"Exhibiting You" - Story

Into The Dark

By: mitesh
Submitted: 03/25/2009

A one-room house. The home for two. A twelve-year-old girl is doing homework under the coat while her mother is providing satisfaction to her customer. She has been practicing one of the oldest professions in the world, sex work. She has no other option and to make her daughter safe from the clients this is the way it is.

A businessman obsessed to sleep with teenagers once finds his own daughter in the bed. Her own mother introduced the girl in the tread. In fact the businessman has been getting the contracts by using his wife.

A bright student in the English medium boarding school does not know his mother’s flesh pays the fees.

The daytime construction worker turns into a sex worker in evening for the contractor, only to make sure that she gets work tomorrow.

A twenty-year-old married woman on the street is the third generation of the same business.

Is it difficult to digest? It was for me too.

It was all started some years back when we were rehearsing a play in which I was performing a character of a boy of a sex worker. From then on I focused on these mysterious women. I saw them loitering on the streets wearing heavy mismatch make up with a disgusting appearance. I wanted to know about them but I have been advised that it was not a good idea. It was a scary affair to talk with them but I was willing to take the risk if there is any at all. This was a brand new world for me. During my exploration of that world I found that there was the same emotions wrapped in the thick layer of darkness and anonymity. These women are part of us but for majority unwanted. That is the conflict.

During the conversation with the well known sociologist Mr. Gaurang Jani, it was revealed that 65-70 percent sex workers’ families know about their occupation and sometimes the family members be it husband or mother in law pimping for them. Now let me tell you that it is all happened in India where sex worker falls in the lowest strata of the society. Everybody here is self proclaimed moralist and project India as a spiritual leader but nobody is ready to consider these sex workers as human beings. They feel proud of not having an official red light district but do not want to give a word to the silence over these people.

Society considers these women a morally corrupted lot, but still one could find them almost every city and village. They are considered to be obtaining easy money and here lies the word called Sexonomy. Police, hotel managers and pimps are there to snatch their share. Any misbehavior and any form of violence again these women is taken for granted and even police officials have a popular belief that there is no rape in the case of sex workers.

In the name of culture, morality and evils of civilization sex workers have never been accepted as a part of the society. In Indian films they have been portrayed as a symbol of romanticism but the reality is not that romance. Indian males like to sleep with sex workers but are not willing to accept them as a part of their society. It is an underground business where everybody is naked under the cloth but nobody wants to talk about this issue. They have been verbally abused by the so-called "good people" and if have a chance they do not miss to dance.

There are clients who run away after the sex acts without paying, who feel no shame in asking to give money back or reduce the price after the work has done. Even in this situation if the woman tries to get the full money or try to be tough it is only the woman who is spoken badly. In one such occasion, I have seen a a quarrel over payment. A crowd gathered getting a free show, leaving the woman as a tool for entertainment and humiliation. A few people asked her about the price and advised her to forget it. Not a single person was advocating for that woman. When I said, along with my friends, that the woman was right the people in crowd were shocked and even advised us not to participate but to enjoy it!

In the world of constant abuse, unsafe environment and where self-esteem is on the edge the numbers in this segment will increase. Down fall of the family is the major reason and here comes the human approach as well. These women take good care of their families and love their children like all other mothers. In brief whether one agreed upon the business or not one should remember that these women are one of us with all the human emotions. They feel pain, can laugh, give love, take responsibilities and like all other us they too have a right to be treated as human beings.

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