For the love of Indian Fiction


Cut Like Wound- Anita Nair


I loved Ladies Coupe and after a long interval,  picked up another Anita Nair- “Cut like Wound”, judging by the illustrations and excerpts which promised a good story set in our very own Bengaluru. Judging a book by its cover?! Preposterous! You may exclaim, Guilty as charged is my reply. But this technique has rarely failed me.

While the whiff of Bangalore attracted me, what kept me glued to my seat was the story that unfolded through the streets of Shivajinagar, ran through Corporator Ravi Kumar’s house on Inspector Gowda’s bullet!

The mystery of the serial killings had me turning the pages feverishly trying to finish it in one sitting and get to know the “Who dunnit”??!  bit, with complete faith in the quick witted, slightly flawed but nevertheless endearing Inspector Borei Gowda. Characters like Chikka and Akka helped thicken the plot leaving me completely confused about their intentions while Urmila’s open flirting with Inspector “Borei” as she fondly called him, added the necessary spice.

However as the mystery unfolded, it took me through a world of transgenders, that Anita has so touchingly portrayed. Take this para for instance, it gives you a peek into a world of their own, which for a purely biological reason they inhabit.

“With elaborate care he arranged himself so he was the woman from a Ravi Verma painting, fresh from a bath…..shy yet seeking more…all woman”

In the words of the hero inspector Borei- “The sexual preference of a man or woman does not make the freaks”

Anita Nair captures  their intense emotions sensitively. Their world borders on scary, but somehow she makes you accept that their world exists with a lot more empathy. Whether this was the intention of the fiction or not I do not know, but their world of transgenders is definitely an intrinsic part of it.

Anita Nair’s plot is well constructed, with all the twists and turns for a satisfying read, creating the perfect imagery and explaining the deepest emotions, exploiting the English language in a way few authors do today, while giving it just a bit of Bengaluru Oggarane(seasoning) .

The character of Inspector Gowda is as endearing as a Byomkesh Bakshi , an easily loveable desi version, who I hope will feature in yet another thriller.