|The Truth About Me: A Hijra |
Life Story; A Revathi
Penguin; Rs. 299
When not engaged with the larger horrors to which hijras are heir, however, this pathos can seem overwhelming and repetitive. True to the conventions of a bildungsroman, the narrative of Revathi’s life story follows a repeated pattern of arriving at a place, settling in, and then running away because of unmet needs or unsatisfied ambitions. But more often than not, these frustrations are seen as personal setbacks rather than as systemic injustices. Self-pity threatens to drown out analytical judgment for at least two-thirds of the book. But perhaps that is the point? Without seeing the horrifying consequences of being a hijra, would we be able to get behind the necessity for justice that those horrors demand? Perhaps not, but the sheer repetitiveness of sentences like “I don’t have the strength to bear the blow upon blow that keeps falling on me” (297) do detract from the sense that this book is also an activist’s multifaceted manifesto.
Full review here Deccan Chronicle