At home next to my house lives a strange family. They used to be such a big family that anybody new in the village would never be able to understand their relationship to each other. I had difficulty myself till I was in my late teen.
Well at first I thought theirs was a cozy family but years down the line the family turned creepy. Gradually everyone started dying. The wife is a drunkard. There are two children in the family. Though the husband is a very hard working man his saving is not enough for the family’s survival.
The eldest of the two children is the son. He limps terribly and the daughter (Sonam) though quite dark is fortunate to have all senses intact. There are six siblings of the wife. Her folks died long before I could remember. Well one day, the wife in her drunken state fell from the stairs and she was paralyzed below her waist. Now there was no hope of her ever walking for the rest of her life.
All she could do was to peep out of the window and talk to the pedestrian passing by near her house. Then one day the wife fell seriously ill and had to be taken to hospital. The husband had to nurse his wife in the hospital, left his two children at the mercy of his wife’s sister (children’s aunt). The aunt in-turn had to go away on business to earn her bread left the children with her husband and daughter.
The aunt’s husband (let’s call him uncle), took advantage of the situation. He now started molesting Sonam every night and threatened to kill her father if she uttered a word of it to any soul. Poor girl, she became victim to minor rape but there was nothing she could do except to bear with it.
Then after a couple of months in the hospital the mother succumbed to death. There was no money in the family because the father was nursing the mother. The father had to take loan and neighbor’s help for the funeral. Then every sibling started dying. It was as if the mother has opened on door to the death for them. Since the mother’s death, all of her six siblings died except for one, her elder sister.
The wife’s elder sister, who was then married to the husband’s father who in-turn died, married the widowed husband and started living with the husband and his two children. It was actually time for mourning but the husband could not find time since he owed so much money to the banks and neighbors. Hence life had to go now and he worked hard but that was never sufficient for the entire combined family.
The new wife came with her spoiled brat of a daughter and never treats the husband’s children well. Then the husband knew about the rape of his daughter and had the uncle arrested. Now they had to take in the uncle’s daughter too since the aunty also died after the mother. Now there was one more mouth to feed and it also meant more sweating for the husband.
And life goes on and on. Fortunately there are been no death since. I believe the devil meant to spare the last sibling. Adding fuel to the fire, the traumatized daughter couldn’t qualify for the eleventh standard in the government school so the father had to take more loans and raise pigs to pay the daughter’s very high school fees.