Bangalore, as a city, does not have a particular red light area. But, it does have “areas”, where sex is sold. Starting today this blog will have an account of such areas in and around Bangalore.
While coming back from work on Saturday, I decided to visit MG Road to buy some second-hand books. It was late and then, there I saw the nightlife of Bangalore for the very first time. From past research regarding the documentary, I knew, things were going on in MG Road. So I decided to visit again. The very next day at 9 pm.
MG Road is a glittering area with shops of almost all major brands. with bars that are loud enough to be heard from the streets and pubs that never run out of beer. A perfect spot for the city’s youth to come and relax and let out the stressful week. They do it and do it like its the end of the world. Living in the hostel has taught my nose to differentiate kinds of smoke. And some streets are filled with smokes that are not of cigarettes or gas. But, rather drugs.
You will find everyone here, it seems. From a group of girls, smoking, to couples not aware of their surroundings or I should say, madly in ‘love’ that they don’t bother with a guy walking behind them, seeing them caressing each other’s bodies and also families who come to shop and dine at one of the many restaurants here. Altogether, it’s a major market area, like any you would expect in a metropolitan city.
And the business that is going here is almost invisible to you unless you are looking for it. Chances are you’d come and go without looking at those lusty eyes and the fear that is hidden in them. I almost missed it. But my persistence rewarded as the night started to set in. After roaming for an hour or so. It was around 11 pm, that I first saw this group of African/Nigerian women sitting on a dark stairway next to a closed shop. I had seen some of them earlier in the walk and thought them to be tourists. But then they come out of the darkness to the corners of the streets and clients started pouring. During the time I was observing them, they did not finalize any client and kept on roaming. Probably not able to negotiate a common price. At first, there was a group of three girls and then as I went a little further there was this another group nearby of another two girls. They all would have been around 30-40 years in age.
As the night started to set in, they become more active in roaming the streets. Most probably, because they were without a client on a Sunday night, and it was getting late. There came some college students. But looking at the way they were going in and out of the conversation with them, they just could not negotiate a common price. There was no-one near them, which suggests that they were practicing it individually.
In Bangalore, there are mainly three types of prostitution going on. First, where there is a middleman or procurer, who will arrange the girls for the client. The girls don’t have a say to decide who they sleep with. Second, the business of call girls or escorts, they can be independent or under an agency (who is mostly a single man). Third, are these individual prostitutes who solicit in public and ask as much money as they want and there is no procurer for them. Which can be some problem, How? (It’s a long topic to discuss fully, wait for another blog on this)
The procurer’s major work is to keep the girls ready for any client, anytime. For which he maintains a repo with the local policemen and in case of a raid these girls are easily taken out from the custody of the policemen. They are not harassed by them but instead have to give favors to them. The favors can be money or free sex. (A separate blog will elaborate on this.)
Individual prostitution in Bangalore is the highest. With girls practicing it for many reasons. But, most of them are harassed at a younger age, one of the major reasons they choose to do this work.