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Indian women who do not conceive a child within a years of being married, are cruelly taunted. This short story illustrates.
Once there was a woman called Maya. Maya was happily married to Suresh for over five years. They lived with Suresh’s parents who adored her. Her sisters-in-law were like her buddies.
Recently Maya’s in-laws had begun asking her or rather pestering her as to when she would have a baby. She listened to dramatic dialogues like “The family will not have an heir to carry forth our family name” or “Everyone has grandkids but me.” Her husband too joined in with his family saying he wanted his parents to see his child. Maya and Suresh were trying to have a child but their efforts were futile.
It took a lot of pleading and convincing from Maya to convince her husband to get them both checked up to see if they could conceive. Suresh unwillingly agreed. The day the test results were supposed to be announced, Suresh had some urgent work at office and Maya went alone to get the reports.
The report stunned Maya. She could not stop her tears from flowing. As soon as she reached home, everyone started pestering her for the results. With a heavy heart, Maya told them that she could never become a mother. She said that the ‘fault’ was with her.
Her in-laws started howling. Then started the taunts towards her. She could not believe that this was the same family with whom she had been living for so many years. They started telling her she was unlucky for the family. Her sisters-in-law started saying that a woman with a ‘closed womb’ had been forced upon them. Shockingly, her husband did not console her or even talk to her. He took his family’s side.
The very next day her in-laws decided that Maya would have to leave her husband as they were planning to get him remarried, so that they could get an heir to the family. She looked despairingly at her husband. He said that whatever his parents said, he would oblige them. She was shocked to see the dramatic change in her husband. Her husband to whom she had given her everything, now at the drop of a hat, was leaving her. She saw how selfish people had become.
She said that she would leave the day her husband got married again. Marriage procedures started full fledged. Suresh also seemed happy. On the day of the marriage, Maya dressed as beautifully as she could and gave her husband one last look (her soon to be ex-husband). She came to him and handed him the medical report of the tests they had both done, to see if they could conceive. She said that it was her gift to him, and left.
Suresh opened the report (for the first time) and was shocked. His body started to shake. The report stated that it was Suresh who could never become a father and that there was no physical issue with Maya.
Maya had also written that she was taking a test to see how her in-laws and her husband would accept her if she took the blame. They had failed miserably. She wanted to test if her husband genuinely loved her.
Maya left for a distant place to start life afresh. Her husband and in-laws were left staring at the report.
Image via Unsplash
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