Mini Book Review | No Other World by Rahul Mehta
No Other World traces the story of Kiran, a second generation gay Indian-American. Kiran growing up in a homophobic society, to exploring his sexuality, his dynamics with his family and him hitting his teenage angst, the story aptly mirrors the life of a millennial.
This is not a blatant comparison, but I could see similarities between the Oscar-nominated 2014 movie Boyhood. Where the movie, similarly sketches the protagonist's growth from a boy, a teenager and finally into a man. We get to see how Kiran's life transforms and he evolves into the person he is due to a series of events. His Indian-born immigrant parents, his sister's tragedy, his mother's affair with their neighbour and him exploring his sexuality through someone else's sexual abuse, a broken paternal uncle, the homophobia he faces, everything shapes up Kiran.
I loved how the author shows Kiran's development through the incidents occurring in the lives of people who'd ultimately shape Kiran. In a way the book not only focuses on Kiran, but also the people around him, thus creating multiple character sketches and multiple story arcs that are in their own way either devastating or fulfilling.
The centre plot of this book is how Kiran makes peace with his Indian roots and his sexuality. When an adult Kiran comes to India for the very first time he forms an unexpected friendship with a transgender teen. The way Kiran seeks his peace within this friendship is very endearing. Otherwise misunderstood, Kiran has finally found someone who would relate with the omnipresent storm that goes within him. Since the beginning of the book I was looking forward to this part and reading this spread a certain kind of warmth in me.
Not gonna lie, but bits and pieces of this book went right above my head. Maybe the author's narration didn't stick well with me. The book is not particularly gripping or hooking. It has a slow pace and I often found myself getting distracted by the beauty of the book (the physical binding I mean) so it took me days to finish it.
No Other World is definitely a good book and you should add it to your TBR if you want a good yet sad and utterly realistic story about a gay Indian-American who is struggling to fit in.