She lives on a street corner in Delhi. Not in a house or even a slum but, literally, on the side of a dusty footpath, under a mango tree that’s long since tired of bearing fruit.
She was three or maybe four, dirt-streaked and dung-smeared, her hair shorn not with love but into pest-preventing tufts. Her eyes were still there to look at, but nothing looked back. Hope had already departed.
“She’s probably sick,” my brother said, scooping up the girl’s six-year-old brother and chiding him for not going to school.
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