I am Firoza. I am a sex worker. This is what everyone calls me now.
They tell me I sell my body for money, just as they sell their intellect, talent or some other ability for money. We all work for money, isn’t it? They say it’s a profession like everyone else’s.
I don’t understand all this. My mother also did the same. Her name was Chabban. Her sister Titli also did the same. The house where we all lived, was always full of men, all kinds of men. We had big landlords, shopkeepers, policemen, and even clerks coming who used to shower their riches based on their financial ability on my mother and Titli when they were young.
Once the money started dwindling, myself and Titli’s daughter Dilnawaz daughter started working. I went to school for a few years, but everyone used to make fun of me. Look…daughter of the whore wants to study now.
I never liked school anyway. I dropped out of school after the ninth standard. I grew up seeing my mother getting ready every evening for her customers. I knew this is what I wanted to be. Everyone around me was doing the same. I wasn’t any different.
I never asked my mother about my father. No one had a father where I come from. We only have customers.
This is the only work I know that will pay my bills…house rent, electricity, water. You know customers want AC now. I tell them, if you want AC, give me more money. AC is only for select clients.
But you think my job is easy! I have to smile, I have to greet, and I have to make them happy even though my breasts are swollen, my body is burning high with fever or sweat is dripping from my entire body.
They tell me I am greedy and I only want money. Yes, if not for money, we would all be sitting up in the Himalayas searching for him. Kabir says you are the lock, you the key and you are the who has to open it. Why do you look surprised? Just because I am that type of woman, I can’t listen to Kabirvani or can’t recite Hanuman Chalisa?
Look at that corner, behind that red curtain, see that is my small temple. You will find all kinds of Gods there. Yes, I worship. I fast too every Monday. No, I don’t see customers on Monday.
Young customers are very demanding nowadays. They want me to look decent and smell good. They show me photographs of all these actresses. Arey, I don’t earn that much. I can’t afford to wear those fancy sarees and jewelry.
The rent for this accommodation is 15,000. If you live in a good colony, you get good clients.
One good silk saree costs 10,000. I tell them I am not your wife babu, show these photos to your wife. I am good in my synthetic saree.
One lad got this sheer blue saree for me. Wait, I will show you…must be very expensive. See..isn’t this gorgeous! This is the first time someone got as saree for me with lace. I will be wearing this on Diwali. He was a good guy, only came twice. The third time he gave me this saree. Never saw him again. I didn’t even ask his name. What is there in the name anyways?
These affluent customers are very conscious nowadays, hygiene and all those issues. I tell them that they should stay with their wives if they are so scared.
One young fellow used to tell me he wants to marry me. He came here for three years. Every night, he used to persuade me to get married. He had a beautiful wife. He showed me her photo on his phone. I asked him what about his wife? Who will entertain and charm his guests at parties? His wife speaks English and you know she wears high heels. She cooks mutton paya and chicken gravy. I asked why do you want to leave such a woman. You are a lucky man. He said she could not make me happy in bed.
All these men are so selfish. They want to extract from us women, whether it’s our heart or our body. He never asked if I want to marry him? It was only about him. I said no to him. He got angry and stopped coming to me. He now goes to Dilnawaz.
My friend, Aafiya, look what happened to her after marriage. She married a wealthy and powerful man. She lives in a big bungalow. This year she even went to Dubai for shopping. She buys everything …all that expensive stuff that no one needs it. She is splurging money.
What else can she do! No one accepts her. I tell her to come back. But she is trapped now, in a big, beautiful and expensive cage.
I have to get ready now. It is time for getting back to work.