Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Book Review : The Princess of a Whorehouse

Aparajita's mom was left fending for herself & Aparajita when her hubby was killed in a mine.She tried several jobs before a friend pushes her into the flesh trade.She abhors it & knows that there is no escape.Still, she wants her daughter Aparajita to go to a school.She succeeds though it is all short lived. An admirer ,Raj is ready to fight it out for Aparajita & her mom. Will he succeed in the ruthless world of trafficking ? Danger is too near as even Aparajita may be lost to trafficking . Very soon, three are family. Soon thereafter, Aparajita is seeking admission in a prestigious school .Though , it is certain that she will breeze through the entrance test, it is doubtful if her past will allow her to become a student in that school.Seldom does society, take kindly to women, the society itself ,has wronged.

Yet ,Aparajita is unfazed.She is a student soon in the school .She befriends classmates & is an excellent student. One day , her buddy asks her about her past. Aparajita is hurt that her past should cast its shadow time & again.Yet, she reveals it.And is accepted with the same warmth as before.

Aparajita is a student of a prestigious college. And she dreams of flying in a plane piloted by herself.Does she succeed? Or do her parents marry her off as it may be difficult later on ? Does Aparajita get hooked ? And who is her fiance ? What about her dream of becoming a pilot ? Does her past cast its shadow once again on her pilot's dream  ? And what next for Aparajita ? Does she keep flying planes ?  Does she feel empathy for children of women, who are pushed into the flesh trade ? Aparajita is a fighter ...does her fight bring succor to others  of her kind ? All these questions are answered in the tale & how !

 An empowering read indeed !

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Mayank Sharma


Aparajita is a tenacious go-getter. Her name means unconquerable in Sanskrit, and she lives up to its meaning. 

Just like any other ambitious girl, she desires to fulfil her dreams and become an independent individual. Far and wide, the shadow of her melancholy past chases her passage. The fact that her widowed mother is a former sex worker irks the community. Nonetheless, she is not ashamed to reveal her mother's past. 

Will she lose hope, or will she defy an enigma that is centuries-old? Will she ever conquer the hearts of a prestige-obsessed community? 

See the world through Aparajita's prism in a tale stirred by some real life events.

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About the author

Mayank Sharma is a computer engineering graduate with post-graduation in business management. He works with a leading technology multinational in Delhi. He has authored a number of articles and white papers on software technology and processes. For the first time in April 2014, his article was featured in Better Software magazine published in Florida, USA. Writing has become Mayank's greatest passion when he observed how it can trigger the winds of change. He is gradually transforming from a “left-brained” writer to a “right-brained” writer. Besides writing, he is passionate about sketching, painting, and making sculptures since childhood.

India is the fifth-largest economy in the world with the Gross Domestic Product growth at 7.1 percent. Contrary, India ranks 118 out of 157 countries in the happiness index. The fact seized Mayank’s attention towards social problems affecting social support, freedom of choices, and generosity, to name a few. Having travelled across continents and associated with people with diverse beliefs and values, he became more curious about the social riddles curtailing liberties across societies. He penned his debut novel, The Princess of a Whorehouse, when he came across some real life incidents that quivered his soul.

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

The beauty in kindness.

 Dearest Daughter,

I have not written to you in a long time now.

I know , you are young & want to take on the world. And you want all to like you. Yes, whenever we go to any place, there's feeling of insecurity which creeps in .That ,which makes us feel judged & scrutinized. I know that feeling. Believe me, when I say this.It persists even now. This feeling of the need to be accepted & admired.

You feel, that you should look gorgeous every time. Agreed , you should.And yet , make up is no solution to looking your best ! And cosmetic changes, the worst..

You are   beautiful by nature . You are kind & have a way with words which makes you witty. You are adored by so many ! And yet, you need cosmetics?

I have been reading & telling you that make up spoils your skin. I am alarmed,that you spend hours on make up .Your dad does not have the heart to refuse his princess, what she  demands. So ,I am left with the unenviable job of having to correct you .I trust, that you, will listen with an open mind.

Make up is harmful in more ways than one. The type of ingredients that are used are being utilized in industrial products.Obviously , they are rough & harsh.And should be never used on skin.They are carcinogenic as well.And the ingredients can cause allergies. Many people who used make up have learnt this, the hard way.

You argue,that you are using branded products. And yet, the best brands can cheat in the most subtle fashions ever  that would make the worst  brands seem like saints.And you, will end up feeling betrayed .

And yes, many brands use animals for testing the efficacy of the cosmetics that they produce.This is  beauty at its worst.Harming innocent lives so that humans look beautiful.And yet, beauty is only skin deep.And yes, please think & reflect on the media campaigns which run hyping the facts that no animals were harmed in the production of the stated products. Let us not be so naive & foolish.

Remember, true beauty is in being kind to  yourself & others.That is the  way to remain happy.That will reflect on your face.And you will look all the more beautiful.A true beauty ! Without make up.As the tag line for a brand went , make up that does not look made up !

I have always known, that you are pretty. And I keep falling in love with you, whenever , you treat the most ordinary people in your own special way. You talk to them in a natural manner, you hug them & smile at them,.And make them feel, that, they are on the same  wavelength as you. That is, what makes them feel wanted ! And .their feelings get reflected on your face.And makes you look radiant. This radiance lasts for ever.And gets better as you age. I am sure, you will exude more radiance , as you step into youth as you will become increasingly  kinder towards yourself & others.

Remember, that day when the maid servant 's tiny tot of a daughter visited us? You overwhelmed that tiny kid .And she was thrilled ! That was the umpteenth time ,I felt proud of you ! As you recall, I told you that day, that anyone who had seen you with the kid would have immediately fallen in love with you, not just once, but over & over again ! I still vividly recall, that moment of bliss !

I believe every woman has TRUE BEAUTY within her in all the roles she plays. For over 18 years across 650 plus salons across the country, Naturals has been helping the Beautiful Indian Woman get more Beautiful.
Today Naturals Salutes the Beautiful Indian Woman.
Presenting Naturals TRUE BEAUTY… 

I trust , you will use make up with the care & caution that your body deserves ! And make your world, a better place by being more affectionate towards others, even strangers ! Your natural beauty will then,  be ,a   source of everlasting joy in the truest sense  !

Much Love,

Your mom.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The third child.

Her maid was expecting .Vrinda thought to herself , why was this known all along  ? Well, her maid had been telling her time &  again that she was under tremendous stress to bear a male child. Vrinda had tried to make her see reason that a boy or a girl will make a  dent into the already stretched finances of her maid .Her maid seemed to have agreed that time .And yet, now she was pregnant. With the anticipation, that it was a male child .Was it ? No doctor can say with certainty  that the foetus was a male one. And anyways, it was too early to predict.

Vrinda was aghast that her maid,Anjana  was carrying her third child.She already had two daughters, one of three  years & another of six  years. Thank God, that, there was a gap of three years between the siblings.The maid had followed  family planning to some extent. Vrinda had argued with her maid that a male child will suffer just like her  husband.Her maid,Anjana's hubby had three sisters.All three sisters were married .They always looked up to their only brother, Anjana's hubby for finances. .Recently, when one of his sister's daughter delivered a child, the naamkaran ceremony & other rituals were funded by the brother & Anjana from their meagre funds .Obviously, the funds fell short & they borrowed.Need less to add, the interest rates  were exorbitant !

Anjana was  so thin.She must be barely 40 kilos.And one of her daughters was in village with her mom in law .She went to school in the village.Her younger daughter had been sent to village as well.And she refused to stay & study in school there & returned to stay with Anjana , within a few months.So all the money that was pent on her school admission in her village went down the drain. Anjana's  younger daughter's admission had made them poorer by 10000 bucks . And now, they again have to secure admission for her. Anjana's husband was a mason . Yet ,in a metro like the financial capital of the country, a decent salary was  inadequate. And sometimes, he remained absent because of having to visit his village to run some errands as he lost his father recently. His mom was  unable to manage alone though she tugged  along somehow. And when he skipped work, he lost his wages for those days.All this made it more & more difficult to make ends meet.And in spite of all this, they went ahead & Anjana got pregnant !

Vrinda recalled that perhaps the younger daughter who stayed with Anjana earlier ( and was back now )  was sent away to village so that hubby &  Anjana could have some privacy for begetting the third child, a boy. So , they had planned.Yet, had they ? Was Anjana's hubby , the father ? Vrinda chided herself for doubting Anjana. Vrinda had heard that Anjana had started working in more households .Vrinda figured because, Anjana needed more money.It seemed, that was not the reason. Anjana was visiting some God man, daily after her work on the way home. Vrinda felt disgusted.Was the pregnancy, due to the blessings of the Baba ? Or maybe he had seduced Anjana ? It was futile to ask Anjana. Because Anjana may be in the dark, about what Baba was up to ? She may have been seduced by the Baba  either willingly or maybe, when she was put to sleep or made unconscious.The possibilities were endless. Vrinda wondered if Anjana's hubby knew, that she was visiting that fraud of a God man . And if he knew , whether he approved of it,And then Vrinda came to the conclusion that perhaps, Anjana's husband only took her to visit the baba so that baba could do the needful . Of course, Vrinda had no chance of confirming if Anjana visited any baba as was rumoured. And anyway, what was the point now , as the deed was already done by husband, by baba or some one else ? Vrinda's heart went out to Anjana. This was just a case of sexual assault or maybe, multiple  sexual assaults.

Vrinda asked Anjana, "Why did you agree for another child ? "Anjana replied, "What to do ? I was going to be thrown out of home.My nanads ( hubby's sisters )  &  others were suspecting that I was taking contraceptive pills on the sly. Vrinda Bhabhi ,I have not been taking anything. I do not want another child.This time, my hubby said, why not try & see.I said, if I get another girl , then what.My hubby said, lets see what is in your fate ."Vrinda enquired, "What is the guarantee that once you get a boy, your husband will not leave you ? Men slip away very easily.They can fall for another woman ,many times , just to bed another ."Vrinda mocked, " Your husband does it ( sex )  to you ,almost forces it on you & you say it is  fate ? "Anjana said ,"God is there .He will take care  ".Vrinda screamed, "How is  God responsible if you both have sex ? And then leaves you, if you get a boy or a girl  ?  "Vrinda thought to herself, even God must be wondering how he comes into the picture ?

Not only was Anjana under tremendous pressure to deliver a boy, she was under lots of financial stress as well.She was forced to leave her daughter with her hubby's sister's family as she went to work as a maid in households.The lady who used to baby sit her daughter had doubled her charges & Anjana couldn't afford to pay that sum. And when anyone obliges another, it is understood that the obliged party must pay up .And since, Anjana had not paid anything towards baby sitting to her hubby's sister, Anjana & husband had to keep financing some expenses or the other of hubby's sister's family. Vrinda sighed , we live in such  an age,  wherein , money dominates each & every aspect....eclipsing all , even the closest of relationships. And Vrinda knew that Anjana's sister in law was no way better off than Anjana. Her husband was a lazy fellow who stayed home, skipping work most of the times,  week after week.And he used to drink as well. Vrinda wondered , how do they manage to eat two square meals daily ? Perhaps they don't.Maybe , they remain hungry most of the time.And hunger makes you a parasite.A parasite sucks on the host plant .And Anjana's sister in law  was just  doing that, because she had no choice.It was a question of survival .

 Anjana was so fed up of being under pressure that she had given in to the demands & got pregnant .There was danger to her fragile health. And yet, Vrinda helped the only way, she could.She would get less work done by Anjana. And she would always ask Anjana if she wanted tea or a snack like a  paratha or a slice of bread or a banana. Anjana was feeling nauseous most of the times & she would politely refuse the offers.This worried Vrinda more & more. And then ,Anjana said her tummy used to ache all the time.The pain was not alarming & yet it was there. And Vrinda hoped all was well, with Anajna's pregnancy.   Vrinda hoped that Anjana would survive it & deliver a healthy child. Vrinda said a silent prayer towards that.And yet, Vrinda  wondered if delivering a male child would end all the miseries for Anjana or mark  the beginning of a fresh cycle of misery & poverty ?
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