Book Review : Nazaqat by Sasha H. Singhal

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20409291When I was first approached by By Harsh Agarwal who writes with a pseudo-name of Sasha H. Singhal , to review his book  Nazaqat , I was at once intrigued by the book blurb.

It is the story of a girl , Naazani Singh Sekhawat who has spent her childhood alone as she lost her mother early and her father , being an army personnel , neither had time nor the intention to care for her .  She didn’t  feel comfortable at school either as she had no close friend. Naazani or Naez  learns to grow up with her solitude and as she reaches her puberty , her curious instinct makes her to search answers for all those ” forbidden ” questions  that a  teenage girl confronts with . To fulfill her inquisitiveness she slowly finds out the conduit called Internet to make Google her best friend ! Slowly but surely she masters the art of  flirting , opens a number of fake and real accounts in different dating sites to get acquainted with guys .

The real change comes to Naazani when she shifts to Delhi from Dehradun for further education . Here , for the first time , she meets Biplab Joy Charaborty , who was the first among her net friends to meet her in real life. Biplab immediately gets bowled over by the scorching beauty of Naez but  Naez …..she is not an ordinary girl , she is like that exotic bird who can’t be caged . Naez wants to explore life and she has no inhibition to have sex , even with strangers. She loves it and does it ..that’s her simple and straightforward statement. Still as you explore her character as the story moves on , you’ll find it difficult to brand her as a nymphomaniac or to express any abhorrence for her .

The portrayal of Naazani’s character is the prime asset of the book and I almost could find her walking around or could sense her emotions , so vivid are the descriptions. She willingly embraces prostitution as her profession and becomes more than successful in the business with the help of her charming assets , electrifying personality and her manager Sharat . She never ever repents for being a prostitute but rather takes pride in it until she witnesses a nightly raid where four girls are arrested from a brothel for being in the flesh-trade. This assaults her very confidence and she almost becomes crazy to take the first step in order to legalize prostitution in India. Her life , along with the story, takes a turn from here. Will it ever be possible for her to file a petition demanding legalization of prostitution ? Or would life become tumultuous to her as she is accused of a murder ?

The onset of the story is the year 2030 when Naazani , after quitting her passionate profession of prostitution , has established a reputed chain of  hotels  named ‘ Joy Foods ‘ . Through a series of events she is seen to be accused of  a murder . In the meantime , she appoints an aspiring author ,  Matthews , a previous acquaintance , to write her story , her biography. She invites Matthews to her bungalow for 10 consecutive nights and infinite layers of her clandestine character are unfolded to the readers. Nazaqat , as she loved to call herself while in the escort business, is a bizarre personality. She hates hypocrisy at one side while never hesitates to lie blatantly to her friend Ishank , which practically ruins his life. She wants to be loved , to feel the emotion of being loved at one hand while clearly declares that she’s not going to leave her profession at the other. She has that terrific power to read men’s mind with 100% precision . This becomes evident when she says  ” You forbid a man to do something and he will put all his effort to do the exactly the same. It‟s natural tendency of a man to desire things that he can‟t get more intensely. ”  She possesses a heart that is greater than any ordinary woman . She laughs at the hypocrisy of the society and rightly points out ” Corruption, chauvinism, riots and regional differences; they make a bad impression on culture; not prostitution. And even if it does, why don’t they castrate the men who go for prostitutes? They won‟t do that. Because they are men! Their fucking male ego prefers stamping prostitutes as criminals “.

What I’ve liked most of the book is that the author  has never faltered to criticize this society , its fake cynicism and hypocrisy . He clearly points out the fact that seldom the ideal actions and underlying intentions of people do concur. Moreover , he has brought up many controversial and relevant social issues like slut-walk , the way society treats and looks upon the gays and of course , prostitution. There is even a wonderful Ode to the Mermaid which relates to the whole story.

What I’ve disliked most is the ending . However dramatic and filmy it looks , it has destroyed the effervescence of the book. Had it been the climax of any other book , I would have no problem accepting it . But this one , this book , Nazaqat , has set such a high standard from the very beginning that the climax rather has disappointed me .

Still , this book will make you think , to ponder over various issues as well as will entertain you . I strongly recommend it to all readers . Give it a try , it’s worth it .

From my side it’s 3.5/5

About The Author

7057102Harsh Agarwal, who has just embarked his twenties, believes that Life is all about experimenting and exploring. An artist by soul, an entrepreneur by profession and an engineer by education, Harsh has played a diverse range of roles in a very short span of time. A true foodie and a huge travel enthusiast, Harsh loves to meet new people and try new things. At present, he is residing in the beautiful state of Assam to complete his graduation in National Institute of Technology, Silchar.

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By ManiparnaSenguptaMajumder


20 responses to “Book Review : Nazaqat by Sasha H. Singhal

  1. I enjoyed reading this review as the plot sounds fascinating. However I would like to know whether it is well written as I like reading books where the language is as important as the plot. Thanks.


    • Thank you 🙂 actually the PDF provided to me by the author was perhaps an ARC ( advance readers copy ) so there were some editing issues 🙂 the language is , otherwise , quite enjoyable….


  2. It starts close to the story of Eleven Minutes by Coelho. It seems so much about the woman and the society.


  3. Interesting plot Maniparna. It seems to have taken a view of an exploratory woman. Not sure if it is the genre I’d read though but certainly a nice article 🙂


  4. His blog and that editing service website are terrible, like utterly pathetic. A person who can’t even phrase sentences correctly summoning up the nerve to offering to edit stuff for others. Sheeeet.


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