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The Woes Of A Married Couple In India

“So, when are you planning to have kids?” she asked. I said we are not ready yet and not even sure if we want any. “But why even get married if you do not want to have kids?” she asked me, perplexed.

“So, when are you planning to have kids?” she asked. I said we are not ready yet and not even sure if we want any. “But why even get married if you do not want to have kids?” she asked me, perplexed. 

Indians are nosy. It runs in our blood. Juicy gossip concerning our relatives, neighbors, neighbor’s dog is what makes us tick. You will be considered an outcast and certainly banished from social groups if you do not participate in the daily dish sessions over endless cups of chai.

Indian aunties have become a household name across the world due to their talent to snoop around and bring in information, a trait so great that even Sherlock Holmes would kneel in front of them. They maintain a database about everybody, right from where they are going, who they are meeting to where they are coming from.

They have a special lens for girls. By any chance, you’re spotted without a dupatta, wearing a short skirt or God forbid, talking to a boy, the news will spread like a wildfire all around your neighborhood, until it reaches your mom.

Uncles in the colony gossip as well

Our Uncles aren’t far behind. Even if you are meeting them for the very first time, they would want to know –

  1. How much you earn – If your answer is not up to the mark, you would be subjected to their “in-depth” and “well researched” knowledge on why you are earning so less and what you can do about it. You would also have the pleasure to hear about their own sons who are earning more than Sundar Pichai.
  2. If you own an apartment – Real estate will always be a hot topic of discussion among uncles. If you are not an owner of a 3 BHK apartment by the time you are 30, you do not deserve to be a human, and no one will marry you.

The ‘good-news’ factor

Therefore, in a society like this, being a newly married couple is a fresh kind of hell.  It wouldn’t even be a month into your marriage, and you will be constantly bombarded with “When are you giving the good news?” questions. We had been in that situation almost 7 years ago. I’m not sure why people assume there is a problem if we do not produce a kid or two quickly.

A few years ago, I was having coffee with a colleague. I had just come back from vacation after celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary. “So, when are you planning to have kids?” she asked. I said we are not ready yet and not even sure if we want any. “But why even get married if you do not want to have kids?” she asked me, perplexed. I was not sure what to reply.

Honestly, I don’t blame her for thinking like this. She has been indoctrinated by the society, which is obsessed with producing heirs, especially males who can take forward the family name. Who cares if you are not mentally or financially ready to have kids, you just pop them out anyway. You don’t want to be called barren now, do you?

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If I had a nickel every time someone gave me an unwanted advice about some doctor who would magically turn you into a reproductive goddess, I would have had enough to buy a couple of bitcoins. Also, why is it assumed that only women have such issues?

Okay! Now give birth to a son

I had a healthy baby girl at the age of 33, after being married for 7 years. Phew! I’m done, right? I appeased everybody by finally having a baby. Yeah, you would think. Now I’m being asked to produce a son, you know to give my daughter a brother, not least because of the extremely regressive and patriarchal drivel about the family not being complete without a son.

It never ends. For now, my husband and I are enjoying our daughter and have no intention of having another baby. My only policy in life is “Sabki suno, khudki karo” (Translation: Listen to everyone, but do whatever seems fit for you). You need it if you want to survive in India.

Image source: A still from Good Newwz

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About the Author

A former IT professional recently turned a stay at home mom to a beautiful baby girl. I also write at www.indianmumblog.com where I talk about all things parenting and motherhood. It is my read more...

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