It was yet another night of gruesomeness, and apathy; but I was used to it, after all, it had been two years since it had all started. It didn’t hurt anymore, I didn’t let it; and even if it did then I endured it up till the point, it left me numb. It took me a while to master this, but with the help of Rani I had mastered it. She always said, “Switch off your mind and eyes, and the pain would no longer exist. Let your mind ponder on the surreal dreams of yours, and you wouldn’t even realize when the ache subsided.” I had followed her advice religiously, and that had kept me sane.
I was the only child of my parents; they had named me Naaz. We resided in the hills of Assam. They had always been worried for me, as I was very timid, and shyness had been another name of mine. I would not even walk the lane that had men, I didn’t know of. I always felt uncomfortable in presence of men. My parents tried their best to talk me out of it, but were futile. My parents weren’t rich, but weren’t poor either. They had raised me decently. I had cleared my class 12 boards with distinction so my parents had kept a small party. Everyone wished me good; I was the hero of that day. I had never seen my parents so proud in my entire life, than they were on that day. They told everyone that they wanted me to pursue higher studies, when everyone suggested that they should marry me off. It was a night, I could never forget; a night that I wished never took place.
The memories of the day after that night were still unclear in my mind. All I could remember was mom screaming, “fire, there is fire.” and the next thing I knew was that I was lying on the hospital bed with some burn injuries on my hand, and that my parents died in the mishap. My world came crashing down, it felt like I was living some kind of a nightmare, but it was reality. My parents, the only people I was close to, the only people I knew, were no more. Later I was told that the fire had been caused because someone had left the knob of the gas, on. I cried for days together. I didn’t knew what to do, or where to go. Life stopped for me, until one of my uncle who I had never seen before came. He said he had never visited us before because he had been very busy with work in Mumbai. He said that he wanted to take me to Mumbai, said that I should pursue higher studies there, and fulfill my parents dream. I didn’t know then, what was right or wrong; where or to whom I should go. Neighbors and the other families of my village suggested I should go with my uncle, and fulfill my parents dream. I came to Mumbai, only to be sold to prostitution; and the only studies I got here was, how to seduce men, & and how to satisfy their needs. Yes, I was a prostitute!
I had never seen my uncle after the day I was sold; the pimp of my brothel once had said to me, that my uncle was her agent; and I didn’t ask anything after that, about him, to anyone. I cursed myself, cursed God; but after listening to stories of other girls out there, I felt less sorry for myself. Some were forced into this, by their husbands; Some, by their own parents, and others had stories similar to mine. I was the youngest of all when I came in, and so had the highest value in the harlotry market. I was named Rasili by the pimp. I was made to fulfill the perforce of different men every night, and sometimes twice or thrice a night. Initially I cried a lot, and created a lot of commotion; but then Rani the oldest women there had said to me, “Rasili there is no way you can escape this; this is your destiny! You have to accept it. Crying will solve nothing; in fact, it will make things worse. Be strong, fight the tears, and be apathetic towards it; as that is the only kind of strength we can ever show.” I hadn’t cried ever, after that. Rani was the only person I talked to, and listened to; she was my friend, sister, and guardian. She was everything to me. Prostitution made me confident, bold, arrogant, cold, and emotionless.
Outside world always questions us, as to why don’t we fight it, and we just laugh at their ignorance. Each and every girl, there, has tried to flee, and they are still trying; but nobody has ever succeeded. My bordello was the richest of all, with a client list of mostly affluent people; and had the backing of certain strong person who nobody knew of, so police never caused troubled. That was a curse! “Prostitution can’t be eluded, not that easily, and certainly not when you are young.” Rani always said. We had good services out there, everyone had their own rooms along with luxurious amenities; but at the end of the day, it was still a bawdy house. I was a fair woman, and was petite, “Fairness is a curse in our occupation.” Rani had said, and it was true. I was made to please most of the men, out of all the girls, in there. It was just work for me that would always get over in the morning. I was living a life, a soulless life, until the day HE came in to the brothel.
His name was Sahil; he said he was a writer, and that he wanted to write a book on prostitution. Our pimp was hesitant at first, but one call from that certain strong person had lead Sahil to be treated as a special guest at our bordello. He used to come every day, used to interrogate everyone of us. He was a kind person. He didn’t treat anyone of us as a prostitute, but as a human being; and that trait of his attracted me towards him. Initially I thought it was just me, but his roving eyes in search of me, had confirmed that even he liked me. We started talking a lot. He always showered me with his special attention, and tenderness. He even took me out of that brothel to breathe fresh air; my pimp didn’t allow at first, but then he was a special guest so she couldn’t say much, but there always used to be someone or the other watching over us. However, I did not care. Sahil had brought me back to life, and I was in love with him.
Everything seemed so bright and beautiful. Sahil pampered me with so much love, that it seemed as if I was living some kind of a dream. He cared about me so much, that it reminded me of my parents. I used to cry remembering him, used to laugh remembering his jokes, and used to blush by just mention of his name. Other girls started suspecting something, but I didn’t care, I was in love, and was not afraid of it.
I was waiting for the night to get over, desperately; as Sahil was supposed to visit me the next day, and I had decided to confess my love to him. I waited for Sahil the whole day, but he did not show up. I kept telling myself that he might have got busy with something very important, as Sahil never backed off from his word. I waited patiently the whole day, but he did not come, a pang of fear engulfed me. I tried calling him, which was my last resort, but there was no answer. It was night again; I was almost ready for work when I was informed that Sahil was waiting for me in my room. I ran to my room, he was sitting on my bed, with his hands on his forehead. I went near to him, tried comforting him, as he looked sad, and frustrated. Asked him what was troubling him, asked him if I could help. He said, “Nothing, just had a bad fight at home, with wife. I love her, but….” I couldn’t hear anything more. Those words had shattered me. ‘He had a wife, he was married, and he did not love me.’ My mind kept replaying that. I didn’t know what to do, I was very angry at him for deceiving me. Irately, I told him to go home, to go to his wife. I was about to leave, however, he suddenly grabbed me from behind, and said, “Oh come on! Rasilil so much money I’ve spent on you. You have to give me something in return, don’t you? I am very sad tonight; I need you tonight. Give me the pleasure I want, Rasili. They say you are the best out here, so prove that to me. I promise to shower you with more love, if you satisfy me, and make me happy. So please don’t disappoint me darling.” I froze at his discourse. His words left me paralyzed; I went numb. He had started moving his hands throughout my body, by then. He started kissing my neck, and started biting me. He then threw me on the bed and removed my clothes one by one. With his every touch, my body ached. He kissed me, and licked me; his lips and tongue on my body burned me. He removed his clothes; and when his naked body touched mine, I ached in woe; the kind of agony one feels when the sharp edge of the knife is made to touch the burned skin. I was in so much pain that even the sound of snivels didn’t leave my mouth, and it just poured in the form of tears. Finally, he filled me, with him; and that was when my cries got voice, but he did not care. I wept a lot, but my cries went unheard. He punished me the whole night, for falling in love with him.
‘Love is death for us.’ Rani had said, and I had denied; but ultimately she was proved right. I was raped every night; but Sahil had raped my soul. People say, suicides are bad, that, it is the act of cowardice, but do those people know the meaning of intense, and excruciating pain and misery? Do they know how it feels like to live a nightmare? I am tired, tired of this nightmare. I want to sleep. Sahil had already killed my soul; I am just killing the body, finishing his unfinished business. And, maybe my suicide would trigger something in the girls of this cathouse, and they would try fighting the world, the God, with all their strengths for their miseries and sufferings. To God I just want to say one thing, “Please God, don’t make me human, ever again!”