Thursday, January 04, 2007
I sat in the car waiting for the class to be over. It was getting late than usual..Prof M.J’s drone could be heard faintly through the mike. I felt happy that we had chosen this place for Gautam’s entrance coaching.
Expensive yes. Strict too.. But Gautam liked it. And the timings were ok
I remembered those long lost days... Preparing for admission in the med school. Reading… re-reading. Writing…. As if life depended on it...Tutions..Tests..
It had not been so easy for us...
My parents had supported. Vaguely.
Now it was different. Parents put their entire life on hold those two years. Taking the kids to tuitions and coaching centers. In the wee hours of morning. Or late night… the city roads unsafe even for boys to travel alone during such odd hours.
We had chosen this place cos of two reasons. One, Gautam liked it. And two, the timings were ok.
5.pm to 9pm three days in a week. At least the family could sleep..!!
I gazed around. Parents stood in groups. Chatting. Some like me preffered the solitude in their cars.. cherishing the time alone. Lost in their thoughts. Listening to music.
The wind blew in playing with my tendrils. My cheeks felt cold. The December air was misty. Chilly.
I switched on the FM station.
‘Maniyara deepam ananjal pinna karimizhi random nanayaruthe..’
I listened idly as KJ yesudas crooned deeply. The lover was consoling and strengthening his departing beloved. He was begging her... to never permit her deep dark eyes to be wet once the lantern was dimmed on her nuptial night.
I sighed. and leaned back on my seat.
That was when I noticed her. She stood in the shadows. Close to the wall of a house, a few meters ahead. She wore a purple nylon sari. The borders draped tightly… Suggestively… Over her bulges. Her hair was teased into tendrils around her face and loosely plaited,decorated with jasmine flowers. Her lips were painted blood red.
She looked …well….. Ready for action..
I watched riveted as I saw car lights coming up the street. She too saw it and stepped out from the shadows. Her movements controlled. Sure.
The car moved ahead without slowing down.
She coiled back into the shadows with equal ease.
I watched her. Fascinated. Curious. I wish I could talk to her but didn’t dare to.
How did you land up here in the shadows? Ready to sell the softness of your skin. The lushness of your curves. The skill of your lips…?
I wanted to know.
Innocence? Desperation..? Pure greed…?
Do you dread tonight? Or are you just not bothered? Seasoned by your past. Hardened by practice. Shrouded by numbness.
I could see her talking rapidly into her cell. I remembered reading somewhere that life was easier for them with the advent of cell phones. They could do their own networking now..
Do you have dreams..? I wanted to know. Will your kid hate you?
Why does everyone hate you..?
The sound of engines starting up woke me from my thoughts.
The class was over. Boys and girls were coming out chattering loudly. I sat wand watched mutely as she lurked back into the shadows again.. Eager to escape from the car beams.
Why was hr car not coming? Maybe he was waiting for everyone to leave….
Maybe he was parked among us.
The doors opened and shut forcefully as Gautam and his two friends clambered in noisily
‘Lock the doors.’
I orderd mechanically, Starting the engine
I glanced at her as we moved ahead. She was burying herself into the shadows. Her back to me. her pallav covering her body...
I kept watching her through the rearview mirror.
“Goodbye..Hope your car comes soon. Hope he is good to you. “
I wished silently..
I thought about her again as I drifted off to sleep that night.
“Where are you now..?”
‘Maniyara deepam ananjal pinna karimizhi random nanayaruthe”
“I know that you are not doing this for yourself.” I wanted to tell her.
“Continue your good work.”
Positive thinking for prostitutes..!!!.
I smiled sleepily.