Avvannavar, Santosh and Dr. Shayan Haq. “She: Ekla Cholo Re”, (edited by Rajashree Ghosh), Hoffen, 2015.
Set in the backdrop of 1990 Calcutta, “She” is a story about finding one’s own identity in spite of all odds. Kusum, is at the center of the story. She is a brave person who feels she does not belong anywhere and certainly not as a “he” or as a “she”. She finds inspiration in a song, “Ekla Cholo Re”. I see this book as a step toward looking at social awareness and taboos that exist in today’s society.
the book is a bold step towards social awareness and discussing a few things that are still considered as taboo in the society. Kusum, is a girl who was born a biological boy who wants live in a different way. Society, however, sees that as sacrilegious Even her father, a doctor himself, loses it and begins monitoring Kusum’s each and every activity; forcing her to behave, talk, play and eat like a boy. However, he cannot control her mind and, slowly she blooms by retrieving all the feminine traits.
It seems that whenever she gets her life together, something happens and her dreams, her love, and her fall apart. The story speaks on behalf of all those who find themselves trapped in between “he” and “she”. This gender dysphoria causes Kusum a great deal of unhappiness and dissatisfaction.
This is a touching love story about internal conflicts and where we learn that transsexuals can have romantic relationships. Two different men fall in love with her. This is not a study of the emotional and psychological disturbances that transsexuals experience— it reiterates the fact that they are normal people whose gender does not fall into the two categories that society has pre-fixed.
When someone like Kusum decides to move on with her life despite all odds, she deserves to be supported as she searches for her real self.