May 28, 2013, 9:40 AM
Nana is a house help who gets impregnated by her boss Jalih
Khan. To cover up the resultant scandal and protect his social standing in the
Afghan society, he takes Nana and her baby Mariam to the outskirts of
Against her mother's pleading, Mariam leaves for
After this, she is reluctantly accepted into her father's family, where is married off to Rasheed, a bitter old man, three decades her senior. She is abused and despised by Rasheed, as she is not able to give birth to a child of her own. One miscarriage after another embittered him more and more.
It is at this point that Laila, a promising daughter of a middle-class family, who has lost her family in the Afghan crisis, is brought into this already tense family. Rasheed pampers Laila, making her feel as if she were the most important person in the world. But the moment she gives birth to a girl, his attitude changes. Years later when she gives birth to a boy, Rasheed was over the moon, even fawning on the boy.
Though Mariam and Laila are both initially antagonistic to
each other, Rasheed's highhandedness provides a rallying point for them. They
both come to see themselves as victims. So they plot to escape to
When Laila's childhood sweetheart Tariq returns, Rasheed feels threatened and takes it out on Laila. It is during one of his beatings of Laila that Mariam kills him with a shovel.
Stoically, Mariam gives herself over to the authorities and
lets Laila with her two children and Tariq run away to
After a regime change, Laila and her family return to
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