Status: Read from Dec 13 to Dec 13, 2015
My rating: /5
Author: Santosh Avvannavar / Dr. Shayan Haq
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 Tahore’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 your call, then go your own way alone“.
Thank you Santosh for providing me this book for review.
This is a must read. The author has picked up a topic which is considered a taboo in the society. People avoid discussing such topics in public and if at all such things arise they prefer to keep it hidden.
It’s a very short story of the protagonist Kusum, who is not accepted in the society and even in her family because of her gender, her struggle and fight against the society to create her own identity. She had only one question:
Why did this happen to me? Why God didn’t have mercy on me? If I had been ‘male’ or ‘female’, life would have been different. But, ‘she-male’? Society is always harsh on people like us.
This question is not only about Kusum, but about thousands of such people whom this society does not accept.
The story is bold and gives a strong message with Rabindranath Tagor’s song “Ekla cholo re”. Debu, Kusum’s love even cannot stand for his love and his own identity. That was the most heartbreaking moment in her life. This took away her identity as well. But eventually, she gathered her courage to stand up for her own identity.
Make people and situation powerless by not reacting to reactions from the society.
This is a short story with a lovely plot sending a story message. The character Raj is a gentleman.
You are what you choose to be.