CAPTIONS
300D-001-004
Falkland Road “cages”.
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Falkland Road "cages."  Madam:  "Cage girls are the lowest- they only charge two rupees."  (Seven rupees equaled one dollar.)
300D-001-009
A madam of one of the more expensive houses with her girls.
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
A madam of one of the more expensive houses with her girls. 'I'm good to my girls. I take them to the movies once a month. Business is bad now, but I still buy good food. I spent seven hundred and fifty rupees for clothes for Christmas."
300D-001-012
Lalita, the madam of a house.
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Lalita, the madam of this house, thought Nina (right) to be the most beautiful of all her girls. The day I came to photograph Nina, her madam dressed her in new pink panties.
300D-001-013
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
I would hear voices from behind the curtains; once a customer saying, "My glasses, my glasses, where are my glasses?" and a thirteen-year-old prostitute saying, "Come on now, behave, be proper."
300D-001-015
Ragini, a transvestite.
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Ragini, a transvestite. The man on the bed claims to be one hundred years old. He is retired now, and the other transvestites take care of him.
300D-001-017
Kamla with a potential customer.
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Kamla with a potential customer. 'Last night a customer paid me one hundred rupees to spend the whole night. A man that stupid is not worth marrying."
300D-001-006
Champa, a transvestite madam, in the doorway of his cage.
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
"Champa, a transvestite madam, at the doorway of his cage. He has lived in the community for a long time and is an important figure to the other transvestite prostitutes. ' When I was young I was beaten up by my madam and the other transvestites. It cost me four thousand rupees to buy my freedom.'"
300D-002-021
Saroja, a madam (left), with one of her girls.
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Saroja, a madam (left), with one of her girls.  Saroja: "Given the choice, I would have rather stayed in my village.  But if I had stayed there, I would never have known what I had missed."
300D-002-023
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
On Falkland Road some of the prostitutes attract customers from cages on the street level. The brothel rooms are above.
300D-002-028
A young street prostitute in the Olympia Cafe.
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
A young street prostitute in the Olympia Cafe. Madam: "I would never let a street girl live in my house. They are too independent. They steal and they often have boyfriends who are pickpockets or thieves. I wouldn't let my girls associate with these kinds of girls."
300D-002-030
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Madam: "I paid a four-thousand-rupee deposit for my large room and two thousand rupees for my small room.  Each day I must pay a total of eighty rupees for the two rooms.  A man comes every morning to collect each day's rent.  I also pay thirteen rupees a day for my water supply and seven rupees a month for each bed in the room.  I am paying this much every month because I am not renting directly from the Parsi who owns this building - I am paying through a whole stream of middlemen.  If I were to buy the lease directly, it would cost me forty thousand rupees."
300D-002-029
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Most madams insist that the rooms of their brothel be kept clean. The girls sweep each day, and every year on January 1 the rooms are thoroughly scrubbed.
300D-002-031
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
The girls use a lot of powder to lighten their skin--light skin to them is more beautiful. I was often asked: 'Why do you always photograph dark-skinned girls?
300D-002-032
Kanta.
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Kanta: "I could never visit my parents. I haven't seen them for years. I don't know if they are dead or alive. But I could never visit them. I would bring shame to them."
300D-002-035
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
At six o'clock each afternoon the girls prepare for work. Each has her own makeup box.This is one of the more expensive houses.
300D-002-037
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Madam: 'Lalita is bold and not ashamed--she will do anything for money. Once she even went with a woman and got paid two hundred rupees. Shanta is shy, but she is pretty. She gets many customers. She will never let a man kiss her on the lips.
300D-002-038
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Every Saturday and the first day of every month, the girls perform a fire ceremony to ward off the evil eye. Maya: 'We are pretty, we dress well, and many people look at us. We must be careful of the evil eye.
300D-003-042
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Madam: 'The girls work even during their periods. They wash first, and then the customer doesn't know."
300D-002-039
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
The girl who is being made up was brought to the brothel by the people of her village because her husband had left her. A few days later they changed their minds and came to take her back. She was an epileptic and they were afraid that the goddess inhabiting her would get angry and avenge herself on the village.
300D-002-034
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Saroja (middle) is a madam. She is twenty-six. The little boy's name is Mari. He is the son of Sharda.
Saroja: 'His father is a pickpocket. His father is very beautiful--well, look at Mari--but he ran away."
300D-002-040
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Madam: 'What do you think of my new girl? Is she too dark? Her husband didn't want her, so she came here."
300D-003-046
Transvestites in a brothel.
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Transvestites in a brothel. Hygerias: 'As transvestites we are not allowed to dress as men, wear blue bangles, or ride bikes."
300D-003-047
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
A transvestite with his boyfriend, who is a truck driver. One day the truck driver's wife came to the brothel and made a scene.
300D-003-052
Asha with a customer.
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Asha with a customer. On the other side of the partition, one of the other girls dresses for the evening. The old woman seated on the floor is the mother of the madam. (The madam died of TB a few months after this photograph was taken, and her girls were separated and sold to other houses on the street.)
300D-003-053
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Kamla: 'Often when I am with a customer, I hold my legs straight and he doesn't even enter me. After all, my body is my own."
300D-003-055
Asha (right) with her friend in a photo studio on Falkland Road.
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Asha (right) with her friend in a photo studio on Falkland Road. 'Mumtaz and I are best friends. We are sisters. We have exchanged blood."
300D-003-058
Kamla.
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Kamla: 'At thirteen I was kidnapped from my home in the village by an old woman, and she sold me to a madam. At first I cried and cried, but then I was forced to put on make-up and begin."
300D-003-056
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Ibrahim sometimes dresses as a man and sometimes as a woman. But when he goes to the mosque on Friday, it is always as a man.
300D-003-057
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Madam: 'I don't like to take virgin girls. It is too dangerous. I can get in trouble with the law. It took me four months to break in Putla."
300D-003-060
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Pulabai, a madam, with the baby of one of her girls in the brothel. The madam has named the baby "Miss Mary." The baby subsequently died of a high fever when she was two months old.
300D-004-063
Munni is fifteen years old.
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Munni is fifteen years old. 'I was begging in front of the Taj Mahal Hotel, when a foreigner bought me a red skirt, a shirt, and shoes and socks. The name tattooed on my arm is the only thing I can bring with me to my death."
300D-003-059
Falkland Road, Bombay, India. 1978
Putla, a thirteen-year-old prostitute, comes from a small village. She was sold to the brothel by her mother. Madam: 'Putla's family is very poor. Her mother brought her here from the village last year. She was only twelve then. But her family needed money desperatly. Her mother still comes to visit her every year."
FALKLAND ROAD