Rani was 12 years old

Her mind painted in wonder

The child like chuckle that creased her eyes

The eyes that widened with astonishment

But on that day they widened

But with fear.


Sweat greasing her brows

She pumped water for her family

On that morning

She wouldn’t remember

If it was raining with sorrow

Or if it were shining with the mellow sun

She wouldn’t know if the birds were speaking to her

If they were whispering strength for her to run

She wouldn’t remember.

She simply won’t.


This 12 year old

Instead of remembering the bright morning

And her brain whirring with ideas

And reminding herself

Of the fascinating things she would tell her mother

Pumping the water

With her head above the clouds

This 12 year old will be haunted instead

With the rushing of her heart

As he held down her hand by force

The pounding she felt in her neck

The goosebumps racing and competing to fill her with shock

And with the beating of her heart

Getting louder and louder

The noise failed her

As the silence teased her into submission


She woke up

The grass was still green

The sky still blue

But the air reeked of fear

And of her sweat

It looked like her home

A typical hut

She wondered if this home hid secrets

For it looked too ordinary to hold the monster that stole her

It did hide secrets

The whispers were too loud

The walls too thin


They were selling her.

Like a cloth to drape oneself with

They were selling her


The help came then

And then she changed from being sold

To being loved

From being an object with price

To a girl with a beating heart

So fast that the world heard her plea

And when she reached her parents

They hugged and then the world heard

Heard the hearts beating so heard

Straining with happiness

Healing the wounds that fear has brought

The torn strands of the heart

Now holding on to the stronger

Like creepers growing in the ventricles.


Nandhitha Babuji is a 18-year-old aspiring poet from Tamil Nadu, passionate about using her words to show solidarity against children’s issues.