Friday, October 08, 2010

Bereft Beauties 1 - Aravanis/Thirunangais

During the Aadi Festival in August, our team went to Salem(Tamil Nadu) to shoot some footage of various Tamil folk artists and performers who were part of the festivities. It is an ongoing documentary film project which we hope to produce through a possible collaboration. While we did get a lot of amazing street performances, most of it was commercial(I use this word because instead of performing for actual folk music and songs, many were performing for popular movie songs, even 'item' numbers).
Amidst it all, we met some Aravanis/Thirunangais (Transgendered women) who were really in their elements, singing, dancing and having a whale of a time, at the same time, enthralling their mostly male audiences. It was surprising to learn that the Aravani/Thirunangai community in Salem is actually respected and not shunned, abused, raped and ridiculed as is usually the case in almost every other part of India. Even their Chennai sisters do not get the treatment they get. We befriended the beautiful Nakshatra(extreme left among the group of 3) and her gang and there was a whole slew of fanboy-males who were swarming around them.

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