was the first time that I had tried to wear her saree. I was mulling over her question when she made it easier for me by saying that she did not want to embarrass me further but she had known quite early on about my secretly wearing her clothes. I stayed silent as she told me how her feminine intuition had somehow detected some disturbance in her clothes. At first she thought it was Neena, but on checking it out noticed that it was only when I was around. She was not sure how to tackle this situation. As it continued to nag her thoughts she had confided her suspicions to her older sister, Aunty Sharmila, as we called Vinod and Aruna’s step mother, at that time. Aunty Sharmila had told her to confirm it by purposely making sure that some of her clothes were kept within my reach, preferably on the terrace when I was here on holidays. The ploy had worked and she was able to confirm that I was wearing her clothes. She was angry at first, since I was violating her privacy by wearing her clothes without her permission. Aunty Sharmila had managed to talk her out of her anger and look at me from a different perspective. She told her about her own son’s crossdressing and how she had talked to him and it had helped him to perform and behave much better after that. Anchal had taken her advice. She noticed that I was soft looking and vulnerable. She felt sad for me and decided that if I were to open up to her, then she would guide me as best as she could with out letting me get into any compromising situation. She had read about men who liked wearing female clothes and how they were misunderstood and made out to be eunuchs and hijras, hiding their secrets from family and friends and running away when it was found out. She wanted to help provided I did as she said and stayed away from my friends who were slyly drinking and gambling. I told her that I had been careful and made sure her clothes were kept back as I found them, besides the clothes could be disturbed by the wind or other elements so how was she able to know I wore her clothes. She smiled and said that a woman simply knows. We are able to detect when something is amiss like certain scents and behavior, especially with private things like bras and petticoats.
Having resolved why and how I had worn her clothes and being better acquainted she asked me if I would like to experience dressing and living like a female for a few days. I told her that it would be difficult and my father would not like it. She said that she would arrange it. She would coax my parents to take a trip to visit some relatives during the Diwali festival week, instead of coming to Nairobi as it would be rainy weather here. Anchal helped them pack and arranged their transportation. After they had gone and we were on our own she told me that she would let me dress as a woman for the week provided I kept a fast of eating only vegetarian food and doing as she said. I was overjoyed and told her so. She had specific instructions she wanted me to follow. She gave me a jar of tumeric paste and told me to use it before bathing. She also gave me an old pink salwar kameez set and an old bra and told me to wear it after bath. I was really overjoyed and took time bathing visualizing myself dressed as a woman with Anchal helping me. I wore her clothes feeling shivers of excitement as I did. I was enjoying my new womanly feelings when Anchal came to my room and told me to try her high heeled sandals. She was looking excited with my appearance and said that with some accessories I could easily pass as a woman. She slid out her heeled sandals from her feet and I tried them on. They fit me very well and I found myself a little taller than her. She told me that she had got these from Sharmila Aunty. I asked her why and she said that she had guessed that her sandals would be small for my feet. I tried to walk and tottered on the heels. She laughed and said that she knew I would have a little difficulty with these high heels but had purposely made me try them on for fun. There was another pair with smaller heels which I could try in her room. I removed the heels and she wore them. I noticed that the sandals were big for her but she now looked much taller than me. With her leading me I followed to her room. She had me wear the smaller heeled sandals. Then she got out a long haired wig which she fixed on my head. I had pierced ears which she noticed and so removed her own small earrings and fixed them on my ear lobes. With a little face powder, mascara and lipstick she had me looking like a woman. With the small heeled sandals on my feet I was as tall as her. She was so impressed with my transformation that she held my waist like we were sisters or close friends. I was so thrilled that I nearly fainted. That day I helped her in the housework wearing the pink salwar kameez and feeling like a young girl. I must admit that although I looked like a woman my sexual feelings were anything feminine. I could feel the excitement grow in the tight constrains of my underwear. It strained and I had just to run my hands over the area to feel the release. The entire day my excitement swelled and ebbed and I knew that the salwar and my underwear were thoroughly soiled.
It was quite a relief to get out of the salwar kameez, bra, wig and high heeled sandals and have a refreshing shower. However in the evening she once again took my hand and led me to her bedroom. I was feeling shy but she reassured me that she wanted to see me dressed in her saree. On her bed she had laid out a pink saree with matching blouse and petticoat. On her dressing table, next to her creams and makeup, she had placed a pair of long clip on earrings, six gold plated bangles and a small pink beaded necklace with a rose pendent. On the floor besides the bed were the high heeled scandals. She told me that she was going to step outside so that I could undress out of the shorts and T shirt and get into the petticoat, bra and blouse. I slowly undressed and took up the petticoat and put it on securely tightening the drawstring at my waist and tucking the knot inside. Anchal returned and noticed that I had not stuffed my bra well. She held out rolled up balls of cotton for me to stuff inside the cups of the bra. Then she watched as I put on her blouse. Her blouse fit me well and she remarked that it fit me much better than it did her. After that I took up the saree but she told me to wear the sandals first as then I could maintain the correct length. I slipped on the sandals and immediately noticed the change in my poture. I started draping the saree and Anchal immediately corrected me and showed me how to get the drape right. Then she helped me with the make up after which she combed out my wig and plaited it in a single long plait. Then she helped me with the jewelry. The feelings and excitement mounted and so did the swell in my underwear. Anchal too noticed it but only smiled. I was feeling really light headed with excitement as she let me admire myself in the mirror.I was thrilled to see my reflection. I looked like a young woman. My saree was well draped, my hair well done and make up subtle. Anchal then told me that now I had to learn to walk and move about in the saree, like a woman. After showing me how a woman walked and sat or stood she had me do as she instructed. Then to practice my walking a little more she led me to the terrace. She showed me how to hold the pleats while using the stairs. It was so nice and sexy holding the pleats a little off the floor, with one hand and the staircase banister rail with the other. We walked and talked like two women. My hands inevitably moved close to my middle areas and in doing so elevated the excitement. It was in such a state that while walking on the terrace that I felt the first spasms of my relief. Anchal knew what I was going thru as the shivers and goose bumps travelled down my body, but she stayed calm and in control. We lost sense of time as we held hands like two close friends. It was late when she told me that I now had to undress and wear my own clothes for the night. The picture of me in her pink saree stayed in my mind and I felt soft and feminine, but my sexual organs stirred like a male, hard and excited.
The next day I bathed and wore the salwar kameez and came down to help her in the morning. She looked at me and a small sigh escaped her lips. I looked at her for some more signs and she said “I did not expect you to come down dressed as a female. I was under the impression that yesterday’s dressing would be enough for sometime. Now it seems fairly clear that you want to stay dressed as a woman all the time. I am worried that maybe I have just fanned your desires instead of quelling them. I don’t know if I am doing the right thing. Last night I must confess that I got carried away and felt I was with my younger sister at first but at some point I felt a little excited. It had a little sexual underlying feeling. It unnerved and unsettled me, bringing back some memories of my teenage years. Now looking at you I am feeling the same emotions and I hope we can continue being a sister in law and younger brother in law”. I told her that I too had similar feelings but I hope that we could keep our friendship and sister brother relationship.
Having said that she asked me if I was comfortable doing the chores in female attire. I told her that I felt very good and was enjoying myself. She told me that she had once again spoken to Sharmila aunty about me and they had both agreed that I should have been born a girl as I had so many feminine characteristics. Sharmila aunty was of the opinion that I could perform better and be happier if I was allowed to express hidden desires of dressing up as a female by taking part in fancy dress or dramas. She had spoken to my mum once about it and my mum had been saddened. My mum told her that my father and brother were already angry with her because of her encouraging me to dress as a female in school plays and dramas when I was young. They often blamed her for my frail and androgynous looks. Anchal told me that we would not let any of my dressing out to my father and brother. She had told my mum that she was going to dress me in her clothes while they were away. My mum had agreed and that is why she had gone visiting relatives during these two weeks.
All that week I dressed in Anchal’s clothes and did the housework like a female.In the afternoons I took a nap wearing her salwar kameez and at night I slept in her night dress. I must confess that I did get a lot of sexual gratification. In the mornings I washed her clothes as well as mine and hung them on the clothes line on the terrace. The only male item I wore was my male underwear as Anchal would not allow me to wear hers. The evenings were especially good as we would both wear sarees and take a stroll on the terrace, our hands entwined like two sisters. Sometimes she would hold my waist which made me feel feminine and sent shivers down my body. On Diwali day we both wore puja sarees with jasmine flower garlands in our hair, lots of jewelry etc and performed puja like two women.We made rangoli(colored design) patterns on our verandah and entrance and prepared sweets, enjoying life like two sisters. Later in the evening Aunty Sharmila and Aruna joined us. Aruna wore a pretty red and white churidar in keeping with the festival mood, instead of jeans and T shirt as she usually did. Later Anchal coaxed her to wear a puja saree, so we could perform evening ‘aarti’.
Aruna was really impressed with my looks and was very vocal about it. She could not help touching me and holding my hands. Aunty Sharmila and Anchal had to restrain her from kissing me and embarrassing me. All evening she raved and ranted about what a pretty woman I was and that if we were to go out to the club or restaurant that I would attract the attention of most men and young boys. Anchal said that she had only agreed to allow me to dress in the privacy of our house. Word of my dressing and going out as a woman would reach my father and brother and she was afraid of the consequences. While they were discussing the pros and cons of taking me out as a woman, I decided to make us some coffee. While I was preparing the coffee they continued talking and Aruna’s continuous and persistent desire to let me go out as a woman had its effect on Aunty Sharmila. She said that if I was willing then they would all go out to the club the day after tomorrow, dressed as a woman provided Aruna too wore a saree.
The next day we were to visit them in the evening and in the morning we would have our own puja and rituals it being baubhij(festival of love between brother/sister). Aruna agreed and said that would be okay but she had told Anchal that she would wear a man’s suit if Anchal was able to get me to dress as a woman. Anchal was now a little worried. She said she had agreed at that time but it was too early to let me go outside dressed as a woman. It was then that Aunty Sharmila said that there would not be a better time than this week as there were a lot of social events where crossdressing could be included in the agenda. Aruna said that she and Reema along with Vinod and Reema’s brother were going to put up a small skit on the week end for the ladies club wherein they would be exchanging roles. The boys were to dress as women and they were to dress as men. Anchal was still not convinced so Aunty Sharmila said she would get Vinod to come here and dress in a saree for Anchal to see. Aruna knew about Vinod’s secret said that if Vinod who was tall and athletic could look like a woman then I could pass as a woman easily. Anchal agreed that if Vinod was going out too then it would look like a fun evening and it could be explained away to my parents if they got word about it. Aunty Sharmila then made a call and with in fifteen minutes we heard the sound of the motorcycle as it approached. I was under the impression that only Vinod was coming but was surprised to see Reema following. What was even more surprising was that she too had worn a saree, it being Diwali day. She looked pretty and grown up, in an olive green silk saree. She did not recognize me. We greeted each other and chatted a while. Even after Aunty Sharmila and Aruna told her who I was she was could not believe her eyes. Aunty Sharmila said that she was in for a fun evening as even Vinod was going to dress up as a woman. It was going to be a woman’s night here.
Aunty Sharmila asked Vinod to give her the parcel she had told him to bring along and follow her to Anchal’s bedroom. Vinod was shy but followed his step mother. In the meanwhile Aruna said that she too would like to wear another saree and would like to see me dressed in her red and white churidar. The night was getting hilarious but I played along. Anchal said that she would lend Aruna a saree. So they too proceeded upstairs. Reema and I talked a while and she asked me how this ‘dressing in sarees’ evening had come to happen.I told her that Aunty Sharmila had wanted all of us to go out for a fun evening as ladies and then as we discussed they had decided that we would all wear sarees. I offered her sweets and some coffe while the rest of them dressed and came downstairs, with Aruna in Anchal’s peach saree and Aunty Sharmila leading a shy Vinod wearing a saree. Aunty Sharmila had managed to make Vinod look feminine inspite of his height and built. He looked sweet in a red saree. We had a little fun and since I was dressed in saree too they decided to click a snap of us.
Even with heels I only came up to Vinod’s chin. Aunty Sharmila gave me her handbag and adjusted my saree, so that it clung to my body. Aruna fluffed my hair and Vinod and I posed for them as they clicked pictures of us. Later Anchal had Vinod remove his glasses and redid his long hair and lent him her red and gold saree. She asked me to wear Aruna’s churidar and we posed as young girls with Reema and Aruna. It was so nice to see the four of us as girls smiling, Reema in her olive green saree, Vinod, tall and mature looking in the red and gold saree, Aruna in the peach saree with her hair combed back and me in Aruna’s white and red churidar. Her churidar was a little oversized for me and the difference in height as I stood besides her and the others who were taller than me contributed to me feeling all the more feminine. The constant touching and posing also touched my erotic side and I was really feeling light headed.
We then discussed the skit with the two boys to be dressed as women and the two girls as men. Aruna, Reema and Vinod said that they would get the costumes and wigs for that. For the skit the girls, Aruna and Reema would wear men’s jackets and trousers and short hair wigs while the boys Vinod and Reema’s brother Ajay, would wear old fashioned gowns and blonde wigs. Reema’s mother knew a costume company that hired out old fashioned gowns and wigs. They said that they would find suitable costumes and wigs for me and Anchal too. Anchal protested but they coaxed her to take part and with aunty Sharmila backing them finally got her to agree. I did not say much, but went on making trips to the kitchen to replenish the coffee and refreshments. This was not lost on Aunty Sharmila who commented and said that I made a better girl than a boy. Reema and Aruna agreed too and said that since I looked very pretty as a woman in a saree I could easily take part in the ‘saree evening’ where all the ladies were supposed to wear their best silk saree and pose for pictures. Aunty Sharmila said that the last year only a few women had taken part. It was such a pity that most of the young girls had opted to wear western wear instead of a saree. She said it was a splendid idea and so it was agreed that I would take part along with Reema, Aruna, Anchal and Aunty Sharmila in the ‘saree splendor pageant’
The saree evening was to be held on Friday evening and on Saturday was the variety evening where the skits and ‘role reversal dance’ were to be held. Now that Anchal had agreed to both of us taking part she said that she would get me dressed for the saree evening but was not sure of the ‘role reversal’ evening. Reema and Aruna told her not to worry as they would help her and Aunty Sharmila said she would dress me up in an evening gown. I cannot tell you how much we all enjoyed preparing and rehearsing for these two evenings. The saree evening went so well that no one besides our group knew I was a male. Some of the women kept inquiring about me and Anchal really enjoyed telling them that I was her cousin from India. They started calling me ‘Rajani’, which took hold and I too started responding to it. Dressing up as a woman was one thing but moving about as one was another. Aunty Sharmila and Anchal were surprised at how well I pulled it off. It was erotic to sit and move with the other women, all dressed in silk sarees and jewelry. The images of me posing with the other women are still vividly etched in my mind.
Once Anchal was over her initial hesitation of letting me go outside the house, dressed as a female, she really put all efforts to see that I was really looking good. She spent more time in grooming me than on her own self.It was funny how she wanted me to look like a young starlet and had me try out her entire collection of sarees. I was in seventh heaven; I not only got to try out her sarees but also some of my mum’s. When finally the day arrived she settled for me to wear a green and gold silk saree while she wore a brown and gold one. Aruna, Reema, Aunty Sharmila, Anchal and I really enjoyed the evening. There was much posing and picture taking and I had a great evening as a woman.
The next day we attended the ‘role reversal dance’. Aruna, Reema, Vinod and Reema’s brother Ajay put up a brilliant skit and made everyone laugh with their jokes and humorous lines.Aruna was in her element looking cool in a cream jacket and short haired wig.Reema wore a dark jacket. The boys wore frilly gowns and blonde haired wigs. It was such a treat watching the skit. We sat in the audience while the skits were being enacted. I was wearing a black gown with a white stole and black heels. Anchal wore a black man’s suit with white shirt and tie. Her long hair was hidden by a bowler hat and she looked quite dashing. Sitting next to her like that was really sensual.
It was such a fun evening and there were so much crazy activities done that I cannot remember the chronological order and so won’t go into details of that night but it was fantastic. I did not know that we could have so much clean fun only by swapping roles. There were so many couples who had dared to come dressed in reverse roles. It was okay to see young girls dressed in men’s jackets and trousers, their hair contained under short haired wigs, but so many normally macho men in gowns and sarees was really entertaining. That I had a good time was evident to all. Anchal too had a good time and really enjoyed the evening.
That week was really exciting. The next week my parents came back from their visit and we were restricted to apron and housework. Anchal too was busy with preparing her papers for her Canadian visa. After such a hectic social week and it was really nice to get some work done a home. My mother was impressed with my handling the house chores, but my father was not pleased at all saying that I had to put in more effort with my studies. I still had two weeks of holidays when Aunty Sharmila visited and said that the Indian community in Nairobi was putting up a variety program and she wanted Anchal and me to join her and a few others in putting up a traditional dance item. Anchal told her about my father’s reaction to my doing house chores and she said that she would talk to my parents. How she managed to convince my father to allow me to take part in the dance item and that too as a female is a wonder to me. She even got my mother to agree to take part, which made it more pleasurable. Now I had a chance to not only dress and dance on stage as a female, but with my sister in law and mother as well. Since my mother had agreed and my father had given his approval we were able to practice at home some very traditional female dancing. That was fun itself but getting dressed in those beautiful sarees and chaniya cholis was like being in heaven.
I must say that that holiday was the best holiday I had in a long time. Most of the other women who were part of the dance did not even know that I was a male. I came to know from Aruna and Reema that a lot of young guys were inquiring about the new girl. I enjoyed that week dressing and dancing like a woman in two dances. In one I danced along side the older women, and in the other with the young girls. It was a surprise that I a male got to perform with both groups. I enjoyed the attention paid by everyone and the touching and womanly caressing that went with it. I don’t know how many times I relived those days of dressing and behaving like a woman at home as well as outside the home.
My sister in law’s Canadian visa came thru and she had to leave before my final examinations. That her going away really affected me is hard to say. There were other factors too. But for me I it was big loss.