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Canadian-Tamil Film “Roobha” Directed By Lenin M. Sivam Is About a Love Affair Between a Transgender And a Married Man

Roobha, is a Canadian-Sri Lankan Tamil film made by Lenin M.Siva. It is about a transgender and a married man falling in love and the trials and tribulations they face in society. It is to be premiered in Toronto on October 9.

She’s enchanting… and then she dances… A runaway train of intensity. A raw multi-layered look into feelings that many don’t understand. A relationship develops between an older Sri Lankan man and a young woman. He’s… married, with children, and she’s… a trans-woman. Yes, it’s complicated, but it’s also a beautifully thoughtful portrayal of what we all want… to love and be loved. ​Roobha weaves a unique romantic tale that deals with the complexities of personality and gender identity within the South-Asian community.

Roobha, a trans-woman, struggles to make a living in Toronto after she is ostracized by her family. Her chance encounter with a family man, Anthony, leads to a beautiful romance. However, their blissful existence is short lived as their families soon discover their relationship.

​“I’ve always wanted to do an adaption for my next film project. This led me to approach a frind a respected writer, Shoba Satki, for a great story. He sent me a couple of his unpublished short stories. One of them was Roobha. As soon as I read Roobha, I knew it was going to be my next film, Sivam told www.tamilculture.com

The first thing that struck me about Shoba’s story was the spontaneous love between Roobha and Anthony. I felt that this forbidden romance between a young trans-woman and an older Tamil family man was unique and universally appealing.

Secondly, I liked the parallel that can be drawn between Roobha and Mohini, the only female avatar of Lord Krishna. My childhood is filled with memories of listening to Hindu mythological epics told via Villu Paatu, and one of my most memorable characters was Mohini. Her ravishing beauty and her playful adventures were always a treat. I thought it would be an amazing opportunity for me to convey my fascination with Mohini through Roobha.

Lastly I felt that Roobha would be a great film to confront the transgender stigma and biases that exist within the Tamil community. In the ancient times, Tamils believed that the transgender members are incarnates of Mohini and deserved a respectable place in the society. However, this congenial tradition has sadly taken an about-face over time and the transgender members are now often ridiculed and stigmatized. I felt that there are so many Roobha’s out there who are living a fake life.