Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
Two little sparkling eyes searching for the mom or dad trying to reassure herself that she is not alone, that she is protected. A little bundle which fits in one arm of her dad sleeps peacefully knowing that no matter what this protective hand would never leave her. As she grows up and learns to walk, she is picked up and soothed every time she cries after falling down. The mother wipes her tears and distracts her. When she falls ill the parents put a brave front and take care of her, but shed silent tears. They can’t see their beloved daughter in pain. The first day of school, the mother and father both anxious. The mother readies her trying hard to control her emotions, the father asking the mom why so much hurry to put her in a playschool!
Years roll by, the daughter is the life of the house. Her nonstop chatter, dancing, singing, posing, infectious laughter all lighten up the house. She is her parents’ pride and apple of their eyes, she is her brother’s friend, little mother, his shadow. She dreams of becoming a singer one day, the dancer the other day. She wants her hairstyle to be like her mom but says that her hair is like her dad! There is not a single moment of dullness when she is around.
She grows up each day, shapes up into a pretty, confident individual. She is gutsy, go-getter, happy-go-lucky. She wants to be independent, travel the world, be successful. She wants to hang out with lots of friends. She doesn’t want to leave her parents or brother ever. She wants a husband who would be a boy just like her father or brother. She is learning to fly each day with her developing wings. She will fly high one day for sure.
Scenario 1: An illegal sonography confirms the fetus is of a girl. The reluctant, orthodox parents don’t want a “liability”, they want an “asset”. They want to destroy the “liability” at any cost. They want to destroy a little angel, a daughter they would never know could give them so much joy and pride. All they see is the “profit and loss.”
Scenario 2: She was allowed to be born as illegal sonography was not so prevalent 25 years ago. But she was not loved, always told she didn’t belong to them, that she was a “paraya dhan.” They didn’t want to spend on her education, they wanted to get rid of her by marrying her off as soon as she is turned 18. They never asked about her dreams, her goals, her choices. She was told that once she is married off she would keep the “honor” of both the families and “adjust” always no matter what.
In both the scenarios, the girl died; one inside the womb, one outside the womb.
The girl asks sadly, “What wrong had I done that you couldn’t you give me a life?”