(Author – Soma Vyas)
” Oh My God, that’s awful Maa!!” Priya exclaimed over the phone during her usual chitchat with her Mom. After her marriage Priya and Vivek moved to USA, since then it’s her usual routine to have a daily chit chat with her Mom back in India. Today Mom was telling her about their maid’s condition as she had aborted her third child in a row because infant was female. Priya was always a big supporter of girl child and was totally against the idea of female infanticide or for that matter abortion itself unless or until it was necessary due to health issues.
“Beta, you know how it is in Haryana and our maid belongs to that culture only. Besides due to poverty it is difficult for them to raise so many kids and especially girls as they have dowry issues as well”, her Mom was trying to cool her by explaining the socio economic condition of that state.
“Come on, Maa! Who told her to go for so many kids? There are so many economical ways to control your family now a days.There can’t be any reason good enough to kill an innocent; especially based on gender. I don’t entertain such thoughts and it really makes me angry to think that our society still has such vices”, spoke Priya in an upset voice.
AFTER 5 YEARS:
Priya came out from doctor’s chamber and dialed Vivek’s cell who was in Atlanta due to an urgent meeting.”Hey sweetheart! What’s the news? Am I going to be the only king of house with my queen and two princesses or Is there a prince in making?”Vivek asked in an excited voice. This was a joke he use to tell his wife whenever she wondered whether there is a boy this time or they are having another girl.
After two years of their marriage Priya and Vivek were blessed with a very cute daughter”Mili” and now they were planning to have another kid in their life to complete their family.
“It’s a girl again honey!!” Priya replied in somewhat odd voice as she was expecting a boy this time. Vivek and Priya had this conversation over and over again while Vivek was cool about anything Priya silently wished to have a boy as she wanted to make her family perfect with one boy and one girl, who wouldn’t? If you have sugar in your life you want salt and vice versa.
Next day when Vivek returned from Atlanta, Priya smiled and hugged him but Vivek sensed her discomfort and tried to cheer her up with his jokes. In the night they told their parents about the good news, everyone was happy to hear about the good news but in the end of conversation they put it mildly that it would have been better if it was a boy. Vivek saw Priya’s face tensed up and he changed the topic immediately.
Next day when Vivek came from office he brought movie tickets and they all went for movie and dinner afterwards but Vivek noticed that it didn’t improve her mood much, “Guess she just needs sometime to accept it, ” sighed Vivek.
Next morning Kamini, Vivek’s colleague’s wife invited Priya for a kitty party at her place. Priya was not in a mood to go as she never liked the kind of gossips in these parties but with Vivek’s persuasion she agreed to go hoping it might be a good distraction… Oh how wrong she was!!
When she reached at her place gossip was in full swing, Priya congratulated kamini as she delivered a boy few months back and sat in the corner with a glass of lemonade. Soon Kamini started telling the group that how her mother supported her and came for her delivery and how much disappointed she is in her in-laws who didn’t come for her delivery, “Why didn’t they come?” asked someone. “My father in law broke his hipbone, that’s why, what else! They are good for nothing people.” retorted Kamini. “Who is taking care of them then?” asked a concerned Priya. “Who will take care of them? They have to manage themselves, they should understand our situation. I don’t have that much time and patience to deal with all this drama,” kamini replied with some irritation and suddenly turned the conversation in her direction, “So what’s your due date Priya? Is it a boy this time?”
“No, we are having another girl” Priya informed her.
“Oh No, it means then you have to abort like Kamini” suggested someone in the group while kamini flashed an angry look towards that female who completely ignored it before adding“Yes, one boy is must to complete a family.”
“I don’t think we are going to do any such things, we are happy with what we got.”Priya replied in a frustrated tone.
“Oh, are you planning to go for another baby then? Good thinking! Otherwise you will miss having a boy in your old days.”said kamini with a sarcastic smile.
After coming back from that party Priya couldn’t sleep that whole night, she kept distracting herself but her thoughts keep coming to same topic again and again. It was not the issue of having another girl but the feeling of not having a perfect family with one boy and one girl in her life which was making her uneasy, she consoled her mind.
Next day when Vivek left for office Priya made an appointment with her doctor, her stress level was really shooting high after that kitty party so she decided to explore abortion as an option before she talks to Vivek. While waiting to hear back from her doctor priya got so engrossed in her thought that she didn’t even realized when Mili put a small bouquet of flower and a self made card in her lap.
“What is it dear?”asked a startled Priya .
“Happy Mother’s day Maa” with that Mili hugged her and kissed her.
“Open the card Mommy!! Me and softy made it for you.” Mili chuckled.
“Who is softy?”Priya asked smilingly.
“My baby sister Mommy, who else? She will also make a card for you just like me when she is as big as me and Papa told me that we all will love her very much, right Mommy?” Priya felt a tear trickle down her cheeks then another and then another, she hugged Mili tightly and cried. All her confusion, stress, frustration, indecisiveness washed away with those tears of guilt. Like mad she kissed her little angel and thanked God for such a beautiful gift.
What was she doing? How could she be so obsessed for a boy that she completely forgot what kind of sin it is? Suddenly she remembered her own lines, “There can’t be any reason good enough to kill an innocent especially based on gender. I don’t entertain such thoughts and it really makes me angry to think that our society still have such vices.”She felt that her maid is laughing at her. What was the difference between a small town in Haryana and a posh city in USA? What was the difference between her being so educated and her maid being illiterate? What an irony that once born you can give your life for your kids, they become your life but when unborn and totally on your mercy, you don’t even hesitate to kill them. If not for her little angel she was going to do the same mistake as her maid and so called high socialite as kamini, she felt ashamed for herself and at the same time relieved too.
In the evening when Vivek came from office she confessed everything to him, Vivek listened to her patiently and then replied that he would never have agreed to do such a thing, he is perfectly happy to have two daughters and has no regrets about it. Finally he told Priya that she needs to change her notion of perfect family; Perfect family is not made by genders it is made by those individuals whom you love dearly with all their flaws and good traits. And he suggested that they should trust their own parenting and their kids individuality that they would turn into wonderful human beings.
Priya couldn’t have agreed more, she got up to make a phone call.
“Whom are you calling?” asked Vivek.
“Kamini and other ladies for a get together to celebrate the arrival of our other angel “Softy”… Also I need to tell them that I am really going to miss being the mom of a boy in my old age.”
Looking at vivek’s puzzled expression Priya said, ” Come on Vivek whom I am going to bitch about in my old age if I don’t have a daughter in law… I have never seen females bitching about their son in laws…. So you see my old age is completely ruined…. “Before she could complete her sentence she found vivek’s arms around her and a proud kiss on her forehead while mili danced around…. Now this moment was perfect and so was her family!!!
Special Note: Influenced by a real time experience and conversation.