Following tradition in the matrilineal Mandi tribe, mother and daughter had married the same man.
"I wanted to run away when I found out," says Orola, sitting in the sunbaked courtyard of her family home in north-central Bangladesh.
"I was excited about finding the right man," says Orola.
Devastated to discover that she was expected to share her own mother's husband, she says, "My mother already had two children with him.
I wanted a husband of my own." The situation was doubly unjust in Orola's eyes because ethnic Mandi women usually choose their own partners.
Most marital practices around the world that involve multiple spouses have more to do with power and economics than sex, and the Mandi tribe (also known as the Garo tribe) is no exception.
Since the Mandis are matrilineal, the idea that a man should marry a widow and her daughter is designed to safeguard the property-owning female lineages of both sides of the family.
As a child in rural Bangladesh, Orola Dalbot, 30, liked growing up around her mother's second husband, Noten. "I hoped I'd find a husband like him." When she hit puberty, however, Orola learned the truth she least expected: She was already Noten's wife.
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.
But he quickly began to prefer me to her, and she hated it," Orola says.
In a whisper—Mittamoni is nearb —Orola relates how her mother once slipped some wild herbs into her food to make her vomit.
"While I was ill, she seized the chance to spend the night with Noten. I felt betrayed and abandoned." Orola rebelled against her new role, taking off on solo day trips to the district capital of Madhupur to go shopping and watch Bengali movies.
She really loved him."The rivalry ruined their mother-daughter bond. "I used some of the family money to buy gold jewelry," she says.
The only single males, however, are often much younger.