He walked through the dingy alleys of the locality, dodging naked children who hopped barefooted over mucky puddles, with expressions that least reflected the place they were being brought up in.
He knew her house. The escort had given him the address to her door. He lifted his eyes from the paper that read the address, and gazed at the alley that led to the right of where he was standing. It was darker than black, other than the bare tungsten bulbs that dangled from the window shades. He walked towards the door that he was looking for.
A lady in a bright red saree appeared behind the window by the door, and gestured him to enter through the door at the rear of the wretched house.
“I am Raj. Your escort sent me here. He told me you…” he began to explain, and she punctuated him.
“I never ask for my customers’ names,” Konika said, signalling her little daughter to leave the room, which was all the house had. The kid reluctantly walked out, smiling sheepishly at Raj. He didn’t notice the child’s gesture, as his eyes oscillated between the rickety bed and the lady seated on it.
“Er, a night isn’t enough. Can I stay with you for a couple of days?” he asked.
“You don’t look as rich as hungry you seem to be,” Konika remarked, teasing him.
“I have the money. But I need something more from you. Can you give it to me?” he asked, gluing his eyes on hers.
“Ask for it,” she replied, expecting a handsome deal ahead of her.
“Konika, bring your daughter back in. Just talk to me for two days. Allow me to write a story on you,” Raj said, exploring his bag for his diary.
And for the first time in her life, a whore witnessed art in her existence.
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