No Title
Ruchi Shevade
IT HAS NO NAME by Payal Dhar Red Panda, 2021, 343 pp., 399.00
November 2021, volume 45, No 11

Sami is a young adult; a ‘girl’ who felt more at ease in carrying herself in a way that’s conventionally attributed to ‘boys’ only. This was often met with a wide range of inconsiderate, harassing (and vulgar) remarks and humiliating questions… Are you a boy or a girl? Her parents were thoughtful and sensitive enough, but that did not mean an escape from the occasional, You know you’re not a boy, right? Why don’t you make an effort to look more like the other girls?

Sami soon discovers that she is gay and seems to be accepting and willing to explore her sexuality. As she is about to start exploring this newfound realization, a major shift comes in; she has to move to Chandsarai with her mother, a small village in the hills. Being away from her father, Nisha (her best friend) and the place she felt so connected to wasn’t easy.

But, as it turns out, life in Chandsarai is not as quiet and dull as she had thought too. Her new school seems to be ‘cooler’ and after initial curiosity, her classmates are indifferent to what the blurb describes as her ‘severe buzzcut’. Soon Sami seems to have her plate full; with the new school, cricket practice, studies, new friends, Serena and Bernie, and Gaybee, an anonymous friend she met online.

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