Book Review of Love Not For Sale by Anurag Garg ....A half-baked love story
What is love? Difficult to define yet, love means many things to many people but to me love is you with lots of I love you. The book was first published in 2015, India with the same title. Kabir, Kabir Thapa, a brad pitt, spoiled son of a rich capitalist in Mumbai.
He had lost his mother in July 2008. He was often called a son of bitch as he slept unaccountable women by saying that he loves them in return and gives them money, a flat or a luxurious car rather than love. He tried all drugs to murder except love. Love is not his cup of tea. Jayanta Kaka was his shadow as usual all the brad pitts have, so as Kabir Thapa.
13 September 2008 stalls were selling Swiss Alps paintings, aluminium bowls, chequered lungis, ladies’ sandals, white kurtas, charmed amulets, plastic dolls, skullcaps etc. at Old Delhi’s Urdu Bazar to the Jama Masjid’s gate.
Taj Grand was on fire. The loud sound pierced through my ears. It was so high-pitched. In a flicker, everything turned black. There was black smoke everywhere. People were running helter-skelter, crying out for help, but no one was there to reach out to them. There was blood everywhere. Suddenly Kabir started recalling how Sehar was walking towards the dustbin and her sister Rehmat taking a bite of her brownie.
An eyewitness reportedly saw two men place the bomb in a dustbin at Central Park. Subsequently, two explosions rocked the M-Block Market in Greater Kailash-I, the first near the popular Prince Paan Corner, and the other near a Levi’s store. The latter damaged ten shops.
Sehar, a well-known prostitute of old Delhi, GB Road, Brothel no.7. A well-known red light area. People are scared to go there even in daylight. Kabir Thapa was there more than a month with a great affection by Sehar.
The first ray of the sun fell on Kabir Thapa face and caress beauty, eyes full of mystery, it was mesmerising. Long and black hair tossed over her shoulder. The glint in her eyes, the glossy cheeks, the perfect red lips was outlined in black.
She was like a whisper in the wind, a tear in the eye, a flicker in the dark. She looked straight at me with a husky voice, eyes full of thousands of questions buried inside, full of the stillness of an ocean. Sehar, love at first sight. I said to myself, Kabir, it’s over, you have drowned, no one can pull you up not even yourself, this is called love, Kabir. I whispered to myself that it is your turn to pay.
He has experienced what a brothel is all about. Every night a new lady has to sleep with an unknown man for money. She is bound to do that wherever Kabir Thapa sleeps for his own wish. One-night stand. Sehar was bound to sleep with strangers for money without any love and affection.
It's been sixteen years but still Sehar is looking at the sky full of stars asking the same question why Sehar? What was her fault, People easily laugh at Sehar knowing the facts? People do not laugh when they say Engineer, Doctor''. So called women are staying safe and roaming around without fear because of us, but still people called us prostitute like slang.
A moonlit night, sky full of twinkling stars, shooting stars like falling from the sky, gentle breeze was blowing, it was calm and quiet, the minarets of the Jama Masjid touching the orange skyline when Sehar turned around and looked at me. I closed my eyes and kissed her forehead, Uff, I was lost, I was really lost, I was undoubtedly lost. Kabir was nowhere but with Sehar. Love is all the luck we need. I found mine. We looked at the rising sun, with a new faith, new dream. I am what I am today because of Sehar.
We were promised to live together till the end. She was the person who had taught me the value of life, value of time, value of love and value of freedom. Sehar and her faith, with prompt attempts full of risk, I am living my life like a free bird.
But look at my luck Sehar left my hand and flew away in the sky saying that she kept her promise. Our journey physically ended. I kept my promise that I surrendered after getting released from these surroundings. Sehar, I kept my promise. At the same time made a school instead of a brothel where two sisters of Sehar are taking care of. I was allowed to attend Sehar’s funeral. I was frozen and still laughing at her, sitting on the grass. Kabir put a hand full of soil as she only loved Kabir and was feeling like he put soil into his own soul.
The book describes how even a minor girl is being kidnapped and sold out. It is happening every single moment in every corner of the world. But still found it curious that, is there really any Kabir who can dare to love Sehar, a prostitute or only it happened in the story? The story was really heart touching.
A prostitute deserves all the rights a woman could have. We should take initiatives so no more Sehar persists. The description of a love making scene could be much better, more romantic. The cover of the book is very much appropriate. The smell of love I found interesting. It’s not only Kabir and Sehar, it’s for all, love for all. Love is all the luck we need. Nothing can buy love except love.
The best part I noticed in this book is Sehar was not only found her love life but often so much of fighting and struggling she finally realized from her job as a sex worker. Her status might change if she were alive. Kabir, finally discovered his life and death partner.
Kabir, a stormy sea, a volcano, a racing horse, finally changed into a lover boy, to a decent, gentle, sophisticated man who not only save a prostitute rather sharing and experiencing what is really meant to be a brothel. Kabir fulfilled a desire of Sehar saving her sister and so many girls being prostitute.
The world would never forget that bomb blast and also would never deny that a prostitute has all the right a woman has. Sehar a so-called prostitute, the designation given by the society who talks loud against the prostitutes in the day light, but try to find mental and physical peace in the body of those some so-called prostitute’s when sun sets in.
Sehar was born and brought up with respect and finally went to her final destination with the same respect, we called Jannah, another world, life after death. Many Sehar are waiting for a person like Kabir. The world requires millions of Kabir urgently. Sehar left a message to the society to stop this prostitute business only for money. Through her death she tries to depict that the world is beautiful but we are destroying the beauty of the world through our vulgarity. She also left a message to Kabir………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Kabir, wake up and some Sehar is waiting somewhere in the world for a lifesaving call, ………………….
The writer is a invigilator, Exam Services, British Council, Dhaka.