It was 10 pm.
All her make-up was done. She was just adding the final touch-ups. A little mascara to the corner of her left eyelash. A final brushing of her long, jet black hair. Her ‘aachal’ was draped gracefully on her left arm. Her perfect curves were accentuated by the sari. She took her purse from the almirah and got out of her room. Her friends in the other room were staring at her with a mixture of envy and pity.
“She’s going out with that rich-arse Kapoor’s son. I’ve heard in addition to his wallet being heavy, he’s great in bed.”
She could hear the voices as they were discussing. Envy, because the Kapoors were one of the richest in Calcutta. Pity, because it was again that one of them, would have to sell their body to eat.
Their words didn’t affect her. They knew it wouldn’t. Each of them faced it every time they went out as an escort or if someone came in.
A car honked at the gate. It was a Mercedes-Benz. The chauffeur got out of the car and opened the gate for her and motioned her to get in. She got in carefully. The chauffeur also got in and started to drive to ‘The Gateway’.
She rolled down the glass. A cool wind was blowing. It was a full-moon night. She tilted her chin towards the window. The wind blew her long hair into her eyes. She closed her eyes and pulled her arms closer to her. It started drizzling. A few drops entered into the car and on her face. She licked the ones around her cherry lips and savoured their taste. She remembered the days from her childhood where she would go and get wet in the rain with her father, her brother and her mother. After her parents’ death in a car accident, her brother had brought her into this ‘business’, which he had evidently been running since a long time. Memories were sweet and bitter. And the only things they brought with them were tears. Tears pricked at her eyelids threatening to come out.
But she wasn’t supposed to cry. It might spoil her make-up.
They arrived at the hotel. She got down. There was no variation in whatever happened after that.
But, maybe, that little bit of her life, that little bit, was called ‘happiness’.