Surrounded by friends and family, an Indian trans couple got married in a traditional Bengali ceremony. This wedding is said to be the state's 'first 'rainbow wedding'. The marriage ceremony took place in Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal.
Tista Das (38) the bride who was elegantly dressed up in red Banarasi saree looked no less than a princess. Dipan Chakravarthy (40) the bridegroom couldn't let his eyes off from his beautiful bride. He said, "I am extremely lucky to have Tista as my wife. This is the best day of my life."
Tista Das said, "We are feeling awesome actually. We are out of the gender box and we love to be an exception and we think this is a strong bond between us."
"It's a bond of love. It's a bond of liberty also," she added. "And this is the solidarity of our souls."
According to Tista, she struggled to "achieve her identity as a woman, as a human being". She added, "I was not even considered as a human being in this brutal society."
Anurag Maitrayee, a trans man friend of the couple said, "the ceremony was a beautiful, emotional union of two hearts and two souls".
"Despite all the oddities and all the atrocities, I have seen how Tista and her journey from a man into a woman and her relation, emotion, love with a person with a soul whose journey is from a woman to a man," Maitrayee added.
"The aiburobhaat rituals started from June 21. But that apart we had to get Dipan's new documents in place so that the marriage could be registered on time," Tista said.
Born in Agarpara as Susanto, Tista underwent a sex reassignment surgery (SRS) fifteen years ago. The groom Dipan was originally known as Dipannita Chakraborty and was born in Lumding.
Though Tista was accompanied by her family members, friends and neighbours, the family of Dipan chose to keep themselves away from the ceremony. For them, it is difficult to accept Dipan's new identity.
Subhra, mother of Tista was quite delighted and said, "I am happy to see my daughter settle down with someone like Dipan. We have been through a lot of hardships, but parents should always support their children."
Shreya, a friend of Tista who is also a trans woman said, "Tista has set an example for the community. It takes a lot of guts to do this. I salute her."
Biswajeet Mukherjee, the pandit who chanted the mantras at the wedding said, "I have never seen anything like this. This is a historical event and I am happy to be apart of it. In fact, I cancelled another appointment for the day."
The reception commonly known a 'bou bhaat' in Bengali was hosted on Wednesday by Dipan's flat owner.
Aprajita Bose, the member of Human Rights Law Network Kolkata, congratulated the couple and wished for their happy married life. She said, "This wedding will boost the transgender community. It will have a huge impact as the trans community fears being rejected by the society."
According to officials, though there is no exact estimate of the population of transgender community in India, they are thought to be in million living on the fringes of the Indian society. Most of them are forced into prostitution, begging and do menial jobs. But transgender community has fought a long battle against the discriminations.