Some conversations revealed that each parlour is supposed to pay bribes ranging from Rs50,000 to Rs200,000 to the Station House Officer (SHO) of the concerned police stations; failing to do so results in a raid and an arrest of the clients busy in their “moments of relaxation”.However, once the owner of the facility pays off the required bribe, the parlour becomes operational the very next day. Business tycoons, young boys from influential families, men from interior Sindh and up country staying in Karachi for work, police officers and government officials. The DHA vigilance department will have to play their role in curbing this practice before it spreads more filth in the neighbourhood.
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Such parlours have also started sending bulk text messages with similar subliminal terminologies intended for people who have a taste for these “services”. That’s the first sign of the place being a suspicious joint. Once you reach the venue, you realise you are standing in front of a salon in a rundown building and the shopkeepers in the neighbouring blocks are staring at you with suspicion.
You ring the bell or knock on the door and are greeted warmly by a skimpily dressed girl.
The very first question you are asked is the “reference” you came with.
If you satisfy them, you are then led to a sitting area where you witness a parade of women wearing cleavage exposing clothes and you are asked to pick the one you like.
Your pick of the day then leads you to a make shift room, made of hardwood walls after paying a counter fee and you are asked to “change your clothes” which actually means “take them off”.
The word ‘massage’ at such parlours is just a cover up and instead what happens is prostitution behind closed doors. My investigation took me to people I’d never want to mess with.These girls offer you “relaxation” services that start off with a basic full body massage and end “happily” with another set of services which are sexual in nature. Counter fee at such parlours is usually between Rs2000 to Rs3500 and the girls ask for tips ranging from Rs1000 to Rs4000 depending on the “services” you desire. They can be found in some streets of Zamzama commercial area, Bukhari Commercial area, Khadda Market, Badar Commercial area, areas close to Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s mazaar, Tauheed Commercial area, a few are on main Nishat Commercial and some residential blocks of DHA and Clifton. On the condition of anonymity, one person running such a parlour revealed the name of a famous “land grabber” who happens to be holding an important portfolio in the current Sindh Government and is related to a famous widower.Most of the parlours in the DHA area are being patronised and protected by him. Darakshan, Gizri and Boat Basin police stations are fully aware of all the massage parlours operating within their jurisdiction.Massage is taken as a therapy to relieve stress and rejuvenate the mind and body after a day’s hectic routine.In our society a “maalishi” is considered a magician who can instantly relieve you of your knots and spasms.However, since the last five to six years we have witnessed a mushroom growth of salons offering different kinds of massages ranging from neck and shoulder to full body Thai massages.