Despite knowing what is right and wrong, some people nonetheless do evil, as human nature includes among its elements greed, hatred, jealousy and the capacity for betrayal. Motivated by these evil impulses, people are sometimes capable of anything, even against their own kin.
“Veasna Bopha Rong Krous” (The destiny of a vulnerable girl) by Hy Kimseab lets the reader see all of these things as part of Chhorvy’s destiny. When her mother dies of despair after being abandoned by her fiance, Chhorvy is taken in by her aunt, who says she must be responsible for her own life.
But it is the natural order of things that most people are not good all the time; they act selfishly. Later, Chhorvy’s aunt sells her into a brothel, telling her it is a new job that will make life easier. By the time Chhorvy figures out what’s going on, it’s too late — she is locked inside. But by a miraculous stroke of luck, she avoids the trap of becoming a sex-worker, as the brothel is raided by police before she starts working.
Later Ms Chhorvy meets a guy she once knew as Dara. After a long conversation, it dawns on Ms Chhorvy that this is the man who tipped off the police about the bordello. After leaving that place, Chhorvy finds work as a seamstress, and Dara becomes her god-brother, attending to her when she falls ill.
Due to her illness, Chhorvy is sacked from her job. But again, she gets a lucky break when a doctor named Theara hires her as a servant. This is a new experience, yet she is happy, as she is treated as part of the family.
One day she meets the nephew of Mr Theara. This guy’s name is Manet. By the power of fate, Manet falls head over heels with her the minute he lays eyes on her. Before long they are engaged. But life has another cruel twist in store; the couple later discover they’re brother and sister, sharing the same father (This comes to light after their father, Mr Nak, tries to find Chhorvy and her mother).
This seemingly perfect relationship is smashed to smithereens. Chhorvy decides to flee from home, as she hates her father and cannot tolerate him. But she eventually comes across Dara’s mum, who rescues her. She feels hurt, yet her health improves thanks to the attention she receives from Dara’s family.
As for Manet, he hits the bottle and starts drinking heavily every day. But things change when Mr Nak gets into an accident while driving to find Chhorvy in Battambang province. (He was told by Dara that Chhorvy was there.) Ms Chhorvy starts to forgive her father. At the same time, she receives a proposal of marriage from Dara, whom she eventually marries. Manet heads overseas to study.
Written by Hy Kimseab, “The Destiny of a Vulnerable Girl” won second prize at the Preah Sihanouk Reach literature competition in 1999. Though some scenes are a little hard to believe, this poetic novel contains a lot of truth about the plight of women in modern society.