Saleha has seen her mother wailing alone, behind those flashy curtains and doors. She was not allowed on that side of the property. Late in the night when her mother gets free from the duty, she crawls into the bed and snuggles Saleha. The only words she ever heard from her were – ‘he will come and take us away‘.
Who was ‘he’, mother never mentioned his identity but she is sure he is not her father. At the tender age of six, she knew fathers don’t desert their daughter like this. Or is he dead? She heard many countries are at war for money and oil. “Is he dead mummy?” she had asked her mother many times but never received any response to her questions. As if she is talking to some ghost – white and pale. No blood only dark red swollen eyes, and a lean structure. She has even stopped eating properly, what if she will also leave me forever?
Saleha is a bright smart girl, even at the age of six with no formal education, she is knowledgeable. A quick learner with a fervor to learn the foreign languages. Her master receives many visitors in big cars, very well dressed and beautiful people. She never met those people but learned from ‘bibi’ they talk English. She loves this language and even try to imitate those who speak it. Even master once laughed at her broken English sentence – ‘I umm Saleha, Naaiice thu meeet uu‘. He gave her few books to learn, out of those she loved one with the cover of a Horse and a Girl. Determined to change her own and mother’s fate, Saleha strives hard to achieve and realise her dreams.
One night Saleha heard her mother sobbing inconsolably, she had no idea what’s wrong with her. Bibi told her she needs care and took her away into the back house cabin. She never came back from that room, alive. ‘Your Mother is happy and out of all her pains, she has become a Star in the Sky‘ said Bibi. Saleha felt lonely, not that her mother ever comforted her but she was the only relation.
Mala and Saleha have been living in this palace for eight years now. Her mother came here from another world with a man, he left Mala and went somewhere to never come back. Saleha was born to Mala during her tenure as house help in an influential citizen’s household. Fearing administration’s backlash he disowned Mala alleged her a whore. A childless bureaucrat couple was given her custodial guardianship, she was smart for her age to understand these terms. However, Mala developed critical anomalies and could never come out of her sadness.
Today Saleha Rushdi is 15 and already a name in achiever’s circles. She has represented her country in Olympics inaugural speech, a horse rider and also won a medal. The first women from her country to ever represented and won a medal. Her name is written in golden letters and is an inspiration to many who break under odds.
Dream it, Believe it, Achieve it.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Two Prompt used, “No matter how your heart is grieving if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true” along with the Photo Prompt.
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