#AtoZChallenge, #AtoZChallenge2018

{P} is for Painted Not Tainted: #AtoZChallenge

{P} is for Painted Not Tainted

She has painted her face using deft strokes. The eyeliner, mascara, foundation, the garish red lipstick, the cherry blusher highlight those ordinary features. The transformation is unbelievable. The concealer hides the cigarette-butt marks on her face.


She emerges out of her cocoon like a painted diva, transformed each night. While her kid brother and father sleep soundly, she tiptoes carrying her stilettos in hand and walks across to the other side of the road. A black limousine awaits her, in the depth of a dark, sinister night. She is whisked away to the night club where she gyrates her skimply dressed body. Her sequined stilettos tap to the rhythm of the trance music, as one customer after the other pull her closer, groping her like famished vultures. She plays along seductively, but her inner being shatters to a million shards, each night.


This is not what she had wanted to be. She had dreamt of being a famous dancer, who would give magical stage performances and wow her audience across the globe. She had imagined touching the pinnacles of success. She had dreamt of a beautiful home with a loving husband, two kids, a dog and a cat.

But fate had other plans. Baba (father) went into debt and was afflicted with fourth stage cancer, leaving her to be the sole bread-winner. Her one-off dance performances did not earn her enough to pay off the debts, support her ailing father’s medical bills and her little brother’s school fee. A chance brush with an “influential director” at one of her performances had led her to the dark tunnel of no return. He paid off her bills, she in turn returned his favour by satisfying his lust. But that wasn’t enough for him. He wanted his friends to get a taste of her nubile flesh. She had no choice but to oblige, as the director’s offerings were not enough to pay off the mounting debts and medical bills.

Today as she stands amidst the hovering vultures, she wants to break free from the shackles of this wretched life. She has not just sold her body, but her soul.

Sirens are blaring from a distance. The cops have come to clamp down the bar. The inebriated old men are whisked away and so is she. She stands hanging her head at the police station. The inspector looks at her astonished beyond words.

“Oh God! Is that you, Sayari?” he says, barely recognising her with the make-up and outfit.

It’s her long-lost school and college friend. They had painted a picturesque life ahead together; so different from the one that she is living now.

She continues to look away, but is suddenly engulfed with a sense of relief. She instinctively knows the shackles have been broken. She is going to start afresh, on a clean slate; painted yes, but not tainted.



32 thoughts on “{P} is for Painted Not Tainted: #AtoZChallenge

    1. Thanks for stopping by Stuart and also pointing out. Why would I be upset? I always appreciate feedback and critique. Only way to grow.
      Thank you for your thoughts. 🙂

  1. A story of so much misery and sorrow, but it ends with a ray of light seeping in. Hope her friend hasn’t changed much after all these years.

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