In India, you can be anyone – a murderer, a terrorist and a rapist, and yet you’ll be respected. But even God can’t help you if you are a bahu (daughter-in-law) in a family that treats you like a child-bearing machine.
Since day one, you are expected to keep trying to have a baby. And how dare you have a brain of your own? You must not have any feelings, dreams, aspirations, a career or expectations. Not at all! And no, I am not from a village or some rural area. I am a part of this ‘wannabe’ urban society, where people have multiple faces and false reputations to maintain.
“What if you fail to give them a pota (grandson), the heir to their (not so) royal clan? What a disgrace! You have lost the sole meaning of your existence. Why were you put on this planet? No brownie points for guessing! Yes, my love, you must procreate! Come on; even animals do it.”
But what if you don’t want to or can’t? It could be a medical reason or any other reason for that matter! You must be sent back to your maika (mother’s place) because your in-laws don’t want to live with such shame. You don’t have a right to live!
Unfortunately, that’s the fate of many women who can’t conceive. Not that they don’t want a child, but if they can’t have one, they are either forced to get a divorce, so that their husband can have another child-bearing or let’s call it “a fertile wife”, or you are murdered. Some, who are lucky (which is a very less percentage) get the support of their husbands and face the wrath. But, others, who have husbands that are momma’s boys, have to take it all by themselves. They have no support and are on their own.
This is a shoutout to all such women! Darlings, you are capable of everything. Your existence doesn’t depend on you being able to give birth. Yes, motherhood is a great feeling, but if you can’t have it, doesn’t mean you lose your right to live with dignity and pride. You have every damn right to have feelings, dreams, aspirations and expectations. Hold that chin up, rise and shine, and don’t let the mere fact that you can’t be a mother naturally define the purpose of your existence. It is your life, and it has to be your decision whether you want a baby, want to adopt or don’t want a baby!
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