Wednesday, 4 March 2015

ISN'T SHE YOUR CHILD?

You know I was wondering all these days what to write. Something trivial enough to be missed yet significant because it taught me something. The other day, I was sitting in front of the TV and my mom came back from work. Instinctively I asked her a question. And then it came to me. What to tell you.

My mom is a gynecologist.  Needless to say, she has to go to the hospital at all the odd times for deliveries and cesarean sections. Middle of the night, lunch time.....so many times. That is a sacrifice she made. Her peace of mind. My brother and I are habituated to this.
As kids, wait......we still do it!!!- one of our favorite games is guessing whether that family had a boy or a girl. We would even place bets. That is one standard question we always ask as she returns home. Boy or girl?

And since welcoming a child into the family is always a great event, my mother usually becomes a part of the celebrations. I love it. I love how people distribute sweets, and their laughter.  One fine day, my brother was 4 years old, and when we were playing something there was a knock on the door. My brother went to answer it. There was this man who brought a packet of sweets for us. My brother asked; "Uncle, did aunty give birth to a baby boy?"  *ROFL*
                The man looked pleasantly surprised and said, "Yes, How did you know?  Did your mother tell you?" To this question my bro replied; "People usually don't give sweets if it was a girl child."
I was a witness to this whole conversation and this simple meeting was infact bewildering. My brother was 4. He was blissfully unaware of the world. I bet he didn't even know his alphabet.  But he observed a social thing. He could make out that there has been a discrimination; even if he didn't understand it.   Maybe through these kinds of small insignificant gestures, kids know a lot about the society from a young age.

That was a first for me too. I have grown up oblivious to these discriminations and differences. To be honest, it wasn't totally unexpected but for an educated family it wasn't proper either.
The sex ratio of some regions in India is alarming. Trust me, I have seen posters saying if you spend 500 INR for sex determination, you’ll save up to 200K INR (Two hundred thousand) worth dowry. This whole idea is sickening. It is as if being a girl here is a crime.

There have been several awareness campaigns on saving the girl child but I don't think they have made an impact. Satyamev Jayate's 'O ri chiraiyya' might have broken the internet on the day it was released,  but things still remain the same. A boy is expected to be the heir. It doesn't matter if he doesn't stand up for the responsibilities.  It is just because he was born a boy. This mentality has to change. The whole system is related.  You don't want a girl, and she grows up feeling neglected. Then, too worn out to protest against so many traditions, she simply throws away her life to the society and after a simple and selfless life she becomes a memory. Often thankless.
Other times she protests, and her life is cut short. She dies several thousand deaths in the form of insults, character assassinations and sacrifices before her heart finally stops. All this because she was unwanted. Her parents didn't want her. They wanted a boy.

These grim details sometimes happen to cause a gut-wrenching pain. Heart goes cold on listening about a new born girl being found in the garbage. Ironically enough, the centre of power in Hinduism is Goddess Durga.. 


The human mind is conditioned to see the good things first. Or atleast I think it is. That is why we always say, "Hold on, things will get better". Likewise, I think the society might change. Maybe there are some people who stand up against this. And I'm not being delusional. Just yesterday, I had been to my mom's hospital to visit her and someone gave me a sweet.Almost sure of the answer, I asked- "Is it a boy?" 

"No", he replied full of smiles......."It's a girl."