Title: She : Ekla Cholo Re
Author: Dr. Shayan Haq, Santosh Avvannavar
Edited by: Rajashree Ghosh
Publisher: Authors & Hoffen
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.
'She' is the story of a transgender Kusum, who is born as a male, but dominated with female traits. The story mainly focuses on how society treats transgenders. It shows how our society has set some expectations from long time based on gender. If someone is not fitting into either of the gender types, our society tries to ignore or avoid them and cannot accept and include them.
The book cover is designed well as per the story. The narration is good and easy to follow. The climax is very good. I don't know much about Rabindranath Tagore's song 'Ekla Cholo re' and its meaning until I read this book. This has some verses from that song with translation in English.
Even though it is a very short story, the author is able to send a clear message to readers about the discrimination on transgenders. Male or female or She-Male (that's what the term they used in the book :-)), everyone is human, they have their own aspirations and they are to be accepted as they are. The book ends with the quote -
You are what you choose to be
My Rating: 4/5
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About the Authors:
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, Bangalore. 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 different 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. He likes to devote his personal time in writing for a website, namely the Amrita Foundation for HRD (www.amritafoundation.wordpress.com). He has conducted seminars and training sessions for more than 40,000 people in India and abroad over the last seven years.
Dr. Shayan Haq:
Shayan is a medical doctor and cosmetologist by profession working at Bijapur, Karnataka. He is born at Gaya, Bihar and spent his quality time at West Bengal and Bihar before he moved for higher education. In his free time he loves to drive, read, watch and discuss on movies, and a gadget freak.
Until next time,
PS: Received a free review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion on the book.