Prina sat in her room all alone, waiting for her food to be delivered—the best and worst part of her day. Leprosy had locked her away, isolated from her family. She longed for the human interaction that occurred when a family member carried food to her room. But her heart broke all over again as the person who delivered it scampered away out of fear, not wanting to accidentally touch her. Tragedy Smothers All Hope Prina lived a typical village life before tragedy struck. She was devoted to the traditional religion, was married and had two sons, just as expected. But then her life took a dark turn. Prina started noticing discolored patches of skin. At first she ignored it, not knowing what it was. But slowly the skin lesions began to go numb, and fear crept over Prina’s heart. Not being able to hide the marks any longer, she told her husband about them, and he took her to the hospital right away. After testing the patches of affected skin, she received a diagnosis, which felt more like a curse: leprosy, the dreaded disease that has eluded defeat despite being preventable and curable.
While not immediately cast out by her family like many with leprosy in Asia, Prina had even darker days ahead of her. Husband’s Murder Leaves Prina a Widow Soon after Prina’s diagnosis, tragedy struck her family again when her husband was murdered by a neighbor over a land dispute. Prina now lived with a double curse: leprosy and widowhood.
Following her husband’s death, Prina moved in with her youngest son, Dhan. Dhan supported his family and widowed mother by working as a daily laborer in a neighbor’s paddy field.