Socially Distanced, a book on the ‘quest for identity’
on Feb 14, 2022
Dibakar Purkayastha's new book Socially Distanced was officially launched on Saturday by Padma Shri Patricia Mukhim, Editor of The Shillong Times, within the sight of different dignitaries.
The public virtual launched of the book saw the investment of panellists and booklovers from the nation over.
This is the creator's third novel in English, the initial two being Log out North East India and Mystery at New Delhi 10/15. Purkayastha is enrolled as an author in the Washington Library Congress in Washington DC, USA. He is a recipient of the Byatikram Literary Award 2016.
Speaking at the launch, Purkayastha said, “The story narrates the biography of an Indian Muslim who was born in the penultimate decade of the last century and who could not grow into manhood because he was born as a member of the most wretched eunuch commune, known as hijra in the Indian subcontinent.”
In her location, Patricia Mukhim said that Purkayastha's book manages a vital issue that our general public is for the most part ignorant about. She said she was overwhelmed by the plight of the protagonist of the book, Aamin, and unknowingly teardrops dropped from her eyes while reading the book. She felt that every conscious person should read this book.
Arpana Choudhury (Luku), based at Tezpur, Assam, who is an activist for securing the rights of the marginal sections of the society in general and for the LGBTQIA communities in particular, delivered an enlightening talk on the issue that not only gave a vivid picture about the plight and problems of this marginalised section of the society but also provoked the participants to change their general outlook about this community.
As it turns out, Arpana is the main Assamese to be remembered for the Forbes India "30 Under 30 List" for being perhaps the most powerful youthful characters of India.
The book's proper launched was trailed by reading of excerpt from the book, done by Ankita, a MNC professional with degree in Computer Science and Engineering.
Monotosh Chakravarty, Vice Principal of St. Edmunds College, Shillong, and a previous educator of English writing, said, “Purkayastha’s new book Socially Distanced is an honest attempt at depicting the life of a transgender, Aamin, who is out on a ‘quest for identity’, an identity that eludes to be his.”
Imad Uddin Bulbul, the notable author and student of history from Silchar Assam, commended the strong language and gory details that add to the strength of the book.
Prof JB Bhattacharjee, former Vice Chancellor of Assam University Silchar, gave a historical perspective of the condition of the ‘hijra’ community right from the middle ages to present day, and felt that they deserved greater compassion and consideration from the society.