With hoards of supporters glued to their television screens for the World Cup cricket final between India and Sri Lanka on Saturday, sex workers are anticipating a slow day, but they are not disappointed. It is a rare weekend for them with their children.
The prospects of fewer clients coming in only buoyed the enthusiasm of the women in Sonagachi, the largest red-light area in the city. Huddled around their television sets long before the match had started, for many of them it was a day to be spent with their children, cheering for the Indian team.
“It seems unlikely that too many clients will come in today,” said 38-year-old Sima Fokla, who was hopeful that she would be able to watch the match with her son and daughter. Her son, who works as a mason in the city, suffered an injury on Friday and could not turn up for work during the day and she hoped that she won't have to either.
Madhu Ghosh said she had little interest in cricket, but both her sons, who go to school, were avid fans. “It will be nice to just watch the match with them today [Saturday],” she said.
The tricolour proudly fluttered from several of the balconies in the aging buildings and replicas of the World Cup trophy in all sizes did the rounds.
The neighbours poured into houses that had television sets with large screens for a better ‘feel' of the proceedings.
Crackers were kept ready for celebrations in anticipation of an Indian victory. And the noise would drown that coming from the TV sets.