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October 25, 2019 •

Anushka

The air was filled with anticipation, with the sounds of knuckles cracking and feet pacing up and down the cemented hallway of the damp walled hospital. Muffled cries of the expecting mother were soon broken through by the shrill cry of newly born, upon taking the first breath in this world, and the nurse’s words rang across the room like a gunshot, “It’s a girl.” What followed was momentary, deathly silence.

The girl who would have been safer within the confines of her mother’s womb.

She awoke to the sound of her father’s rage and her mother’s incessant pleading, because giving birth to a girlwas nothing short of a grave error of hers. Such was the life she was destined to live.

Weaving wondrous dreams for tomorrow with her brother’s pencils and papers clutched in her hands, she beamed at the prospect of going to school like him one day. The pencils were snatched away from her hands, but the glint of hope in her eyes was not.

She was born with the blood of a warrior and would stand tall in the face of turmoil.

Adorned with jewels and silk on the day of her wedding, the hope in her eyes still shining undaunted, she stepped into a new life.

And soon she held her own angelic daughter in her arms. And determined to give her angel a life she herself never lived, she planted rows of flowers in celebration of the birth of a new life, a new warrior.

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