The Punkhawala and the Prostitute
Author: Wesley Leon Aroozoo
Year of Issue: 2021
Behind the golden façade of a land filled with opportunities dwell two destitute souls, shipped to Singapore in the late 1800s. Oseki, an ingenue forced into prostitution as a karayuki, grapples with being betrayed by her own father and transforms into a monster she can’t recognise.
Gobind, a deaf convict from India, serves his sentence as a punkhawala to a British hunter obsessed with killing Rimau Satan, a man-eating tiger of mythic proportions. Whenever Gobind hunts with his master, his butchered memories lurk in the darkness, aching to pounce.
When Oseki’s and Gobind’s paths intertwine, they begin to face their inner demons to find their humanity—and their way back home.
WESLEY LEON AROOZOO is a filmmaker from 13 Little Pictures and a lecturer at LASALLE College of the Arts. He is the author of the novella 'Bedok Reservoir' (2012), which was also adapted for the stage and performed at Goodman Arts Centre. A feature documentary companion to his second non-fiction novella, 'I Want to Go Home' (2017), had its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival.