She stood by the bridge. It was dark, very dark. Rain poured incessantly, mixing with her tears. The river below swirled in the darkness. It was the month of Kalbaisakhi. The gods were angry and they were letting loose natural elements like thunder and lightning on the puny humans. The dark water of the river rose as if Shiva the destroyer himself was doing his tandav nritya inside the waters. She stood crying, unmoved by everything. Her transparent saree was clinging to her body; her blouse was torn from the back. Her long fingers with nails painted bright red were resting on the railing. She was crying. Yes, she was a prostitute. So, what? She had sold her virginity to a fat man with a sweating face and stinking underarms. She still remembered the pain. She still remembered wiping off the tears at the same time she was washing the red off the blanket. She sold her body every night for Rs. 5000/hour just to live. Just to…live. Not for pleasure, not for pain but for living. She was the daughter of rich but unloving parents and when she failed her class 12, they sold her to a man to be the source of pleasure to other people. She was guarded. Guarded by a 6 feet tall ‘bodyguard’ who followed her around wherever she went. Her survival was in her own hands. She knew that if she tried to run away, they would hunt her down and shoot her like a dog. As it is she knew that as soon as she turned older and was unable to provide pleasure to anybody, they would leave her to starve or shoot her. Just because she was living like a dog didn’t mean that she had to die like one. Yes, she was a prostitute. But even prostitutes have self-esteem. They sell their body to the highest bidder but they too have a heart. And when she was raped by 5 boys today when she was out, which included her brother, and the ‘BODYguard’ stood watching, never stopping them but only watching, she was robbed of the only possession she ever had-her self-esteem. She felt jilted, broken. Even now, she could feel the eyes of the ‘bodyguard’ watching her, from under a tree. She took a decision very quickly. She turned around and saw the ‘bodyguard’ staring at her intently. She wondered how much he had been paid to keep an eye on her. She turned towards the river once again. She wiped her eyes and climbed up the railing. The sky lit up, showing her standing on the railing, and thundered. As the world turned dark again, she was no longer visible. Not on the railing, not on the bridge, nowhere. The ‘bodyguard’ smiled and turned homeward.
After all, even prostitutes are human beings.