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Monday, November 28, 2011


"Simply to endure is to triumph" is the motto that 13 year old
Lakshmi's mother ingrained into her.
And this helps her survive the most difficult phases of her life.
This book is based on the story of a survivor of child trafficking.
The book aims to bring her devastating experience to the attention of
people so that this gruesome practice comes to an end.

Lakshmi lives with her family in a village in Nepal. She has simple
pleasures in life- her goat that follows her everywhere, watching the
boy who she has been promised in marriage, her patch of cucumbers and
her school.
The vagaries of nature like the long drought and the incessant rains
together with her step father's gambling lead them to extreme poverty.
Her step father decides that it is time that she takes up a job to
feed her family and on that pretext sells her to a stylish lady.
Lakshmi is taken to the big city and thereafter she is sent with an
"uncle" to a far away place and finally taken to the "Happiness House"
which is a brothel.

A cruel old woman called Mumtaz rules the brothel. The police are in
cahoots with her therefore there is no escape for those who once enter
this place.
Lakshmi is made to believe that once she pays off her family's debt to
Mumtaz, she would be free to leave.

The promise of freedom and the believe that her earnings are being
sent to her family keeps her going. Slowly she becomes friendly with
the other girls and even a boy who teaches her to speak in the local

A day comes when she gets a chance to make a bid to freedom. Will she
dare to take it?

The book is written in tiny chapters like the pages of a diary.
I finished t his book in one engrossing sitting, the pages flying fast
because of the small size of the chapters.
Some chapters are just small rhymes whereas others are more detailed.
While what Lakshmi goes through his gruesome, the book spares us the
sordid details and what we are left in the end is a great sense of
However, I do wish we get to know of what happens after the end of the book.

Title- Sold
Author- Peter McCormick
Publisher- Panmacmillan
Price- Rs 245

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