Why This Son Obsession?

Posted: October 20, 2011

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I came back from London and decided to give Haldi Kumkum to my neighbours since it was the ninth day of Navratri and I had not done anything this year…I asked my neighbour aunty who are GSBs (P aunty) and the other one who is an East Indian Christian (and sporting enough to come for the haldi kumkum)..and both of them agreed…

I came back from work and Ma had kept everything ready so I just had to call them..my dad had come as well, while RD had gone out since some Aussies had come down from down under…

P aunty came first…We sat talking for a while and then I gave her the HK and fell at her feet…

I  hope you get a son…

I froze there…

So did my mom and dad…

RM: Aunty…what are you saying
PA: I am blessing you..now that you have a daughter, I hope you get a son soon
RM: You mean another baby right?
PA: Baby boy
RM’s Mom: Errr….well, let’s just say a baby right? (knowing that I was going to open my mouth)
RM’s Dad: Yes of course…healthy and smart right?
RM: Aunty, how can you  say this..and I blast out…you have two daughters..each of whom is a gem…bless me with another child, don’t say son..
PA: But you already have a daughter..
RM: And I want another one..I want another daughter

RM’s Mom and Dad butt in and change the topic  before I get too agitated…but I am upset…

Then later, L comes in..my East Indian neighbour. I give her haldi kumkum and fall at her feet.

L: May you get a son soon

and I froze again..too shocked to even react..

Mom and dad just couldn’t believe their ears.

RM: What?
L: Arey now we want a sweet baba in the floor
RM: Why…why not a girl?
L: You already have a girl na..next one should be a boy
RM: Why…I want a girl only next
RM’s Mom: Well..let’s not get into girl and boy..if she had another child ever, let’s just hope he or she is healthy..that’s what we all want right?

and RM’s dad asks her about her sons diffusing the situations.

These are two ladies I admire, I love, I respect and I think are the sweetest neighbours ever…and yet, this small blessing of theirs really made me feel bad…why, why, why, this obsession for a son!

And no, please don’t go RD’s way and tell me that perhaps they were looking for a balance, you know one girl and one boy..etc etc…it’s not, okie?

Whatever, they could have just blessed me, ‘have a child’ – I wouldn’t have felt bad (it’s the way you are blessed in India anyways, either may you have a child or may you always be a suhagan…) …but have a son?

Sorry, I am not agreeing to that!

*Image Source: hisks

R’s Mom is a working mother in Mumbai trying to balance work, home and

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  1. Hi RM,
    yes, we are a nation obsessed with sons. Sad, but true. Of course in my case, since I already have a son, people bless me to have a daughter next!
    My frustration is who are they to decide whether we want a child/ second child and what gender it should be !!!

  2. Oh come on. No need to get upset. Not all are hip grandmas!!

    I was joking. As your mother rightly said, a healthy baby is all we should pray for.

  3. @Uma: Good yaar people bless you with a daughter..that means RD’s theory of a balance may not be too wrong…oh its everyone’s business that we have a second child 🙂

    @HHG: True…everyone cant be a HHG…I so agree to that!

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  5. Pingback: Why this male child obsession in India?

  6. My first child was a boy. I desperately wanted a girl and so did everyone else in my family. Does that make me bad? Since my son was conceived and born in USA – I knew the gender of the kid from the 16th week. Do I love him any less? No.Did I try to get an abortion – heck NO. Once I held him in my arms I forgot why I wanted a girl. During my second pregnancy I again wanted a girl -but internally I knew I would be ok with either boy or girl . It is ok to have a secret yearning for a boy or girl. What is NOT ok is going to unethical lengths to make it happen or to love a child any less because of his/her gender.

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