Nazaqat Paperback – 2013
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Nazaqat is the story of a modern day girl who steps into the dark world of prostitution and later moves on to open a restaurant. Her story is narrated to us mostly through flashbacks as she narrates it to the author she has hired to write a book about her. From her days as a prostitute to her days as a restaurant owner, she has had her share of ups and downs and a bunch of people who influenced her life. Then there is a murder mystery thrown in to make things even more interesting for the readers.
Naazani, our protagonist is smart, outgoing and independent. She makes her own decisions and while they are often unorthodox and frowned upon by the society, she goes ahead and does it anyway. I liked her character a lot. She is a kick-ass lady in her own way and dominates the story in a way that all protagonists should. There are a few supporting characters like Sharat, and Biplab, who influences the story by influencing Nazaani’s life. The side characters are also well developed.
The cast duly compliments the smashing storyline and pretty good narration style. I particularly enjoyed the poetry paragraphs scattered throughout the novel that added a certain flavour to the novel. The best part about the book is how plot seamlessly weaves in the social issues like prostitution, homosexuality and in a way the status of women in our country. There is enough drama and thrills without overdoing any one particular aspect.
I absolutely enjoyed it and would recommend everyone to leave those campus stories and best seller author who writes more of bollywood script than anything else alone.
Naazani breaks every one of the above notions and she does what she do with utmost passion. Though it explores sexuality in the initial parts, somewhere the novel shifts to a terrain where it is about identity, individuality and being one self whatever it is. It talks about feminism too in great deal .All these are orchestrated well with Nazakat, Naez, Ishank and Priyanka.
Starting from there everything is fresh and everything defies clichés including the plot points, the characterization, the philosophies and even the entire novel. The writing and the prose adds one more distinct layer to this Drama thriller. Added to that, every chapter opens up with an terrific poem which is kind of the miniature of the entire chapter.
I particularly liked Matthews who with his insecurity and writing experience provided perfect balance for the world of confidence personified Nazakat.
Over all, it will be an understatement to just say that it is good. With the sort of premise, storytelling and ending it is close to perfect. Last time around I said, Harsh’s book Excursion of insight was just a causal stroll he took and he is sure to rock when he means business. And here he has done that. Congrats Sasha H Singhal(Harsh). Thanks for such a lovely story. :)
Of course the book is a wonderful read. The story line is intriguing and keeps you interested. The beginnong of the book is strong, makes you want to read more.
I loved the way the author draws Simile between Nazaqat - the female protagonist and Mermaid.
The poems scattered in between, once again - written by the author, add to the beauty of the words woven to make Nazaqat how it is - Simple yet powerful.
As the blurb tells you, Nazaqat is a story of a prostitute turned entrepreneur who gets her biography written by a ghost writer. As Nazaqat dives into her past for the writer, the reader gets to read about her as a 14 year old lonely girl to a woman she becomes - a woman with a vision to legalize prostitution in India.
The language is simple, apart from a few grammatical errors, the book is well written.
The sentences are short, sometimes too short. I found myself being abruptly stopped at a few places. Having said so, this also also makes it easy for the reader to grasp the plot.
Overall, Nazaqat will give you a good company when you want to spend an evening in silence, alone with yourself.
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