FS: The Pink Bicycle

FS: The Pink Bicycle

“Why are you always smiling, Samiksha*?” Flat Sujata inquired. She had once been flattened by a crate of mangoes and wondered how someone could be so happy all the time.

“I’m so happy here!” Samiksha said as a smile spread across her face.

“Here at Mukti?” Flat Sujata’s friend Sami asked incredulously. “I mean, I like it here but sometimes I’d rather be back on the streets of Mumbai.”

Samiksha looked at Sami and smiled. “Not me. School is so close I can almost see it from my Flower Family house!”

“So?” retorted Sami.

“Well, before I came to Mukti I had to ride my pink bicycle 2 ½ miles each way to school.  To make matters worse, my sister Sheetal* would ride on the back!”

“Oh. That doesn’t sound too fun. But I’d take the pink bicycle,” laughed Sami. 

“Oh, Samiksha,” Flat Sujata marveled, “riding your bike 5 miles every day with your sister on the back must have been no fun.”

“Yeah,” agreed Sami. “When did you get home?”

“About 6 pm every night. It was just starting to get dark.”

Sami stated, “I guess that would make me happy to see our school so close.”

“You’ve been at Mukti a few years now, right Samiksha?” inquired Flat Sujata eagerly.

“I came a few years ago when I was twelve. It was hard at first.” Samiksha paused as she recalled the hard days. “Sheetal and I were used to doing everything without permission.”

“That would be hard to come to Mukti,” laughed Flat Sujata.

“Our first night was good when one of the girls in our new Flower Family, Sonney*, asked about our home. This put us both at ease since we realized our new sisters cared about us.”

“We’re both glad you’re at Mukti too, Samiksha,” beamed Flat Sujata. Sami nodded her head in agreement. It was great to meet some of the other girls that Flat Sujata didn’t know so well. They all had difficult stories to tell and here was Samiksha able to smile about her past. That was exciting!

*Names changed for privacy and security. Images representative.