“Amma, please come back soon. I will reeeeeaaaaallllly miss you!”, screeched little Piyu as her mother Kamala dropped her at the hostel corridors. Kamala hugged her little Princess and fondly responded, “Don’t worry Kannamma! I’m Soulfully with you always”.
Kamala was no ordinary woman; she held great grit and determination. She had picked Piyu from the doorsteps of a destitute harlot’s home. Kamala was a hermaphrodite residing in the infamous red light areas of “Jannatpura” located in the narrow streets of Lucknow. Since she had first picked the four-month infant Piyu in her arms on that fateful day seven years ago, a gush of motherly warmth had engulfed her. For the first time, Kamala wanted to leave the confines of Jannatpura to look for a suitable home for her little girl and herself.
Life had been a topsy-turvy ride for Kamal who was born a male and eventually realised with the growing years as hormones developed that he didn’t feel like a male anymore. His traits were very woman-like and his grace was extremely feminine in nature. The initial fear of society discovering the truth led Kamal to keep these blooming desires to himself. Eventually, Kamal realised that this was something that could not be possibly hidden from public eye. When the secret was finally unleashed, Kamal was thrashed brutally and kept under house-arrest. When the change remained evident and prolonged, the family literally abandoned and disowned Kamal. Kamal found refuge at the den of iniquity under the brothel leader Shamshad Begum. That is when Kamal found his new identity as Kamala. The newfound Kamala served as a concubine and a gracious mujra dancer at Jannatpura.
A few years down the lane, Kamala was used to the routine of satisfying the sexual desires of random clienteles; mostly regular, some nouveau, some experienced, others totally amateurs.
T’was that X’mas eve of 2014, when Kamala was strolling the narrow pathways of the bagnio when an infant was heard wailing at the doorstep of the charming courtesan Rani’s room. There were the quintessential thumping, groaning and huffing sounds that was typical of a brothel. The baby laid bare, naked and uncared for. Kamala’s heart cried at the sight of this innocent creature lying helplessly. As soon as she lifted the little one, the baby held Kamala’s fingers and cooed gently. Kamala rushed with the baby to Shamshad Begum and questioned in pain, ” Why does this innocent life have to suffer at the cost of someone else’s pleasure?”
Begum responded, “Daughter of a whore will be a whore.”
Kamala retorted with a disastrous agony, “I will never let that happen to My daughter, Piyu”. Stating this, she rushed out with the little life clutched to her chest never to return to Jannatpura again.
Kamala was jolted back to her senses from the startling memories when little Piyu planted a kiss on her cheeks saying, “Amma, you are my protector. I love you so much.” Kamala gleamed with pride as she responded, “Love you too…”!
Jannat- Paradise in the Heavens
Kanamma- My dear one
Mujra- a luscious dance form generally performed in brothels
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