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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pakistani Girls in Public Call Offices : Call Girls or Calling Girls?

Last week, after evening my father called me and said that there was a telephone call for me from my some friend Tania. I tried to recall any of my friend, colleague, or acquaintance with the name Tania in the few second in which I moved towards the telephone, but failed to hark back any one. I shrugged my shoulders and picked the phone and said hello.

After my hello, I heard a very decent and mellow “Asalam-o-alaikum” from a male voice, who was right away apologizing from me for the call. I thought that perhaps it was mix up in the lines keeping in mind the fabulous and immaculate telephone system by our beloved PTCL and hung up. After 30 or so minutes, my father once again called me and said that Tania was once again on the line. As soon as I picked the phone, again the same male voice said hello, and once again I was dumb enough to think that it was some problem in the lines, so I mumbled that it was a mixup and hung up without listening to him.

After five or so minutes, my father angrily called me and said that it was Tania again and I better talk to her at length. My father has arthritis and cannot move that easily so he was apparently not happy with the recurrent calls by Tania. I was also embarrass over giving botheration to my father and to not to be able to talk to that Tania gal who was trying to contact with me that desperately.

I picked up the phone and the same male voice was there and then it dawned upon me that perhaps it wasn’t the line fault and the male was real. I said hello and waited for him. He first profusely and copiously asked for forgiveness from me and then said to me that he wanted to talk with me about a very important matter. I asked him as who and where the Tania is? He laughed coyly and said that he was calling from the Public Call Office and had asked the attendant girl for help to get in contact with me.

I was thoroughly deflated and was wondering about what the hell was going in. I asked from him as why took so much trouble and whats the matter and above all who is he and how he got my number? He told me that he was the brother of one of my student and saw me in the college and he took my number from his sister’s diary, and now he wanted to have a friendship with me, because I was the dream girl he was looking for so many years and he was not only crushed by my looks, but also just loved my articles at TPS and the way I used to teach in the college. Without brakes he went on and on for some 15 minutes.

I asked him the name of her sister, but he wasn’t that dumb and assured me that as soon as “we” would meet somewhere outside, he would let me know everything and more. I tried to extract any information about his whereabouts but he just wanted to have a friendship. Then I asked him as how that “Tania” was so kind to him as she called me?

He told me that as the PTCL land line and the mobile phones have become ubiquitous even in the villages and towns, so the business of these Public Call Offices is in shambles and they are now being used for this purposes.

He said to me that if I visit the PCOs in the city, I would find majority of them having one or two girls attending the phones, and they are there to serve such lovers who are in the search of love or friendship. He further told me that such PCOs also maintain a separate directory of the phone numbers of girls which they offer to their regular customers and then earn from the calls made by these customers. Many of these girls also work as escorts and they also talk on phone or in person with the customers to enhance the business.

I am in the process of getting rid of this student’s brother, and wondering how many other girls would be doing the same in this land of pure?

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