There was confusion in the eyes of the seven year old Surangi as they dipped mango leaves into the sandal-turmeric paste to anoint her. She did not know what marriage meant, she was just told that she would move into a new home in a village far away and Yashoda mami would be her mother-in-law. Fighting back tears she clutched her carved sandalwood doll, trying not to miss her mother Kaveri whose recent demise had prompted her father to agree to the alliance between Surangi and Madhav, the eleven year old son of Raghav, Kaveri's distant cousin. Shridhar knew he could not bring up his daughter alone. He was constantly under pressure to take a new bride to bear him the much desired son as his late wife had only left behind a daughter. He chose to marry little Surangi off in accordance with the custom of the day rather than leave her at the mercy of a step-mother.