Prabha always smiled. Her simper being the talk of her little village caught in the throes of poverty and disdain.

 She smiled at the visiting mourners with a namaste as they attended her mother’s funeral when she was barely a teen, earning her contemptuously lecherous looks. She smiled at her prospective in-laws as her father married her off when she was barely sixteen and she was known to be haughty. She smiled as she went through back-breaking physical labor to make ends meet even as her drunk husband squandered her earnings… and dreams. She smiled when scorned for not having conceived despite being married for seven years. She smiled at the persiflage of the doctor who examined her husband in secrecy and revealed he was infertile. She smiled as she looked at little kids running around creating a racket even as their parents lampooned away at her. She smiled on a rainy night when she had to identify her dead husband found floating in the overflowing drain even as the policemen parodied away at her angst. She smiled as she visited her employer who had been dumped by his folivorous wife the same night. She smiled as he lugged towards her, lust shimmering in his bloodshot eyes. She smiled as she gave in to carnal pleasures for the first time in her wretched life.

She smiled a month later as she saw the two magical pink lines, the only silver lining in a darkly azured life.

Tonight as she stared at the sleeping body of her five-year-old little boy, her most priced treasure, she smiled yet again ignoring the neighborhood jabs. She had smiled all her life but this was for real, it was legitimate…


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