Aashna, looked around helplessly, struggling to get out of the knots that bound her to the chair. Her eyes at the locked door of the store room in the attic of an ancestral house in Lucknow. She desperately wanted to get out and tugged at the knots managing to free one hand. As she untied herself and got to the door she knew time was of essence.
She had to stop those barbarians from putting her daughter through it. Aashna still remembered how painful it was for her when her mother tricked her into getting “locked up” as they called it. She was in physical pain and was kept isolated in a room for 40 days. Her mental agony lasted all her life, and all this in the name of the family honour.
As the “Cutter” set up to work and cut her daughter she had neither the power nor the strength to stop it. The ladies in the house started chanting prayers, and she could hear the screams of her daughter. She tried harder to get the door to open, but it refused to budge. The helplessness was killing her now. Aashna closed her ears to try and drown out the sound, but the chants and the cries now kept mocking her, letting her know she had failed to protect her daughter from a fate similar to hers.
She did not know how much time had passed, when the door finally opened. Her Mother in Law came in “You were going to mar our honour by your actions but see His will, you could not succeed. Now go and tend to your daughter like the perfect mother”
She remembered the day she delivered a healthy baby girl. But she was not happy, instead she dreaded her daughter having a fate like hers, living a life like she had. She had vowed not to let her daughter go through it. Today Aashna had failed to protect her daughter, the moment she was caught red handed trying to run away with her.
Note: Though this is a fictional account FGM is real and practiced across a lot of communities in the world, including some communities in India.