The wrong turn

She stood in her doorway, with her small body leaning against the frame. She wore her brightest red saree and had painted her lips in the same shade of red.

She had strings of fresh mogra flowers in her hair.

Colorful bangles clanged against each other cheerfully on her wrists. She made pointless movements with her hands, just to hear them jingle.

Wistfully, she sighed and looked at the clock. Business was usually slow during the day. Somehow, the day seemed to have come to a standstill, which was an antithesis, for there was a large crowd, gathered just a street away, for the dayโ€™s festivities.

She glanced at her reflection, in the small mirror on the cracked grey wall. The green plastic framed mirror and the grimy old clock were the only things that adorned the brick revealing, leakage showing walls of her room. She adjusted her earrings, then her saree and then sauntered out on the street, her anklets clinking as she walked.

The street was empty, except for three girls, who looked so out-of-place in this street, that she knew they were clearly lost!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

She was looking at her cameraโ€˜s screen, as she walked and accidentally tripped. She swore silently and scowled at the rising heat that afternoon, she moved on.

She saw a corn seller looking at her with an expression very difficult to read.

Picking her stride, she caught up with her friends. One of her friends had stopped walking, so she looked up from the camera. They seemed to have taken a wrong turn and reached a different street.

The street was empty, except for a young woman in a red saree. She gazed along the length of the street.

There were unpainted cement houses of the same dimensions and architecture, hut-lets her friend had later called them.

Audaciously dressed women with loud makeup sat or stood in the doorways or looked out from the windows.

Clothes of all colors were hung out to dry from every window.

It looked like a Hindi movie set.She realized, that, they had just walked into the red light area of the city…

Her friend seemed to have frozen on the spot, trying, very hard to take in what they had just come face to face with.

The women were eyeing the lost girls with curiosity, which was unnerving. The woman in red smiled at them rather kindly.

As soon as the girls found their feet, they turned around and the three friends walked away from the world that they had just stumbled upon.

The girls went unusually quiet for a few minutes, until one of them exclaimed, “What just happened!!!”. They agreed never to share this with anyone. That did not actually happen. Well, because…girls talk!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As the day came to an end, she could not help but speculate.

What was so repulsive about that street that their first instinct was to run away?

If it was radically an honest way of life, why was it such a big taboo?

Why did three girls fail to see them fundamentally as any other human females?

Could they have done any differently?

Most of all, she wondered which wrong turn did those womenโ€™s lives take, to have them end up where they were…




  1. theSuda · September 27, 2013

    You raised some great questions here. How about answering them yourself in next post? I would love to hear what you think of it.

    • Nea · September 27, 2013

      Thanks. These questions are a lot to think about. I wrote this post because those questions kept coming back at me all this time. Surely think about the answers in the next post!

  2. md610 · September 27, 2013

    Found my way here via theSuda.

    I do not have answers for these questions. But still have something to share. Dignity is something we all have – no matter who we are, what we do, where we live. Respect others’ so that you remain dignified.

    • Nea · September 27, 2013

      md610, Thanks for reading my post. Agree with you completely .

  3. ym1611 · October 5, 2013

    Wow. I wonder… I’d probably do the same as the girls and walk away. You’ve done a brilliant job in painting the scene in the reader’s mind.

    • Nea · October 5, 2013

      Thank you! I am so glad you could relate to the scene as a reader. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Pingback: Free | That girl with the spectrespecs
  5. Gaurab · October 20, 2013

    I feel its about perception, society at large, judge people who are trying to earn their living at the worst of conditions. I think its kind of a spontaneous reaction for you, isn’t it? I feel there’s more to this story, about the thought process and why that reaction. Would love to read about that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Nea · October 20, 2013

      Gaurab i agree with you. Being judgmental comes instantaneously. It was a bang on spontaneous reaction.
      There is more to every story..
      Hopefully it will come up one day ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much for my 50th like ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Gaurab · October 20, 2013

        Congrats. Your writing is so expressive, you totally deserve it ๐Ÿ™‚

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