Durga was 15 years old when her father told her she would soon be marrying a barely educated man in his 40s, with a reputation in her village as a heavy drinker.
In Northern India where they live, child marriages are still common. Durga said she refused at first but her grandparents told her she had no choice, writes Nurith Aizenman, that she was in no way “special.”
The marriage went away as planned, and it is difficult for Durga to speak of it, of her sense “the betrayal” by her father.
It turns out, Aizenman says, that her own father was having a difficult time as well. As soon as the celebration was over, Lumbaram “pulled Durga aside and made her a vow. ‘I will fix this,'” he told his daughter.