The parallel world of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, with its aesthetically-lit windows and luxurious sentimentality that glows in the yellow fairy lights, doesn’t tell the story of the countless other Gangubais.
'There’s more hardship in sex work. The tawaif wants just a little bit of izzat, which the sex worker is denied to even dream about.'
This poem appeared in Namdeo Dhasal’s 1981 Marathi collection, 'Tuhi Iyatta Kanchi' (What Grade Are You In), later translated to English by Dilip Chitre, and published by Navayana in 2007.
Once known as Azimabad, Patna was a centre of dance and music. The sound of anklets and taans of singing by the tawaifs may have fallen silent, but their tales remain alive.
Never known for originality or verisimilitude, Bollywood scriptwriters trawl the absolute depths when creating on-screen prostitutes, in search of lucre