After getting to know Jiya Das through a long chat over a call and getting to know her journey, all I can think of is – The world does not deserve a beautiful soul like hers. Being the first trans-woman in the medical field, she has been working tirelessly during this pandemic. Her contribution continues to help society and makes the community proud. I feel utterly honoured to have had the chance to speak with her.

Listening to her struggles of being bullied, of being harassed is heart-wrenching. Society continues to say – “It was your choice to be this way, wasn’t it?” It makes me wonder whether people understand what the word choice really means. 

The insensitivity that Jiya continues to experience – unsolicited sexual propositions, heinous remarks, and a lot more that I cannot even begin to imagine. Her accounts of all her experiences were so vivid that it sent shivers down my spine. Having to live with these intense experiences every day and choosing to be as forgiving as she is, is true strength. She chose to be stronger while society chose to be insensitive.

It reminds me of Maya Angelou’s famous poem: ‘Still I Rise’

“Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still, I’ll rise.”

Jiya chose to rise.

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