Lane 256, Kamathipura, Mumbai: Part Two



The head in the Kotha, Maya-Bhai eyes the girls and looks around for her most glamorous girl, Neelam. Suddenly her phone rings, “Neelam! You have to be here and why is the fucker holding you in Bandra..acha theek hai, you’ll be late..ok, do you have someone in mind.” Maya Bai is gabbling and sparking invective that almost shook the building with fear.  “Saale Gandu, Madarchod Saala lund, he is holding the best girl for no reason in Bandra.” Neelam is keeping the fading film star for company and Maya Bai is in a foul mood. She scouts the girls who are secretly hoping that they would be called for duty throughout Saturday night and Sunday morning. After all, it’s a huge stack of money that shall take care of their trip to the parlor, food and rent for the month.

Finally, Maya Bai takes a drag of the biddi and ordered, “Prabha, just follow me inside,” as Guddiya silently watched her mother’s hurried steps which slowly disappears in the shadow. Guddiya picks up her favorite doll and walks inside the dingy room. Prabha enters the room and her eyes pops wide at the sight of  luxury and comfort that only the star and glamorous Neelam in Lane 256 was fortunate to enjoy. She saw a fat old man, wearing white Kurta-Pyjama, adorned with gold jewelery and expensive ring, sitting on the bed. He speaks gently, “What’s your name?” She mutters with fear running down her spine, “Prabha.”

Seth-ji’s fat body swirls and presses against Prabha as  he caresses her, pinching her nipples and she remained  powerless in his captive. Prabha makes a strenuous effort to move on the bed but Seth-ji squeezes her hand and she grows breathless, averting the halitosis, flowing from his mouth. She feels like throwing up but there was little that she could do. Prabha does as Seth-ji orders, her ashen face grows expressionless as he signals her to open her legs wide. Seth-ji puts a grotesque face, slids down his Pyjama to get inside Prabha. She yowls on the clean mattress as Sethji’s holds her naked body, biting her neck. Seth-ji throw a stack of notes on Prabha’s face and pulls on his Pyjama to walk away from the room.

Prabha’s crumped body lays motionless on the bed, unaware whether she must be relieved for the huge burden that just uncovered her, brutalizing her soul or to feel guilty for selling her body as if it was some hot Vada Pav in the market nearby. Her mind wanders to the innocent Guddiya, unaware of the no-strings nookie flowing inside the cramped room and the violence unleashed on her by a brutal man, worshiped as the savior, ‘Mai-Baap’ by the slum-dwellers in Mumbai. She wheezes with utmost difficulty and slowly, gets up, dressing herself, strutting, outside the room.

It’s six a.m and Prabha peeks inside the damped room, below the staircase. Guddiya was deep asleep in the arms of her friend and confident, Mala, whose destiny is sealed along with hers’. Prabha eyes grew moist and was bating for breath. She walks inside the kitchen, picks up a steel glass and pours water from the matka. A loud sound stews through the chawl and woke up everyone, scampering in the hall. Two gun shots was heard and a coarse voice shrieks, almost begging for help. The pimp, Raju, dashes inside, almost breaking the door and blurts out, “Was Seth-ji hear? He has just been shot and his body is scattered on the ground near his Skoda car.”

Prabha slowly opens the window and is horrified to see Seth-ji lying in a pool of blood, who minutes ago, mutilated her body. She is in a wooly state , unsure whether to smile or feel a tinge of sadness for the brutal murder of Seth-ji. Deep inside, she feels liberated. Guddiya is trembling with fear and her tiny, wobbly fingers clutches Prabha’s saree. She caresses her daughter’s head and hold her tight to her chest.

A deep bond surges between mother and daughter, trying to make sense of each other’s existence in this world that betrays their existence as human beings. Their silent hearts speaks thousand words of love, motherly affection flowing in the universe and grateful to God for carrying them into each other’s world. The cathartic moment between Guddiya and Prabha is precious to each other’s eyes as they find solace in a wordless moment, deeply understanding their emotions and desires where two hearts weavs a tale of love, deep understanding skewed by the umbilical cord.

The End.

This is a work of fiction and none of the characters ressemble any person, living or dead.

With Love



  1. It was a real sensitive portrayal of the bitter shady world. The shde which is away from the normal lives who aspire for more and live in security. The insecure life of commoner and that of a woman in such a place which signifies almost every such woman living in poverty and fighting for survival is beautifully sketched. You held the chord throughout and in the end,that screeching pain of hers could be sensed in the lines. Well done!

    • Thank u so much. I must concede that when I started, I was quite apprehensive whether I’ll be able to pull it well since I was attempting a sensitive portrayal for the first time on the underbelly of society and their plight. So true, Soumya how the poor fights for survival every single day. Thanks so much. I’m overwhelmed at the response.

  2. Touching and cathartic it was…The compulsions push so many people towards the spiral of deep dark tunnel with no light visible on the other side. While we feel for all the Prabha out there through this heart wrenching account, is there any long standing solution ? Thanks for this portrayal…

  3. Its a world in itself with its own characters and their own kind of charm. You also need these kind of people I think.. There is this quote I came across long time back.. “Never hate the bad people it’s because of them the good guys feel good about themselves” 🙂


  4. I liked how you made the surroundings come alive even in such a dark surroundings… you could see the tiny cramped areas in part one and the protagonist cramped even within the upgraded new room under the politician. Thats the mark of someone who has good hold over his vocabulary.

  5. You’ve brought out one of the darkest areas of our lives with so many sharp details. The mother and daughter bonding is the most touching part of this story. There must be so many ‘Prabhas’ like her who must be dying a silent death each day but are surviving only for the sake of their children.
    Kudos for this excellent write up Vishal!

    • Thanks so much, Ruchira and m glad u liked the post. A gritty existence beyond our world and as you said, we must be grateful what we have in our life. Sometimes, imagination of the cruel world makes us shudder what the underbelly goes through, the suffering and silent death they are subjected every single day. Is death a boon in disguise and liberation?

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