Sex was sold there in lieu of money. It was largely comparable to a vegetable market, cloth market, jewellery market. Or any other market which sales apparently similar variety of commodities occupying a considerable stretch of land space. The only difference was that other markets sold materials of general human consumption. However, at this sex- market money was exploited to manoeuvre a female’s body against a negotiated price and specified period to devour rapacious pleasure.
The year was 2002. I was 17 years old then. In those years I was preparing for general competitive exams in a hired small poky room at Patna. It was the month of April. I was in my room when the postman handled me a white envelope. I opened it to find an admit card for an exam meant for recruitment of postal department clerks. The exam centre mentioned was “Kendriya Vidyalaya” A.P.S Colony, Delhi.
I was a bit exasperated. I had neither any locative idea of Delhi nor any acquaintances there. But the passion of securing a job was on my priority list then. So regardless of my absolute unfamiliarity with the city I dared reaching Delhi on the afternoon before the scheduled date of exam. Before departure I had consulted a friend at Patna who suggested me to cross the west side of New Delhi railway station and walk a few meters to Paharganj area. That I would find numerous hotels at affordable price there.
Although nature had some other episode destined in my fate….!!!
Mistakenly, I confused the direction. Instead I crossed towards the eastern side of the station. I was walking ahead with my eyes intent on both sides of the crowded road. I was looking for commercial boards on the sideway buildings that display the name of the hotels. But in vain. Upon stepping ahead a little more, I was suddenly astonished to see some girls in heavy make-up and rowdily clad in colourful bra’s. They stood on the roof of a building glancing towards the road. Initially my amazed mind perceived it as the ultra-modern dressing culture of a metropolitan city. However this modernity was akin to vulgarity to my untrained eyes. I stood dumbfounded.
As I paced further I saw many other girls in similar miniature attires. Till then I smelled an intuitive awkwardness in the milieu of the place. It was at the moment when a girl clad in red bra and a pink towel wrapped around her waist conjured up from nowhere and caught my hand. She pulled me closer lugging my hand through her bra into her bare breast. Then she quoted a price for her professional availability. I understood that it was a red light area. I was terrified at her fierce sexual gesture. I got filled with an unknown fear muttering imprecations to myself for uselessly getting stuck in an uninvited trouble. I pleaded to her that I had come to Delhi for taking an exam and by mistake I had entered this road. But she was insistent. She tried towing me inside the building.
Anyhow I freed my hand from her grasp and hurriedly stepped back to evade away from this strange world. I started running and stopped only when I got doubly sure of my release from that entrapping boundary. My breath was fast and heart was thumping at an abnormal rate. The heat of the summer season was at its peak. I was heavily drenched with perspiration. My eyes fell on a tea stall under a dense canopied tree. In an endeavour to relax myself I sat on a wooden bench under the dense foliaged tree and ordered a tea and a glass of water.
As I was slurping tea, I noticed a commotion on the other side of the street. A beautiful looking girl whose face was reflecting an aura of innocence and natural affability was being beaten by two men and a fatty middle-aged woman. The girl was dragged towards the same area from where just now I had effortfully liberated myself. She was weeping profusely. Once when she tried to unshackle herself with perceptible force, the fatty woman spat a thick flow of chewed betel leaves upon her face. Then she caught her hairs slapping incessantly at her betel smeared face.
Though inherently soft natured, my blood boiled at this brutal injustice. The people around seemed nonchalant as if it was an incident of banal importance for them. Everyone around was silent spectator. As if they were indirect accomplices of the nasty deed. Putting unfinished tea glass over ground I rushed towards her. I intervened cogently to stop this callous act. But I was violently counter-attacked by the two men and the fatty lady. Their united force proved heavier upon me.
Seeing no remedy I swiftly went to the two policemen stood in the very proximity of the spot. They kept mum at my request to act against them. On further firm pressurisation I was abused and instructed to keep silent. I sensed an implicit nexus between them.
In a fraction of time that hapless girl disappeared from my gaze. Perhaps sealed inside a confined corner of G B road. To be pushed into a business which she abhorred now. However, the more distressing aspect was that probably in posteriority the imposed profession would transform this innocent girl into a qualified professional who could catch a stranger’s hand for an accustomed sexual negotiation…!!!