The Tamil Man

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A friend of mine, who grew up in North India, often wonders why South Indian men have a very indifferent relationship with their parents. I tried explaining that we were raised that way — and that the process of transcending into adulthood is very subtle. One rarely ever asserts one’s own independence but just claims it. Result is — we don’t buy clothes or jewelery as gifts for people at home; we don’t sing songs together or go out. We don’t have casual conversations either. We have friends for that and family is mostly for transferring generational wealth and food. I rambled further, even. Just that someone else has captured that quite well,

Recently, she has returned to live with her parents, but the pressure to conform to societal expectations remains strong. “They are like, ‘O.K., you are a transsexual, but don’t dress like that at home, and please get married.’ ” There is quiet hostility to the talk show project from her mother, who still hides Rose’s dresses and jewelry whenever she gets a chance. Only her grandmother has given her blessings for the show.

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