Vivek Tejuja's 'So Now You Know' Gives Us A Sneak-Peak Of The LGBTQ Community During The 90s

Published by Harper Collins India, 'So Now You Know: Growing Up Gay In India' by Vivek Tejuja is funny, poignant, heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once

Vivek Tejuja's 'So Now You Know' Gives Us A Sneak-Peak Of The LGBTQ Community During The 90s

'It was lust at first sight' - you know you're in a riveting honest memoir when you come across this sentence. 

Cultural Editor at Verve and book reviewer Vivek Tejuja's memoir 'So Now You Know: Growing Up Gay India' gives us a much-needed perspective and is bound to make us more empathetic towards the LGBTQ Community as a whole. 

For me, no other non-fiction goes so deeply to the roots of personal experience than a memoir. It has all the drama, pain, humour and unexpectedness of life. What gives them power is the narrowness of their focus. Unlike autobiography, which spans an entire life, a memoir isn't a summary of a life; it's a window into a life, very much like a photograph in its selective composition. 

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The year was 1991 when Vivek was eight years old and he realized he was gay. Not only that, he had just figured that he wanted to be different and that he was in love with his best friend Deepak. Then Mast Kalandar released, with Anupam Kher playing Pinku, a stereotypical gay character and Vivek realized he didn't want to be Pinku. So he tried to walk differently, gesticulate differently and speak in a hoarse voice - all to avoid being Pinku. 

The book cover gives us a perfect glimpse of what we can expect from the book and contains everything that Tejuja loves or has inspired him- his fascination with the Catcher in the Rye, Bollywood movies, music and books. 

The best part of the book is when the writer explains how Vivek pretended to be straight in front of his cousin. This reflects how Bollywood or mainstream media has managed to create an image that gay characters are comic and rarely do they mention the relations they share with parents, family members and closest of friends. 

The literary connections of J.D. Stalinger and Walt Whitman are sure to enhance your reading experience further. Funny, poignant, heartwarming and heartbreaking. this memoir has it all.

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Lihaaf by Ismat Chughtai was written way back in 1942 and that book describes a homosexual relationship between two women in the most subtle way. Literature is the best form to introspect on the society of how these concepts have existed forever but people never really been accepted. As a matter of fact, they have been for a long time considered an alien or western concept. Some books had been banned but many have been popular in contemporary literature like 'A Suitable Boy' by Vikram Seth, 'The Boyfriend' by R. Raja Rao, 'Delhi' by Khushwant Singh etc. Undoubtedly, the latest addition to these is Vivek Tejuja's So Now You Know.

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Vivek's first book was titled 'Growing Up Gay In The 90s' which was published by Penguin India.  

Book details: Publisher- Harper Collins India| Genre- Memoir | Date of Release- September 2019| Paperback- 160 pages  

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