Woman, Being a

Years ago, more than half a decade ago, we used to frequent this place, this restaurant, not entirely classy, but itsy-bitsy classy in its own way for people who ate out of pocket money. It was at one end of our sooty town, under the expanse of a tree, in the shade of which they set up a barbeque on some evenings. We would go dutch, strictly dutch, no man splurged on us, bunch of single females, religiously dutch at heart. For hours we would sit there, perched like tired birds munching coleslaw, strings of cabbage, nibbling a cutlet at its edge, to just sit there long enough. Look at people, until the icecreams from their cones melted, flooded and overflowed. 

Once we noticed, paticularly stared at this man-woman in a corner. You know such corners, where they could sit dangerously close to each other for distances dictated by propriety. Distances to be illustrated in public, where anything that can catch the eye, does. She was plump, dusky, with her long plait ending way below where her blouse ended, half of her back exposed, towards us. He held her by stretching an arm across her shoulders and whispered into her ears, that sparkled with chandelier earrings, supposed dirty secrets that made her giggle quietly. They chatted and ate oblivious of our lingering awe and gaze. At the gluttonous plates on their table.

The other unsplurged on single females uttered. He's feeding her so well, such that later she would let him do. Whatever had in mind. She was a pros. They said. That's the word we used then, that's the word we use now.

That woman, sold off, for money. I don't look up or down on her. She does what she does. But each time I see a car slowing down beside a waiting girl on a highway, and the man inside raising eyebrows, posing that question; I think. I do. 

6 comments:

I Romanticize said...

Don't. Please don't. We can't even begin to fathom what horrors could have driven them to do what they do. I can't understand why we don't judge men for what they do.

If you get a chance, this would be a good book to read:
Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale: A Memoir, by Rachel Lloyd

And as always your writing is so good, I envy it. :-)

me said...

Husbands stealing themselves away, boy friends desperate to experience what they would know sooner or later, singles in their disappointment,and some other men just for the heck of it!!! When I see a car slowing down beside a waiting girl on a highway, I think, of the men!

PS: Love your writing. Newest addition to the list of numerous ones who said the same :)

Surya Prakash V said...

I look up to a job incredibly well done. Looking down was never an option; onto Incredible abandon or incredible courage.

So many assumptions we live by! Self righteous; presumptious! Liberate the body from the mind; mind from the emotion, yes let them be one!

I of course look down on force forever. And on myself should I ever use it on anyone but self.

@Raaji - You certainly looked down with your post. Don't pls. :)


Surya Prakash V said...

Men screw for self-esteem; women for security; sometimes when its not a commodity, love trumps them both.

We invent our own methods of screwing the self!

I Romanticize said...

Looking down upon men who organize this huge industry to exploit women? Oh yes!

Surya Prakash V said...

So a "decent" woman cannot "choose" to sleep for money without being forced in any way? Are such choices fallen?

Do you see what I am saying?

Men, women - moot questions. The surest way to beat gender bias is to let yourself refuse to acknowledge it outside classification.

Individuals, their institutions, and organized movements, born of misguided greed can be evil.

Be it men, women, child and every variation we can think of. Lets fight the evil within.

Sorry for the sermon :)