Daayraa

1997

Daayraa is an unusual film which probes issues involving cross-sexual identities through the experiences of a young village girl. When her sheltered, secure life is shattered by an unexpected event, the girl finds herself in a crues, predatory world. The only person to befriend her is a man trained to enact female roles in the traditional folk theatre. Ironically, the girl, in order to survive, has to disguise herself as a man. Initially, the girl is shocked that her unique companion not merely dresses as a woman but truly loves being a woman. Yet, as a journey continues, prejudices fall by the wayside to give to an intimate relationship between the two. Is it an intimacy between a man and a woman? As the protagonists struggle with the dilemmas of their sexual selves. This film treads through the rarely explored realm of relationships with delicacy and candor. In the context of Indian cinema which usually depicts only crude caricatures of eunuchs, DAAYRAA creates history as a first ever, warmly humane portrayal of a transvestite.