Skip to main content

Ablaze Within ...

It was either for the scorching sunrise that hurt her eyes or the cold breeze that blew scratching the fresh wounds on her arms, but Disha could tell that her friend had tears in her eyes for some reason or the other.

“Nothing,” Razia said, when confronted by Disha, hiding her eyes as she wiped her tears with her hands.

“Got paid?” Disha enquired.

“Yes.” Lied Razia while walking towards the place she has been calling home from the past couple of years.
She headed for the bathroom as she entered her room where two girls were sitting, one smoking a cigarette while the other wearing make-up in front of the broken mirror in the room.

Razia cleaned her skirt that was smeared with her blood. She wasn’t prepared for it. After all it was that 14- year old’s first time. Not the first time that she had been “ridden” by men, nor the first time that she bled while bearing the intolerable pain the men gave her, but for the first time that she painlessly bled indicating a cycle of bleeding that would follow every month from then on.

By the evening she had her fears and worries buried as she walked out of the brothel as a new woman wearing fresh clothes yet a sullied self. Memories of the last night still flashed before her eyes as she sat on the stairs near the brothel where men would come to choose their pick for the night.

The previous night hadn’t gone well for her; not that any of her nights were good but there were, no doubt, nights where she would enjoy whatever her owner for that night did to her, at other times it was just the usual practice of closing her eyes and waiting for it to get over soon. Last night she had her “cursed night” as women in the brothel called it, as no Saheb would pay for a girl who is bleeding.

But she wasn’t looking for a Saheb that night; she knew very well of the consequences and so she was sitting on a rock as lonely as her, near the beach. It was then that she was forced upon by three men who cared not whether she was bleeding or not. Needless to say, there wasn’t any payment done afterwards.

“Rape”, educated people call it; but how would Razia use the word when she had no idea whether she was allowed to use it. Isn’t an intercourse without the consent or will of any one of the persons involved, an instance of rape? And hadn’t it always been against her will, right from the first day when she started her business? Hadn’t it instead been the decision of the woman and the man who owned that brothel?

But she had kept quiet when they first brought her here and may be that was her only fault, the one she would regret all her life hereafter.

Her train of thoughts broke as a man in his early twenties came and stood near her with a smile.

“I am not working tonight, Sir,” she said gesturing at him to leave and look for other women who were exposing their scantily clad bodies near the street lights of that road.

“Hey, I am a writer. And all I want to do is to talk. Don’t be scared.” He tried to reassure her but somehow failed to do so for she stood up to walk back into her home, the brothel.

“Hey, wait.” He grabbed her arm pleading her to stop. She complied.

“How old are you?” He asked gesturing her to again sit on the stairs she had been sitting.

“Eighteen,” She lied like the way she was told to lie.

“So would you like to share something with me? About your past?” He asked her showing as much compassion as he could. But he knew very well that he lost her trust when she looked at him in a look that spoke of disbelief and loathing. He introduced himself to her to make her trust him. He knew it was a futile attempt.

He was a writer and his next novel was on prostitution and to ameliorate it he thought of talking to actual call girls to know their stories; and when he saw a distressed young girl sitting on the staircase of a brothel, he knew there was a story worth listening to. But he, unlike his novels, wasn't prepared to face someone so real.

Razia knew that the man in front of her was as impatient to listen to her past as she herself was in seeking to forget it. And although it was the first time she felt the urge to tell her story to the one man who showed sympathy towards her for a change, she knew it would make no difference in her miserable life afterwards. All her life she searched for that single soul with whom she could share her feelings and when she finally found one, she knew he wasn’t worth it.

How could she bare her soul to someone who would just use her tears to sell his own book? How could she tell him that she had a little brother to send to school every morning after she returned from her “work”? How could she tell him how she wished to elope from the place and how she couldn’t just to feed herself and her brother?

 How could she let him know how disgustful she felt of her own self? And would he understand when she would say that she had no other option but to do what she has been doing from the last couple of years? And would he believe her when she would say that her father was brutally murdered in front of her eyes as he was caught committing a petty theft? And what would he say when she would tell him that her mother eloped with her lover as soon as she heard about the death of her husband? And was it more shameful to be born with such an ill-fated destiny or to have such an ill-famed family?

“So, how can it be that a face so beautiful yet so sad doesn’t have a story to tell?” He asked again breaking her train of thoughts. “There must be a reason you’re here. There must be something inside you that is scratching you from within, insisting on you to let it out. You must have been forced into this profession, were you not? Tell me what made you come here? “


Razia smiled this time, smirking at her own fate. “No, Saheb. Not everyone who is sad has a sad story.” She walked inside the place that was home to her with an identity that was much more comfortable to live with, where no one knew of her past, however it was.


Comments

  1. Wow. You are such a gifted writer! You have brought out the harsh reality very effectively.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Goosebumps from the very first para....!!
    i don't read much... but if you keep writing like this i'll sure become a loyal and regular reader of your stories.
    keep up the good work. (Y)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks a lot dear... means a lot to me :)

      Delete
  3. Goosebumps from the 5th para and stays till the last one.....
    i don't read much... but if you continue writing like this i'll sure become a regular and loyal reader of your stories.
    keep up the good work (Y)

    ReplyDelete
  4. This story brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for this one Sanhita.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Telling the truth is very difficult because its painful & full of lies sometimes...agree with Anil..u r a gifted writer!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nothing comes as gift ,you have to earn it.So the writer had,
    Hats of to you....
    For your writing skills.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is a very mature piece of writing, I must admit. Heart-wrenching indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What to say...
    Once Albert Einstein said, "Everyone is a Genius. But if you ask a fish to climb on a tree, it will live its whole life thinking that it was fool."
    You are genius in your own field 'Writing'. You are such a beautiful writers who have a beautiful, imaginative and a creative minds. You are a girl of thoughts, The girl who knew very well how to express her feelings, how to write in creative style.
    Before I liked only non fiction writings not stories. For me to read fiction was waste of time. But from the very first time when I bought a fiction or story book 'Uff Ye Emotions' I realize the importance of fiction. And after this when I thinked to write a fictional story, I found it too difficult to write. However, non fiction writings was simple for me to write but fiction? It was too difficult for me. I realized a writer's mind. And just from then I started to give respect and love to Good writers and poets like you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. :( Makes me sad to read it, Sanita. Very well written.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

When I Stopped Writing

People I usually meet in person first, often come back to me with this statement later – Oh, I didn’t know you write. Some acquaintances have often declared that I don’t look like someone who would write. I don’t ponder upon such words much but I am slightly bothered by the one I heard last week – “Why did you stop writing?”
I was taken aback. I never stopped writing. Who said I had? So I went back and looked at the source she was referring to- My blog. The last date said October 2017. It’s indeed been 5 months; maybe I did stop writing after all.
The last time I wrote something I was in Rourkela, a peaceful city in Western Odisha where life was as slow as it could get. I moved to the capital, Bhubaneswar in late November where every morning I would wake up late but still manage to write a short poem while rushing on my way to work. Within two months I found myself loaded with responsibilities that made my shoulders bend. I would wake up as early as 6 in the morning, I would dream of…

Embracing the Late Twenties

I have been wanting to pen aturning-something post ever since I turned 21.
However, at 21, it was too early to write about the “profound wisdom” I had gained about the world.
At 22, it was cliché.
I was busy stuffing myself with cake all the subsequent years to suddenly wake up one day and find myself on the wrong side of 25 yet neither at the pinnacle of wisdom nor covered in the blanket of naivety. I reach an age after which I am probably going to keep chanting the phrase “age doesn’t matter” a lot to myself. But till then I heave a sigh as I pick up phone-calls from distant friends wishing me a happy birthday, and marvel at the fact how easily things change with age.
You grow up whether you want to or not- your new job and the new place ensures that you do.
You turn wiser and you laugh at the wisdom you thought you had gained when you were only 22 and a fan of Taylor Swift songs.
You also realize you know nothing today as compared to what you are about to see tomorrow.
Every day is a c…

The Self-Help Book

He slicks his dark black hair back with his fingers. Outside, it was broad daylight, offering his dark brown eyes a view of the western part of the city. The neighboring tall buildings remind him he is on the 22nd floor of his workplace. He finishes off the remnants of his black coffee, already cold by now. The half-smoked cigarette burns out on the ashtray. He pulls the ropes of his French window and his cabin is no longer reminded of the world outside.
 He turns his swivel chair with the support of his desk to face a laptop in front of him that wastes no time in taking him to another world altogether. The white striped shirt he is wearing with his dark grey tie match the colors on the back of his laptop that flaunt the initials “S. R.”.
* An unexpected knock on her door wakes Sheena up from her siesta. She reaches for the yellow dupatta lying carelessly on the other side of the bed, as if it was equally tired from the previous day’s work. She wears the dupatta around her neck cove…