The Princess of a Whorehouse: The Story of a Swamp Lotus

by Mayank Sharma

Read this in about 4 minutes
'The princess of a whore house' title itself says a lot about the book. This book is about a girl from the whore house. She has seen the worst of the life and is determined to make the best of it even in the most unfavorable situations. Or at least this is how it seemed from the blurb. Unfortunately, the book is not what it looks like from the blurb. It is quite different and not in a good way. 
The Princess of a Whorehouse: The Story of a Swamp Lotus by Mayank Sharma

Cover page 

This is probably the only thing I admired in the book. It is a great composition. The font and the picture compliment each other. It shows the vision of a girl from the street which is quite apt considering the story line. There is some positivity in the book which aligns itself with the content. 

Characters 

There are multiple characters in the book and from the way the book is written, it seems like all the characters are crucially important to the story. 
Ramya is married off to Ramesh while she is quite young. After loosing her husband, the responsibility of raising her daughter comes on to her. She is an innocent, helpless woman, who finds herself in an unfortunate situation. A woman not educated enough, she is quite brace when it comes to life. It is primarily her story. At least in the beginning. 
Aparajita is Ramya's daughter. She is a smart young child. She is good at her studies, brilliant actually. She wants to make it big in life and she is determined at that. It is Aparajita who takes over the book from the second half. 
Raj is a social worker who, as it looks like in the book, falls in love with Ramya and takes her as a wife, in turn giving her a fresh start. He is benevolent and loves Aparajita as his own daughter. 

Content 

The book begins with Raj, Ramya and Aparajita going out to get Aparajita enrolled in a school which is one of the bests in Delhi. The author begins well, describing Lutyen's Delhi and colonial architecture. The architect in me was enjoying it till it lasted, which was hardly two pages. He painted the picture of the city well. 
The trio reach the school and narration of the past begins. 
Ramya explains her background explaining why the admission to the school was that important to them. The story is quite heart touching. Ramya's plight is well decorated throughout. 
While the content is quite different from other books, there is a problem with structuring of the story. The narration jumps from Ramya's past to Aparajita's past and then fast forwards into the future without any clear demarcation. It takes reading a page to actually understand the time frame in which the story is based. There is a disconnect throughout, which is like sour grapes while you are reading the story. As much as I was intrigued with the concept, I was more disappointed with the content inside. 
There are plenty of situations which look like an outsider's view. Independence Day celebration with the social workers and children introducing themselves with what their parents did, seemed like being described by someone who is not a part of the story.

Language 

A sour content is made worse with the unpolished narration. There are sentences like 'You should not be emotional….' which could have been written better. There are places where Ramya 'thought to myself' which makes you wonder if someone can 'think to others' and if not then why is it made specific. Language is definitely not the best part of the book. 

Good points 

The cover page is beautiful. It narrated the story inside by itself. There are some great ideals in the book. The author talks about the restrained society. It is interesting to read about. It was definitely a point which could have been harnessed more. 

Bad points 

The characters are unrelatable. The content is confusing. The narration is unconvincing. A book addressing sex trade could have been so much better. 

Overall 

I did not like the book at all. It makes me wary of books with diverse topics now. 

Whom do I recommend this to 

This book is for those who would like to learn a bit about the secret sex trade that happens in our society. But those who have already read on this topic are going to be disappointed. 
The Princess of a Whorehouse: The Story of a Swamp Lotus by Mayank Sharma

Quotable quotes 

My body could not feel and my soul became numb.
A restrained society restricts life based on centuries-old social and cultural norms, which may or may not be fully applicable in today's capitalistic world.
I received this book from 'writersmelon' for review. The opinions are my own, completely uninfluenced. 

Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH merakipost.com