Review: She: Ekla Cholo Re by Santosh Avvannavar

She: Ekla Cholo Re by Santosh Avvannavar

(I received a free copy of this book on Kindle from the author in exchange for an honest review.)

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, thanks to our social conditioning. Will she be successful in her mission? Find out in She, an utterly absorbing read that derives inspiration from Tagore’s “Ekla Cholo Re” song, which urges everyone to move on despite the fear of abandonment from others.

Kusum is an incredibly strong character and the main character in this story. Her pain and suffering show through her words and makes the readers understand the hurdles transgenders are facing in this world.

The other character Dr. Raj also adds a three dimensional look to the story and plays a pivotal role.

It is a topic that is not discussed by people; a topic that people choose to ignore; a topic that people are embarrassed to talk out aloud about. She talks about identity and how the third gender is often misunderstood. People are afraid of or disgusted with things they see as 'not normal'. The story is that of Kusum, a transgender who talks of the challenges she has faced and continues to face just because she doesn't fall under either 'she' or 'he'. She has been abandoned by her family and her lover but rather than give up, she is embarking on a new journey. I really liked the ending.

The writing is simple and clear though not as descriptive as I would have liked it to be. It was fast paced and a really quick read!

- The plot
- The characters

- Nothing much (I would have liked it to be more descriptive)

It is a quick but powerful read. It is thought provoking and a must read for everyone.

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