I told a friend that at 69 I am post-sexual. He went into a fit of giggles and kept on till I thought he would die from giggling. When he stopped I told him while I was so, he wasn't. His face changed. A look at embarrassment and a slight tinge of guilt mixed with triumph clouded his face. In this city, there are no secrets.

My friend at my age remains active. However, it's not his wife but other ladies. He speaks disparagingly of older women closer to his age and makes obscene wink-wink type of comments about younger women. Another friend told me that his "GF" is around 40 years and that's that. I have lived too long and in this city to be shocked by any news.

I knew a lady who was a professional and what would shock me was he work dress and her home dress. She was a scarf on the head type women yet she dressed in a very bangu- sexy way when out with men. The men, much older -preferred it that way and our lives crossed because I was doing some gig for an advert company where she worked part time. I think they used her as a party girl.

Perhaps she understood I had no interest in her because she would talk to me about herself. KIshoreganj growing up, move to Dhaka, failure to make a proper living, hurt pride that she couldn't make it, lure of easy money and then other people's lifestyle as a profession and life is more comfortable even if she wasn't sure whether she was at peace or not.

I have no judgment to pass as I am just a listener. If I have heard what the ladies have said, I have heard from the gents, the older men looking for pleasure than flesh doesn't easily deliver or is not enough. Nothing is sadder than confessions heard from a slightly shaking almost elderly hand holding a cup of rich brew.

I don't have the heart to tell him I have heard all this before. And I am not interested.

Sin city is fascinating. It exploits every weakness people have and then some and turns them into figures that people poke fun at stripping them of as much dignity as possible. The elderly looking for sex in their geriatric years are therefore the saddest. The paid pleasure givers laugh the loudest at them.

Much safer to be the man half gone in the head who waits at the bus stop to pick up the phantom grandchild to take her home asking for directions to places which no longer exist at hours no longer available.

Honouring Sima and Miti

Rina is a sex worker who has been honoured by the BBC as one of the top 100 women of this year around the world. This heartens all of us. Rina worked to feed the sex workers who were left starving during the earlier days of Covid when clients were not going for commercial sex.

Sin city has many consumers of commercial sex and many who empathize with the sex workers. Many journalists particularly those who are not into political reporting have an extra inch of heart to lend to their cause. One such journo is Quarratul Tehmina Miti of Prothom Alo who began her media life at Dhaka Courier. She has covered the life and times not just the struggles of sex workers extensively over the years.

When she came to know of their difficulties in the Covid season, she visited them and wrote a piece that drew a great deal of attention. Not only was there a positive response but people even donated money and she was able to distribute the funds too.

The sin watchers

Sin city is a strange beast. All kinds of people live here including those who make a living off sin and those who make a living watching those who sin. One would think that in this digital age, watchers would be obsolete but it seems wiretapping and telephone surveillance does go long way but law enforcers still like direct observers.

This man, is in his sixties and he specializes in watching ex-politicians. I would think that they would be old dogs who are not needed or heeded by anyone but apparently they have a demand. Its often at such homes that people from different political parties and other groups come to chat and often plan. So they are watched.

"These people have no political future so they are always conspiring. They are not important but some of the people who come to them are. If a politician feels he hasn't got a big post, they become angry and do conspiracy."

The man told me he gets paid by each correct reporting and also a retainership per month. I was shocked at his low rate. When I said so, he answered, "Monmey is in not reporting Sir"

Sin sinner, sinnest.

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