Two hours have passed since I got out of the brothel. I am now having a puff of the cigar of my favorite brand. The best time to have a cigar is a morning in winter or an evening because you can easily save yourself from being noticed by the elders in the locality. The smoke from the cigar and the fog common in winter get mixed and lead to a kind of smog around those surrounding you. I have been summoned at the residence of my beloved this evening and I am torn between whether or not to go. I have lighted a cigar and I am lost in a world of thought.
Here I am finally, in the drawing room at my beloved's, leaving aside all qualms and inhibitions. I must admit I feel like a bundle of nerves. I have heard my beloved telling me many times that her father can hardly be distinguished from those Draculas we read about in stories back in the days of infancy. But he happened to be the same teacher who used to teach me Maths back in college, the discipline I was very good at. He accepted me warmly and sent me home with a hug after we had dined together.
Six months later.........
I am no longer alone. My newly wed wife is doing fine and my married life running well. I no longer have to swallow the stale food cooked by the maid at the mess and I no longer have to be wearing the same dirty dresses for days on the trot. A bachelor with a job mostly gets married to save himself from these troubles apart from the pleasure of the bed. I am planning to visit the brothel once today before returning home. I come here at least once a week. Earlier I would entertain no fear about coming here but now that I have a wife, I often have a sense of apprehension before coming here lest someone should catch me loitering here and break the news to my wife. A few days back, I came across Ashraf, the peon at the office. Since then it has never been the same with him. I now have to give him a lot of importance that springs from my fear of being exposed. I have to address him with a beaming smile even when he is behind time to fetch me a cup of tea. At the tea stall just outside the office, he lights a cigar in my presence caring not even one fig about my being the boss.
As I reach home leaving the brothel, I find my spouse boiling like hot water. As I asked her why she came running towards me in a posture of a contract killer. The cable connection had been off for three days and I made a call to them to come and fix it but to no avail. But, as luck would have it, I happened to forget it and as a punishment, have been asked to eat out tonight. I surprised my wife in double ways the next morning. I got the line fixed and also got a new broadband connection so my wife could watch her favorite serials on the net should there be a problem with the cable network. I got a laptop for myself so I could work uninterrupted but she snatched the laptop and made me sit before the desktop. My wife now spends more of her time browsing the net than sitting in front of the box.
Though I have had an early leave from office today, I do not feel like going to the brothel as I feel feverish. Upon reaching home, I found my father in law bursting in anger and my wife packing her stuff to leave home for good. My father in law slapped me hard on both cheeks and started wrestling with me and in the process my shirt was torn at places. Before leaving, they told everyone about my visiting the brothel. I have been asked by the landlord to leave the house within a week. What actually transpired was that my wife watched a documentary on a brothel and the clientele were exposed with a hidden camera. As luck would have it, I was one of them.
I ended up having a scar on my cheek during the scuffle with my father in law. Instead of getting into the house, I started for the brothel with a sore and a torn shirt. Standing here at the brothel. A prostitute has been eyeing my scar and torn shirt with tears rolling down. After all, it is the heart of a mother. I left after a while as my eyelids grew heavier.
The writer is a vice principal and O levels English language teacher at London Grace International School
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