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Updated: May 25, 2014 17:49 IST

Adapting to adoption

DEEPTHA SREEDHAR
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Ela by Sampurna Chattarji.
Special Arrangement Ela by Sampurna Chattarji.

A poignant story of how a teenager comes to terms with the fact that she is adopted.

What happens if one’s childhood has been a big lie? Coming to terms with adoption and accepting it are huge tasks, especially for a 13-year-old.

Ela finds herself at a crossroads when she discovers that she is an adopted child. In a state of bewilderment, she dissociates herself from everyone, including her parents Mahesh and Smita. She is intimidated by an imaginary bird that talks to her about life. Luckily, Mahesh and Smita are understanding, as they adjust to the fact that Ela hates them for lying to her. How Ela confronts her worst fears and resurrects herself forms the rest of the story.

A different pitch

Sampurna Chattarji has handled a delicate topic like adoption beautifully. The concept of using Ela’s alter ego to interrogate her life makes for an interesting read. Ela reiterates the fact being an adopted child is not always a blessing. Chattarji does not waste time in getting into the story. She is precise in describing the scenes and leaves room for readers’ imagination. The book seems to drag slightly in the second part. Another intriguing factor is that Ela and Mahir, the protagonists, seem to share profound thoughts about life, although they are just over 13 years.

Ela succeeds in driving home the point that it is important for an adopted child to know his/her true roots. The later the child comes to know, the bigger the emotional drain. Ela is poignant read, especially for the teens.

Title Ela

Author Sampurna Chattarji

Publisher Scholastic

Price Rs 250

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