Book Review - She, Ekla Cholo Re by Shayan Haq and Santosh Avvannavar

“If no one responds to your call, then go your own way alone.” – She, Ekla Cholo Re
Book Photography by Shruti Bhutani

She, Ekla Cholo Re

by Dr. Shayan Haq and Santosh Avvannavar

Book Review

She, Ekla Cholo Re is a short story with a simple but powerful message – Gender identification. Set in the 90s in Kolkata, She is a story of Kusum, who went through real ups and more downs in life. She narrates her story of finding her true identity in the midst of societal definition of gender identity.

Inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s famous Bengali song, written in 1905, Ekla Cholo Re, literally means Walk Alone - the author has wisely constructed a story around it to highlight a very important social message, that not only holds true for India but the entire human race. Gender identity is a personal notion of oneself as either a male or a female, anything besides that is considered forbidden. This story is based on the life of someone who did not fit into the stereotypical traits, and trekked on an unknown path to discover her true identity. It unveils the fear and vulnerability along with the strength of the main character on this journey of acceptance. It also stresses on the role of a society and people in general, who may assist or deter them from recognizing themselves, which then has it’s own consequences.

The story is a straightforward conversational narrative between the protagonist and a stranger. The tale itself is simple and the plot pleasing. I like the overall concept, the use of the song Ekla Cholo Re – meaning ‘Walk alone’, and the storyline. The cover and the reverse “S” in the title is a small but brilliant addition to the book, it goes well with the theme. But a few distractions within the storyline felt deviating, and the song is repeatedly placed throughout overshadowing the story. Because the book is just below 5o pages, I was able to finish it in less than 20 minutes, which is not enough to create an impact on the reader. The authors have made a sincere effort in narrating the story with a powerful message, but something was definitely amiss. I would have liked it if the focus had remained on delivering the message, without the obvious distractions in the storyline.

Final Thoughts

She, Ekla Cholo Re is a powerful and realistic short story that fulfills the purpose of conveying a social message on gender identification. The authors’ focus on details is impressive. The story is very promising, but because the narration is simple, it fails to create an impact it deserves. Keeping in mind the effort and thought behind the story, I would say She, Ekla Cholo Re is a good one time read and I look forward to reading more from the authors. 

About The Author

Sanotosh Avvannavar is a consultant, soft skills trainer and advisor for various organizations, having conducted training sessions all over the world in the past 7 years, with an audience of more than 45,000. An active writer for Amrita Foundation (for HRD), he is a published writer for various national and international newspapers and research journals.

Dr. Shayan Haq is a cosmetologist from Karnataka, born and brought up in Bihar and West Bengal. A self-proclaimed gadget freak, he loves reading, driving and watching movies.

Genre Short Story
Price Rs. 149 (Review copy received)
Pages 58 pages
Format Paperback
Publisher Hoffen
Rating  (3 Stars)

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Love & Peace



  1. I like the way you review the Books of unknown people including my book .

    1. Thank you, Rajiv ji. For being a devoted reader of my blog. :)

  2. Thank you for sharing the review. Appreciate your effort.

    1. Hi Santosh,
      I am assuming it's you. Thanks for sharing your work with me.


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