The Universal Journey

Standard

Prologue

 Someone must have pulled the emergency chain for the train, I thought, as it stopped so suddenly. The sudden cessation of movement caused us all to fall forward.

 Shaken, we stood up and put our heads out of the now motionless train’s windows. Most passengers crowded outside.

 It wasn’t long before the police arrived on the scene.

___________________________________________

CHAPTER ONE

There was a loud blast, as the clattering train pulled into the station. It would be my first visit to the south of India. A very dear friend had invited me to spend two glorious weeks in Bangalore.

 I clambered on to the now motionless compartment and flung my suitcase in. I muttered the number 23 to myself till I reached my birth. No one else had arrived yet. I shoved my suitcase under the birth and made myself comfortable near the window seat. It was hot and the crowd at Howdah station were not making it any better. I decided to get a cold bottle of water. By the time I returned there were two people already in the compartment; Guess I’d lost my window seat.

Both were men in their late 30’s. The one I sat next to, had thick glasses and was slightly on the heavier side, was wearing a grey t-shirt and dark blue track pants. He had a bald patch on his head, and looked as though he had been going through a lot of stress. Opposite him, was another man who looked relatively younger than his counterpart, was hidden behind the newspaper. He had sharp features, and muscular build, with a clean-shaven face. I could still smell the familiar old spice that lingered in the air.

 At this point, two more people walked in dragging their noisy luggage behind them. One was an old man, with a young man who looked like his son who was carrying the suitcase, and the other was a young boy, about 18 years of age. Suddenly the whole compartment looked busy when the chaiwallahs came in clinking the glasses and the breakfast man asking everyone if they wanted veg or non-veg breakfast. I wished that the train would start.

 A though my wish was answered, I heard a small screech as the train slowly started inching forward with a small jerk. Slowly enough, we were clattering along our way.The man next to me was about to introduce himself. Someone must have pulled the emergency chain for the train, I thought, as it stopped so suddenly. The sudden cessation of movement caused us all to fall forward. Shaken, we stood up and put our heads out of the now motionless train’s windows. Most passengers crowded outside.

 It wasn’t long before the police arrived on the scene.

 It appears that someone had been crossing the line, and had been struck by the train. It was just one station before my intended destination: Yelahanka, Bangalore.Someone remarked that the body was still lying there. I was about to have a look for myself when someone caught my hand firmly. It was none other than the fellow passenger with whom I had been talking throughout my four-hour journey from Kolkata.

 “There’s nothing to see in that lifeless body. There is only a lot of blood and some mutilated limbs,” he said. “It would make you very upset.”

 I  hid my curiosity.

We talked ceaselessly as we traveled along. Sometimes about politics, sometimes about the present education scenario and sometimes about the high casualty rate in the traffic system. However, I couldn’t help my mind returning to that unseen body. Who had lost his precious life, I wondered. I was twenty-six years old.  Death was something I  didn’t want to think about; but it kept crawling back like a tireless snail determined to get to its destination.

to be continued…..

You can buy the body but not the soul

Standard

Often, I find myself wondering; If I wasn’t me, then who would I be? The concept of being someone else is absolutely disconcerting to say the least, however, to experience being in another’s shoes literally, could be exciting, I suppose; but what do I know  of shoes and such?

My experiences while shooting ‘Between the two‘ often gave me food for thought. While shooting, I experienced different red light areas in Bangalore, where women and hijra sex workers collaborated in surprising hospitality. They were all dressed well; sari’s impeccably tied or well fitted skirts or jeans on colourful tops. I, on the other hand, wore my old, faded yellow patiala, and faded white kurta. Clearly, that did not stop a middle aged army man on a bullet to stop and ask me my price for the night. Horrified, I was glued to the spot, unable to speak. My hijra friend came to my rescue and tried to ward him off with exorbitant prices. All I could do was slyly turn my camera on.

I came across this article today, and loved the content. Its written well too.

Men, according to prostitutes

Author -  Chinki Sinha

Source - www.openthemagazine.com

January 9, 2014 

pros

” MUMBAI ~ The red of their lips was outlined in black. Kohl was applied carefully to accentuate the lips, give them shape. But they looked exaggerated. Comical, yet tragic. Eyes that looked as if they’d lost their way to sleep. But it is the lips that they protect the most. The body is up for sale. The black is ugly, they agree. But that’s to keep clients off kissing, and licking.

Sex workers in Kamathipura, Mumbai’s red-light district, say they don’t like kissing. It is disgusting. Their mouths stink and they always want more, they say. Business is down there, Puja says, pointing below her belly. That’s what she sells. “Do it, get your release, and off you go,” she says. “We don’t indulge men. They are chutiyas. Bhadwaas of the first order… randichod, they are.”

The women would like to think they are in a noble profession. Only the others look at them with disdain. They are saving other women on the other side from the vagaries of men’s desires. They are receptacles of all the world’s shit. Clients can piss in their vagina, shit in their bed. That’s when it turns ugly. But they are nonchalant about this ugliness. It is part of their world. They didn’t choose it, but now that they are here, they have to make the most of their time, and their bodies.

Men with hollow cheeks and empty eyes sniffing whitener lurk in the background, drinking toddy. Once they have made enough to buy prostitutes for a few minutes, they unleash themselves on them. They stumble in, list out their desires, shell out the cash, haggle with them, and ask them to fulfil their fantasies.”

+++

Read more at : http://readnwrite.in/men-according-to-prostitutes