Red Thread at Fatehpur Sikri | Samira Ahmed

There is a little girl at Fatehpur Sikri, the abandoned Mughal city, attempting to sell miniature snow globes to an unsentimental American tourist. The little girl is about eight years old, and her liquid-saucer eyes take up most of her wan face. She is bone thin and short for her age and a long braid runs down her back, tied at the end with a tattered blue ribbon. Her kurta is dirty, and she is almost certainly hungry.

If this girl lives until she is thirteen or fourteen, she may be married off to an older man who will never caress her face tenderly like a lover in a Bollywood film. Her family will have little money for her dowry, and her mother-in-law will remind her of this daily. She will labor in the fields, and this stranger, her husband, will crush her slender body beneath his. Eyes closed, she will wonder why her karma has led her to this. Continue reading “Red Thread at Fatehpur Sikri | Samira Ahmed”