Have You Ever Visited A Red Light Area?
“My nath utrai (Taking off the nose ring) was performed when I was twelve or thirteen. The initial days were tough but now it gives me pleasure. I have inherited the art of making love from my grandmother.”
-Roopal, a sex worker from the Bedia community in brothel number 56.
Nath Utrai ceremony is nothing but the auction of the girl by the highest bidder near Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
“Everyone believes that all hijras are castrated, but this is not true. We call it nirvana . Castration is usually optional. It cannot be forced upon a hijra .”
-Sharmila, a eunuch from the streets of Varanasi.
The narrator spends a considerable amount of time in G.B. Road, the famous red-light district in New Delhi during his stint with an NGO. He records the narratives of the sex workers of brothel number 56, insights of their daily lives, local lingos, quarrels, and the ins and outs of their business with an honest stoicism that does not dilute the terrible pathos of their lives.
Through this voyage within the walls of pleasurable cells, the writer learns that the G.B. road is an inexorable web…but only because the women trapped in it believe it to be so.