Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Review: SHE - Ekla Cholo Re

Set in the backdrop of 1990 Calcutta, 'She' is a story about finding one's own identity in spite of all odds. The story spins around the life of Kusum, a brave heart whose identity is often untitled and blurred; it does not belong anywhere, definitely not under the 'he' or 'she' bracket because of our social conditioning. Will she be successful in her mission?

The motivation to write 'She' came from Tagore's "Ekla Cholo Re" song, which urges the protagonist to continue despite the fear of abandonment from others. The song goes like this, "Jodi tor dak shune keu na ase tobe ekla cholo re" meaning "If no one responds to you call, then go your own way alone."

About the author
Santosh started his career as a consultant and Soft Skills Trainer. After his college education from NITK, Surathkal, he worked as a researcher at University of Eindhoven, University of Twente, and Indian Institute of Science, Bnagalore. He was also the Placement President while working at IISc, Bangalore. He has over twenty-five publications of mostly research documents in national and international journals. He has also authored sixteen conference papers and regularly writes articles for a national and worldwide daily paper. He also works as an advisor for various organizations. 

He also dabbles in fiction writing and is the author of Adhuri Prem Kahaniya, Dear Wife, Your husband is not a superhero, Second Heart and Get a job without an interview; Be A B.A.; Surrogate Author; Title is Untitled; Black, Grey and White; The Departing Point; God's Table and Umbilical Cord. 

He likes to devote his personal time in writing for a website, namely the Amrita Foundationfor HRD. He has conducted seminars and training sessions for more than 45,000 people in India and abroad over the last seven years.

How common it is a sight to stop at a traffic signal and see transgenders fighting for their livelihood? Have you ever thought about people suffering from serious identity crisis?

Don't make the mistake of taking this book about a story of two people on a journey, it is much more than that. The author has very beautifully tried to give us a learning here, to show the other side of the story. Through Kusum, the author tries to explain in a very brief manner about the various challenges she had to go through while discovering her identity and more importantly - being open about it.

I've never really thought about the issues his book tried to address, and I feel I owe it to the author for making all of us ponder on the issue, in such a beautiful and elegant manner.

This one is a must read. You can only experience what I'm talking about when you read it.

PS: Don't miss the ending.

Rating: 4/5

Book: SHE - Ekla Cholo Re
Author: Dr Shayan Haq and Santosh Avvannavar
Page: 58
Language: English

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