Of Unspoken Words and Worlds

By Srividya Palaparthi| Express News Service | Published: 04th September 2018 05:23 AM

HYDERABAD : It’s always enthralling to take a peak into the forbidden worlds. And the book, ‘Anything But A Wasted Life’ is anything but a peek. It’s a deep dive and an excavation into the world of stripping, prostitution and the likes, in a first hand account. Written by Sita Kaylin, the book is full of anecdotes and shocking details about the life of a showgirl. Shocking and some even disturbing. What’s more disturbing is the fact that all the details come without a warning. In a casual and matter-of-fact tone, the narrator describes the unfamiliar world as if it was a regular Tuesday. The tone particularly gets into your head as you read it. The nonchalance of it all shows just how different normal lives are. 

While the narrator, who calls herself Shannon (a stage name that she picked for herself), goes about ranting on about her work and her life, flowing seamlessly through timelines, episodes and ages, you get absorbed into her world. By the end of the book, it almost feels like you have known the narrator intimately; in every sense of the word. Living life as a part of the sex industry might conventionally be considered a wasted life, and challenging that right from the title is the book ‘Anything But a Wasted Life’. 

Brazen and unabashed, Shannon tells her story without a hint of hesitation. A law student who started out as a stripper to put her through college, she ends up sticking in the business for longer than she expected. And if you are thinking it was because of the cruel nature of the business, you are mistaken. She was in it for the money that paid her loads more than if she had indeed become a lawyer and because she was good at it. The fact that she speaks of the petty perks of the job and the trivial cons of the same, you do notice a simplicity in how she views life. And of course, she eventually falls in love. Does it get in the way of her work or does she cheat destiny? You’ll have to read it to find out. 

It is easy to take offence to the book, especially if you are touchy about the business. But if you pick it up to just see Shannon’s world through her own words, she has a helluva story to tell. Bottom line: Diving into the world of Shannon makes you feel liberated through her journey. There is a certain freedom in her way of life that would often seem like a prison. This is not a pity-fest. It’s a brazen account of an unhindered soul.     
Publisher: Harper Collins
Price: RS 499

srividya.palaparthi@newindianexpress.com @PSrividya53

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