Hi, I am Nilofer. This is not my real name. Neither my new or old one. I named myself that for a short period of time, when I was doing my bachelors, away from family. I was super enthusiastic from my batch. I used to actively participate in all events and initiatives happening on campus. There was a music concert organized in college and I was in the organizing department. I took care of the passes and bulk sales. I managed to achieve my targets and was super happy. On the concert day, I celebrated with the music and alcohol.

I met this guy, Varun. He was charming. We were talking but I don’t remember a thing. The music was loud and I was drunk. As the concert got over, I kissed him goodbye and got back to my hostel room. Next day I received a call from him. He somehow got the number from some pass related handout, he said. We met for a coffee. We spoke about music, art and movies. When I asked him about his work, he was kinda avoiding to answer and rather left that in ambiguity. Later he said it was not much respected what he does. This kept me thinking.

The next time, it was me who called and we met for coffee. We talked about random stuff but in the back of my mind, I had that very same question. I asked him to drop me to my hostel in his car. All this while I was wondering when to ask. We reached, I called him up to stay for a while. He obliged. I showed him my nail art kit and some other stuff that he clearly was not interested about. I mustered up the courage to ask about his job. He did speak up. He was an escort agent, trading in supplying young college girls to rich businessmen. I was taken aback. I didn’t know how to react to it. I asked him to leave. He said, “told ya” and left.

I called him back after a week. This time, I was firm that I will pretend that I don’t know what he does and would just hang out. He was surprised that I called back. We met over lunch. It was super awkward. We didn’t really talk. We would make comments on how good or bad the food is, talk about other restaurants break into silence. I couldn’t resist and asked him to explain me more about his job. He simply said he worked for someone who quit the business and now he has the clientele and contacts of these girls. I asked him what makes these girls do what they do. It kinda made me sad assuming bad things. He later explained that most of the girls in their group are just doing this for extra pocket money and ‘fun’. I was shocked. He said they are from well-to-do families and many have themselves approached him for work. They have rigorous checks on their clients. It seemed like a small but a well-managed business. I just heard him quietly, gulped the food and we left. He thanked me for meeting me again. He also gave me flowers that he got for me but was too scared so kept them in his car all this while.

We didn’t speak for a couple of weeks post that day. I used to keep checking his WhatsApp display pictures and status updates. He seemed to be traveling abroad. I did text him after 21 days. Random hi, hello. He later told me when he was back in India and we met. Out of curiosity, I asked him more about the job, the risks, and the money. He wouldn’t answer and asked me to stay away. I wouldn’t budge. He told me everything. I told him that I wanted to try this and asked him to set me up too. He got heated up and left. I later texted him, “if what you are doing is not wrong, why don’t you set me up too?”. He didn’t reply.

Few days later, I bumped into him at the same coffee shop. I wouldn’t take no for an answer and convinced him to set me up too. He agreed. Later that night, I got a phone number and an address. I was asked to call on that number from a public phone and reach at that address. I followed. It was an old bungalow, sparingly used. I was shit scared. I felt like going back and that this was a terrible idea. I had miniatures in my purse. Drank and knocked. The man was suited up. He was married, I am assuming. We didn’t talk about that. “I’m Sid. Make yourself comfortable”, he said. “Thanks, Nilofer”, I said and shook hands. Everything was weird and awkward at first but eventually, things went just fine. The night was well spent and well earned.

I did this for a couple of months. Earned shit loads of money. Not that needed any of it. Not that I was doing this for money. I enjoyed what I did.

Varun moved to a different city and everything stopped. He told me I could continue if I wished and his other colleague will help me. I denied and I haven’t done this ever since. I guess I have lived my share of Nilofer and this was it. But it’s also true to say that she will always be a part of me.

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