Boman Irani launched Not Like Most Young Girls, a compilation of 18 short stories by students of academic institutions such as Xavier Institute of Communication, Wilson College and Tata Institute of Social Sciences. The stories narrate the lives of sex workers, and aims to sensitize the public about the struggle of this group. Boman spoke at length during this event (“when you give an actor a mic, you know what happens,” he said) – all very heartfelt words; it was lovely hearing him speak – and I even noticed that he teared up at one point.
Boman read out an excerpt from the book, and we even got to hear from some of the writers about their experience researching for and writing these stories. Aastha Parivaar is the group that compiled the collection; they work towards creating an enabling environment for sex workers. We got to hear one of the members of Aastha Parivaar speak of her life experience, and Boman definitely teared up at this point (and tried to surreptitiously wipe away his tears); it really was an emotional experience hearing them speak about their own lives. Also, a percentage of the sales of this book goes towards helping members of the Aastha Parivaar, so go out and get a copy – from what I’ve heard from the book so far, it’s an interesting read.
Sometime during the course of the event, Boman mentioned that he considers the day wasted if, when he goes home, he doesn’t have a story to tell his family. Well, I think when he went home that night, he definitely told his family some stories – perhaps, 18 of them.