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"I wanted to run away when I found out," says Orola, sitting in the sunbaked courtyard of her family home in north-central Bangladesh.
Since Mandi communities are usually very close-knit, her intense isolation drove her to consider suicide. I couldn't have managed alone after my first husband died." Noten was the only bachelor available—most Mandis marry around the age of 18—so she had no choice but to allow him to wed Orola as well.She really loved him." The rivalry ruined their mother-daughter bond. "I used some of the family money to buy gold jewelry," she says."I knew I'd never have a man of my own to buy gifts for me, so I bought some for myself." Orola became alienated from her girlfriends as well.Her father had died when she was small, and her mother had remarried. Her wedding had occurred when she was 3 years old, in a joint ceremony with her mother.Following tradition in the matrilineal Mandi tribe, mother and daughter had married the same man.