The little whore house stood next to a well-known and respected family home on
road in the heart or Ambujavilasom .
About 5 minutes by foot from the main thoroughfare and the State Secretariat.
It was an unassuming place with Thiruvanathapuram roof and a lone door opening right on to
the street. Much of the drama and little melee we used to witness as we passed
by each morning and evening was all that we were privy too. Nothing beyond that! tiled
It was about 200 meters
from where I lived and, I and my friend used to walk past the little
whore house each morning to school and on our way back in the evening. I was in
the 5th standard when I or so about this strange, and to me then,
a fascinating place in our neighbourhood. It was my friend two years
senior to me who introduced me to the intrigues of the place. Being about 8 or
9 years and fresh from the protected environment of a convent education, many
things were inexplicable though curious and amusing. Amusing especially when on
our way to school or back we witnessed the police raid at the whorehouse. A ramshackle
police van parked by the door of the whorehouse and potbellied fearsome-looking
policemen and a few scrawny ones with only handle mustache to evoke
trepidation bundle few women inmates and their plebeian clientele into the
police van. Looking back, the policemen would now evoke clownish feel, attired
in their odd short trousers with ample ventilation around their hairy thighs
for fresh air to blow up their groins. I recall the day after when we passed by,
the old woman who ran the place (a hag perhaps in her early 70s) was told always with
sandalwood paste and a few shreds of flowers on her grey hair sitting at the
door forlorn and sad, having lost her clientele,
women and business to the police outrage. ,
She lived there with her daughter (a single woman) and her teenage son. I did not notice any disenchantment in the daughter nor her son who apparently let the old woman run her cottage industry.
There were occasional arguments at the door between petulant patrons and the inmates. I saw one day one man forced out of the place by a few women inmates. He
, quite inebriated too and was shouting
expletives. An unhappy and a dissatisfied customer, perhaps! “Caveat emptor”, I
now would suggest to him. was very agitated
Looking back there was no clear discomfort, annoyance and moralistic angst from the people who lived around. An impossibility in today’s phoney, voyeuristic Mallu society. The place seemed to have survived all by itself and ignored by the elite folks who lived in the neighbourhood. Whether the clan men in the region frequented the whorehouse talking refuge in shadows of the night, I can only guess with some amusement
The story ended one day abruptly with the death of the old woman. It abounded rumour that someone poisoned her, but no one could tell. However, the passing of the old woman ended perhaps the saga of “the little whore house”. The daughter and son vanished soon after and now a multistoried office building stands on the 5
of land where perhaps much of cents ’s exhortations Vatsyana were in, but all at a value.