>Yu Sakurazawa’s “Once I Was a Tomboy” has been published.
This is a Lesbian Romance story narrated by Aabha who was a Tomboy until her menarche. Her lesbian love stories are described in parallel to a pure MTF romance story.
Aabha Ahalawat is born in a family where men are given all the importance and women treated like dirt. In spite of being suppressed by the male members of the family, Aabha is a spirited tomboy who has a gang of four male friends. Among her friends, Aabha likes sweet sensitive Vivek best.
Vivek is in love with Aabha and wishes to marry her when they grow up. However, Aabha detests the idea of “being trapped in a marriage”. She wishes to grow up and have a solid professional career.
In spite of her protestations, Aabha is married off at a young age to a sadistic alcoholic, Manoj. Manoj beats Aabha day and night and torments her in every possible way. He even burns her with a cigarette butt.
Aabha is unable to immediately walk away from marriage for several reasons. During her 6 year stay with her husband, she finds a sympathizer in her co-sister, Charu, who also suffers violent treatment at the hands of her husband. Mutual empathy leads the two women to start a sexual relationship.
Charu gets pregnant with her third child and goes off to her parents’ house in another village. Bereft of Charu’s company, Aabha becomes lonely and despondent.
She ends up leaving her husband’s house and finds herself in Tejaswini Center, a women’s rehabilitation home in Mumbai. An unusual friendship begins between Aabha and the rehabilitation home manager, Neha. Neha helps Aabha forge a new path for herself. The two women become lovers.
Neha has a double life that she is hiding from Aabha. In the throes of night, she leaves home dressed provocatively. Aabha refrains from asking Neha about her nocturnal activities. However, she soon believes her lover to be in danger.
This is not an erotica.
Aabha Ahalawat: is the narrator of the story. She is tall, with black hair and eyes. Aabha is a fearless tomboy who wants to grow up to be “somebody”. She is forced to marry at a young age to a sadistic alcoholic. The bad marriage leads Aabha to find solace in the arms of her co-sister. Aabha manages to get out of the bad marriage and ends up in a women’s rehabilitation home far away in Mumbai. An unusual friendship develops between Aabha and the rehabilitation home manager, Neha. The women soon become lovers.
Mukesh and Pawan: are elder brothers of Aabha. They have been brought up to believe that men are superior to women. The boys are given all the privileges and the women of the house are treated like dirt. Mukesh and Pawan are very strict with their sisters, including Aabha. They beat Aabha mercilessly when she doesn’t obey them.
Mr. Ahalawat: is Aabha’s patriarchal father. He doesn’t believe in gender equality. He treats his son well, but his daughters like dirt. The daughters are denied many privileges and are severely punished for small things. Ahalawat gets 17-year-old Aabha married to a village alcoholic.
Mrs. Ahalawat: is a weak, powerless woman. She loves her daughters as much as her sons. However, she is unable to do much for them. She is subservient to her husband. Aabha wishes to get out of her bad marriage and seeks shelter in her parents’ home. However, Mrs. Ahalawat turns Aabha out and asks Aabha to return to her husband’s house.
Vivek Khattar: is one of Aabha’s friends. He is kind, mild and sensitive. He gets Aabha the food she is deprived of by her parents. He attends to her when she is hurt. Vivek is in love with Aabha from a young age and nurtures dreams of growing up and marrying her.
Rahul and Aditya: are playmates of Aabha.
Mohit Dabas: is a friend of Vivek’s. He grows up to be a swarthy, heavyset man. Mohit is a rich businessman who eventually dupes Vivek. Vivek eventually forgives Mohit, but the latter is punished by karma.
Manoj Punia: is Aabha’s husband. He is a skinny, reptilian-skinned guy in his late 20s. He is semi-educated but owns a shop that does good business. Manoj is a drunkard and a sadist. He ill-treats his wife and makes life hell for her.
Gopal Punia: is Manoj’s elder brother. He is a big, hulking man in his 30s. Gopal has a wife and two young children. He too beats his wife.
Charu: is Gopal’s wife. She is a fair, short, plump woman in her late 20s. Charu is the mother of two young children. She too is a victim of domestic abuse, hence understands her co-sister Aabha’s plight. She massages Aabha’s battered body and makes her soothing cups of tea. Eventually, Charu gets into a sexual relationship with Aabha.
Makhanlal Yadav: is a nasty neighbor of Aabha’s. When Aabha is cleaning the balcony of her husband’s house, she accidentally drops garbage in front of Makhanlal’s house. She subsequently apologizes profusely. However, Makhanlal talks to Aabha disrespectfully. Her husband, Manoj, does nothing to intervene. For the first time in her life, Aabha realizes what a coward her husband is. The resolve to be a free, independent woman begins in Aabha.
Shabana Malik: is a smartly-dressed, middle-aged social worker who lives next to Aabha’s husband’s house. Shabana Malik finds out that Aabha is at the receiving end of her husband’s umpteen atrocities and encourages Aabha to lodge a police complaint against him. Aabha does so but subsequently withdraws it in the face of threats from Manoj. Shabana takes Aabha to Mumbai and admits her to a women’s rehabilitation home named Tejaswini Rehabilitation Center.
Ashok Seth: is the neatly-dressed middle-aged administration of Tejaswini Rehabilitation Center. He is warm, friendly, diligent and professional.
Neha: is a young woman who works as a manager at Tejaswini Rehabilitation Center. She of medium height, has a buxom body, shoulder-length brown hair and grey eyes.
Neha is an altruistic girl. She is highly qualified and is capable of getting a job in the corporate sector. However, she prefers working in an NGO and drawing a modest salary. She is very kind, sensitive and giving. She helps the women at Tejaswini Center beyond the call of duty.
Neha becomes friendly with Aabha and encourages the latter to do a beautician’s course. Aabha moves in with Neha and the two women become best friends. On Aabha’s 25th birthday, Neha presents her with a used digital SLR with a standard lens. The gift changes Aabha’s life.
Maya: is Mohit’s wife. She is a curvaceous, vulpine-faced woman with a filthy mind. She likes watching her husband with other women. She coaxes Vivek into cross-dressing on the pretext of protecting him from a money-lender. She and her husband end up feminizing the unsuspecting young man.
Raj Sawant: is a 30-year-old, short stout agent. He acts as a broker between foreign companies and Indian clients. Raj agrees to get Vivek 20 sewing machines from a company called Nakamura in Japan. The whole consignment costs 2 lakhs in Indian money. Vivek is able to pay 1 lakh, hence Raj lends him the other half.
Unfortunately, illegal drugs are loaded in the same container as the sewing machines and the container is held by authorities at the transshipping port, Singapore. It becomes impossible for Vivek to pay 1 lakh to Raj by the deadline.
Raj requests Vivek to return the money he owes him. In order to escape Raj, Vivek seeks shelter in Mohit’s house. Mohit and Maya trick Vivek into partial feminization.
Raj recognizes Vivek in spite of the partial feminization. Raj has been paid 1 lakh from the Tejaswini Center but insists that Vivek owes interest and penalty for not paying as per the contract. He dupes him into undergoing SRS and forces Vivek (now Neha) into performing in a club. Vivek is paid Rs. 2,000 for each performance. He must hand over the sum to Raj.
Durga: is a baby girl adopted by Neha and Aabha.