Talking about the book, Manjamma Jogathi said, “This is my tale of surviving all odds as a transgender person and making the journey from the lap of death to winning the Padma Shri award, one of the highest civilian awards of the country. This book is my honest attempt to give the reader a glimpse into the world of transgenders and all the trials and tribulations we go through as we try to give voice to our stories.“
“A tale of hope and survival, this book is also an appeal for more transformational inclusivity in the society which allows all who are like me to craft their own destinies, while never having to contemplate putting an end to life itself like I had to.“
“As the first transgender folk artist who also became the president of a national academy, my art and its pursuit has given a new meaning to my life and I want this to inspire all who are on the verge of giving up to give life a chance because I have and so can you.“
Talking about the book, Harsha Bhat said, “I met Manjamma as just another journalist on the eve of her receiving the Padma Shri award, but today she calls me her daughter. This journey of bringing her story before the world, has been one of discovering the power of human spirit which can go beyond all that life throws at them to be who they decide to be.“
“This is a story of not just a person, but of potential, possibility and the power of perseverance which took Manjamma from ‘the pavement to the President’s court‘. For someone who endured rape, attempted suicide, faced abandonment, Manjamma survived it all and has lived to tell her tale, one with many firsts to her credit and many feathers on her cap as an artist and an inspiring individual.“
ABOUT THE BOOK
As a young Manjamma lay unconscious after a suicide attempt, she could not have imagined that one day she would receive a National Award from the President of India. A transgender folk artist who became the president of the Karnataka Folk Academy, her life’s journey has been nothing short of epic.
As a young boy, Manjunath discovered that he felt more like a woman, which led to him being ostracized and mocked. The transformation into Manjamma, a performer of the Jogathi Nritya, was a testimony to her grit and determination. Jogathi Nritya is a dance form performed by the Jogathi transgender community, and Manjamma became its leading proponent, popularizing it on a national level.
From being stripped of her modesty to being given one of the highest civilian honours of the country (the Padma Shri in 2021), Manjamma’s is an inspiring, heart-rending story, which she tells in this book with remarkable honesty.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Manjamma Jogathi is a Padma Shri awardee and a transgender folk artist. Hailing from the Vijayanagara district in Karnataka, she was the first transwoman to be the president of a government academy in India. Her contribution to the preservation and promotion of Jogathi Nritya won her Karnataka’s Rajyotsava Award, the state’s highest civilian award, in 2010, and the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, in 2021. She has been conferred an honorary doctorate by Sharnbasva University, Kalaburagi. She runs the Padma Shri Matha B. Manjamma Jogathi Pratishthana, a trust that works for the upliftment of the trans community in India. She works and speaks extensively on gender equality.
Harsha Bhat is a journalist, linguist, author and content strategist. She writes on culture, heritage, cinema, as well as political lyrics and social media and content strategy. A former senior sub-editor at Swarajya, she is a graduate of mass media from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and holds a master’s degree in linguistics from University of Mumbai.
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