‘Thailand was a beautiful place, better than those filthy and dirty places I was forced to reside in, in Delhi and Mumbai. But when your freedom is snatched, even heaven appears filthier than hell. The same happened with me, when I was subjected to even worse conditions in Thailand. The customers were mostly tourists, foreigners, and people who just visited Thailand in vacations. We earned in Baht’s, whose value is more than a rupee, but what’s the use of that earning if we don’t get even a single penny to spend on ourself?’
‘The pimp here, is also a lady?’
‘Yes, Saheb. She’s a lady, and very clever. She knows all the possible tactics we can apply to escape, so she made sure to cover all the loop-holes, and trap us in a golden cage. We are sent to shopping once a month, she has cars and drivers, and they usually take us from one place to another, but we are under surveillance, every single second!’
‘What do you mean? That means you are being watched now also?’
‘No, not now. When we get a customer, we are free for those few hours, but then, there are not many people here to guarantee freedom. You are the first Indian, rather, the first person who forwarded a helping hand.’ Gudiya smiled.
Her smile assured him that she had developed great faith on him, and he was his only hope now. If he will betray her, the woman will have no chance of survival, she will definitely die, not because of her physical condition, but because of her mental breakdown. She won’t be able to trust anyone in the world. It can’t get any worse.
‘The starting 2 years were really tough here, I became pregnant thrice, and they all forcefully aborted my babies. My first two babies were aborted in initial 3 months of pregnancy, so it wasn’t that big deal, but my third baby was forcefully aborted in fifth month of my pregnancy, it could have killed me, the doctor said, but they didn’t care. And now I’m pregnant for the fourth time, I’m already 4 months pregnant, and if I undergo an abortion this time, I cannot survive. There are no chances…’
Jay’s jaw dropped. He couldn’t imagine the pain and mental trauma the woman must’ve gone through. He held her hand gently and said something, which he never thought he would end up saying, ‘I promise, Gudiya, you will give birth to this child, in India…’
Gudiya smiled again, her smile was as fresh as the morning sunrise. Every time she smiled, Jay felt an ache in his heart, a pain that was increasing and becoming unbearable. He needed to rescue her as soon as possible.
It was 3am now, they were talking since a long time, and Jay discovered a powerful story in Gudiya. Her life could shake the world, he was sure enough. He switched off the camera and put her to sleep. She slept peacefully, and calmly like a new born baby, she knew her angel and guardian is here with her tonight. She always had faith in God, and she always believed, that he will soon send someone to rescue her.
The Next Morning
Jay woke up on the couch of the hotel room and found the room empty. Gudiya had gone, and she left a note on the paper:
‘Saheb, thank you for everything. I cannot stay here beyond 8am, so I’m leaving, I will meet you again, soon.’
Jay was startled. How the hell will he meet her again when she left no clue or message? How will he find her in this huge city? He looked at the clock, it showed 11am. He knew it’s already too late to search her around the hotel as she left more than 3 hours ago.
He got up lazily from the couch and went inside the washroom, he looked at the mirror, which was hazy and foggy. He switched on the light, and was shocked to read the message on the mirror:
‘The old church of the city awaits you tonight…’
Jay had no clue other than this. He ran towards the room, collected his camera and mobile phone, checked out from hotel and reached his own hotel. He called up everyone and showed them the footage he collected last night.
As he switched the camera on, nothing played.
‘What the fuck is this? I recorded her my entire night, and the camera is not working anymore?’
‘Must be some technical error, let me see’
Anil snatched the camera from Jay and examined it thoroughly.
‘Look, the memory card is missing, where the hell you left it?’
‘Mother of God! This can’t be possible, fuck! I’m screwed, maybe I left it in the hotel I stayed last night in’
They all hired a cab and rushed to the hotel, took the keys of the room, and searched every corner, all in vain. Jay couldn’t understand what just happened. The memory card was nowhere to be found.
‘It’s such a tiny thing, how the hell do you expect to find it so quickly? Search again, every corner!’ Jay screamed to the staff. Everyone was working endlessly, but they couldn’t find it.
‘Hell man, how could you be so careless?’ Anil shouted.
‘You, mind your own business asshole, you couldn’t arrange anything for us, it was entirely my hard work that I covered her last night! You proved to be totally useless, I wonder why Dixit assigned you to us!’
‘Will you calm down and try finding that thing out?’
Everyone once again engaged in finding the tiny memory card, but nobody succeeded. Suddenly Jay was reminded of that message in the washroom, he signaled everyone to search the washroom, but no success. Neither the message was there, nor the memory card. The bell-boy would have cleaned everything up, including the mirror, he thought.
Now he just waited for the day to fall, so that he could visit the church at night. Maybe he could get some more clues about her story? He slept off in his hotel room, and set up an alarm for 9pm.