“Aaah! what a beautiful life it was”. She exclaimed with sparkles in her eyes. I could feel her. She began to narrate her story to me.
We were four daughters to my parents. We were poor, suffered to get the basic needs. My mother was kind hearted and she used to work in a garment factory for very low salary. My father was a mercenary and all of his earnings usually went for his drinking and other bad hobbies. We didn’t go for school. But, we used to wear school uniform, having some patches. We learn’t to sing national anthem, but we didn’t sing like a students. We had a slate to choke down. But, we just used it to write flowers and some drawings. We were living in small road-side hut in slum area. Everyday, we used to play in home or near by ground. My elder sisters used to work in others houses. We were all beautiful and that was our pride.
My childhood was beautiful and unforgettable. We were all pure hearted and had no sense of this other face of society. My father didn’t talk with us properly. Everyday, he used to abuse her to gave a birth to us. We used to cry, because we were burden to my mother and because of us, she was suffering. But, my mother didn’t utter a single word to us. She used to cry silently. This was a daily routine to us. She used to work very hard from morning to night. We had no idea to being helpful to her in her job. We were in our own world.
One day, my mother didn’t return home. My father cared nothing. He just slept off. We asked him to seek mother. He just scolded us and abused my elder sister to shut down. All of us kept silent and worried whole night. How could us go out to find mother in that mid night? We didn’t slept.
By morning, we heard some rumours about our mother. All of us hurried to the lake side to find my mother as our neighbour told. Yes!!! There she was!! My mother was sleeping in a mud, with full of blood. She was quite. She was breathless. She was nude. She was nothing… Maaaaa!!!!! I screamed. Tears fell down., my younger two sisters were started to cry. My elder sisters kept silent. I was the only one who could atleast bother to get my mother back from that mud. But, I was afraid to touch her. Within a second, all of our neighbours gathered and started whispering each other. I was helpless. I had seen our drunken father coming towards us. He was shouting at my mother to wake up. He came and sat down near to me and started to cry. “Sumi., don’t go away from me. Wake up. Why you are sleeping here in mud? I brought flowers to you yesterday. Wake up..”. I couldn’t find whether that was of anger, or sorrow or he was out of his mind at all having no sense about the situation and actually what is happening,.
Some neighbours helped us to get her home. I washed her and every time, when I touched her body, I found scratches. Her body was cold and no more hug to keep us warm. I cried. But, I didn’t shut down. I was scared to look at her. My elder sisters were in shock and my younger ones were crying. I was in hell. I found no clean hands. Suddenly, I shouted. “Stop you idiot, my mother was not like that. My mother was pure and kind. She wasn’t raped,”. I heard that my mom got raped by someone. I couldn’t tolerate.
By the evening, everything was finished. We had no mother and no earnings and no care taker. We sat in darkness. Alll of us.. All of us were in darkness. Late night, my father came and he was drunk. He started to beat us when he found no meal. We screamed,. but we did nothing. Now I am thinking, we were four and he was only one. We could easily shut him down if all of us could’ve tried and showed some dare.
One day, three days later, my father came back home and started to talk with us like a father. He wasn’t drunk on that day. He said he loves us. We believed, we were really happy. He also told that someone is coming to see the elder twin sisters. We thought that was a groom. My sisters started to clean the entire house. My father brought saree for them and some jasmine flowers. They got ready with hundreds of dreams in their eyes. We heard sound of cars. We were happy. They came and they agreed to marry them. They were 15 years elder than my sisters. But, we had no idea. They gave some chocolates to little sister and they were really good looking. They said they wanted to marry very soon and they were ready to pay the whole expenditures. As my father told, next day my sisters got married to those men in nearby temple with no guests. We got a sweet boxes and some good wearings for the wedding. I was happy to see my sisters as someone’s beloved wives.
Evey responsibilities came up on my shoulder after their marriage. I didn’t believe that two of my sisters got married in a day with good men. They could be happy in their life from now on. It was hard to accept that my father became real father. It was all a miracle. I wished my mother to being a part of this happiness.
Oh!! It was my 18th birthday!!!! Yes! It was my 18th birthday. How could I forget? How could I forget that night? All these days, I was waiting to hear from my sisters. But, no sign of them. I thought that they would come to wish me. No,. but.. my father came by night and he was drunk again. He stared at me when I opened the door. I was really shocked. But, said nothing. I lead him to eat his meal. My younger sister was sleeping. I sensed that his sight was unusual and something different. Later, he called me inside. He was sitting with a candle light. He asked me to lock the door. I did like an obedient puppy. He came near to me and stared at me again. He said I was looking same like my mother. I thought he was in memory of my mother. But,. But… he asked me to be like his wife, like my mother to co-operate. I resisted,. I screamed for nothing,. I had sensed his body over me., I sensed his tongue swallowing all over my body and I found him inside me. He was an hungry wolf. He tore me., notched me and he threw me like a toy. Also, I came to know that he sold out my sisters for money. I shocked and I was speechless. Very next day, he sold me too.
Where was my strength? Where was I? I didn’t analyse the place that I was sleeping. I just felt the soft bed and Jasmin smell. And, one small window throwing the sun rays. As I was watching that window, one lady came up and took me to bath. Aaah! its a pool and few girls like me were bathing. I was in no sense at all. I was completely absent and I just did as per their orders. Tasty food, milk, fruits, spas, make up and my days started like this. In span of one week, I had got some friends. I was happy to being sold and I thought that our land lady was really good lady. I thought that she saved my life. Any of my friends didn’t told me about the place I had been. Every evening, they started to get ready for the job. Once, I asked them that ‘Why they are all getting ready? it isn’t a time to sleep?’. My senior smiled at me and she said “Yes dear, its a night shift and we will sleep everyday like this. You will come to know.” I didn’t get her, but I laughed. Land lady didn’t allow us to go out. She always used to tell that we would face troubles if we go out and this society is not good for people like us. I believed her and I spent most of my time with spa girls.
“Ganga!!!!” Some rough voice came behind me. Ganga requested me to wait for few minutes and said she would be right back. I said okay and Ganga left me alone for few minutes. I could hear them very clearly. That rough voice saying that Ganga had to be ready after dinner. She also asked Ganga that I am good to her or not and what actually I am doing with her. She suggested her to Entertain me carefully, because I had paid five thousand rupees for three hours..
“I am going outside. Be careful Ganga.” She said and I heard the door lock.
Ganga came back to me with a cup of coffee, some cigarettes and biscuits in a tray. While I was trying to imagine her life that all she have been since many years being good to customers who paid thousand bucks for hours, wall clock started to bell and alarmed me that I have only two more hours left. I stared at her while having a coffee. She was beautiful and she would remain beautiful unless her scars.
Where was I? Aaah! yeah. One day our land lady came to me and told me that she found a job for me. I got ready and I was happy, because I thought that I would be an employee like my mother. Land lady waved her hands when I step into the cab. My friends were bidding a goodbye with worries in their face. I thought I was lucky to have friends like that. I was in cab for an hour. Atlast, driver took me to one home and left me in there. Was I alone?! No!!! A man came near to me and asked me to get inside of his room. I was really afraid. Because once, my father also called me like this. I said no to him, and walked away from him to escape. But, he grabbed me and the first day of my job started with pain, screaming and with old man. He beat me to being good to him. He slapped me not to scream. He tied me with robes and he did everything he wanted in the way he wanted. He wanted me cope with him, but I didn’t. He was unstoppable. He made me to drink. He made me to smoke. He told me not to cry. He wanted me to enjoy that pain., he wanted to enjoy the bad smell. He was speed and it was an unbearable pain. He licked and he bit. He was a pig. Still I could feel him over my body. My night with him finally over by 4.00 am and I returned to home by 6.00 am. It was really terrible. I was really in pain. I could not able to stand properly. I slept off with tears and pain. I didn’t eat meals and nothing. When landlady came to me, I started to cry. I told her that my boss raped me. I told her not to send me in there again. I told her that she was wrong. I told her to find new job. She said nothing and said to my friends to made me realise the reality and the place where I was actually in.
I realised the fact. I realised why my father sold me. I realised why my friends had to be ready by evening. I realised the reason of some scratches on their body. I realised why this land lady feeding us. I realised why she is not allowing us to go out. I realised why I got to see men in night. I realised the place. That was brothel and we..?
“Prostitutes”, my senior said.
“Customers pay for beautiful ladies. Customers pay how much they ask. Customers pay for our pain.”, other said.
I cried entire night and I wasn’t ready to be a prostitute. I wasn’t ready to sell my body to get paid. I was in pain. None were there to show me a path where I could be happy living a life with a family of my own. They shed tears too,. but we were helpless. We were in darkness where sun never rises..
I started to live my life like that. My body slowly started to react for being like that. I knew my beauty was the reason. One day, I had decided to raise my voice when I met with one lawyer on one night. He promised me to help. But, I found one little girl’s body inside the dog’s cage. Landlady shouted at us. “If anyone ever thought to go against of us, forget it today only. Or else, your life will be like this. No police, no lawyer, no judge can change this system.” I stunned, And my voice buried inside my heart. That girl complained in station, didn’t know how she escaped. But, the inspector got her back and inform the landlady. Atlast, she died after three days suffering from pain. My friends told me, that they found heavy scratches on her. She was beautiful. She was good to us. She always used to call everyone “deedi” 10 times a day. But, at the end, we couldn’t save her.
I lived two years in Mumbai. Experienced drugs, tablets, abortion and even a hungry wolves. One day, one man came and brought me for few lacks. I just celebrated my 21st birthday. I didn’t know about my sisters. No sign of my family. I tried to kill myself. But, I was very afraid. And I was not ready to give up. I was waiting for good days., I was waiting that one day, someone might came to help me. But, all these years, I waited for nothing.
We were taking a lots of precautions. Our landlords were so careful about the diseases. I moved to Delhi. Four to five years in one place. Different types of customers, landlords. We had to be good to them no matter what. When they get excited, we had to get excite too. We had to entertain them. We must do whatever they ask. When I was in Mumbai, I had a dance class. In pub, parties, we had to dance with piece of clothes. Our life was in hell. If we were good to them, then our customers would be from high profile. If we ever opposed, then we would be thrown to low class brothel dorms where you could find slum disgusting people. That’s why, I was good to them. Pain, tears, drugs, drinks, tablets were daily routine to us. We were all a travellers of one boat where we couldn’t jump to water to save our life. We had a wolves in boat and crocodiles in river. That was our life.
Believe it or not. Sometimes, we had to do hard sex. Specially when we had parties.
“Hard Sex?” I interrupted.
Oh! yes! A sex with more than two men. It was painful and terrible. They paid us double for that. Our landlords wanted only money. They didn’t care about our health and all. I had experinced this also. They forced us to do hard sex after 25’s.
Now, I am 27 and about to die. I couldn’t enteratin anyone. But, still I am prostitute. And this is what I was, what I am yet to be.
I sighed. I was looking at her. Her perfume was something different. I was looking around And a women front of me. I was trying to feel her, trying to feel the pain once she had been to. I wanted to wipe her tears away. But, I didn’t move a little. I was like a rock. A war was happening deep in my soul. I had tons to ask. I had thousands to clarify.
“Do you mind if I call my friends here?” She asked. I said No. She came back with three women. I smiled at them. They were really confused when they saw me. One amongest them said “I didn’t saw lady customer yet”. I was about to laugh. But, Ganga said that I’m not a customer, but a friend of her. All of them smiled back and apologized for misunderstanding.
“Laxmi, can you tell the hardest part of your experience?”, Ganga asked her. She sighed and told “I got into this field when I was 26th. I married to Muslim and later, he sold me here. I had 3 kids from him. I am 34 now and the hardest part was that sex when I was delivered for the 4th time. Basically I am Hindu. but I loved a Muslim and this was my pride.”
” I am Sarah, I came to this field to get money. But, later I realised horrible realities in this field. But, couldn’t go out. That’s why still living here.”
” Hey, I am Maya. I was a model. Somehow, I got into this field.”
“See here, girls, show her.” Ganga told. I was really shocked. They have got hundreds of scratches, wounds, drug points, all over their body. My inner goddess was screaming.
“We want to escape from here, but if we do, society won’t accept us. We too had dreams about our carrier, children, family. But, our kids are studying in an Orphanage and they even don’t know that their mother are still alive and in this field. I hope this youth won’t get into this for money. Because, for a girl, Virginity is very important than anything. You won’t get respect if you have ever lost it. You may fight, you could say it is common today. But, no. This is not common. Youth must know the value of their body. Today they may say ‘no harm’, but when their children do same like them, they will realise the mistakes equal to crime they did. Please, do avoid the youth from this. This is not a good field. Tell them to live with respect. Tell them to live with the pride. Tell them not to believe anyone.” . Laxmi was crying.
Ganga paused and stared at me. I was drinking water.
” Why you are asking about us?”.
“What do you think?”. I asked back.
“Yet today, no one asked me about my story. But, you did and now you are here. You paid to know about me. Who are you?”.
And said “I am a girl”.
Weaving a good bye to them, I headed back to apartment with my friend who risked his life just to get my wish done. I was looking at him whose observing me in the mirror with silence. That was really long route of small distance.
I found my other buddies who were waiting for me. They revealed their worries through their sighs once they saw me arrived back front of them.
Looking outside, breathing fresh air of freedom, I was standing in balcony thinking about Ganga. I turned back sensing a hand on my shoulder,
“Say the word. Possible?” one of my friend asked.
“Frozen Lives of Squeezed Flowers”, I replied.
We both remained quite.
While seeing my world gradually going to the darkness, I ‘ve seen some world awakening with dim lights.. and there I found that those lights getting more brighter in their loosing eyes.
We tried the best to save them, but the police, lawyers were all involved, no one ever cared to help them. The system wants them to remain the same way, after all its not their daughters!