A cry of a child echoed in the room on terrace, the old lady walked out and uttered three words to the family. The excitement and happiness drained right there as they heard it’s a girl! The father and grandma refused to even go inside and take the little angel in their arms. Mother sobbed on her birth as nobody was even interested in keeping her name. She took her in arms and called her Durga! Gradually, the time passed and Durga got used to everybody’s hatred in the family. She grew up in her own seclusion where she did things that nobody watched (or nobody cared to watch).
Mother had tied a swing on the tree in the backyard for her little daughter. She managed to steal an old tire of the tractor which remained in the dump for a while now. Tying it with ropes on a sturdy branch of an old Neem tree, she brought a smile on Durga’s face. Mother knew that her beautiful little daughter would never be loved in the family so she did things that made her feel a little valued every now and then. Mother once saw her talking to the pigeons in the field, so she got her a pair of parrots in a cage. She was not allowed to go to school so mother got her sketch books and colours which Durga filled beautifully. She used to spend her spare time in the backyard on the swing or feeding her birds, and rest of the time, she spent in the kitchen or massaging grandma’s knees.
One evening, grandma came to mother and asked her to get her daughter dressed up. She was getting married the same day! She was eight and she was getting married, to which mother tried to revolt against but could do little. She was very happy seeing new clothes and bangles, but nothing she knew about what was coming her way. She smiled through the entire ceremony and the mother felt like drowning in her own tears. The innocent soul was being sent to another house where nobody would care to make her feel special where kitchen is going to be her only abode where mother is not going to guide her through where she’s going to be alone! The neem tree, the swing, the parrots, the colour books, the little mud houses and games will never see Durga again ever again, because she is going to be a different person from today. The young eight year old girl will never meet her childhood again!
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