Black, Grey and White by Santosh Avvannavar and Santosh I Biradar

Review by Shwetha H S

There is no beating around the bush with this book of five short stories. The authors claim that these short stories deal with the misconceptions around HIV. But the fifth short story doesn’t have anything to do with HIV and AIDS, even remotely. I guess, the authors didn’t know where to put this short story and just stuffed it in the end. I am not saying it is bad; it is good, but is definitely misplaced.

The first short story, Shahid – the Martyr, throws light upon the killings that occur around the world thinking that would help ailing people get cured. This particularly deals with virgin sacrifices in the name of black magic to get rid of HIV.

The second short story, Chintu: The Earth is Round, tells you how helpless children, who are infected with HIV, are treated by this society as untouchables and this in turn leads to deprivation of basic necessities.

The third short story, A Game of Life, Lust and Death, is about how a woman uses HIV to take revenge on her enemies. I don’t know how this helps in supporting the infected and affected community.

The fourth short story, Highway Sex: A Journey of Hope, explains how having unprotected sex can lead to HIV infection. Through this story, the authors explain how it is not only the infected person who suffers, but also his/her family.

The fifth short story, Abram and His Prodigal Son, is the misplaced story in this book. Anyway, this story tells you how a person in good influence too can turn bad with just a pinch of evil. It is a modern take on the Parable of Lost Son. So, this story won’t disappoint you either.

This book is a good attempt at bringing awareness in our society, which still behaves primitively when it comes to being around HIV infected people, by trying to burst the myth around it. You read it or gift it to someone. Help in raising awareness about HIV.

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