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Son preference continues to exist, even in affluent, urban, educated India
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.
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 baby. Learning the ropes of new motherhood and wanting to spend more time with baby. Running to catch up with read more...
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