Without Prejudice by Devasis review

Epic tale of a Mumbai bar dancer.

This is one epic book as the title clearly states. This book follows the journey of Pallavi aka Munia, her godfather, Raja Mallik and Roy, a beautiful character created by the Author.

When you hear the word, ‘Dance bar’, what comes to your mind? Mumbai. Because the culture is largely prevalent there. I often used to think that why is the Dance bar culture in Mumbai so at large?

Pallavi or Munia’s character is so well written. She has self respect, dignity and no prejudice to accept herself. She is proud of herself and what she does. She is a strong woman and looks at life in a positive way. Raja Mallik, her godfather, is her strong pillar of support throughout her life. Roy, the investigative journalist, plays a key role in the book and in Munia’s life.

We often see the stories of sex workers/ bar dancers only through movies or some documentaries. After watching movies like Chandni Bar, in which I first saw the plight of the girls in the bars, I was shocked. This book, beautifully combining facts with fiction, opened my eyes to yet another horrific world.

The book is divided in three parts, each showing us a part of Munia’s character. Certain amendments made by the British to gain control over our country is so horrifying and most of wouldn’t know about The Criminal Tribes Act, which categorised certain tribes as criminals which led to the women becoming breadwinners and which further took the shape of trafficking.

Deeply researched and wonderfully presented, this book will make you feel good about yourself. The narrative is fast paced and never once you feel that the book drags or unnecessary facts are put in the book. The book also sheds light on the dance bar ban and the history of the growing dance bars in Mumbai. I also loved how the author presented a non judgemental point of view of the protagonist.

Definitely worth your time!!

Rating: 5/5

You can buy the book from Amazon here.

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