This post is not a review but a detailed feedback for the author. It includes spoilers, including the End. So, we recommend you to read the story Naked Illusions by Tina Sequeira before reading this analysis.
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The thing that is most important for a potential reader is to know whether the book matches his taste or not in the present form, but the author also wants to know where the book goes wrong, how to make it better, etc.
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Plot of the Story
Naked Illusions is a story of a girl who was found by a prostitute in roadside garbage box. The prostitute reared the girl until puberty and then sold her in a brothel.
The girl was raped daily there. She got depressed severely and tried to commit suicide but was saved every time she made an attempt. She, then, realized that she could not change her circumstance. The only thing that she could change was her attitude towards the circumstance. The only options left with her were to find happiness in that circumstance or feel miserable. She chose the first one.
She started to focus on what was there instead of focusing on what was not there. She made her fellow inmates her friends. She found out that the men who visited her were disturbed and needed care. She realized that the purpose of her life was to make them feel loved and special when they visit them.
She found peace and happiness after realizing her purpose in life. She also came to know that everyone wore masks to conceal one’s true thoughts and feelings. Society is just a cloth to cover one’s ugliness. Truth lies in nakedness.
She also wanted to be a mother and teach her child to walk in the path of truth and truth alone, even if it meant standing up lone against the whole world.
Confusion in the Message
If the story ended at this point, it would have been a perfect storytelling with a promising plot, bold subject, strong characters, thought-provoking content, and an enlightening message.
But, the story proceeded further and led to confusion or rather contradiction regarding what had been narrated earlier.
Accepting the circumstance & finding happiness in it and accepting the circumstance as a challenge & changing it in order to find happiness are two different things though their end results are same, i.e., happiness.
Before the birth of Rosie’s son, the story was suggesting the first way to find happiness, but after the birth of her son, the story began suggesting the second way of finding happiness.
It seemed that after delivery, the character of Rosie changed suddenly. Initially, she was a girl who believed in accepting destiny not changing it. She had the option to escape from the brothel but she accepted her fate and didn’t take any initiative to run away
Rosie realised that there was no escape from the brothel at least for now and that she had no family other than its inmates.
Whenever she tried to put an end to her life, she was saved every time.
She attempted suicide not once but several times but each and every time, she was rescued in time. She felt like she was in a bottomless pit where there was no way up.
This further strengthened her belief that nothing was in her hand except hope.
But, whenever she felt disillusioned with life, Munni’s parting words always came to the rescue.
What was Munni’s parting words?
And, we are all victims of our own circumstances. But, I know you will survive like you did as a baby. I know that nothing can break you however bad the situation might be. You will somehow find the light at the end of this dark tunnel.
Towards the end, after the delivery of her son, Rosie was portrayed as someone who believed in changing her destiny, who took obstacle as an opportunity and succeeded in her endeavor despite odds.
It surely was an eventful day when one immensely brave and revolutionary woman decided to make a conscious choice and own up to its responsibility despite the fact, that all the odds were stacked up against her. But, again when were the odds ever in her favour.
But, there was not a single incidence in the story to support the new developments in her character. Also, the author didn’t provide any possible way to achieve what she was suggesting.
Oh Yes! She was more than prepared to face and take on the world singlehandedly and RISE from her past ashes!
Suggestions to Resolve the Confusion
If we were approached to resolve the confusion, we would have suggested for being clear on what message the author wanted to communicate through the story.
If the author wanted to communicate that ‘acceptance is the key to happiness,’ then we would have suggested for eliminating everything that is written after the dotted line.
If the author wanted to convey that ‘when there’s a will, there’s a way,’ then we would have suggested for making changes in the earlier storyline to add incidences that would support this belief of Rosie.
If the author wanted to show the shift in Rosie’s belief from the first one to the second one, after giving birth to a baby, then we would have suggested to provide some incidences in her life that justified this shift or some future plan in her head that would hint about this outcome in a logical way.
Plus Points of the Story
Ignoring the confusion part, the characters in the story are well-built. Despite selling Rosie in a brothel, Munni doesn’t seem a villainess.
The narration is also tight, gripping, vivid, thought-provoking, and lucid. Minute detailing enhances the overall clarity of the script and make a deep impression on one’s psyche.
The title is catchy. It passes the subway test with fancy score. And, the featured image is also intriguing and apt for the storyline.
The story is philosophically rich.
Some Typos in the Story
Though we don’t deal with copyediting or proofreading, but we could point out if anything comes into our notice, like this one: ‘shawls’ is written instead of ‘chawls.’
Social Issues Touched in the Story
The story mainly deals with how women are seen in the society and the problems faced by them. The author focuses on how degradation of women helps men in covering their lapses and shortcomings, how objectification of women saves men from having guilt feelings when they involve in crimes against women, etc.
The issue of prostitution is dealt in great detail, almost from every possible aspect, including the business angle of prostitution and how prostitution saves the society from collapse, apart from the life of prostitutes in general and how they are forced into prostitution, etc.
The author talks about rape–outside on street and within one’s own house both. The issue of hypocrisy on the sexual act is also a prominent subject of the story. The issue of abortion due to the gender of the fetus or pregnancy out of wedlock also got a place in the story.
The relationship between parents and children are dealt in a philosophical way that there are no obligations between the parent-children relationship.
Some Quotable Quotes
- Indeed, one man’s trash is another’s treasure!
- The most wise and evolved minds come from the most unlikely people and places.
- There is nothing permanent in this world.
- Everyone around wore masks to conceal their true thoughts and feelings.
- We come into the world naked, procreate and bring forth another life in our naked being and we leave this world behind in our nakedness. Yet, we all live in our grandeur naked illusions!