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In Mee Hijra, Mee Laxmi, LGBT activist Laxmi Tripathi recounts her journey from childhood till now
She sat in front of the mirror, careful not to disturb the folds of her sari. Keeping her eyes fixed on her image, she picked up a maroon lipstick and applied it generously on the mouth. She then tied her hair in a bun and added a gajra made from fresh jasmines. Taking a last look at herself, Laxmi Tripathi, the Thane-based eunuch was ready to share her journey with the waiting audience.
Tripathi, now a well-known face on TV due to her stint on the reality show Bigg Boss, was in the city on Saturday to attend the launch her autobiography, Mee Hijra, Mee Laxmi (Manovikas, Rs 200). Written by journalist Vaishali Rode, Tripathi narrated her life story from her childhood, over a span of two-and-a-half years.
"One of the most difficult things when writing a book is to make sure that it is authentic. And I hope that my experiences, struggles and challenges will be helpful to other children and parents," said Tripathi, a post-graduate degree holder in Bharatanatyam and a social activist working with the LGBT community. Confessing that talking about her childhood was the most difficult and painful part, the 33-year-old says, "Fame is very easy to talk about. But the things that I went through when I was a child and the discomfort with my sexuality were more challenging."
Written in Marathi, the book talks about "the compulsion of wearing masks" in a chapter. "We all wear masks. In my case, it's the extensive make-up I use and the clothes I wear. People don't want to see me in plain clothes and naked face. They have a mental image in their mind and I am under the constant pressure of living upto it," says Tripathi. Perhaps that explains her words in the book, " Sometimes when you use a mask for too long, it becomes your face ."
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