Added: Nikesha Cole - Date: 20.03.2022 14:46 - Views: 31634 - Clicks: 4146
The monsoon has brought in winds and some welcome relief from the humidity. As the curtains flutter in the wind, the year-old sits by the window, applying deep strokes of kajal on her eyes.
With the heat subsiding, she hopes more customers will throng the alleys today and business will be better than the past weeks. Looking through the iron rods of the window, she spots an old customer coming her way. She hastily applies the dark maroon lipstick and dabs some powder to complete her look. For the last twenty years, she has been getting ready in a small room in Sonagachi every day to greet customers. Since the early days in school, she always had dreamed of being a school teacher. But that was a forbidden dream in a conservative family in a rural setting.
Girls having a professional world was unfathomable. So, she shared her dream with a friend, who showing her a glimmer of hope escorted her to the infamous Sovabazar area, where she was introduced to a man. Now, two decades on, she knows there is no way to step out of this world.
Like her, hundreds of girls have been duped and sold in these dark alleys over the decades. Promising her a different future and a fresh start, he vowed to marry her. Tying a knot with her Babushe hoped to turn a new leaf. Soon, she conceived her child and was happy. She got to know that her man was already married twice and has been involved with several other women.
Torture followed and she started fearing for the life of her unborn. Not knowing where to go, she returned again to Sonagachi. Such are the tales for most women living in the oldest part of the year-old city by the banks of Hooghly. Here around 15, sex workers earn their daily bread balancing their life between running the household and paying rent and negotiating with touts.
Here, a personal and professional life jostles for space in a by room with a bed, stacked with condoms beneath the mattress, and household essentials below the bed. For the children of sex workers growing up in the area, and elsewhere, it is never easy to come to terms with the profession of their mothers. While most slip into depression and denounce their mothers, others refuse to stay in touch once they are eligible enough to stand on their own feet.
However, there are a few who understand the enumerable sacrifices these women go through daily, all to support and raise their. Sonagachi is not the only quarter of the state where sex workers live. For a year-old residing in Bow Bazar, a request to her newlywed husband turned into a nightmare.
Hailing from a small village in Medinipur, she had never seen Kolkata. Now, after seven years of living here, her only companion is a big teddy bear, gifted by one of her customers. Raising two children with no education, no support from both her families, she was willing to grab whatever opportunity she had as a year-old back in the day. After completing the education of her son and daughter when finally it was time to get her girl married, she had to agree to a verbal agreement.
That was the condition of her in-laws. The lives of these women, caught between apathy, stigma and motherhood, stuck in dingy rooms and lost in the narrow lanes of Kolkata, are as real as it can be. The glossy make-up, colourful lights and scented room-fresheners, might keep it under wraps, but the music still has to be turned up to drown the wailing sound for the children. Home Lifestyle Life-style In the brothels of Sonagachi and Matiya, there is real life, and pain, beneath the makeup In the brothels of Sonagachi and Matiya, there is real life, and pain, beneath the makeup Trafficked or abandoned, the women have come to terms with their lives in the red light areas of Kolkata, and their stories are as real as they can be.
Express photo by Shashi Ghosh Photo feature by Shashi Ghosh The monsoon has brought in winds and some welcome relief from the humidity. The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards. Tags: Kolkata. Art exhibition: Of artists and their ideas of progress Some Argentines turn to unusual pandemic pets for comfort.Sonagachi red light area image
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