Readers Write In #274: One night stand

Posted on September 26, 2020


(by Vikram MN)


I got down from my cab around 1.45 AM and smiled back at the driver after closing the door. Because it was an auspicious day, CMBT was crowded. I crossed the road to go to my house which is at the opposite side of the bus stand. I have the habit of having a cigarette and thanking everything that had happened throughout the day, before I take the last puff. Also to have strong tea with froth and cigarette between the first finger and middle finger. I kinda feel heroic. I wanted to shoot a close up shot of cigarette and tea in that angle. The bursting bubbles of tea and the tip of cigarette turning from red to grey, which keeps falling, in sync. It’s so beautiful and romantic. I think everything is romantic at 1.45 AM. It’s one time that nothing could put me in bad mood. None would be awake and none would be there to disturb. Rather than being alone, that’s the one time I practice solitude.

Before putting my mobile phone into airplane mode, Arun was the last person who had sent me a message through WhatsApp. Whenever he sees me with a cigarette he used to chide me saying that, “nee enapanaporae, atharoundaroundasuthikizavizurathapakanum. Avlothanae….” (What to you want to do, you want to see that thing making rounds and falling down) That’s how he mentions the romantic cigarette ash fall off that I admire. One thing which I could admire more than fine light whisky going down the rocks on an unsmooth whisky glass, is this.

I was wearing black and white, checked Louis Philippe shirt, I think that was my last formal shirt which I bought, that too for close to two thousand rupees. I remember on the very first day, Vimal, calling it nice. It was a time I was in ‘form’. I’m sober now. In every way.

That shirt matches with my white and black specs frame. But with respect to shirts I’ve always had doubts whether to tuck in or not. I’ve always misjudged my height like everyone who misjudges my height when I’m sitting. I think I have a shorter upper body. So whenever I tuck in my shirt it looks awfully bad but I always get a doubt next time I wear a shirt. This problem is partly due to the fact that unlike many I don’t wear low rise pants. Not because I don’t like it, but the three jeans that I had bought for around two thousand rupees each were branded and still looks good. I don’t feel like spending money for new jeans when the old one is good.

So with the two thousand rupee first-bought costly Pepe Jeans and this black and white checked shirt I approached the tea shop. It was really crowded for a weekday night 2 AM time. As soon as he saw me, the guy who goes around to give tea to customers, I guess the owner, because he’s the one who deals with money, ordered a strong tea for me and sat in the kalla (cash box) and kept a cigarette on top of one of the aluminum biscuit jars lined up there which didn’t have a lid. I took it and lighted from the lighter stand there. Again… the tip of cigarette, the tobacco and lights, the sparks… it was all so beautiful. It was like showing the close-up shots of food when Mary comes to the tea shop in‘Premam’. Only here there wasn’t a camera and it’s only I who could appreciate the beauty.

The master made tea and kept with a ‘tut’ in the protruded granite slab which encloses his stove. It was by now dirty with extra cheeni(sugar) and tea stains. We have a no nonsense relationship, the tea guy and I. we hardly talk, rarely greet, never ever smile at each other. I go take my cigarette, buy my tea, pay the eighteen rupees and come back content. Most of the time I try to tender exact change there for some untold reason.

So this time with cigarette in hand and tea in same hand I turned to come back to my position of center of the stairs but within a second, as soon as I changed ten degree I saw a navel. Yes NAVEL. That’s the first thing it stuck me. Because you don’t see a navel every day in a tea shop. Even though I stared only for a little more than a fraction of second, it felt like a close up shot of something extraordinary. Only then I realized it was a girl,who had one side of her shirt lifted up, other side rolling down her denim shorts. She had an amazing dusky skin. All this I analyzed in one second looking at her slender waist.

In the next second before going down I looked from bottom to top, she was wearing a sneakers, her legs were shapely, she had a strong thigh, the sides of which looked well-muscled and her whole skin looked oily. It only made her dusky color look even better, her thighs, then her waist, then the everlasting navel. Her shirt was a mix of khaki and dark blue and white and light blue checks. Looked like it was made of linen, but it was not, it was cotton.

I looked further up, her breasts were nothing much to rave about. So that section didn’t interest me much, I went further up and looked at her lips. Shh… party spoiler. Bright red lipstick, she had a weird type of lips, it was puckered but I loved it. Her lipstick was the one which spoilt the mood. Further up, she had a pointed nose. A type of nose which my mother says as the best. My dad has a roundish tip to his nose. She had a small mole near her left eye. Something about that was nice too… her eyes was sharp and her forehead plain. Her hair was wavy and layer cut and very shiny. Felt like her hair was fixed to her after modelling her.

But wait… isn’t she her? I was doubtful for an instant but by that time I had turned and come back to position. And what was she doing? Smoking cigarette at that time of the night? What’s she? Is she a slut? Come on… I didn’t want my always happy 2 PM midnights to have some event. That’s the only time I usually am happy without a reason. I don’t want any event to happen at that time and fucking write about that in my unlicensed Microsoft Word and post it in my fucking blog.

Yes… it was her. By the time I finished my tea and cigarette, faster than usual because I didn’t want her to go but I didn’t know whether what I wanted to talk.And, didn’t know whether I could talk to that type of person. It was amazing that a girl that hot wasn’t getting noticed at all by anyone. Everyone were doing their own job as if she too was a part of an acceptable society. Are prostitutes this common? How did I fail to see her? I regularly take the 12’o clock cab from my office and come to this place at 1.45 PM. I had never seen her till then. Or is she a ghost like that of ‘Talaash’. Has late night shifts got me psyched. I was lamenting on that fact. I was making sure that I would fix my gaze on her when I look at her next.

I turned back to give the change of twenty rupees, keep the tea glass on top of already stained aluminum lids and get the change which the owner keeps it on the same lid. It happened like every day but for me it felt like a slow mo and every sound was like that of vacuum. Only at that time I noticed her having a sling bag like that of mine which Smitha presented to me before she left from my office. I always wear that when I wear this shirt. But that sling bag didn’t affect my view of her navel when I first looked. Did it appear all of a sudden, and where did the cigarette go? She smoked it off? Faster than me? No chance… no one smokes faster than me… expect for Pandi. Or is she really a ghost. Oh rubbish… you don’t realize that someone is a ghost right away… That’s the first rule of horror story.

She was looking at the other side and our eyes met suddenly while taking the two rupees change from the owner and keeping it in my wallet. It definitely was her. I was trying to say ‘hi’. What was I doing? What would people think of me if I say ‘hi’ to that kind of person? But couldn’t she be just another sexy girl in tea shop? Seriously…. Just another sexy girl in tea shop? I asked myself. But what would be even worse is she mistaking me for a customer. I don’t want to lie that the thought of banging her in the hotel room didn’t cross my mind. I thought,so what if she mistakes me as a customer?Even that would be something new. I always wanted to go to a prostitute and a prostitute this hot… I didn’t have any complains.

I said ‘hi’. She smiled back. Not the kind of smile that she gives to the customers. But the kind of smile she gives to her guy friends with whom she has her breakfast in our food court. I’ve always seen her with guys and she mingles with them quite freely. Even though we losers call such girls slut, I didn’t think that she really would be a slut. How awesome it would be if every girl like that whose number we didn’t get would be on streets waiting for the customers. I laughed at my evil thought.

“Is that yo..?” She said, “Yes” before I could complete my sentence. A man feels happy even if a lady recognizes you, even if she is a slut. I was no different.

“But you don’t seem to be feeling least bit guilty,” fuck! What did I say? Even if she is a prostitute you can’t be that rude. And I’m judging? I call myself a teenage Woody Allen but me judging a person. I could never call myself an artist hereafter.

“No I don’t,” it’s not a snap back answer. It’s an answer to question. The very fact that she didn’t get angry for the fact that I judged her made me angry at first, then made me feel little, next. She won.

“Oh I didn’t know that you know me…”

She smiled back. She was beautiful. Why did she have to do that? No I’m not going to give part of my salary to help her out of the situation but I sure did feel guilty.

I realized that I was standing there and staring at her for quite a while. Or it could be like previous instances of slow mo and vacuum. I don’t know. I lost sense by that time.

I said, “Okay I’ll leave…” and stood there.

“You don’t have to be guilty…”said she.

She was reading my mind. The only thing I didn’t want is to her, turning a ghost.

“I’m surprised that you had this much of talk with me…” said she. Oh! Poor girl. I felt sad but she didn’t tell that in a voice that would make people evoke sympathy.

I’m not much of a smiler. I don’t like my smile but I tried to smile back. I thought she’d be the third person to say that she liked my smile but she didn’t.

“If you don’t mind, can I talk to you?” I asked her.

“Do you want a story?”

She was killing me with every sentence. I wasn’t sure I could handle her off the bed.

“Don’t worry no one would mind…” said she. Looking at the way I was seeing people around us.

We walked from there to the dingy bus stop next to the tea shop. We settled in a corner which had no lights. I was afraid that she’d put her hands between my thighs and move it further up. But I think I was looking forward to it more than being afraid.

She sat in the last of the aluminumchair, slightly turned towards me, crossed leg. Left leg on top. The thigh cuts on the left when touching the right was too damn sexy even though there wasn’t any light, I could feel it. I wanted to touch it. I kept staring at it. I knew that she knew me staring at it. What am I doing with this woman here? Nail her Vikram, cried my inner conscience.

She smiled at me as if a mother smiles at her child, when she sees her kid prying for a sweet or two which she had made and wouldn’t mind the child taking it even though she would look with a stern eye. She looked at me in that way. Wouldn’t even prostitute go ahead and do the first move… Damn this women kind.

“What you wanted to talk?” got me out of my admiration and anxiety.

“No… I mean what are you doing here?” I blurted out. As soon as I start talking I make myself an idiot. I’m an artist only when I’m dreaming. I got a doubt. Was I dreaming? I can’t do such a silly thing as that of pinching myself in front of a hot lady, even if she is a prostitute.

“I’m doing prostitution.”

I didn’t expect such a direct answer.

“But you are a working woman, you are beautiful, you have admirers in office, then why do you have to do that?” I started with my self-righteousness but didn’t miss the chance to say that she looked beautiful. Well… sexy would be the word but I couldn’t correct after that.

“Thank you… but I do it on my own will…”

Even for a so called open minded person like me, it was a shock.

“Yes…” she nodded.

“But isn’t there a reason for it?”


I kept on looking at her. By then I had forgotten that she was someone whom I shouldn’t talk to.

“This is the story you wanted is it?”

“It’s not about the story…” I lied.

“You choose your subject wisely. I would make a good story isn’t it?” said she. I wanted her to say that she had read my stories but she disappointed me again.

“What do you want to know? A father who tried to rape her own child, an uncle who sold her niece to a prostitution center, a naked photo shot with her pimp boyfriend which went viral so the girl got pushed into prostitution?” she gave all sorts of answers. But there has to be some reason isn’t it.

“Do you ever ask a policeman, why he wanted to be a policeman without having a troubled past. There you can understand the difference between fiction and reality isn’t it? Then why doesn’t that logic apply here?”

“But that’s different…”

“Because its police and I’m a slut,” I definitely would want to be hurt at a different place.

“You mean to say that you got into prostitution because you wanted to get into it?”

“I mean to say that I love sex and that’s why I got into prostitution.”

“I know what’s your next question is going to be. I know with my figure I could have had sex with any man I want. Not that I didn’t but with you people I’m not getting that satisfaction. You people are so afraid that you’d hurt me.”

“This is bed and you are fucking, why do you people want to be good boys?”

It was heavy for me. But these things too she wasn’t saying in a rage, she wasn’t saying in a saint’s tone too. She was saying it like just another girl whom you could finally take it to a coffee shop after a lot of struggle.

Generally I’m a good conversationalist. I use my knowledge powers to talk about one thing or the other. But she hit me hard, very hard. I felt as if I was gasping for breath. I got a high respect for this women. Not that prostitutes creeped me out. I wouldn’t even mind marrying a prostitute. I don’t know what’s the big deal. But it’s like parents who would say no to love marriage citing the society as reason, I would say ‘no’ to a prostitute for the same reason.

While I was turning my gaze to the road to see buses flying past…

“Don’t be afraid no one would doubt you…”

“Sorry?” said I.

“No one would think that you have paid me to talk to me and do things…”

“Do things… you mean here? In the bus stop”

“It’s dark,” she said.

I kept quiet for some time.

“But what made you think that I would not ask you out?”

“Ask me out? How sweet you are…”

I understood my mistake.

“You are afraid,” she said.

I was tired of her finding out everything. I didn’t want to lie. So kept quiet.

“And I think you are in love.” But this I didn’t know how she found it.

“I’m not a kind of person who falls in love.”

“Is she the one who comes for breakfast with you?” Damn these women… I said a sentence before…

“No, she has never come, she never comes”

“Good girls go to heaven… bad girls go everywhere…” said she and laughed. I hated that ideology but loved her spontaneity. I have never met a woman with so much wit. I would gladly pay the amount to talk to her, that the customers pay to fuck her.

“How come no one were giving you a second look? Or are they scared like me too”

“I’m costly…” said her and smiled back.

“If you do not mind, would you like to tell me how much. Even if I couldn’t afford…”

She liked my joke, “ten thousand”

I gasped, “ten thousand?”

She laughed.

“No I don’t mean to…”

She understood, “I know”

“Is this what the rate is?”

“No it could be as cheap as one fifty rupees”

“That’s the cost of my tennis grip,” I was getting more and more comfortable talking to her.

“It’s better to have a grip in this way,” I’m falling for this girl.

“It could go above ten thousand too?”

“Yes but I prefer to do the streets, its more exciting.” Who the hell is she?

“How come you are not sold out today?” I understood my mistake, “I don’t know whether it’s the right word to use.”

“I said I do it upon my will… and you it’s good that you don’t know the terms. Your wife is lucky”

I liked to hear it from her. Even though it projected me a good boy image, I felt manly.

It was 3 PM. I generally miss the 11 PM cab intentionally and come by 12 PM cab. I use the one hour to write but that day I hated myself for wasting an hour daily. May be 1.45 isn’t her regular time. May be she comes early. Comes early… ha ha. What a pun… I’d have got a great friend to talk to at the time of my night. Ya people would not have definitely approved it but the ones going home at that time wouldn’t have had the energy in them to complain to my parents about me spending time with a prostitute. Or who knows they’d have spent their ten thousand much before seeing me with her.

I had a lot of questions. But it became 3 PM. She understood that I had got late. I didn’t understand what she’d be doing next. I didn’t know whether she was real too because when I walked away from her, I could only see darkness in the place we sat. Shecouldn’t have chosen a better location for her ‘job’. Even if she had been a ghost I could appreciate her for choosing the best location.

I smiled at her, I think my smile would have been beautiful at that time. Don’t know why but it made me feel so. I went back to my house and slept.


I was sitting for breakfast, as usual alone, as usual trying to chew my food on my right canine because my left canine is slightly misplaced.

She came, laughing as usual, hitting the guys arm who were with her. I kept on looking at her. She didn’t even glance at me. Even when she did, it was the usual glance that a girl gives a guy when a guy stares at her.

I was confused whether yesterday night was a dream, was she a twin of her, have I attained nirvana or was she really, as I thought, a ghost!