At twelve, what did I know? My grandfather had invited a visitor to come meet me, and my mother combed my hair and coached me to give the guest water to wash his feet. The guest was pleased with me, and so my marriage to a boy of my age in a distant village was fixed.



After my third son I myself decided to have a family planning operation. It was painful, and I didn’t want the 100 rupees the doctor gave me. At that time I didn’t know what I would do to educate my sons so I bought 15 hens and began selling the eggs. Then everyone forgave me for having the operation because I was so industrious. Still, we didn’t have rice, so when a foreigner appeared in our village asking if people could paint, I made some samples even though I was too shy to speak to her. I’d learned painting from my mother who would paint gods on the pavilion we Brahmins build for boys ́ haircutting ceremonies. Now I am the manager for the painting section. I am moving ahead. For instance, I know how to talk on the phone. Once I spoke to my husband’s elder brother, and people were at first shocked since this is something we cannot do. People may criticize me, but I know that if people don’t understand my life today they’ll understand tomorrow.