‘Good evening, Sir. Are you Jay?’’
He was shocked to hear his name from someone he never even saw in his life.
‘Ummm, yes? I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you.’
‘Of course, you don’t know me, I’m Sana, Gudiya’s friend and a guide in this lonely city.’
‘Sana? She never told me about you…’
‘She never talks about me.’ Sana smiled.
There was definitely some other story involved, something that was hidden from Jay.
‘She is waiting for you, at the back of the church.’ Sana said and walked towards the back door of the church, that opened to a dark place. There was only moon light, which was not enough to make the place visible enough. As Jay stepped forward and exited the church, he found a big ground with graves all around.
‘It’s a cremation ground, isn’t it?’ Jay asked Sana.
‘Why is Gudiya waiting for me here?’
‘You forgot something yesterday, right? Here is your possession.’ Sana forwarded her hand that had memory card gripped in her fist.
Jay couldn’t believe what all was going on.
‘Hey! That’s mine, how and where did you get it from?’
‘Well, Gudiya gave it to me, she said this is the only thing that may bring you back, otherwise, you’ll never come back to her rescue, as you got what you wanted, a story!’
‘That’s not the truth, I told her I would rescue her, at any cost…’
‘But you see, she hardly believes anyone.’ Sana looked at Jay with empty, deep eyes.
There was a mystery, a hidden story that was concealed from Jay.
‘I’m asking you, where are we going? This is a cremation ground, and why would anyone wait for me here?’
‘Gudiya chose this place, because she is afraid to meet you in public, and if anyone sees her with same customer again, it can be a problem for her.’
They kept walking towards the never ending cremation ground, many graves passed by, and Jay was getting sceptical with each step he took.
‘But what’s the problem in meeting one customer again?’
‘Her pimp has strict rules about everything, moreover, she is always in surveillance. Because she has tried to run so many times, so she has her own customized rule book to follow.’
‘Oh! Then why this time of the night?’
‘You ask too many questions, keep walking…’
They soon reached a big tree. Jay thought Gudiya might be hiding behind it. It was dark all around, and it was the boundary of the cremation ground; beyond that tree was a dense forest, and it was so dark that he couldn’t see beyond a few trees and shrubs. Jay took a step forward.
‘Stop!’ Sana clutched his hand tightly.
‘Don’t go there now, sit here first, I want to tell you some things.’
Jay sat down and Sana sat with him, on the grassy ground.
‘Gudiya was there with you last night, and I guess she told you her story, right? Do you guarantee to help her?’
‘Of course, that’s the reason I am here, I totally forgot about the memory card, I was anyways going to help her.’
‘So, you wanted to help her at any cost?’
‘You bet! Otherwise I wouldn’t have risked my tour and went alone to places, followed her up, and interviewed her separately. We work as a crew, but for her, I gave up my men too. What else do you expect me to do?’
‘That means, she finally has a guardian angel!’
‘What do you mean?’
‘You know, Jay. She always talked about God’s miracles, and prayed for her escape, and always demanded a guardian angel in her life, who would free her. I’m glad she has you. I also work with her, I’m also a prostitute, but the reason is, I never tried to escape or be repulsive. Gudiya was the wild one, who would always break rules and seek freedom, but I was submissive…’
Jay couldn’t believe his ears. Sana was a young and charming girl, hardly in her teenage, even she was trapped in this filthy cage of prostitution.
‘Listen, if you can help me in tracking down anymore Indian girls, we can rescue you all.’
‘Jay, I really don’t know about any other brothels, but in ours, there are only two, me and Gudiya. I think it’s time you meet her…’
They both got up, and stepped at the back of the tree. There was no one.
‘Where is she?’ Jay asked with astonishment.
‘There…’ Sana pointed towards ground.
There was a tombstone directed with a name on it, which read:
Gudiya (November 1987 – May 2013).
‘What the fuck!’ Jay was taken aback, and he shuddered so hard that his back almost hit the tree behind him.
‘Gudiya died yesterday, Jay…’ Sana spoke, and a tear rolled down from her eye.