She was by the roadside. Subject to the cold, the heat, the thunder, the snow. Subject to all the calamities and miseries. Miseries. In her life they seemed to play a major role. She had tolerated everything for her husband. She had left the comfort of her paternal home for her love. She had left behind good food for scraps of bread. She had left behind sleep in lieu of sleepless nights. She hadn’t imagined but she realized that she had also left behind happiness for pain. She had thought that she would find happiness here, in the house of her love. Sadly, she had been mistaken. Little had she realized that the person on whom she had entrusted her life was not even worth the dust on her feet……she was torn, broken. She had lost everything…everything. Her very existence troubled her. She would have given up long ago if not for this child of 8 months, sucking her dry breasts in futile attempts. She had borne her for 9 months in her womb. Her husband had asked her to abort the child, but she didn’t listen. For the first time in her life, she defied him. And all for the child, her child, her daughter. How she loved her! This was the first time in her life that she had loved somebody so much. She had to live for her daughter. She could not, would not give up. She would never give up. She would fight for her child. She would have to ensure that her child did not share her mother’s fate. She wanted her child to live the life she had only dreamed of. The metal bowl near her feet where a few kind strangers, if any, dropped a few coins was kicked by a schoolboy, an educated person who was ignorant to the sufferings of the woman with the child in front of him. A car passed in front of her, its horn blaring louder than the siren of a fire engine. The child started crying. She desperately thrust her left breast into the child’s mouth but it was of no avail. She made up her mind. Today….today for a bowl of rice and a shelter over her head she would give herself to the first man who wanted her. The endless cycle would begin today…..


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