I am a 57-year-old woman living in the body of a 17-year-old girl’s body that has been used far more than its capacity to be used at such a young age. I was never like this. I was a simple teenage girl from a lower Muslim class family. My father a foreman in a factory with my mother working in a beauty parlor, life was tough but at the same time easy enough that I was going to school and preparing for my matric exams and not having to learn to work in a beauty parlor or work in a factory sewing clothes. Life was good till the day my father left home never to return, leaving us thinking that he would come home someday but as they say to a man’s heart is through his stomach but to a man’s mind is through his…. Well like all men desperate for younger women, my father fell for a younger woman than my mother and made his escape.
My mother hurt by the betrayal at the hands of my father, went into a deep depressive slumber, causing me a 14-year-old and my 11-year-old brother to fend for ourselves most of the time. My mother’s mood caused her to lose her job; the only source of income left for us was gone. Thankfully, the house we lived in was given to us by my maternal grandparents as the share due to my mother. Maybe that is also why my father left and didn’t force us to leave. However, since there was no money coming in anymore I took to the streets to look for some odd job to support us.
It was at times like these I wished I had started my internship at the beauty parlor; at least I would have been able to support ourselves somehow. The search for jobs ended up with me searching for some kind soul who would give me some money. In other words, I had taken to begging. Six months had passed with no let-up in my mother’s depressive disorder. By now people had started noticing me as a young attractive girl asking for money. That was also when men started noticing me.
That was when men started asking for me. That was when I was asked by men to be friends with them. That was when I was too naïve to understand what kind of friendship they were interested in, until the day this old man who I had trusted all this time took me inside his home to show me the friendship I so stupidly believed was due to me for all the hardships I was going through.
The way the man violated me and the way at the end of it all he showed me that for all of the trouble I had gone through I could earn a meager Rs 200/-, I was surprised, shocked and not so sure about what had just happened. I quietly took the money and left. All the way back home I kept thinking, that whatever he did to me, at the end he gave me money. The amount of money I have earned in half an hour I usually earn in a whole day.
I quietly went home, thinking about what had happened. I went back to him and again went through the same ordeal and got Rs 200/- but this time the old man said: “come back tomorrow.” The next day there were 3 men and I was able to make Rs 600/- in 2 hours and I was back home in 3 hours with thrice the amount of money I earned in 10 hours. I was hooked to the money, the adrenaline rush and the sexual drive every teenage blood has. It’s been more than 2 years with me working in this business. I have been abused, hurt, beaten up, loved, been through a broken heart and most of all lost my youth to the evils of society that were not in my control.
I don’t blame the old man for taking advantage of me or the three men or 11 men that had violated me during a course of fewer than 5 hours. The only person I blame is my father, the man, who left me at the mercy of the world when I needed him the most. He left his own flesh and blood for someone who in turn dumped him for someone else. What kind of a father is he? Now I don’t need anyone. I have myself. I will survive and I shall prevail.
(A true account of a real prostitute.)