November 13

Dear Diary,
Today was a bad day. Father was complaining that his legs ached—he was a logger and they were crushed when a tree fell on him—so he was in a bad mood. I tried to help him, since Mother and Satura were both away at work. But he just got more upset and said he wished I had been born a boy, then I would be strong enough to really help him. Diary, in my heart I know this is a problem for my father, for our family. Girls are not counted for much in India, and even though the tea pickers are mostly women, they are still not treated well by plantation men, sometimes. I have also wished I were a boy, then I could get an education and make a place for myself in the world! It would be expected of me!

So, I was not a good daughter, I lost my temper at my father and told him I was going to go to school. He told me I was not going to do any such thing! That education was a waste on girls and the family needs me to bring in money. When Mother arrived home, both of us tried telling her what was wrong. She soothed Father, like she always does when he is upset; and she gave me the look, to let me know we would talk later and for me to be quiet. I feel as if a tree fell on me.

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