Mufzina was just three years old when her father left home looking for a job. No one in the village ever heard about him after that. In this land of conflicts who is sure about something? Her young mother may have to live entire life waiting for her husband. How can she marry another person without knowing the whereabouts of her husband? The entire village will damn her if she does that. Without the death certificate of husband she cannot avail any government benefit. In between the game of life and death, she has become a half widow. That remote village seemed to be a prison for that young woman and her little daughter.
A narrow mud path through the middle of an apple orchard led me to a small wooden building. It was a small school. Children were busy with their studies. I was there to know about the children who were adopted by an orphanage. Children from far flung villages were being provided free food, accommodation and education by them.
I entered a small room of about thirty students. Little boys and girls were studying English alphabets in that first standard class room. While talking, I asked the teacher how many students from the orphanage were studying there. In the flash of a second she raised her hand and pointed her fingers towards a little girl and said “she is orphan”. That little girl suddenly rose from the floor without raising her head. She stood there as if she had done a grave mistake. I wished to yell at that young teacher “Bitch, she has a name, which is not orphan”. All the other children in the class were looking at that little girl. I didn’t want to talk to the teacher anymore. I walked out of the class room. That little girl was Mufzina.
(Name and background information changed, based on true events)