Why oh why did I loose you
Why did it have to be me
Only if I had listened to you
Today you would be with me
Joseph crumpled the piece of paper and lodged out of the tiny window , the only inlet of light and wind into his room. He ran another cursory glance around his room. He wished he could somehow stop breathing just to escape from the obnoxious smell that assaulted his senses every moment he breathed in his prison for the past two weeks. The smell was sickly sweet odour of many a delicate female body that was submitted to satiate the carnal needs of men. He loathed each moment of his life. Wanting to shut out everything he closed his eyes and slumped back onto the wooden board of his hard bed.
The sound of bangles jingling made him open his eyes.
Scene 1 - A small faintly lit room with a narrow bed in a corner below a small window. A man (Joseph) is lying on the bed with his head in a bandage . A small table is placed a little distance in front of the bed with a pen and few papers on it.
Crumpled paper balls litter the floor.
A girl enters with a tray on which there is a glass of tea and a plate of biscuits. Sound of bangles jingling is heard.
The man slowly swings down his leg from the bed as the girl sits on it's edge.
Girl (smiling) - You are not pretending to be asleep.
Joseph (rudely) - Your bangles woke me up.
Girl laughs looking at Joseph.
Girl (smiling) - You are not at all good at lying.
Joseph (raising an eyebrow) - What makes you think so?
Girl (smiling slyly) - I have seen my share of men.
Joseph (angrily) - I am nothing like those men Maya.
Maya (cocking her haed to a side) - Oh really!
Maya was right about having seen her share of men. After all who else would visit a brothel. But this man was an enigma to her. She had only encountered men who wanted nothing more than to satiate their primal needs. The man in front of her did not even acknowledge such a need. On an impulse she decided to test him. After all she was not her mistresses best girl for nothing.
Picking up the tea glass Maya offered it to Joseph , all the while gazing into his eyes. While he took the glass she suggestively brushed his arm.
Joseph instantly shot Maya a sharp look.
Joseph (narrowing his eyes) - What was that for?
Maya laughed out again.
Maya (curiously) - You are right. You are not like the men I met.
Joseph (in a controlled voice) - I have told you Maya, I am here for my daughter and nothing else.
Maya chose to remain quiet and look at him while he had his tea. He was slowly returning to a healthy state. The pimps who ran her brothel had beaten the soul black and blue for trying to force his way in. When he had reacted back, they had further beat him and locked him up in a dingy room of their house.
Yet his eyes hadn't lost the determined glint in them. They held a fierce need then and now. The need to find his long lost daughter.
Maya glanced down at the paper filled floor. She picked one up and opened it.
Existence seems torture
Days stretched like years.
Knowing that it was I
Who snuffed out the light
From the life of my Light.
Even his poetry was filled with the need Maya thought
Joseph was silently looking at Maya out of the corner of his eyes. He felt his heart being squeezed with fear , sympathy and guilt. She reminded him strongly of his light - his daughter Katherine. Katherine was the ray of sunshine in his life after his wife had died young. His existence had revolved around his nine - year old daughter. He cared for her, pampered her and loved her. She needed nothing and no one but him. The only mistake he did and the one he would never forgive himself for, was trusting his friend with his daughter. The friend turned out to be the worst enemy he could have , taking away his Katherine from him. The man condemned him to seven years of misery, making Joseph blame himself for not listening to his daughter that night. He had convinced his crying daughter to stay with his friend while he had to work late. If he could only change the night. Now, seven years of search had given him a ray hope. Albeit a scary one. His daughter might be in a brothel. Just like the young girl sitting with him.
Joseph (blurting) - Maya don't you miss your family?
Maya's head snapped up and her eyes widened. Joseph saw the pain in her eyes for a flitting second before she masked it.
Maya (sounding indifferent) - I have no family.
Joseph (looking at the floor) - Now you are lying.
Maya (challenging) - What makes you think so?
Joseph (looking at her) - They say eyes are the window to the soul, your eyes are most evidently so.
Maya maintained her faade for a few more moments before her face crumpled. She hid it in her small arms to stem the tears. They flowed out regardless. Her petite form shook slightly. Joseph placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. She removed her hands from her face and shook his hand away.
Maya (with tears in her eyes) - You say you want back your daughter right? How you ever thought about what her future would be?
Joseph looked stumped. Not for once had the thought crossed his mind. He felt an dread rising in him along with the guilt of having unearthed the pain in Maya. The girl had done nothing but good by him, nursing him when he was hurt, giving him company in this God forsaken place.
Maya ( smiling sadly at Joseph) - I thought so, I too had a family , a happy life. But I know better than to think that they would want me now.
Joseph (suddenly) - No loving parent would shun their child.
Maya (sadly) - They may accept me . But the society won't. My family will have to bear the brunt of the world's mockery. I will have to bear it. The world will never accept me.
She looks at Joseph for a second more and rushes out of the room, her bangles jingling, the sound of her anguish muffled by them
Scene 2 - Maya runs out of the room while Joseph tries to stop her. He gazes for a long while at the door before lying back on his bed and picking up a piece of paper and pen.
Life is never easy.
World is always unfair.
People are cruel.
But together we can
And will face them
Bravely and proudly.
Joseph stared a while at his lines. He folded the paper and placed it in his shirt pocket. He sighed. He would still look for his Katherine and take her away from this hell on earth. Along with Maya.