19 July 2006

"I tried to kill myself..."Bobby Darling about living a life full of humiliation

Saturday, July 08, 2006
On her childhood
My real name Pankaj Sharma. My father (Bobby is not comfortable
naming her family members) was an English professor and a bank employee. My elder sister is a perfect housewife, while my younger brother is a fashion designer. Even as a child, I was an introvert and would only play with girls. The first time I dressed up like a girl was when I was in the eighth standard. I would often apply lipstick and wear saris from my mother's closet. By the time I reached class 12, I had a serious relationship with a classmate. My parents were alarmed and took me to various specialists including a sexologist and a psychiatrist. My father used to beat me for my sexual preference too. But I don't blame my parents for it. They weren't to blame.

Moving to Mumbai

I was aware that if I did anything to affect my father's social status, he would kill me. To avoid such a situation, I eloped with my boyfriend just before my exams. We travelled like a happy couple all across the Asia and Europe. It was very exciting. After two years, I got a call from my dad, saying that mom was unwell and she wanted to see me. I was by her bedside when she died due to kidney failure. Just four days after her demise, my boyfriend called our relationship off saying that he had to fulfil his responsibilities towards his parents. He got married, and now he has kids too. I headed straight to the bathroom and emptied a bottle of phenyl down my throat. My father saved my life. Constantly teased by friends in college, I left Delhi, with Rs 8,000 in my pocket. I decided to move to Mumbai.

Life in dance bars
As the train entered Bombay Central, I began to feel scared. I had heard odd stories about Mumbai. I knew no one in the city. For 15 days, I lived in railway stations, sleeping on the platforms. People would often taunt me and call me names like 'chakka', 'hijra', 'chikna'. It made me cringe. Later, I managed to find a roof over my head and moved to Malad, where I stayed in a house with four girls who used to work in a bar. They informed me that a gay dancer in their bar was earning enough money to sustain himself. Luckily I found employment there. My features are like a girl's, so very often customers would get confused and make indecent proposals to me. But soon, I began to feel stifled and started to look for roles in TV serials. I would walk down from one office to another the whole day. At 5 p.m I'd go to work at the bar. I never went to bed before 1.30 a.m in those days.

Becoming Bobby Darling
The initial days were very humiliating for me. I still remember how Makrand Deshpande had laughed at me. I realised that in order to find work I would have to re-invent myself. Is dhande mein dikhoge nahin to bikoge kaise (if you don't look good, how will you sell?) I was ill-treated by many filmmakers. They would call me gur (meaning jaggery, a slang used by Mumbaikars for gays). Bobby was my pet name. Director Lawrence D'Souza suggested that I add 'Jaan' after my name. Other names recommended were Bobby Chikna, Bobby Sexy, Bobby Hot. Once, when I went for an audition at N Chandra's office, he asked me my name. I said, "My name is Bobby Darling". His eyes lighted up immediately. He liked my name and promised to give me work.

Her Colleagues
My first film was Subhash Ghai's Taal, in which I played the role of Aishwarya's make-up artist.They shot for 19 days with me, but when the film released I was barely there. I felt bad, but what could be done about it? Later, I worked with Hrithik Roshan in Na Tum Jano Na Hum. He was very sweet to me and always greeted me with a hug. Recently, I met him at a party, and he doesn't seem to have changed at all. Even Salman Khan is very fond of me. I am also grateful to Moon Moon Sen and her daughters for all their help.

Sexual Preference
I am in the process of undergoing a sex change. I am taking hormonal injections which will develop my breasts. I am counting on laser surgery to remove my body hair. I am not yet sure where I'll get the surgery done. In India, it will cost me Rs 4 lakh, but in USA the cost will be about Rs 10 lakh. I would prefer the US, as such surgery is done there on a regular basis.

Life after films
Things are looking better for me. Now, my father talks to me. I am getting better roles. I have my own apartment in Oshiwara, and I have recently bought a car. I feel secure. Now, I am focusing on my sex change. I want to live like a woman. Plans after sex change After my operation, I will not return to India. I will quit Bollywood, because I am sure that people will make a mockery out of me. They will say, 'Pehele gay tha, ab heroine ho gaya hai! (Earlier he was gay, now he is an actress)'. I don't want to get humiliated after spending so much money. Perhaps I will become a pole dancer. I know I will have to start from scratch, but then I have never been afraid of challenges. . The initial days were very humiliating for me. I still remember how Makrand Deshpande had laughed at me. I realised that in order to find work I would have to re-invent myself. I was ill-treated by many filmmakers. They would call me 'gur' -

Mumbai Mirror, India interview by Ram Kamal Mukherjee


  1. Its is such a diffrent tale till you hear it from the horses mouth. I am an admirer of Bobby but I never knew what hardships she has undergone through.Reading this makes my affection towards her more intense and i feel proud of her. Makarand Despande is considered amongst the intelligent actors in Bollywood but the way he behaved is commendable. More support and understanding from this matured actor was expected and it would have earned him more respect not only by Bobby but many others who now feel let down. I canont realise the humiliation Bobby has undergone but i dont feel sorry for her. She has fought very strongly and her standing today is a strong slap on the face of her mockrers. Life from Railway stations to Dance Bars to Bollywood you have travelled a lot Bobby and this journey will not end. Theres only one regret and thats about your plans to live this country. Bobby you are an example , a trendsetter for many . What you do will be followed by others. It will mean all those who want to express themselves like you will have to leave this country someday . Please Dont do this Bobby. We love you because you are Bobby Darling. But we Respect you because Your one of us - an Indian.

    All the Best


  2. Hi!

    I was always interested in knowing about Bobby Darling's life.

    Now when I have learned the truth straight in her own words, I feel Impressed.

    May god bless her (her, because she feels her self a lady and I respect her thinking)!!!!!!!

  3. @deeps
    I too wish her a great life and lots of happiness forever

  4. You are wonderful. Just because you are around prejudice people at the moment don't let it get you down. God does not make mistakes and God made everyone. So, these prejudiced people are going to be sorry when they meet God. A sex change operation in the US may be good. As an American, be careful, sister, some Americans are prejudiced. New York City is good. Amsterdam, Netherlands is even more advanced. In New York City check out the group SALGA. See http://www.samarmagazine.org/archive/article.php?id=60 and others. I am not Indian, but my girlfriend is. Love and solidarity, Cybergrace

  5. Brave Bobby!Lifes tough but you have won the battle..appreciate your guts and honesty..may life give you the best!you deserve it!

  6. If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick the trait of persistence and determination.......Bobby has made her own way with these traits........Well done n wish u luck n success.........you will always be remebered

  7. Bobby plz do not leave India aftr ur surgery.u r the perfect example of persistency and a trendsetter.U r a brave person n i firmly believe tht u will cum out more strongly once u r done thru ths surgery.My best wshes r wit u.hope tht u will alwyz remain in India.luv my barbie doll.

  8. I have known Bobby for many years. Our parents are friends and Bobby di is like sister to me. She has faced a lot of hardships. May she find all the happiness that she deserves. Society has always rendered a cruel treatment to her as she was deviant. But I appreciate it and I know she will go a long way.

  9. FFVQqH The best blog you have!

  10. 4n2fkn write more, thanks.

  11. hey bobby I dont know whether u r reading it or not but dear after reading and knowing all u went through I really feel U r the most terrific personality in bollywood seriously,U have such a sheer endurance power and U have made such a stronghold even after these hardships,U definitely r a real trendsetter no doubt,so I personally request you to plz plz plz not leave the country after surgery,I am an engineer working for IBM at more than 15 lac annually,I am very much straight sexually but still I would be happy to accept u as my girlfriend or even a friend if u consider me to since U r really a very beautiful girl at heart thts very clear,so plz plz dont leave the country,U have lots of admirers and u have already kicked the asses of commenters,anytime U need some really cool guys for ur help 9950709036 is my num.Have a great life ahead bobby,we all adore u a lot,U r great!!!!!

  12. Bobby, We love U
    Ur talents and what U are, are God's gift to U
    What U do with them, is Ur gift back to God
    We extend U all our moral support
    Don't let today's disappointments
    cast a shadow on tomorrow's dreams
    And you know Bobby, all who have achieved great things in life
    have undergone a lot of problems
    There are guys like us who wish to see Ur smile,
    and feel happy to see your presence in the screen
    So when you are lonely, remember it's true
    We pray for Ur good life.

    We know, it is sometimes hard to cross that bridge,
    try something new, or make that change.
    But Bobby, once U do, U will realize
    that things are usually never as bad as we imagine

    As you travel through life,
    Ur dreams will guide U
    determination will get U there,
    and love will provide the greatest scenery of all
    We pray and wish U all the best
    May the Love Of God be with U

    Hugs n Kisses
    Alan & Nishanth (Gay couple)

  13. Bobby i m a boy but i think i m a girl from inside. Bobby mujhe apne saath rakh lo. Reply me natashacd85@gmail.com

  14. Bobby you are Bobby Darling.

    I love the way you proved your self.

    May god bless you!

  15. Hi Bobby,

    Not sure how to contact you but I am really impressed the way you went.

    I dont know if you could remember. If you do then
    Please email me at twinkle100@rediffmail.com

    Take care.

  16. Hey Bobby
    I can seriously feel what all u have been through n how u life wud be far better in U.S than in India.
    U have guts! u have the power. N surely u r the trend setter. Many people have GID but not all of them can come out. Atleast i dont have the guts till now.
    God Bless u

  17. hey bobby ...listen we all love u!!...try to understand the fact that in the old days the actors or actresses had to b completely scarce free in their real charecters..but now the buissness is a bit different ...now actors make mistakes knowingly ...just for publicity...evry one is now trying to b special besides as a good actor ..they often spread rumour about themselvs...so i wanna say is,u r originally special and controvercial too...so people would love to see u in screen ..and personally i would say i ll also love to see u ...coz u r a very nice GIRL..so dnt leave us plz...stay in bollywood and get the top position kicking all the leading actresses..and i m sure u can do it..come on jst play the game ...dnt runaway..----

  18. You are incredible. You are a woman of substance. My only regret, is that I have read of you earlier. You a blessing and a gift to me, to us.

  19. Hi Bobby Darling...i did not know about you but after watching NAVARASA i was really impressed...u r terific..whatever u do...have guts....I'm a gay myself and was not bold enough to face this treacherous world to live as i wanted...u proved that u r worth all ur pain n effort...GOD BLESS YOU...ALL THE BEST DEAR

  20. Bobby Be the way you are! trust me you will enjoy the life! leave keep all your worries to the one who made you (god) when he has given life to you he will also lead you! have a blast in life, we all are with you.

  21. dear bobby darling,

    i am the greatest fan and admiyer of yours.really you are unique .you have shown the path to all gay community . i am very much impressed with you . because of u i have also kept my name bobby.my dream is to meet u in my life. i hope and pray god will fulfill my dream my email id bobbykumar2009@gmail.com

  22. too much of anything is bad

  23. Gosh... Your story is quite terrible to hear... I wish you all the very best .. and never loose hope... Good Luck Bobby Darling

  24. hi bobby, i have been following you on the net and after reading your blog I must say... u have worked really hard to be where you are today....why give up???? the operation is just a part of life, you are an actress...every actor may have a story or 2 of humiliation and gossips etc its part of your job sweetheart. Dont let anything come between your dreams. Live your life and carry on the path that you want and dont let anyone make your decisions for you. if you want to act...act if you want to move overseas then do that...but do what you want and not because people are driving you towards it. You are such as awesome person and i just want to send you lots of love and wish you all the best in life. Keep on to your shows, get involved in reality shows, keep going until you think you have done enough :) God bless....regards from Australia.


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