This story is of a young woman Salma who in spite of her enormous struggle for her family failed to save her own life. Young Salma lived happily with his husband Iqbal and one son and a daughter in a town. Their house was not so big, yet beautiful. Salma's father-in-law and mother-in-law also lived with her in the same house. Salma managed the home and Iqbal worked in a company. He was the only bread earner of the family. They were not so rich but still the couple lived happily with mutual understanding and cooperation. One day the door bell rang. Salma opened the door and a policeman stood before her asking her to come to the Police Station to identify a dead body which according to the police was of Iqbal. On hearing these words Salma was dismayed and felt unconscious. After sometime she gained control over herself and went to the police station. Her dreams were shattered like a mirror when she saw the dead body of Iqbal, her husband, who had died in a road accident. Iqbal's father had retired and now there was nobody to support the family. Even the Salma was uneducated. After a few months, Salma's father-in-law (Iqbal's father) felt ill. He was rushed to the city hospital where the doctors diagnosed that he had throat cancer and about two lakh rupees will be required for his treatment. Also her children were discharged from the school as the fee of several months was pending. Now Salma was in a real trouble. Financial crises were running in the home and there was no source of income. Iqbal, the only source of income to the family was gone and Salma needed a lot of money for her family, for the treatment of her father-in-law and for paying the fees of her children but she could see no ray of hope. Even she could not do some job to manage the money as she was ignorant and illiterate. After some days, her friend Noori who lived in the city visited her. After hearing all her story she assured her that she will manage a job for her in the city. Salma readily agreed thinking that the days of hardship will be over soon and everything will be all right but she did not know what the fate had already stored for her in the future. Meanwhile Salma left the town leaving her mother-in-law and two children there. When she reached the city, her friend Noori took her to a house of prostitution (Brothel). At this moment Salma felt angry, disagreed to do the immoral job of a prostitute and cursed Noori for she had brought her there. In the meantime Noori consoled Salma and requested her to

think that she had no other way of earning money to support her family. At last Salma had to cooperate and she finally agreed to do the immoral job of a prostitute. She sold her body that day and continued it day after day to satisfy the demands of her family. After some time she managed two lakh rupees for the treatment of his father-in-law but unfortunately he died as now it was the last stage of his cancer. Meanwhile she again admitted her children in the town school and purchased a lot of gifts and toys like TV etc. for them. She wanted to see her family happy. She was not happy with her job but was continuing it so that she can run her family smoothly. Like every mother she wanted to give her children the best education and facilities. Perhaps some years continued like this. Then she felt tired of her immoral job and decided to shun it. Now she wanted to spend her whole time with her children. Then she left her depraved job. After leaving the dark world of prostitution, she went to her home. Everything was running smoothly and now she felt the real happiness with her children. Again the luck did not favour her. She felt ill and went to the doctor who advised her to get her blood tested. When the report came Salma realized that she was HIV positive. She was completely broken. She had no hope of happy life. Now she was dying slowly. And her life would continue like this until her death. Ghalib has rightly said: Gham-e-hasti ka Asad kis se ho juz marg-e-ilaj Shama har rang mein jalti hai Seher hone tak (What can relieve you from the pains of this life except death O Asad, And the candle burns and burns till dawn) These verses exactly fit on Salma and many other women like her who prefer death over life because of the pains and hurt which life gave. Their lives continue anyhow till their demise which is just like a dawn for them as it puts an end to their agonies and sorrows. (The basic idea of this story was taken from somewhere but the Author is responsible for presenting it in this form)

(The Author can be reached at or can be mailed at

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