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Not For Sale



One thing Back Punch always wanted to write on was the age old industry of Prostitution or probably, in a not so harsh note, story of the commercial sex workers.

Human Trafficking

They have so many names, places, taboos attached to their profession. A whore, a red light area and a lot of other words in the local language. We have always heard about the red light area in Pune which falls in Budhwar Peth. The surprising thing about this area is that it’s adjacent to the Mecca of second hand book sellers-the Appa Balwant Chowk. No one has read about the brothels in Pune. All of us know about Kamathipura in Mumbai or Sonagachi in Kolkata. The red light area belt in Pune is probably the third largest in India.


This makes us recall an instance we heard from a friend. He stayed somewhere near Budhwar Peth. He had a habit of waking up and going straight into his balcony, stretching himself and looking out, enjoying the gentle breeze. He noticed a shopkeeper, before unlocking his shop, he looked straight and joined his hands as if praying. He couldn’t see whom the shopkeeper was greeting as a tree blocked his view. Furthermore the shopkeeper also closed his eyes as if he was in a temple and concluded by touching the tip of his fingers to his chest. He ignored it for a week, he again saw it.


He ran down, waited for that person to open the shop, and asked, “Where is a temple here?” looking around. The shopkeeper replied, “There is a brothel right next to your apartment. The women there earn a living by selling their self-respect. If they hadn’t been in Pune, we would have seen our daughters, sisters all getting raped on the roads, hence they are nothing less than God to me.”


The friend mentioned the whole episode to us. We really felt that comparing sex workers to God was an unwanted hyperbole but we did respect the thinking of the shopkeeper. It also makes us realize that a rape is hardly ever heard of in Pune.


In India we do not have dignity of labour. We need to understand the fact that these women take up this profession not by choice but its sheer poverty or probably a known person forcing them or selling them off. We also have instances where girls/boys indulge in such activities to support their education.


The other part which goes ignored is the children of these sex workers. These children are denied education by the people who run these rackets. They suffer from nutritional deficiencies and are mostly sold to child traffickers and that money is never given to the biological mother. We as individuals cannot make a difference but we can stop calling them prostitutes and the likes and start mentioning them as commercial sex workers.


Live and let live.


After all let’s remember what the shopkeeper said.





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43 thoughts on “Not For Sale

  1. Jits

    I totally feel that the shopkeepers feelings for those women are absurd, each profession is respected in its own way.In some foreign countries where I have been to, prostitution is not the way its seen in India, girls and women even walk naked there for some cause and they area not harmed at all. Its only the mindset that needs to be changed of some people in India.

    My other point of view is not many women take up this profession by sheer poverty, but the kind of lifestyle they need without much effort.

    I loved the caption “NOT FOR SALE”.

  2. Kamini Kamthe

    Not the best when compared with your recent works but what a way to acknowledge the sex workers. And the ending is tricky but yes let’s just think of what the shopkeeper said.

    1. Back Punch Post author


      Some people just don’t change. You are one fine example to that. Back Punch is in no way asking you to change as well.
      Respect the opposite gender. At least, if not for yourself, for the sake of your mother.
      Life’s too short Paul. BUT, you still do have time to change your way of thinking.

      Stay Blessed,

  3. Shrinidhi Narawane

    Short but what a message delivered. Fabulous writing. I could actually see the shopkeeper praying and the tree blocking the view. Wow! Brilliant.

  4. Sanskriti Verma

    A harsh reminder of how sex workers are looked upon in this country. And u tell people how they should be looked at. Obviously not like the way the shopkeeper prayed. But with a little bit of respect. You wlll never run dry of topics to write on as long as you have the attention to detail to the minutest things happening around.

  5. Ashis Honseti

    There is magic in your words.. If anyone else would have written it, it would have been a little sleazy but this is pretty interesting

  6. Marcos M

    Wonderfully edited brother. Great work again and disappointed to know that you had to pull down some post. Just wondering, which one was it.

  7. Bernadette Patrickson

    What a thoughtful piece! Calling a lady a whore is the american culture if the lady doesn’t do things their way. Heart felt piece.

  8. Anonymous

    Its a gud write up as usual…but I cant totally abide to wat the shopkeeper said, though it was sensible…rape happens intentionally and I think presence of sexworkers does nt stop it..lets take d case of Kerala..rapes r reported every day..we cnt b sure if Pune does nt hve ny rapes…rarely ny rape cases r revealed in public..also prostitution was once a forced occupation, but nw it is chosen as to earn sme xtra bucks to live a better life…nyways very gud title and of course d last statement!!

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