I don’t miss anything about Tooting

In 2007, Steve Cooper found a new job as an Indian Goddess who thousands of Hindus believed could cure their infertility.

image found here

Pilgrims head to a remote jungle temple to be blessed by Steve, 32, from South West London. He calls himself Pamela but his devotees have dubbed him Prema — Hindi for Divine Love.

Steve was living in a tiny flat in Tooting until deciding on his new career after Indian friends told him he looked and moved just like the ancient goddess. Surrounded by followers, Steve told The Sun: “I love being here. I don’t miss anything about Tooting.”

Tooting (1910) found here

Hindu pilgrims have no doubts about his powers. When we asked Bhanu Barot why she was so keen to receive Prema’s blessing, she said, simply: “Because she is a goddess.”

Another woman, Rekha, said she had travelled for days to be blessed by Steve. She added: “My sister-in-law came here and she got pregnant immediately. I am hoping the same will happen for me after receiving the blessing of the goddess.”

image found here

Steve now follows a strict vegetarian diet and sleeps in a spartan room. He lives among 80 eunuchs at the temple. But some have their doubts that he is equipped to be a goddess. A eunuch called Sudha said: “He is a fake. I checked and he still has a penis.”

Ken and Barbie found here

Traditionally, hijras have had their male genitalia removed through a process known as nirvan (literally, “rebirth”)

The process isn’t ordinarily a pretty one, usually carried out without the aid of modern anesthesia or antibiotics. Hijras are considered to constitute a third sex or third gender in that they are neither men nor women. The term koti refers to males who take a “receptive” or feminine role in sex. They are usually not conflated with hijras, although they often dress as women and act in a feminine manner.

Candy Darling found here

The blessing, or curse, of a hijra is considered unusually potent because of their transgender nature. Hijras have traditionally survived by demanding money from families in return for blessing a newborn child or newly married couple. They also dance and sing and tell bawdy jokes at weddings and festivals.

Divine found here

Castration has always been a feature of the community. Those preparing for castration are called akwa hijras. Those who have been castrated are called nirvan hijras, meaning they have been released from their male gender

Hijras can fall into at least four ”clinical” categories. ”There are transvestites who cross-dress as a fetish; transsexuals who feel they are in the wrong body; inter-sexed males, and cross-dressing gay males. If a person from any one of these joins a hijra group then they are called one.”

Coccinelle found here

24 year old Suman is the leader of a hijra household in Delhi. Each one of Suman’s group claimed to have been born without a penis or testicles. One even lifted her dress to prove she had no genitalia. There was a small hole in her lower abdomen that allowed her to urinate. ”No one here has any sexual organs,” says Suman.

In the state of Tamil Nadu, in south India, the predominantly Hindu transgender community call themselves ”aravanis” and follow Aravan, a character in the Hindu epic The Mahabharata who died a heroic death in battle. At a special festival each year in the town of Koovagam, aravanis ritually marry Aravan, then mourn his death. Tamil Nadu has officially recognised its transgender community and issues ration cards with a special ”third gender” category.

Aravan bride found here

Published in: on September 24, 2011 at 11:04 pm  Comments (52)  
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52 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Fascinating. I wonder if Steve/Pamela/Prema’s ability to make women fertile is via a touch of the hand, or something more … friendly.
    Being a eunuch? No thanks. I have enough trouble getting my pets fixed. And without anesthesia? That’s the unkindest cut of all……

    • Hmmm… I hadn’t thought of that theory

  2. Well, shit. And people have issues with circumcision. Hey, Myra, been a long time….nice to see you’re still blogging away!

    I used to have the blog Knocking on Hell’s Door…

    • Re:circumcision. I think the problem is the matter of choice, a child can not consent to cosmetic surgery, that could lead to death infection or amputation.

      • Hi Rasputin and Mark, haven’t seen either of you here in a while

  3. When I first read the title, I figured it would be about a gas remedy not a penis remedy!

    • So did I, because I had just come here after looking for the history trivia calendar and finding that, on this day in history: 2008 Battery by Fart: A man in West Virginia was charged with battery on a police officer when he passed gas and allegedly ‘fanned’ it toward the police officer. He had been taken to the police station for a Breathalyzer test when the alleged ‘fart and fan’ caper occurred. The prosecutor’s office later requested that the criminal complaint be dropped.

      • “Battery by fart” that’s hilarious!

    • Me too…but then who would ever say they miss tooting. I mean how would you dutch oven your spouse?

  4. I’ve heard of Hijras, but never knew they underwent castration. Ouch! Malaysia recently had a transgendered person who was not allowed to change ‘his’ birth given male name to ‘her’ new female name after she underwent some reassignment surgery in Thailand. She died just recently – still with her male name.

    • Hopefully things will change there soon

  5. I’d like to say I have compassion for people who are not “the same as” me. But it does NOT extend to those Barbie dolls. Eeww! Creepy.

    • I didn’t know you were barbist Dinah

      • Irrational fears of allegedly inanimate dolls are understandable in this post-Chuckie age.

  6. First time here. I was over at james “Poor mouth’ blog. Say you had some name as my mom did.

    I have to say you do have an interesting blog but where do you fine such fascinating things to blog about.

    Coffee is on.

    • Any friend of the poor mouth…. 🙂

  7. Boy!

  8. so Ken’s a hijra ?

    I always had my suspicions !!! 😆

  9. I would have thought anyone who puts their faith in someone with a fake female identity and supposed miraculous powers is pretty naive, but naivety is common enough. I’m all in favour of a “third sex” though, it helps to break down the still rigid divisions between men and women. I see Australian passports can now categorise you as “X” rather than male or female.

    • Yes, a great move forward

  10. I lived in Tooting for several years. It has many wonderful delights. In the 70s, a sitcom called Citizen Smith about an incompetent urban revolutionary was based in Tooting. Even today, if you mention to people you have lived in Tooting, they will often raise a fist in the air and say “Power to the people” or “Freedom for Tooting” which were the rallying cries of the main character.


    • Wolfie looks like a barrel of laughs 🙂

  11. Thailand’s lady boys are some of the most beautiful women(?) in the world. Siam’s 3rd sex.

    • Yes, many of them are exquisite

  12. What people will go to (dangerous surgery),to get others to like them is crazy. The problem I think of is, if the Other likes the outer appearance, will they also like their soul-personality?

    • Sex reassignment surgery is not to get others to like you, but to like one’s own self…surgery is able to correct all sorts of physical disabilities and impairments. There are so many congenital errors and glitches, I’m surprised anyone emerges intact. While the surgery is elective and dangerous, it’s way better than mental torment. Of course one’s inner self is vital; I respect your argument with regards to vanity surgery, but getting a sex change is usuall to prevent one’s self becoming “crazy”, not to indulge in a fanciful indulgence.

  13. If I was re-inventing myself I’d go for something a bit more exotic than Pamela … perhaps Gonadia

  14. Third sex? We have enough problems with the two we have. Well, at least they sing and dance and tell bawdy jokes.

  15. *Oops, it’s happened again…*

  16. Steve/Pam/Prema does have a lovely tattoo of a cock though. (sorry, couldn’t resist that one) I remember that Citizen Smith show- I liked it when I was kid and hadn’t thought about it in years so thanks for that memory prod Nick.

  17. My sister lived in Tooting for 15 years. She was not sorry to leave either! I have seen a few progs about the eunuchs. Interesting if not a desirable lifestyle

  18. “They also dance and sing and tell bawdy jokes at weddings and festivals.” I thought that was uncles

    • hahahahahahaha

  19. I had a very good TG friend. Soft, feminine, very shapely…I could have fancied her. What broke our friendship was her reassignment surgery – she refused my bid for her ‘men’s bits’ which were some way superior to mine………….

  20. If he’s a Goddess, why would he need to remove the “equipment” anyway? People get SOOOOO hung up on regulations *rolls eyes*

    • Hi rumpydog, welcome to the Gimcrack

  21. whether or not steve got castrated may be a subject for debate. but someone removed his eyebrows…

    • i laughed out loud when i finally realised it after you mentioning it. there was something wrong and it took me this long to figure it out.

  22. i TOOTED!!! No I meant…I granted you the “Versatile Blogger Award”

    Have Fun

  23. I have to lend you my “Barbie in the Spotlight” book, where she is a complete bitch to a young intern. It is not a joke. It is a real ‘Little Golden Books’ Barbie book that I bought at the supermarket.

    It is one of my favourite things.


    • Ooh yes please!

  24. I hope those males who take a receptive role in sex stick their legs in the air to encourage sperm up the fallopian freeway.

  25. Men also have their genitalia removed through a process known as “marriage.”

    Have you read “Just Kids” by Patti Smith? You’d really like it.

    • Yes I have. My mother recommended it a couple of months ago, a great read it was too

      • I read it too. I thought it was very well written. I thoroughly admire Patti Smith and have done so for over thirty years.

  26. It is my experience that Tooting is a remote jungle, so he may be lost or confused. Poor lad

  27. I saw some hijira when I visited India in the mid 80s. They were quite a wondrous, bustling spectacle. About five of them came to a shop I was in; they were very flamboyant, moved about a lot joking and smiling and rolling their eyes like crazy which is a come on in India. So different to the sari clad women who seem to glide along as if without legs.

  28. Hmmmm.

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