streetwalking


        
Yadu Vijayakrishnan
   
Unrecognizable faces surrounding me. They are trying to say something but I really was not able to extract the idea from all those buzzing noises. I was not even able to distinguish the faces like if I was suffering from prosopagnosia. Just then, I woke up to find myself laying my head on the iron bar horizontally placed at the window of the bus I was traveling. The place was quite strange because of the pitch black darkness. The bus was not moving. I got up and asked the conductor which place it was and when will I reach my destination. He said that the place I wanted to get off left an hour ago. He also insisted me to get off the bus since my ticket expired. Semi-consciously, as I just woke up from a dream, I got off the bus without thinking. As I disembarked a lonely dark middle-of-nowhere, the bus (which was the only vehicle on the muddy road) left leaving me alone in the darkness. I saw an old guy walking across the road. I ran across and asked him when the next bus will come. “Not until tomorrow morning” he said.

     What added to my worries is that this is a complete strange place for me. I don’t perfectly know their language. Yes, I could understand what they’re saying but couldn’t convey them anything I want. I walked, towards a distant light. The big bag I was carrying pressed my shoulders every time I make a step. I never thought the items I needed for my journey would become a liability like this. To my relief I found a street full of tiny small to average sized buildings on both sides of it. My next mission is to find a lodge so that I could retire. Not all building was open. But one two-storied degraded building was open, slightly, and I think I saw a reception counter. A middle aged man with a suitcase entered the building. I saw him giving money to the woman at the reception counter. Well, this is the place I was looking for. I entered the building.

       I tried to speak in their language but it was a failure as the receptionist scratched her head. She was like a mid forty aged woman. Anyway, I shown her my ‘sleeping’ action and I think she understood what my intentions were. She asked for Rs1000 as advance. I didn’t know what to do. I stayed in lodges that only took around Rs300 for a whole day on my past destinations. Well, desperate times call for desperate actions and what was important for me is a place to sleep. I agreed, gave her the money and I waited for a bell-boy to come and pick up my bag. No one came and I followed the woman upstairs towards the room.   
       
        The room was more like a cabin. It was not completely closed above i.e. the walls didn’t touch the roof. If I mount over the table I could peep in to the adjacent room. The room was almost degraded, the walls were creamy sour, the fan made kind of noise similar to a squeaky mouse and it was so minute that one more bed would have completely filled the room. I asked where the bathroom was and she pointed me towards a closed room with a rusty iron door nearby. It looks as if it was the only bathroom in the whole building. After taking care of my business in the bathroom I entered my room and closed the door. I changed my traveler’s dress to simple three-fourths for sleep. I put my Rudrakshmala on the small table nearby and switched off the lights. The room was still illuminated as light from other rooms came from the space above. I lay down and prayed. Suddenly, somebody knocked the door.

         Well, it might be the bell-boy with the flask of water. I opened the door and whoever was that, just entered the room without giving me a time to get a closer look. I turned around to find a girl, maybe 15 or 16 years old, not completely dark but dark, and short. For a moment there, it all smashed me in the head like a reciprocal of big bang. I went downstairs. The ‘receptionist’ was reading some magazine. Like I said, it is difficult for me to say something in their language but I somehow conveyed that I just need the room alone. She said I could spend my night on the street without the girl because there are some customers without room and they would definitely like me to get out of there. Furthermore, I wouldn’t get a refund. Plus, some guys around the area had all kinds of weapons with them and I really don’t want to make a scene there. I just went back upstairs since I didn’t want to end up in the street. The woman came from behind and slapped the girl in the face. “Woh..woh…easy there sister..”, words just slipped out of my mouth. I think the ‘receptionist’ took my issue as a disqualification of the girl. I asked the woman to relax and got back in the room. The girl followed. PURE HORROR, just pure horror, this is the last thing I wanted in my All India Temple visits which I thought was one step towards Nirvana.

     I tried to tell the girl to stay still and do nothing. Like I said, she didn’t get the slightest idea. She won’t even take her hands off me. I firmly grabbed her hands off my body and signaled her to be silent and go to sleep. I laid down, she did too. I asked her to sleep on ground and she did. I couldn’t sleep. As I looked down, the floor was filled with dirt, roaches and other dirty stuffs. I told her to get back on bed. I crawled up on one side of the bed creating a huge gap between us. Some 5 minutes passed. My body started to ache due to the stressful travel. I relaxed a bit and started lying straight. The girl put her arms across my chest. I didn’t do anything as I felt warm at this cold night. I turned sideways towards her. She was facing me. Round eyes, long hair and my Rudrakshmala on the table. The story of Lord Siva cursing Daksha for having sex in front of Rudrakshmala stroke me like a bulldozer. I once again turned back removing her arms from my body.

     Sands were pouring on my eyelids yet I couldn’t sleep. I was afraid that my whole life dedicated to Sanatana Dharma would end in one night. The atmosphere around there was chilling cold and it impelled me like thousand needles. The girl glided her finger through my back bone which resulted in a chill crawling up through my spines. She once again put her arms around me. I was in a pretty difficult situation at the moment. What had more weight? The Brahmacharit which I promised to hold on or one night of pleasure. Two facts knocked inside my brain. One is that this might probably be the only girl in the whole world who wants to have sex with me and she is a real amateur in her profession otherwise she would have been naked by this time. I got up, showed the girl my Rudrakshmala and went back to sleep. She didn’t lay a finger on me. My eyes shuttered down.  

      I woke up. The squeaky fan still rotating. I found myself alone in the bed. The girl might have slept with somebody else after I went to sleep. I got up and saw the girl sleeping on the dirty floor. She might not have fallen down. From the looks of her innocent face I knew that she didn’t want to disturb me on the other night. Moreover, she was not meant to be a part of this job. I woke her up.

      I went to the bathroom, refreshed a bit, changed to my traveler’s clothes and hurried to the bus-stop. There were a few people waiting for the bus which made sure that a bus will come soon. Random thoughts attacked my conscience. A horn woke me up from the standing dream and it was a bus towards my destination. I got inside it with other people and sat on my favorite window seat. I was watching the buildings run by and then someone sat on the empty seat near me. I turned around to see the girl with a big torn bag, smiling. I remembered my spiritual Guru’s quote that Nirvana can be acquired by doing any random act of kindness. For me its like..., “ Tickets for two please…”.   


Popular posts from this blog

തെങ്ങിൻ തൈ നടാൻ കാലമായി; 50 വർഷത്തെ മുന്നിൽ കണ്ട്‌...

സ്ത്രീസ്വത്വാന്വേഷണം മലയാളസാഹിത്യത്തിൽ

ജൈവവളം മാത്രം പോരേ?