Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
So as I am into almost 8th month (well going to touch) of my pregnancy, people around have started questioning that what I want in terms baby... another girl or a BOY. Well I always say a healthy baby which me and my hubby really want and gender is something doesn't even cross our mind. The worst part of this gender game is when random people like Hi and Hello kinds neighbours, Aunties, maid in my daughter's daycare, my normally invisible FIL (whose only contribution in this planet is his 2 sons, one of them is my hubby) ask my daughter to predict the gender, even if we clearly ask them to back off.
Pregnancy in India is everyone's business even if parent of the child like it or not, things become worse when people have all the time in this planet to gossip but cannot give a helping hand!! So here we have one aunty in our society blessed with 2 sons and 2 grandsons asking my daughter the same question, my little one who is just about to turn 5 told her few days back aunty we don't know if its baby or baba, mumma said whatever god gives you should take. I felt so proud of my little one and somewhere was thinking that my upbringing is going in the right direction but that aunty and bunch of her friends were not easy to shut down by a five year old. Next thing - aunty stared at my growing tummy with her "EXPERIENCED" eyes and gave me some logic that it is going to be a boy!! Well I told her what if its not a boy and another girl, in that case me and my hubby have no plans to drop her in some orphanage and we do plan to raise both our daughters with equal amount of education, discipline and love. Aunty was like good things will happen beta don't worry. Others too joined in, realising their sorry state of mind, I left!!
Another jolt came very recently - just before Ganesha immersion, our society conducted the havan/puja followed by lunch. Again we met aunty and her group of friends. This time my hubby smartly left the place as she has asked him too this embarrassing question of me delivering the boy or a girl in the lift :) exact words - Beta kya lagta hai, tumko ladka hoga ya ladki, poor fellow just said aunty healthy ho that's enough for us. Aunty gave him biology class right there!! So coming back to Ganesha Immersion, Aunty took the pain to ask panditji to predict if we are going to have boy or a girl. Panditji, like any other religious priest in India told me "Putravati Bhava". Now considering aunties enthusiasm for our baby, I decided not to argue at that particular moment as 100 odd people were waiting behind us for darshan of lord ganesha!!
Well these are just very few examples of how people perceive the birth of girls in India and claim to be modern on the other hand. Such so called people and families just can't get enough of boys and will tell you 1000 benefits of having a boy!! Now my question to all those people is that - By the time you raise your son, you are already 60 - 65 year old plus and in your remaining years your son will be busy with his family and career. So why not invest same amount of money on daughter's education and make them independent too so that when need arises they can take stand for there parents and for themselves.
Another point which I would like to ask here is that - why people who have sons forget to save money for there own retirement. My FIL and others in our community/ social circle are prime example of it. They don't mind blowing there money, savings and money earned by there sons. They don't spend a penny when there sons were getting married and after the age of 60 - 65 start black mailing there sons.
From the late 70's and 80's, at least metro cities started seeing the different perception of girl's parents(mostly middle class/upper middle class). They educate there daughters, save for there marriages, save for there retirement and don't feel sorry for having daughters (my own father and many other people I have seen falling into this bracket).
So in one way people who have girls are moving forward to educate them but at the same time many narrow minded people who are "BLESSED" with the sons are not willing to evolve even as human beings. This may sound one sided view point but in majority of cases coming out to be true.
In one of the recent examples from our generations, I have seen women in there thirties with both having a set of 2 boys each (both my very good friends) - The first one knew in both her pregnancies that she is going to have a boy and when I used to ask how she used it say - I just know it, she used to make some lame excuse of tummy shape. Another friend told me in the beginning of the pregnancy that if you know the doctors too well they will use words like jai babaji/jai sai ram for boys and jai mata di/ jai shero wali ma for a girl child. Irony is both my so called friends suggested me names of there doctors as it is my second pregnancy and I already a daughter. No points of guessing here, even after having the master's degrees from abroad these girls have there minds somewhere in 15th century or before!!
When the journey of my second pregnancy started I felt so good, but now when I look at people around me - my FIL, our neighbours and my friends, I just feel disgusted. The problem of not accepting the girl child is so deeply ingrained in our systems that it may take thousand of years to get rid of this issue. It doesn't matter if you have studied abroad, have multiple degrees, enough money, you go to disc/lounge or a temple. If the mind has such filth in it then no amount of education can help. As long as we have doctors in our country who are willing to sell off there souls for some amount of money, advancement in medical science and technology is only harming the girl child.
As for my second kid, I really hope its a healthy kid!! How does it matter to us after the age of 60 whether our son's or daughters will take care of us or not. It is our duty to do savings for our future. Our kids didn't ask us to bring them into this world. It was our urge to be the parents, which is behind it. How does it matter if we die and we don't have a son to perform our last rights.. someone will surely do, people should take it easy once they are dead!! :) Above all in order to make our last 10 years of life safe and secure, why the hell we are making our present and next 25 - 30 years a living hell!!
Having the sons is just like securing your retirement ticket in majority of the cases, where is the love?