Salim, the Eunuch

Once, I had the luxury of staying near my workplace in Mumbai, which is usually most desirable and non-achievable thing in Mumbai. Every day while taking a local for workplace, I use to come across a young eunuch who would be in his early teenage; dressed shabbily and touching everyone’s head (a form of blessing from them) to ask for money. I use to feel bad for her. Every day I would give her something and always pass a smile while doing so. Gradually we started sharing words too.

Due to flexi timings, I never used to be in the same train. After some days when I took 11:00 am local, I saw her again but this time there was a change in her. She was well-dressed and accessorized with straight hair and make-up. She looked presentable. Out of curiosity, I asked her the reason for this beautiful change. She replied, the gang which she was a part of has appointed a fashion consultant to make them look presentable. She said that this will help in getting good business to them. I could not get it but didn’t intrigue her.

Then, my events got me busy again. After they got over, I took the same afternoon train. This time when I met her, she was very much stressed and hurt on her face but very well-dressed. I somehow didn’t like it and asked her “What was wrong with her” and why was she hurt?? I think, that was the moment for her and she could not stop it. She was forced to work as a sex worker by her gang and if she denied, her man would beat her miserably. I asked her man?? She replied that for each member of the gang, a man was the owner who would decide their fate. He would give them food and shelter and in turn they had to do whatever he asked for. Last night she denied going with him and the result was a hard punch on her face. This was a frequent incident with her. I was shocked and advised her to return to her hometown. I asked her if she was kidnapped or something and brought in here??

Then, she informed me that her name is “Salim”. And He was born into a conservative Muslim family residing in a small village near Kanpur. The mother hid the fact for some time but later, his father could know the truth and did not accept him as a part of the family. He ordered his mother to leave him out of this village in the night when everyone is asleep. Poor mother did so with a heavy heart but took a promise that Salim will come to meet her at least once every year. I asked him if he did so. He said, he does so every year. Whatever is his share from his earnings he gives it to his mother whenever he meets her. He has also given her a phone and always informs her of his arrival. She comes to meet him crossing the river and brings him home cooked food and loads of love. He said that he doesn’t mind all this pain as far as he is able to support his family financially and get his sisters married. He left me speechless and with lots of respect for him. It has been years now and I have never seen him after this incident but would always pray for his happiness. Some people simply change the way we think in life!!

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