My mother-in-law, a stranger to me had been brought to her son's home. The years between us had been barren years, sterile with the desert of silence. I had tried many times to traverse this desert, in search of that illusory oasis, but it was only the mirage that led me on and on. I ended up gaunt and starved, parched with craving for that which would never be. Here, finally I had stopped, with the barriers of dunes before me and the sand prickling against my skin. Those conduits, those springs, those lost oceans were dried up. We were strangers to each other. Yet we were both women to whom this man, her son, my husband, belonged. She, my mother-in-law, who was once a matriarch, who was proud in a sense of her hierarchy, with the pride of possession, a caste, a name, six children was now gradually losing everything. A tree that was being denuded of fruit, leaf, flower. I was the daughter-in-law who had desired more than anything else to know who they were, this family, whose lineage made them a people apart in their village.



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