Behind the Forbidden Doors

She sat at the window and glared down the road. The sweeper was cleaning the ruins from the last night, she watched as he swept and let many things remain where they were. There was no point telling him that he was being lazy as he would not pay any heed to her, like many did not. She continued watching the day unfold. People walked down the road, shops were starting to open for the day. There were not many who looked up to see her, some young men did now and then, glaring was often followed by whistles. Nothing made her uncomfortable now, she was well adjusted to her surroundings, this the life she had chosen, this is the life she needed to survive.

She got up from the balcony and sighed, and went to the kitchen to make her breakfast, last night was horrible. She realized she did not have the same energy anymore and she was not interested in fulfilling every customer’s whims any longer. Money was all she needed to survive and it was hard getting any these days. People were always interested in the younger girls, and she was aging. She lacked the patience now and had almost forgotten the art of seduction. Survival was her sole motive to stay here. There was nothing much to look forward to for her, already in her late thirties, she had never had kids, neither did she want any. Her own family had disowned her years ago, she herself was left with no urge to meet them.

After a long breakfast, she cleaned up her room, she had always been tidy, even though the world called her a ‘dirty woman’, she liked her surroundings clean. She had cried after her first customer inconsolably, she could hardly remember how she had reached here, years of work had made her memory bleak. The business was good when she was young, she had entertained all sorts of men in her prime years. Some were sweet, some cruel, yet some abusive and some were lover boys. She remembers falling for one and almost running away with him far away from this world before the lover boy got cold feet. After this she understood the world like she never had before, she never trust anyone, just did her business and went on.

As years passed by, she had several ups aand downs but she was always happy that no matter how, she was able to take care of her needs on her own. This little world of hers had made her strong and she knew come what may she could very well take care of herself. Sure if a chance came she decided many times to leave everything and lead a normal life, but over the years she also understood that once here you could never be anywhere else. Even if she tried and forget, the world always remembered.

As the day drew close to an end, her day was just beginning, as the shops closed downstairs, quirky lights lit up her area. She readied herself for the night ahead, a deep plunging neckline, with a bright lipstick, topped with a flashy face and clinking bangles, and a lot of talcum powder, she was ready for the night. She stood near a pole and started gesturing at men passing by, calling out men to come and take her with them. Some came near but she was not happy with the money they were offering, many preferred going to the much younger girls around. The night ended with no customers for her. It was worrying as she still had to pay the rent. She climbed up the stairs to reach her room and took a blanket over her, it was a cold night. As she slept she dreamt of her village when she was a little girl, she was running to the river with her friends to take a bath, the wind was cool and she was happy playing with her friends, she could not wait to go back home to her mother who she knew had prepared her favorite rice and dal. After a heavy meal, she remembered falling asleep in her mother’s lap as her mother told her stories of a prince charming who would come soon to take her along. She could only smile as she went into the dreamland.