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Despite all efforts, with even the law leading a hand, who will change the mindsets of a society that is fixated on having a male child, and not the happiness of new life?
“Madam please tell us if it’s a boy or a girl,” the woman insisted, cajoled and even putting on the veil of an amiable smile, almost demanded to know from the doctor.
The doctor wasn’t happy. From her expressions of what I marked was a “not again” kind of disgust, it was evident that this was not the first time that she was refusing to answer the lady’s question.
“I don’t know,” she shrugged off the unwarranted query.
“Please doctor, the delivery is due in a few days and now there is no question of abortion. So I guess there’s no problem now in letting us know about this,” the woman prodded.
“You would anyway come to know this when the baby is born,” said the doctor.
“Please doctor…,” the woman said, struggling hard to widen the not so natural smile on her face.
Disgruntled, the doctor came back “You want the police to get me? ”
Still, the woman wasn’t ready to give in. Pointing to the expecting mother who she was accompanying, said: “She wants to know what she is going to have, a boy or a girl…she is curious you know…”
The heavily pregnant woman was quietly sitting on the patient’s chair. She wasn’t uttering a word, not even smiling. She had an expression of uneasiness on her face. I did not notice any kind of curiosity in her as claimed by the lady. I do not know how she was related to the woman who was accompanying her.
The otherwise cool doctor was completely frustrated by now.
I had been watching all this from a distance.
I am someone who finds it uncomfortable and indecent to jump into other people’s discussions and provide unsolicited opinions. But certain situations are unavoidable when you just cannot hold yourself back.
“This is illegal,” I interfered.
Before the woman could speak again I continued “You should be happy, whether it’s a boy or a girl.”
She came back quickly “Ohh yes we will be happy to have a girl. ”
“Well, in that case, you shouldn’t be forcing the doctor to disclose the sex of the child…isn’t it? ” perhaps I was sounding a bit rude now.
The doctor seconded “Yes it’s illegal”.
The woman looked at me and smiled as if she felt and understood the unnecessity and repercussions of the question she was trying to find an answer of. Without bothering the doctor any further she left the room with the patient.
A few minutes later I found her sitting outside the chamber, on a bench. She smiled and I reciprocated.
“Don’t worry, everything will just be GOOD”, I wanted to make up for the little rudeness I had perhaps displayed a while ago.
Her eyes gleamed “GOOD! Did you say GOOD? You mean it’s a boy? Did the doctor tell you that?” The lady bombarded me with a list of questions out of excitement, assuming that the doctor has disclosed the sex of the child to me.
I looked at her for a moment. The news of the child being a boy and not a girl was the only good thing that could have happened for the lady. The commencement of a fresh life was not important, the birth of a boy was. A girl even before she was born was not welcome.
I sighed and shook my head in denial.
That day once again I realized that you may very well momentarily silence a person with a horde of logical arguments, but any number of arguments are insufficient to alter a person’s mindset. And it is very difficult (read “almost impossible”) to make someone unlearn a deep-rooted belief.
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