Days later, off the coast of Thailand, a small boat arranged by the human traffickers brought in much needed supplies.
But, while they were waiting for another chance to get to Malaysia, the Burmese navy intercepted them.
“They arrested the captain and three crew members, but they were released,” Khadiza says. “I guess they made some sort of a deal.”
Their second and last attempt to land in Malaysia was also to end in failure. It became clear to everyone on the boat that they were going nowhere.
“We were drifting around in the sea, with no hope of ever reaching the shore. People were getting desperate. We kept asking ourselves how long we could survive like this.”
So, a group of refugees went up to the crew and pleaded with them to disembark anywhere, regardless of whether it was Myanmar or Bangladesh.
But the crew refused, believing it too risky. They could be arrested and their boat taken away.
As the boat drifted aimlessly in Bay of Bengal, stories accusing the crew of rape and torture started circulating.
“Things were getting out of control,” Khadiza says. “I heard one of the crew members was attacked and killed – his body dumped in the sea.”
There were 10 Burmese crew members overseeing almost 400 refugees. “They realised it would be very difficult for them to fight and win,” she says.
The crew demanded more money to hire small boats which would take them ashore. Those on board coughed up another $1,200.
After a few days, a small boat approached them. Immediately, the captain and most of the crew members jumped in to run away.
Those remaining managed to steer the boat towards Bangladesh, with the help of two remaining crew members.
“I was so happy when I finally saw the coast for the first time in two months.” Khadiza remembers.
They were back in Bangladesh again. After seeing the people in such a bad condition, local villagers informed the Bangladeshi Coast Guard.
After spending two weeks in quarantine, Khadiza returned to her refugee camp, only to find out that her place was now occupied by another family.
She has no hope of going back to Myanmar to live again on the land she farmed.
She now has to share a tiny space with her son and daughter.
“I lost everything for my dream,” she says, in quiet contemplation. “Never make the mistake I made.”
Illustrations by Lu Yang