Bombay, now Mumbai has undergone a earth-shattering social and physical transformation after the closure of the "Cotton Textile mills" and redevelopment of these properties into palatial malls and recreation centers. Kamathipura,the "Eye-sore" of middle-class Mumbaikar morality is also undergoing a sea-change in the 21st century,a frog leap into the "Global village economy".The awareness of "H.I.V" in the 1980's and death due to "A.I.D'S", has made low-life prostitutes realize the hazards of their profession, a short painful life of endless torture and discrimination once "Sexually Unemployed" or "H.I.V Infected", whichever is earliest!The prostitutes of Kamathipura do not have "Political Patronage" and are not "Registered Voters" of their locality unlike "Slum Dwellers" who have populated Mumbai and are the "King-Makers" of manny local electoral, besides being the subject of Oscar winning film, "Slum dog Millionaire", a hard hitting reality film of slum lifestyle and ethics. The "Economic Apocalypse-2008/09" sounded the final death gong to the infamous red-light district of Kamathipura , main source of business commodity,"MEN", are avoiding visits to prostitutes due to the "A.I.D'S SCARE" as well as "Economic Insolvencies" since manny clients are from the lower economic strata of society.The wealthy and educated usually patronize "Beer dance bars" now banned , or "Call-Girls" available through the "Internet" and "Cell Phone" services. To the patrons of "Prostitution" , the word "Kamathipura" was akin to "Slumdog Millionaire", an embarrassment to average Indian society, to be hidden from World exposure.For the educated and wealthy,"Yuppie","Puppy" or "Sethia", being seen in "Kamathipura" would be "Professional Suicide", the Indian Dharavi of prostitution.Beginning since 2007, a lot of "Middle-class skyscraper buildings" have come up in the adjacent vicinity of "Kamathipura" ,right next to the ancient infamous historical "VILLA TYPE" brothels with colourful names like "Nos 25","Nos 007", "Hotel G-9" and "Colaba Queens". The next great "Mumbai Redevelopment" scheme after the "Mills land re-development" of the 1990's could be in the "RED-LIGHT DISTRICT" of "KAMATHIPURA" as it is located in prime real estate territory of Mumbai,one of the World's costliest city's.Imagine the cost of "Villa Brothel-No 25", an entire 2-storey building with an attic according to present "Real Estate" prices of 2011 in neighbouring skyscrapers of Kamathipura? Street Economics proves that "LOW-LIFE PROSTITUTION" is no more a profitable business in Mumbai unlike its modern counterpart, the sophisticated "CALL-GIRLS" in the "Internet and cell phone era" of "Globalization". Some of these "VILLA BROTHELS" are a real "Tourist Secret",peculiar only to Mumbai and Calcutta and known to "Customers",having lavish interior's in crumbling edifices and sad or colourful history's of its occupants,"The Kamathipura Nymphs".Communal harmony in brothels of Kamathipura are a real advertisement in secularism where women, pimps and bouncers ,all belonging to different religions or castes live and work together, their only problem being "Police bribes" and attracting a "Customer base".Religious icons and pictures of every community is displayed in most Brothels, especially at the entrance and the "Customer waiting Rooms" giving some of these places an eerie guilt complex syndrome." Joint 25" as it was known during the 1980/90's is one of the oldest "Villa Brothels" situated in prime Kamathipura locality on the main road. Prior to its repairs a the villa resembled a "Ghost Film set", with huge crumbling rooms supported on bamboo stilts and the wooden staircases waiting to crumble before its internal reconstruction and refitting was undertaken in 2004/05 under a new "Brothel Management".The infamous "PALANG THOD(BREAKING THE BED)" sexual act was copyrighted in these brothels,akin to the "Kamasutra" visuals, proving that a person also learnt the art of love-making in these "Pleasure houses of Sex". Joint N0 25" was the leisure "palace" and a place where all the "POSITIONS" of the famous "Kamasutra" could be practiced without inhibitions, the only stress being a chance of getting the death sentence,"H.I.V +ve" or dying of a "sex heart- attack".A famous " Marathi Rap Song", long before "English Rap music" was invented in Londons streets originated from the "Byculla Boys" of the 1970's era, becoming a "Kamathipura Signature tune advertisement" .Hilarious and absolutely satirical.The " Marathi Rap words" were as follows ,quote, "Sallu Re Sallu Thujya ---- Madhe gallu,Chorus! Sallu Re Sallu Thujya--- Madhe Gallu! Sallu Gela Dilli Pakkad Majya ----. Aree Sallu Gela Dilli Pakkad Majya ---.Chorus! Sallu Re Sallu Tujya ---Madhe Gallu ."BLANKS" in the songs words are for the readers imagination of "Pornographic Poetry". Translation of the words and tune into "English Language" would make this lyrical brothel signature tune absolutely punch-less and stale.As in life, long after the dust is settled and memories linger, a few of the names of the courtesans of "Joint No 25" remain etched in human memory.
|Entrance ""JOINT No 25" as seen at night on Monday(31-12-2012). Last of the few majestic brothels in Kamatipura.|
Christina,Suzy,Dolly.Margaret and Rekha were the most famous "courtesans" of their generation servicing customers in the 1980's and 1990's up-to the early 2000's.Christina later graduated onto becoming the "Madame' of "Nos 25" after the abdication of previous "Madame" Sheila.
Unlike other brothels, the beauty of " Joint Nos 25" was that its courtesans had no inhibitions of performing any sexual act as long as they were paid the money and treated honorably as a "Courtesan lady" and not some common "Caged whore" or "Street walker" which comprise the maximum of Kamatipura's sex workers.
Whipping and chain bondage was the ultimate of some freak customers who preferred atoning for their sexual indulgences by self-inflicted sexual extremes.
Suzy was famous for her "Sado-masochistic" sessions which consisted of "Horse-whipping" followed by anal sex and fellatio, whichever the customer preferred.
Dolly and Rekha were the ultimate seductresses, the means of attaining sexual nirvana ,although at a price.
The other peculiar trait about " Joint Nos 25" was that this was a "English speaking Brothel" and hence had a more educated clientele besides also being selective in accepting customers.
Legalized Pornographic tycoon Hugh.Hefner could have learnt some "Sexual circuses" from "Joint No 25" of the 1980's and 1990's era, before advent of the "Internet" and "Escort whoring" killed "Courtesan business".
These "Brothel Villa's" could even qualify for "Heritage Buildings" category as they are steeped in "Brothel History" and "Underworld secrets or gossips" , a la "Umrao Jaan or Devdas saga's",beginning with the Britishers that created "Kamathipura".Tragically, unlike "Patpong" in Bangkok or the "Reeperbahn of St Pauli" in Hamburg the tourism potential of Kamathipura was never exploited although manny movie ideas and literary writings have been based on this sin locality of Mumbai.A Big myth is that only "Bachelors" and "Sex Perverts" patronize these brothels , while the authentic truth is that most of the patrons are "Married Men" experimenting on "Sexual Acts" or "Sexual innovations" which their wives do not allow at home!A typical "Villa Brothel" like the infamous " Joint 25" dates back to the pre-Independence era and consisted of 2 to 3 storeys with huge crumbling rooms for servicing clients, filthy toilets and bathrooms and all the women lived in a "Hostel type atmosphere" with the "Madam" having her own private "Room".The "Madam" runs the "Brothel" on a "Rental Basis" paying a monthly rent to the building owner, usually a wealthy, pious,non-criminal "Dormant Partner", the ultimate "White Collar shady entrepreneur".In 2004 ," Joint 25" changed ownership and renovated itself into an "Air-conditioned" guest-house while " Joint N0 007" a brothel run by a Nepali Madam has closed and also been repurchased and run as a "guest-house", a case of "Brothel modernization", a necessary social evil of society.Paradoxically, brothels are the only few "vice Industry's" where women manage the economics and management , employing men as pimps and bouncers and exploiting their own fellow women workers professionally, a type of "Socialism" that would make Karl Marx think."Joint N0 007" during ownership of the "Nepali Madam" was famous as a "Sea-Farer's paradise", mostly frequented by sailors and well decorated during the "New Year Festival".Brothel " Joint 007" consisted of a two storey building, absolutely deceptive from the exterior, with cubicle rooms on the first floor for servicing "clients".