The deadly disease which not only slowly pushes a person towards his end but also makes him ‘untouchable’ socially, is AIDS. Even after so much preaching and teaching, any HIV positive patient is treated as a social outcast and sometimes, a sinner. We fail to comprehend the simple fact that mere touching or treating an AIDS patient doesn’t make one infected with the disease. Also, indiscriminate and unprotected sex is not the only way for the transmission of the disease, it can also be spread through needle sharing, blood transfusion and from a pregnant mother to the child.
To break these myths about AIDS and to make people aware of the facts Santosh Avvannavar this time has joined hands with Santosh I. Biradar to come up with the book, Black, Grey & White. The title of the book is quite significant as it conveys the fact that nobody is spared from the fatality of AIDS, be it young, middle-aged or old. There are five simple yet fascinating stories which bring forth different issues related with AIDS.
The first story is about an aspiring journalist who finds himself in a vicious circle of human trafficking while investigating for an assignment. That myths about AIDS are how deeply instilled in some people’s mind and affecting the society dangerously, have been revealed in this story.
The second story of Chintu speaks about discrimination among those children who are found to be HIV positive. They’re getting punished for something which they’ve not done. All they need is a positive touch of love to ameliorate their pain and agony.
The third story deals not only with AIDS but also another burning issue, casting-couch. The fourth one shows how innocent people become victims of AIDS unknowingly, they pay for their ignorance with their life. The last one deals with parenting and other related issues.
Of the five stories, I like the second one most, the story of Chintu (The Earth is Round). All the stories will make you think, of the society and the fatal disease. The AIDS victims, do they really deserve the opprobrium which they usually receive from us? It’s time we should consider the facts and begin to think rationally. Only then the society will change its attitude towards AIDS. The book Black, Grey & White has been launched on 1st December 2014, on the occasion of World AIDS Day.
The language is simple and the writing style is quite appreciable. The cover page and illustrations by Mohit Goel also deserve special mention. Santosh Avvannavar always writes for social causes and to generate mass awareness about different issues. You can look out for my reviews of his other works here, here and here.