Blues of a Quaint lady

The year was 2006 and I and my friends decided to celebrate Christmas at Kolkata. We all were students and hence, no money to put up in a hotel. So, we all hooked ourselves to our relatives for a place to stay. I could somehow find myself a distant friend and reached with my baggage. Though, it was not a great welcome but it didn’t matter as far as I was getting a place to stay for free!
Vacations are always best planned if you don’t have so much to spend. So, we all made our itinerary for every day so that we don’t waste time and decided on a common place to meet. It was the first day and the meeting place was Kalighat. Though we are not so religious but the entire gang was starting a new phase in life and taking rounds of GD and PIs after our management entrance exams and hence, they wanted to take the blessing of Maa kali.
I reached early because of staying in the vicinity of the place but none of my friends were there. Reaching on time would always be for an interview. I started rallying across the street putting my earphones on to pass on the time as waiting is the most irritating activity and a complete waste of time. Suddenly, I saw a lady who was fair and beautiful standing in the sun. Her curly hair was flowing in the air like a soft breeze and drops of sweat were all over her face. But, that looked like as she has come out of a shower. She had draped a sparkling blue sari and done loads of make-up; still it made her look very graceful. She was beautiful enough to grab everyone’s attention on the street. I saw her stopping every passerby but no body responded to her. I did not concentrate much as it was none of my business and dig myself into my earphones that were playing my favorite songs. After sometime again my eyes rolled over to check if she was there. To my surprise, she was still there and doing the same thing. I got annoyed by the thought that a woman is asking for help or maybe she asking for some address she is looking for and nobody is willing to help her. That was strange. So, finally I decided to help her myself.
I walked towards her and asked if she wanted any help. She replied hesitatingly in Bangla” Tumi aidegi theke chole jao” which means you go away from here. I got annoyed. I was trying to help her and she was throwing her tantrums. Then I asked her what was wrong with her. I was just trying to help her. Understanding the rage in my voice, she told you don’t know anything and I should leave. Then, one of my friends called for me. I saw him coming and he pulled me away to another corner. I got furious and asked him the reason to do so. Then he outrageously asked me why was I talking to her? I said what was wrong in talking to a woman. To which he replied “there’s nothing wrong unless she is a prostitute”
I was taken aback for a moment though it was not the first time I have ever spoken to one. I remember my days when I was a child and they were called for the weddings in my village to perform and entertain people. They were called “Bai ji” and for me they were merely dancers until I grew big enough to understand the other meaning of entertainment in people’s life.
But, after knowing this I truly wanted to help her. I went up to her and asked how much did she need? It was a difficult day for her as she was unable to find a customer for herself. Disheartened by her condition and the scorching heat she replied Rs. 50. I asked her if that was enough for her to lead her life. She said that it was enough for her lead a day. More than herself, she was bothered about her baby who had to be fed. With that money, she could buy milk and enough food for herself to feed the baby. She said every day was a new day for her; some days are good and some are bad but she gets people who help her somehow. By that time, my entire gang was there. They heard us and moved by her zeal to fight the situation and live her life. We all took out Rs. 50 and gave it to her. Agreed, we did not have so much but we had as much to help her; even if it was for a day. I was there to see a form of woman, a Goddess while I met another form and this experience has made me respect every form of a woman in my life.