Nazaqat by Sasha H. Singhal

Book Blurb:


Naazani, a shy girl with a lonely childhood, was born and brought up in Dehradun. She moves to a metropolitan for further education and gets absorbed. In a series of events, she decides to adopt prostitution and becomes one of the most successful high profile escorts of the city with the help of her manager Sharat. In a quest to be successful, she leaves her friends behind and dedicates more time to her profession. Nazaqat witnesses a police raid at a nearby place and the real scenario of prostitution terrifies her. She decides to take a stand and do something about it. However, Sharat convinces her that she is not powerful enough to make a difference. Nazaqat retires and pool all her money and starts a restaurant Joy foods in partnership with Sharat. The business grows and soon enough they have numerous outlets in various cities and Naazani Singh Shekhawat emerges as a significant entrepreneur of nation. To cherish the old memories, she organizes a group together and calls all her old friends. Next morning, it is found that something drastic happened the night before. Meanwhile, she invites an author Matthews, who is an old acquaintance to pen down her own biography. He visits her each night and in a series of ten nights, her story finds its crescendo. Will prostitution be legalized? Whats her intention with the biography she is planning? What shall be the fate of Naazani Singh Shekhawat aka Nazaqat? Nazaqat is a very detailed and carefully woven story which is a unique blend of thrill and drama. It is a refreshing story about a girl who adopts prostitution on her own will and starts a quest to legalize prostitution in India. While its entertaining because of the commercial voice, it also addresses grave issues of feminism, prostitution and homosexuality in society.

My Thoughts:

This is a story of not one person but 3 different people or rather 3 different persona of the same person namely: Naazani, Naez and Nazaqat. The story is about Naazani, how she embraces prostitution as a profession and takes on the form of Nazaqat and how her decisions shape her life.

Naazani is shown as someone who grows up to become a modern Indian girl, embracing her life to the maximum and taking independent decisions. She takes on prostitution as a profession, eventually quits and opens a restaurant. The reader is told the story as a series of flashbacks as Nazaani narrates her life story to a writer whom she had once given an interview to. Her aim is for her story to be published so that no-one forgets her. The reader is enlightened on her friends: Ishank, Priyanka and Biplab and her manager Sharat, how each one entered her life and the role they played. The author gives insights into her thoughts and feelings at various stages of her life and as the story unfolds the reader will love her, hate her, respect her. We see her transform into her various persona effortlessly and what comes across loud and clear is the strength of her personality and her confidence.

The characters are simple and easy to imagine and relate to. A very bold choice to make when it comes to choosing a plot, the reader is given a taste of drama and a reality check. At first the story seems to be normal and maybe even a little cliched with all the flashbacks, but as it progresses the author drops enough hints that there is more to the story, building up a wonderful suspense and at exactly the right moment the story ends with a beautiful climax that will leave the reader shaken.

The highlight of the book is the Ode to a mermaid!! The poetry is brilliant and truly captures the essence of the entire story!!! Overall this is a well thought out story with an interesting and unusual plot and the author has delivered a precise and well crafted story and is definitely worth a read!

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