Hostel Room 131 – R. Raj Rao

Hostel room(We have not discussed this in the group but it was a ‘spin off’ from one of our meetings and this review is in a personal capacity.)

The author is good at describing smells, heat and busy roads. The chapters are short and the book is engaging from the very beginning.

It is half autobiographical and has the author’s (or India’s) usual obsession with trains. ‘We are vrestless as a nation, always in need of movement.’

Sexuality is not binary. Maybe that’s because India doesn’t have a national health service so there are less gender realignment operations. Intersex people just exist. They don’t get assigned the gender wanted by parents.

A scene which most lovers will recognise is when one takes the other to his home town and shows him his former school and all the other places that featured in his growing up. A sharing of memories.

The plot to turn Iraqi soldiers gay by chemical warfare is based on a stupid idea from America which was once current.

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