The girl with golden highlights by Harsha Sheelam

I’m sure you’d agree that this story has a happy ending.

She was hardly any older than 6 years when her parents, living in a small town of rural India physically abused her, kept her devoid of education and made her do household chores. Now, when I say they belonged to ‘India’, I can hear judgments and pictures of slums thrown at me. No, India’s literacy rate is at 74.04% and also boasts of a few largest companies in the world.

Now , let’s go back in 2012, when I came across a little girl. I still don’t know her name, but let’s call her Meera. Meera was born in Haryana, she lived there with her parents. Today, she doesn’t live there anymore; neither does she live with her parents.

Being dissatisfied with a girl child, the father bet Meera every day, while the mother never revolted. Meera suffered at her hands of her birth-givers. She stayed chained at home doing household chores.

The disappointment of the ‘man of the house’ didn’t last long because his wife was expecting a baby. Bringing new life into this world is a blessing to everyone, but someone else’s life away is a curse.

What Meera was going through wasn’t anything but a curse to be born to such parents who didn’t love her and left only bruises as memories. She wished that her sibling would comfort her, but hardly did she know what would happen next.

Nine months of wait for the parents to find out the gender, and nine months of cruelty faced by Meera by the alcoholic who called himself a man, and a woman who called herself a mother.

“It’s a boy!” he screamed and jumped and distributed sweets to family and friends. While Meera is still locked at her home, not allowed to participate in the happiness.

Hardly a few months from the arrival of a baby boy, than Meera’s parents decide to do away with her. They buy three tickets to the metropolitan city of Hyderabad, India. One for Meera, and two for the parents. But, they buy only two tickets back to Haryana, India.

Meera is abandoned on the railway station, parents immediately board the next train back home.

On finding her lost, crying, and worried, the railway authorities call the cops. She is taken to the police station and was enquired about her family. On asking the name of the father she is terrified, she trembles with fear and doesn’t utter a word. It seemed like she wanted to stay lost, and didn’t want to go home.

The cops had no choice but to let her stay at the city orphanage. The sisters tried their best to find out about her parents. But she never said a word. They only knew she hailed from Haryana.

She wore a simple ghaghra and had yellow highlights on her hair when I first saw her. It was the first time I saw a 6-year-old with highlights.The Sister at the orphanage told that she applied those highlights herself when she was in Haryana, and loved to dress up.

While she was dancing on stage she adjusts her duppatta. A little girl, fair, with rosy cheeks, curly brown hair with golden highlights, who doesn’t waste a grain of rice on her plate.

She loves to study along with her friends at the orphanage, dress up, and help others. The Sisters said she is the naughtiest of the rest.

Initially, after a month of her stay at the orphanage, the Sisters asked her if she wanted to go home.

She said, “This is my home.”

She finally had the love she always wanted. And, wherever she is today, she’d be happy.

Based on a true story.

-Harsha Sheelam

3 thoughts on “The girl with golden highlights by Harsha Sheelam”

  1. The best part of this is how she responded to the situation. She didn’t grew bitter, resentful or aggressive. She had a horrible life but when a new opportunity came, she’s just adapted to the new situation and moved forward.
    There’s a lesson to learn there.

    Liked by 1 person

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