Category Archives: Memories

Dear Silent Soul

exploitation

It is late at night, and I am awake, wondering about you.

Yes, me — the one you think of as perhaps belonging to the privileged and educated class. It is true that I can dress up and act as if I belong to their world, but I apologize for the deception. One can say I originated from your world, the working class. Though, I dare not disrespect you and say I can compare our plights. I, after all, can buy myself into another class, even though I don’t really belong. You, however, have no opportunity to move up the social ladder. Though I blend into their world, that does not make me a better being at all. It is pompous for me to express this, but let me admit, you haven’t left my mind.

Who asks about you? Who gives you hope? Who tells you to keep striving in a cruel world? Who tells you there is something to look forward too? Who prays for you? Who rewards you for hard work? Who tries to understand you when you lose hope and no longer want to put on a crooked smile?

You stand among many. Maybe, at times, you feel like a statistic rather than a human being. Maybe, perhaps, nobody has ever noticed you as a soul, a soul with dreams (broken or still in-tact).

If our paths cross, even for a brief moment,  I will feel honored to know you. And if given such an honor, I desire to know about your life and dreams. I think of you as a human soul, not just another exploited body that toils under the intense heat of this earth.

It is my sincere apology if ever I acted as they did to you. You may have cleaned after me, greeted me, ……..stood for hours on patrol for me, ruined your body and stifled your innocence…. all this you did, for people who appear like me. You simply exist to give ease to people with privileged — and somehow I found myself in that privileged class, as an outsider. My public persona, however, is only a mask — I learnt only to appear like them (the privileged) as a tactic of survival. Once again, I am sorry for the deception.

And what a world we live in! Why is it you are not thanked and celebrated? Why is the most ugly and immoral people are told to us to be beautiful and wise whilst you are silenced?

Yes, ignorant people judge you in shallow ways. They makes jokes and dehumanize you and say you talk  ‘unsophisticated’ or ‘smell’ or you dress tacky. Even the seemingly nice ones discriminate in subtle ways–such as acknowledging you, but deep down considering you inferior. Such minds are elite conformists, who lack empathy. They don’t see why you couldn’t afford their fancy education, nor understand why you cannot afford to dress as a pompous elite prat. Trust me, you are not missing out from the artificial lives they live. I have seen it: there is no soul, the big ‘promise’ they exude is pure deception.

Let them have the world, the duniya. Thats all they have. Their money, so-called ‘beauty’, and prestige cannot buy true love or genuine human bonds, nor does their material existence make them more desirable to our Maker.
Yes, many people in our debauched world are obsessed over and celebrate the so-called ‘amazing’ people (you know, those rich ‘beautiful’ pompous elite who are apparently examples of lovely beings). I am not interested at all to see the lives of the privileged– how utterly mediocre and predictable they are–they all desperately want to be heard and seen. It is the silence that captivates me, it is the things that society tells us to shun that I want to know.

I embrace you (the silenced souls), I celebrate you. But forget about me and my concern, I am nobody. It is our Creator who places you higher than those upper crust villains. Who am I to tell you this? It is I, perhaps, that should learn from you. It is I that needs to be silent and listen to you. Stop me at anytime.  Who am I to explain your plight? Teach me.

Tell me yours dreams. I will listen. Believe me, I wish I could begin to understand your isolation, your exploitation, your voiceless existence and how you silently blend into a background that ignores you. Tell me the most intense or mundane thing, and let it be appreciated. I just only hope I can understand, even though there are billions of dreams/stories/thoughts that have been bottled up. Someone, somewhere, is listening.

 

**

The House Keeper

I came back to my hotel early to rest for a few hours. Upon entering my room, the housekeeping maid was in the midst of tidying my room. I sat on my bed and rested while a male maid was tidying my room. He was a small, older man with brown skin and a cheerful face. I asked him if he had restocked the water bottles in the room, as I was thirsty from just coming out of the humidity from outside. He quickly went and got me multiple bottles of water, and then asked me, “Where are you from Ma’am?”

I explained to him my mixed origins, which then I turned the question to him, knowing he was from a similar region as my Mother’s origins. We were both Muslims, also. I quickly made a mental note of his scenario without him telling me: he was a migrant worker and this underpaid job was the best he could find, tragically — he also likely left his entire family in order to find whatever work he could. My observation was almost accurate, until I asked him “Do you miss your family back home?” He then told me, ” I don’t have much family left back home.” Then upon further discovery, I learnt that he had never married at all, nor had children. And given his cultural origins, I was shocked. “Why not?” I asked, very immaturely. He then said: “I am poor. I have nothing. I am old now. Nobody wants someone like me.”  I instantly refuted this statement and said, “No, don’t say that. That is not true, there is somebody for everyone. Insha’allah, you will find someone one day.” But then he said to me, “Ma’am, you are rich, you don’t understand.” I almost wanted to explain to him that I have not always been  ‘rich’ or that I am not rich back in my home country. But then I realized my privilege at that moment — even though I am a prostitute, I bought my way out of a lower economic class. Given the reality that I was staying at a luxury hotel, I could not insult him by comparing my plight to his. He acknowledged me kindly and then went back to his work. As soon as he left, I felt tears brimming in my eyes. I could not forget his words, nor his situation. Perhaps his imaan (faith) was so strong that he accepted the lonely reality of his life? Perhaps he accepted that he was basically going to do slave labour for the rest of this life? Or did he accept it? Was the kindness and cheerful expression that he exuded masking a deep sadness? Or did he find some way to cope with this reality? These questions boggled my mind. He was such a nice person — yet he considered himself unworthy for love and marriage — why is he not ‘worth’ anything in today’s society? Why are the good souls left dejected and silenced?

My mind reassured itself when thinking of him, and the numerous others I met in a similar situation: “A man, alone, is the neighbour of God” — an Eastern Proverb

They might be maids, labourers, sex workers or sex slaves, cleaners, doormen, and many more —never forget to acknowledge those who are unappreciated in today’s world. Never lose touch with the earth, stay humble.

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Three Years Of Escort Diary

Old Man: “From the hot fire of being apart, comes the flame that burns the heart”

Lateef: “That was beautiful, you speak very well.”

Old Man: “These are words from the heart, my son”

-Dialogue from the film Baran (2001).

courtesan-dressingI started this blog three years ago. I started it during an important change in my life. I had just left my engagement. I had just immersed myself into the realm of working independently for the first time, without knowing what to expect. I was also a full-time University student. Three years later, I claim myself as a high-end courtesan, and strangely enough I feel a similar emptiness that I experienced when I started this blog three years ago. But much has changed indeed.

It would be incorrect to say that I’ve been empty and sad continuously. A prostitutes life and experiences witnesses an amalgam of emotions; nothing is static. In the past three years, there has been happiness and many blessings, and I’ve had many beautiful experiences. I am very thankful for them. My heart was grasped by my great lover, the Sheik, whom I wrote about in these past years. And as I had written, our love did eventually hit a brick wall, shattering our hearts. Wounds remain fresh. Burning, I am trying to see the beauty in this pain. For the moment, I honor this love by lonesome tears, finding the torment of separation unbearable, hopeless at times. The beautiful memories are starting to become clouded amongst the pain. And worst, I never showed any sorrow outwardly. Strangely enough, I concealed all of my pain with the facade of pride, thereby masking the tears of honor. In hopeless moments, I wanted all the love to turn into hate. But the truth remains in the heart. God only knows the extent of my heart, the honoring of love through tears.

Here is an incomplete poem I wrote a while ago: 

In the midst of helplessness, I sought to destroy my image.

Perhaps intentionally, I destroyed myself before your eyes,

Tarnishing your perception of my beauty, my grace,

Converting the good memories into hate, regret, despair.

But my intentions were for the sake of survival,

So that you can feel no remorse, so you forget my beauty, forget our bliss.

You can say, “She never loved me. She only loved money. She is happy selling herself. She has other men in her life.”

I painted this false impression.

Yes, in my state of helplessness, I wanted you to believe these things, so you feel no guilt.

For hating me will make your life easier rather than seeing that I loved you with all my heart and life.

Though silent and concealed, God only knows the extent of my honor,

The secrets lay concealed in my heart.

______________________

For this post, I will share some meaningful, poetic lyrics to a song:

madhubala-tawaif

Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya  – When we love, why should we fear?

The following lyrics are from the masterpiece film Mughal E Azam (1960) which is filled with the most enriching Urdu dialogue and songs. The film depicts the legend of Anarkali, the tragic tale of the Mughal Prince Salim and his love Anarkali, a courtesan. In the film, Anarkali sings the song Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya to defend her love with Prince Salim, and also to defend the honesty of her heart (she was accused of deceit). By revealing her heart in this song, she was risking her own life. Her honest heart lead to her imprisonment.  Her love, Prince Salim, also endured all the punishments for the sake of their love. For as the song says, “We have only loved, why should we be afraid?” The Urdu lyrics are powerful and expressed so beautifully. Visually, I love watching the actress Madhubala performs this song so eloquently. Here is a translation of the lyrics:

It is but once that man falls in love with another

In anguish he lives, in anguish he dies

When we have loved, why should we fear?

We have loved, not committed a theft

We have only loved

Why should we be afraid?

I’ll reveal today the secrets that stay in my heart

Death is what the world witnesses

What good is dying a death of sufferance like this?

We have loved, why should we fear?

In desire of him, I shall burn

For love, I shall live

For love, I shall die

Nothing more is my will

Now that I am in love, why must I fear?

Our love will not remain hidden

Everywhere around us are stories of our love

There is nothing that separates us from God

Why should we create barriers between humans?

We have loved, why should we fear?

Watch Madhubala’s beautiful performance of Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya in Mughal E Azam:

On a final note, here is another powerful line that is attributed to Anarkali:

While flowers wither away, “Thorns live not in fear of wilting”

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It’s not obvious, but …

bw

This soft haven that I am, created and sold, has a history…

It repulses some, excites others… or perhaps both.

How many …

..tongues have searched the skin..

.. times has hot arousal of another poured onto the breasts, the tummy, the posterior…or inside..

..insatiable mouths have tasted the slippery arousal seeping from warm areas..

Just how many phallus have entered me?

Many..

..brands of saliva have coated me..

..fingerprints lay evidence to this sensual past.

These nipples, loved and suckled by countless lips and mouths; cuffed by endless fingers and hands

Yet nobody would guess that this body has been on all fours or on its back spread for countless men.

Every inch of my body has been discovered, yet only one conquered it to render me powerless.

And I think to myself, would the conqueror even know the title of having conquered such a popular destination?

I hide it all so well, this history which only I know.

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The Courtesan: Preparing for a Client in Vain..

preparing-in-vainI step out of the shower, and lotion my body to make it silky soft and soothe. I silken my hair. I apply my makeup with a racy, provocative touch.

I press red lipstick against my soft lips and decorate my eyes with dark liner. For a second, I imagine you are staring at me in all my vanity. How I know it will arouse you to see me so delicate and so alluring. Not only do I look as if saturated in lust, but my scent is just as daring, my demeanor is even more risqué. Its all yours, I say to myself.

Then I squeeze my generous portions of breasts into a silk and lace bra…a bra too small for my voluptuous breasts. How inviting they are…and how I long for you too see me in such a spectacular sight. Finally, I slip on a matching panty over hips that were made to be grasped by loving hands.

I caress my breasts and close my eyes. I caress myself by imitating all the ways you once touched me. I am taken back to a vision of when your hands lovingly grabbed a hold of my soft flesh….and how they were placed onto the warmth of your mouth. My scent is dripping in allure, and how I long for you to taste me.

I’ve prepared my body for a client…drenched in my sensual ritual. My body is ready to arouse, to evoke admiration. I anticipate how a strange man will feast his eyes on my womanly body, along with my reddened lips and eyes. He will be mesmerized by my smile, and he will feast on my enticing curves. But my dearest, I wish it wasn’t some strange man who is granted such pleasures — I wish it was you.

bustyNow he see’s me and compliments my vain efforts. Slowly everything comes off, all my attire. The only thing that remains is the erotic nature of my face, and a very exposed body. Instead of you, it is a strange mans mouth who explores and tastes my body. When he parts my legs, how I long for you to be in his place. So I close my eyes, and imagine that your soft lips are touching my skin.

He is so aroused, and yet I only long to see your arousal. I have no desire to tease him with my ornaments like I did with you, nor show him my erotic capabilities ..no, I reserve them all for you. Yet still I pretend..I pretend as if your touch is what I feel. Take my body and immerse yourself in me. He is left fulfilled and satisfied, while my insatiable desire is left longing…….yearning.

The job is done. I remove the facade one by one, and slip back into normal attire. I put back the jewelry, and fine lingeries. I look at them closely and recite a line I once heard: “What are these pearls for ….if they are valued by no one?”

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A Letter of Acceptance and Sorrow – Irony with Purpose

Is it a mere coincidence that my fate unfolded as it did? After I brutally discarded my ex-finace and broke his heart, I was met with the so-called fruits of life (wealth, praise, luck). Yet in an ironic twist, such ‘fruits’ didn’t bare any meaning in the long term. Is it a coincidence that another great man, the Sheik, came into my life…and isn’t it ironic how this great man can only ever be a temporary bliss? Is it ironic how I get all this admiration from numerous men, yet I am so deeply isolated in my thoughts and emotion? There is a reason for everything. I accept my fate.

heart

My mind comes backs to dear person I once met in my life. A short encounter, yet a meaningful encounter. He told me of an old proverb (from an unknown source). He said there are many disabilities that are not visible to the eye. For instance, we often view people with disabilities as someone who has a visible problem, such as being blind, handicap, etc. We look at these people and feel thankful that we are not in their condition. We pity them. Indeed these people endure hardships. But we also fail to look at disabilities that are not visible to the eye, such loneliness, pain, depression, hopelessness. There are many forms of pain, and suffering….and often they not visible or known. I do not pity myself. What I endure is something that I can, thankfully, manage. But my heart often cries for those who cannot manage. There are people with worse conditions who do not even protest or seek help……I wish those people all the best, for their courage. When I say I am suffering, I am not asking for help……I am thankful for this, ironically. Pain opens my eyes, to the light from the darkness.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

If this is Your way of punishing me for the terrible things I did in the past, then I accept it. But I just ask, in perhaps a selfish way, of how much longer will I be punished? Perhaps I deserve it. Perhaps I don’t even deserve to know how much longer I must endure this suffering. But I know You did this for a reason, and I am so thankful for all the experiences in my life, both good and bad, because I know You are doing the best for me .

5 years ago, I met a met a man whom I deeply hurt. He was my lover, my life partner, a man who was the light to my darkness. He was like a Sufi poet, who was devout in his love. Like that of Akbar the Great Mughal Emperor and his love for his non-Muslim wife Jodha, he accepted me for who I was. He had so much love in his heart, so much love to give. He asked for nothing in return. He only asked that I hold his heart in mine. He proposed that we make a family together, and stay together as husband and wife. So for almost 3 years, we lived like husband and wife being engaged, and we dreamt of having a family. Like any true lover, he sought to protect me. I saw how he truly would fight against his own life to keep me safe and protected. But those were ideal times. The reality is that I was full of darkness and hatred, and I introduced my sorrows into his honest heart.

My ego killed not only us, but it crushed his soul. I left him. I left him alone, without any emotional support. Yes, I had the ideal love, a man who gave up his life for me, lovingly and sincerely. A man who put me first. A man who accepted me as I am, and was willing to do whatever to protect me, fight for me. And suddenly, because of feeling I needed to ‘live my life’ I abandoned him.

The sad part of our story is that I was a selfish, egotistic person when I was with him. I didn’t appreciate his love, his kindness and his generosity. I was dominant in our relationship, which he enjoyed. He made the money, he paid the bills, but it was me who decided what to do with the money. I made all the decisions, which didn’t bother him at all. Yet all the decisions were to benefit myself. I never thought of his needs, which his only need was that I keep him in my heart. I only thought of myself throughout our relationship. He tried so hard to please me. He cooked gourmet meals for me, he bought whatever I wanted, he made love to me to make sure I get pleasure in abundance and before his own, and he made every effort to enjoy the same hobbies as I, such as reading and writing. Yet despite his perfection, I was so blind. I criticized him, I put down his confidence, and I made him feel like he was worthless. If I deserve any punishment, the punishment should be severe. I deserve the worst for what I did.

So yes, I had a man who loved me more than himself, who moved across the world to start a life with me. And I left him. He invested money and everything he had into me, but mostly he invest his heart. His heart, which I broke and abandoned. After we seperated, he wrote to me beautiful letters. He would ask me to reconsider my decision – he asked me to come back to him

After I left him, I was quick to do whatever I wanted. I jumped right into another relationship, with the Sheik (like my ex, also a client). I had everything I thought I wanted: freedom to do whatever I want, a generous Khaleeji lover, all bills and expenses paid, my own place, etc. But then I realized how miserable I was. I traded a perfect man for a fake life, a life of insignificance. And what is the cause of all this? My ego. The very idea of needing to cater to myself is the biggest evil in my life. In the process of ‘bettering myself’ I neglected so many people – and inevitably I neglected myself in the end.

So I sit here, with money, material abundance…everything I thought I always wanted. But I realize how deeply unhappy I am, because I have nothing with true meaning. Material things give temporary happiness, but it brings zero meaningful or wholesome feelings. What is missing in my life are things that money cannot buy. The things I desire are family, good friendships and love. And to have a family with security and protection (something I didn’t have) I desire stability with the man I love — a man that I once had, but I threw him away. So now I am being punished. Punished for my selfishness. And I deserve every tear that I’ve cried. I deserve every moment of loneliness and wondering if life is even worth living if I have to continue this way.

holding hands

The irony of it all, I have someone. I have my Sheik. Is it Your way of testing me? It this my punishment? Is it Your intention that another amazing, perfect man entered my life? And it is just a coincidence that he can never marry me or give me children? If so, I accept Your punishment. I accept my tears. My Sheik resembles my dear ex-fiance in that he does all that he can to please me, and does so lovingly and with sincerity. Bless his heart. Anything I need, he gives it with pleasure. The Sheik’s infamous words to me are, “Min Ayouni ya omry,” which min ayouni essentially means ‘from my eyes‘ in Arabic, or in English interpretation, “It would be my pleasure to do anything for you.” We cry in each others arms when we discuss our future. I swear to myself that I will leave him, and at times I’m often determined to do so. But the reality is I am so attached to him. Every part of my life has been incorporated with his life. Yet at the end of his studies, the truth will become reality: we can never be together. I love him, but I cannot bare the idea that our love will never blossom into something truly symbolic: a family.

I have tried to leave him, and I did so with full determination. But when I leave him, he will not let me go. He will come to my feet and kiss them. He will take my hands and say, “Slap me, hurt me…do whatever you want to me….but don’t leave me.” He feels the pain too, how can I punish him for something that pains him perhaps more? And lately, he says what I thought I wanted to hear: “I will marry you, we can have children.” He knows that’s what I want. He wants it too, and we talk about having a girl first. But there are too many politics that will result from making our love official.

I don’t want to imagine the consequences of our love. The consequences are only more pain and hurt. If our love remains, then we lose love in other ways. Our happiness will bring pain for others. How can I be selfish and ask for such a thing? If we get married, we must stay here (in the West). Staying here means that he will lose his family, his career. Staying here means our children will have only one set of grandparents, from my side. Staying here means we are isolated and alone from the loving arms of family members. Staying here means our child will grow up with an uncertainty of cultural traditions, because sadly my own culture has got contaminated by mainstream Western ideology. So I tell him, “No. I will never marry you and live here.” Do I want to raise my child in an environment where it’s ‘cool’ to be materialistic? Do I want my children to grow up without structure from a strong-knit family? No. It makes me saddened to imagine having a child experience the same life I did….the same circumstances and ideologies that indoctrinated me to believe that being  ‘independent’ and ‘sexy’ was something to embrace, when in reality it lead me into prostitution and money addiction.  There is no way I want to stay here, the West, in an isolated family. So the Sheik and I… we cry more, because hope is against us. There is no chance for us to be in Saudi either without hardships. Family acceptance is another hurdle, a hurdle that I understand. Although Saudi culture is rapidly changing and giving into Western ideology, I do understand the urgency to preserve whatever’s left of the ‘old’ ways. Our love is a classic example of how the cruel forces of politics and society are preventing us from establishing our basic desires.

So, I understand Your intentions. I just ask, please let this suffering be over, because I have learnt my lesson. For the past 2 years, I have understood my right from wrong, and Inshallah, I will change it, with Your help.

—————————————–

Leila and MajnoonI adore films and poetry. Many classic tales illustrate the pain of a forbidden relationship, such as the classic tale of Laila and Majnon in Persian/Indian/Arabic Folktales. An excellent Bollywood film that portrays such forbidden love is, “Veer Zaara,” where Veer and Zaara are very much like Laila and Majnon. The song below  (in 2 parts) from the film has powerful lyrics that illustrate the strength of love and sorrow. “Why is there a tradition of cruelty?”

“If I see your face, I will forget all my sorrows” — 2:33 seconds

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