Shyamoli stood with her head bowed in disinterest, lurking in the farthest corner of the room. She had forced herself to wear the best of her dresses. The one that was not tattered or faded too much. She had also scrubbed her skin clean and tied her hair neatly with red ribbons in two fuss free plaits. Of course, the best looking children were paraded upfront in the first row, so that they got picked easily. As if that mattered! People anyway spotted and picked those good looking girls and boys from wherever they stood in the room, even if they were hidden in a dark corner in the last row. The criteria were simple - fair skin, smart looks and a sweet tongue - and that was about it. All these qualities were enough for lady luck to favor them. They just had to bat their eyelids in an attempt to fake innocence and their job was done.
She had none of these qualities. Her dark skin, clumsy looking pudgy frame and a chubby face with a perpetually dumb expression stuck on it did not make her the preferred choice. The moment she opened her mouth to speak, her shrill tone was often mistaken for arrogance. She had no hope, just because of the way god had made her. But she still tried her best to appear neat and acceptable. After all, who wouldn't want to get out of that dreary place? She wished for a normal life like the others who were fortunate enough to move out with people who loved and valued them.
As she was mulling over these thoughts, she did not realize when they came and stood right in front of her. They were foreigners. The couple smiled at her and asked for her name. She smiled hesitatingly trying hard not to reveal her crooked yellowing teeth.
"Shyamoli" she murmured shyly, peering through her eye lashes, with her head still bowed down.
"Sham-O-lee…is it?" questioned the kind fair-skinned pleasant looking lady in her thick American accent.
Shyamoli giggled as she shook her head and pronounced her name distinctly stressing on each vowel this time. She did not understand why the couple looked at each other in amusement and nodded to each other.
In no time, Shyamoli was walking out of the orphanage where she had spent her entire eight years of existence. She walked between the couple, each of them holding her hand from either side...as they walked towards a new beginning.
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