An Analysis of Tina Sequeira’s Naked Illusions

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.

We believe that a potential reader and the author need a different kind of feedback. A potential reader may not be interested in knowing what improvements are needed in the book, but it is important for an author.

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.

On this website, we share our views on books keeping in mind the expectations of readers. For a detailed feedback from author’s point of view, you need to contact us privately through mail.    

As an exception, this post serves as a sample to show what you get if you hire us for manuscript evaluation/analysis or developmental/substantive editing.

At this point, we’d also like to inform you that we don’t do copyediting and grammar related works, like proofreading, etc.    

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!

11 Comments

  1. Medha Nagur
    May 2, 2018

    This is superb! I am yet to read the story but your analysis came out really strong. You have touched every aspect of storytelling and I liked the way to put it here. I am now interested in reading the story. It looks promising even with the flaws that you have mentioned.

    Reply
    1. Ravish Mani
      May 3, 2018

      Thanks, Medha, for the kind appreciation. The story is indeed promising. And, what I pointed out was not the flaw but an opportunity to further refine the story.

      Reply
      1. Medha Nagur
        May 3, 2018

        Yeah. Indeed! It was not the flaw. Hasty remark from my end.

        Reply
  2. Tina Sequeira
    May 2, 2018

    Hi Ravish! This is such a pleasant surprise. In my defence regarding the overnight change of the character. It happened to me when I was a scatter-brained disorganised being in my early twenties. I changed overnight into this OCD personality with a lazer sharp focus once I learnt of my pregnancy. It matured me instantly because this was no longer about me but another life as well. So, I guess sub-consciously, I saw myself in Rosie when she changed overnight and left her old life once she learnt she was pregnant. Besides, some people find the courage and confidence to change their circumstances only when they are older and wiser.
    Yes, I feel this is a story that can definitely be crisper and sharper in focus. Thank you so much for the detailed and excellent feedback. Much appreciated!

    Reply
    1. Ravish Mani
      May 3, 2018

      Hi, Tina, it wasn’t said to offend you, so you don’t need to be defensive. 😬

      In the story, there are three mothers. One threw her newly born into a dustbin. The second one who looked kind in younger age when grew older & wiser, sold her daughter in a brothel. And, the third one changed overnight when became pregnant. So, readers must be curious to know why was the third one different from the others? What was going in her mind that led her to change overnight?

      Since authors are blessed with the ability to peek inside their character’s mind, it is expected of them to share the same with readers, too. 🙂

      It’s indeed a damn good story. You perfectly managed to tell that Rosie changed overnight due to her pregnancy because she wanted a better future for her child, but it’d inspire the readers more when you show how she gonna solve her problems in a logical way. It will give readers some hints to solve their own problems. So, I’m eagerly waiting for its Part 2.

      Reply
  3. Shailaja vishwanath
    May 9, 2018

    This is a pretty detailed and extensive review, Ravish. First I must commend you on the depth and second, for the honesty in the feedback. It’s perfectly refreshing to see that in reviews these days. I’d say you’ve done a balanced job, keeping the reader as well as the author in mind. That’s a bit hard to do.

    One does wonder if the gaps in the story could have been better filled with a back story? Of course, I haven’t read the book but it makes me wonder.

    I must also appreciate Tina for the positive spirit in which she has taken the review. Very few authors today are open to feedback and critique, so that’s a welcome change.

    Reply
    1. Ravish Mani
      May 10, 2018

      Thanks, Shailaja, for dropping by and sharing your views. You’re right, these days, the words review and feedback are used for promotion only. But, a true author understands the importance of critique because it helps in honing author’s skill. And, Tina is an author in its true sense.

      Reply
  4. Ramya Abhinand
    May 10, 2018

    This is such a comprehensive analysis. I agree with one point, the feedback that a reader requires is different from what a writer seeks. And thats what makes an analysis such as this a hard task. Tinas story line and social message seems to be in place, however the narration causes a bit of confusion. There seems to be a lack of a clear cut clarity, which writers need to bring out, so that the true essence of the story is soaked in well by the readers.
    Appreciate Tina’s ability to take in the analysis in her stride, and this would surely help her in future to improve. I havent read this book, but from the premise it does look promising.

    Reply
    1. Ravish Mani
      May 10, 2018

      Thanks, Ramya, for stopping by and agreeing with my viewpoints. The premise is indeed promising. The narration is also good. I was only suggesting to provide an incidence to support the sudden change in protagonist’s character. Otherwise, it’s a damn good story.

      Reply
  5. Inderpreet Uppal
    May 10, 2018

    I find it a good sample of the analysis you do for a book. All the best for your future endeavors.

    Reply
    1. Ravish Mani
      May 10, 2018

      Thanks, Inderpreet, for stopping by and bestowing wishes 🙂

      Reply

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