Awanthi Vardaraj


I Was Debt-Free—Until I Agreed To Pay Back Everything My Grandfather Owed

I’d lost my best friend, my father figure. So every month, I paid 20 percent of my earnings to his moneylender

I remember climbing a tree on a sun-dappled afternoon years ago; at 5 years old, I was an incredibly adventurous little girl who loved nothing more than to explore like the characters in my favorite books. The branch under my foot cracked as I reached for one above me, and I felt myself falling briefly before strong arms plucked me out of the air. I twisted around to look into my grandfather's familiar face, and his wide smile. “You got me, thatha.”

He set me down on terra firma and I waltzed away. “I got you, kid,” I heard him say.

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