For most pimps operating in urban metros are a far cry from the menacing, pan-chewing muscle men with a red neckerchief - the Bollywood inspired image that most of us harbour.
These ’professionals’ - referred to as ’managers’ or ’secretaries’ in their new avatar - are mostly well-educated and disarmingly soft-spoken. And they detest the very thought of forcing anyone into the trade, or keeping her there against her wishes.
"There are educated professionals in the business today. Not just girls, but their managers (pimps) are also professionally qualified. This is one of the reasons why the trade from its low life image earlier is getting a classy makeover today," say sources in the police.
Sumit runs an escort service in New Delhi. He caters to high-profile clients and businessmen. In a telephonic interview he elaborated in great detail on the changes that sweeping sex trade today.
A conversation with him makes one aware that he himself is pretty well-educated. Ask him and he says, "I am an MBA, and my partner is also an MBA from an international University. You’ll be surprised that most people in the trade today have good backgrounds."
Aryan, 27, has been in the business for the past three years. A science graduate and from a ’respectable family’, he operates out of New Delhi.
"A 16 year old once called me... saying that she wanted to be in the trade ’cause she needed money. I advised her against it, as she was too young," says Aryan.
"There is no force involved and if an underage innocent girl approaches me, I try and talk them out of it. There are some scruples - after all I also belong to a good family," he points out emphatically.
So, why did he come into the trade? "Bush and Osama bin Laden forced me into it," Aryan jokes
"Actually, I had an export business earlier. Because of the war in Afghanistan, my business suffered huge losses. A friend helped me get into this line to make up my losses," he explains.
"At first I was bored, but a month later when I understood the mentality and sexual preferences of Delhiites, I began enjoying it," Aryan adds.
Interestingly, DCP Southwest of Delhi Police, Deependra Pathak, has something similar to say. "The profile of the pimp, especially in the more posh areas has changed. They are well mannered and educated people."
"Last time, we conducted a raid and arrested a guy called Kelvin. I was stumped to find that Kelvin was actually an engineer. I asked it why he got into the trade and he said that he frequented pubs, had a high libido and was initiated into this profession gradually. When he started making sufficient money, he dumped his job," says Pathak.
These pimps normally are very selective about their clientele. So we decided to create a fake email ID and contact those in the trade, asking for girls.
After shooting of approximately 55 odd mails, we received one reply, which said: "tks and we have college/ modelling girls/film actress, Russian girl ( age fm 18-25) our rate fm 8k to 15 lac. our girl boyfriend exper`d well trained communications. so pl confirm Ur date asap. Our executive get in touch with u asap. We assure confidently. give ur contact no, what time u need?"
So, what had I done wrong? When I discussed this with sex trade insiders, they pointed out that the reason could be one or more of the following:
The message sent was considered offensive, not informative or explicit in nature - The inquiry did not include the necessary and/or required information - Full name and/or contact number was missing
This made us realise that there really was indeed a method to this trade.