Free Press Journal

An unapologetic account of a free spirit: Review


Book: Anything But A Wasted Life

Author: Sita Kaylin

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pages: 321; Price: Rs 499

Live life on your own terms/Never think what others think of you/Think that the people are germs/Who couldn’t do what you do, Dorothy Parker’s famous quatrain articulates and underscores Sita Kaylin’s uninhibited life. A stripper and a part-time hooker with enough grey cells, Sita’s life so far is pretty exciting literally as well as metaphorically.

Not just Indians, but the whole world is rife with hypocrites. We are not yet fully evolved to look at certain professions with a disenchanted mindset. Stripping, free sex, nudity and unabashed display of a female body are some inhibitions that are still very much ingrained in all of us. To be precise, these troglodyte traits are inveterate.

To contextualise it closer home, an Indian-origin actress of Bollywood, who acted in X-rated movies until 2011, is still looked down upon by the so-called custodians of morality and false ethical values.

The readers may think that only Indians think so primitively. Sorry, you are mistaken. Yours truly has seen that even in the US, a so-called modern country, strippers, hookers and actresses acting in skin-flicks are not so respectable. In such a regressive set-up with judgemental people all around, Sita Kaylin’s attitude must be lauded. She gives two hoots to what the world thinks of her. It’s her life and she has the inalienable right to live and enjoy it.

One doesn’t become a stripper or hooker for the heck of it. Circumstances drive a person to take up these professions. And only those who have the courage of conviction and an undiminished belief in themselves, can stare into the eyes of the world and say, ‘I do it because I love it.’ Sita loves what she does. There’s no wallowing in self-pity and absolutely no intention to garner even a modicum of faux sympathy from the people and the readers.

That she has written this book proves that she’s remorseless. The book is not a vivid account of a contrite person. Neither does she try to extol the ‘shady’ professions she’s a part of. In other words, there’s no glorification of the life she chose to live.

The book is not a creation of a muddled-headed individual. She’s candid to a fault and describes her (s)exploits pretty raunchily. Her risque approach to her male clients makes this book readable. Frankly speaking, some passages are quite explicit. The salacious and also scatological accounts of her encounters titillate readers, especially, priapic male readers.

Sita has also shown the emotional side to her personality and her longings for true love. The extremely prejudicial and chauvinistic perception that a whore has no heart gets debunked in the pages of Sita’s book. A hooker also has a heart that throbs for the man she loves and adores.

Mind you, the saucy author is not heartless. She just calls a spade a spade and hides nothing. This type of disarming honesty is a rarity nowadays and is all the more rare among those who are into selling their bodies.

All said and done, it’s a gripping book. Male readers, weaned on Playboy/Penthouse Letters or now defunct Debonair’s Ladies’ Confessions, will love this book. But it’ll also be liked and read by those who value the transparency of the author. Sita’s brutal honesty endears her to a wide spectrum of readers.

The book is worth-recommending. Read it not for titillation, but for knowing life in its supposed grey shades. Shelve your prejudices when you hold the book in your hands and read it over. Sita’s unorthodox life may not be worth-emulating, but her conviction must be emulated.