Yasmin was playing in the arid deserts near her home along with her little brother when she was called inside her home by her Abba. As she went in, she saw that her Abba was sitting beside an old man and both looked happy. She didn’t like the looks of the old man whose eyes openly paraded the lust that he was experiencing.
Yasmin’s Ammi came forward and hugged her. “You are very lucky Yasmin, this kind man has agreed to marry you and make you his Begum.”
Yasmin was scared. The 8-year old girl was not a stranger to child-marriages. In fact most of her friends had already got married off. Some of the older ones had babies too. She guessed that the only reason her Abba had not yet married her off was, because she helped her Ammi to look after her little brothers.
But what naïve little Yasmin didn’t know was that her Abba was just waiting for the highest bidder for her body. And the rich merchant sitting beside him had just offered him 10000 Afghans for his daughter.
Sensing her discomfiture Yasmin’s Ammi took her aside and chided her, “This benevolent man has agreed to marry you. You’ll be treated like a queen in his palace. You should be happy. Look at you. You look all pale and scared. What’s wrong with you, you stupid girl?”
“Will I get to wear good dresses and good food to eat?” asked Yasmin.
“Of course Yasmin”, said her Ammi, not meeting her eyes.
That evening there was a simple Nikah ceremony followed by a sumptuous dinner of beef, pork and meat.
After the dinner it was time for the old groom to feast on his young and nubile bride. It was time for the wedding night. Yasmin’s parents left her with her new husband. Had they stayed for few more hours, they would have been able to hear the stifled cries of their daughter.
Next day when the groom opened the doors of his nuptial bedroom, he informed everyone that his bride had died under unknowing circumstances during the night. Yasmin’s parents grieved for their daughter but, didn’t insist on probing her mysterious death .
A few women of the village who washed Yasmin’s body before burying her, noticed the wounds around her vagina but chose to remain silent because the old man was respected and feared in their place.
Yasmin’s body was buried. Her innocence, her childhood stripped off cruelly and viciously.
Every day thousands of Yasmin’s die around the world because they are married, often in exchange of money, to men old enough to be their grandfathers and are forced to have sex with their “husbands”. At an age when they should be playing with dolls their small and petite hands are found holding their babies and nursing them.
This post is written for Ring the Bell at Indiblogger.