(As told to Kirthi Jayakumar)
Married at 15 with no idea about sex
I was married off when I was 15. Since my mother had passed away when I was just ten, and my father was left devastated with four kids to look after, there were a lot of challenges. People began to tell my father that since we girls had grown up, it was time to get us married. For me, marriage seemed like a shot at a possible change in my life, for the better. I thought that I would get to own things, get to cook my own food and have enough to eat. I didn’t think that I would have to worry about my in-laws, because I was struggling at home anyway, so might as well struggle there, with them. My father found a well-to-do family, whose youngest son was considered a match for me.
The people who made the match said that there was a boy with a house and came from a well-to-do family, and that I should marry him. I was married off within two days of that conversation. I was only 15 years old, and I did not know anything about sex. And I was also scared of it, because I simply didn’t know what it was. Even though I grew up without a mother, I was capable of knowing what was right and what was wrong.