Daughters of Darkness

When I was in College, I for the first time lived city life. I have grown up in a township, amidst nature’s extravagance. The hustle bustle of city life fatigued my imagination. I had never wished to be there. But as we say “Man proposes and God disposes”, true it is! Against my dreams of living in tranquility, situation forced me to experience the City of Joy, which was not a reason of joy to me, at-least then. My college was in Shovabazar, and I took the metro rail service from Dum Dum to my college. In my efforts to adjusting to this alien atmosphere, I seldom noticed anything around. It was just me and me. Even in this fight of survival of dreams, I noticed a girl. Many times when I walked out of the Metro Station in Shovabazar I noticed her.

She was barely 15 years old I guess. Dark complexion, bright pair of questioning eyes and a pair of red lips! Her face seemed much fairer, compared to the other exposed parts of the body. Evidently she was heavily pancaked with cheap beauty products. Her attire audaciously provocative, mostly nets, cheap synthetics with low neckline and all! I wondered who she was, before my friends told of the infamous red light area nearby called “Sonagachi”. It is Asia’s largest red light district and houses thousands of sex workers in hundreds of brothels. Frankly after that revelation, I never looked back at that girl.

Strangely, recently I was searching for some good documentary and came across "daughter of darkness". Almost instantaneously it reminded of that pair of red lips and a fang of guilt hurt my conscience. I thought I was mean to be thinking like an ignorant and belittling that kid in my mind. She is not as privileged as I am or the people around me. May be she was sold to some ruthless pimp for merely a few hundred rupees by her own father or uncle. May be she was kidnapped from an affluent family like mine at a tender age and forced to lead this life of misery. May be she was an innocent and helpless victim of human trafficking.

When I sit and introspect, I feel depressed. If I believe in God, I also believe that if he has bestowed blessing of a normal life to me, then that must be with a purpose. He wants me and you to work for this downtrodden and neglected part of society. At an age when we used to study and live in comfort, these kids spend the day in hunger and night in derogate. Before actually knowing their sensuality they are sexually abused and exposed to diseases like aids. But when I brainstormed and tried to find a way of how to help them, I was blank. So I thought that at-least I should share this post with my readers, at-least start requesting everyone to stop looking at these unlucky ones with hatred and at-least try to see through their pancaked face and cheaply embellished outside, the real and hurt them.

The following poem is dedicated to that girl:

“She stood there by the road with a poker face,

I seldom spared a look, my life is a race.

Her lips were red but her eyes had pain,

But none looked at the agony her efforts were all in vain.

Her childhood had no games, no doll house no doctor kit,

Instead hungry days and demeaning nights, when her teeth did grit.

Books were distant dream and pens had no use,

Of the world outside the dark brothel, she had no news.

Every morning is dark for her and nights darker,

While the cruel blows that hurt her soul, get sharper and sharper.

Her father sold her for a handful of notes,

Her dreams, her life all went afloat.

Today we hate her and bestow disgrace,

But what is her fault, she had no control on what took place.

So let us all spare them a look of concern and cease being so heartless,

Let them live, let them dream these daughters of darkness."

By Aritra


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