An Indian mother with three children

I watched a helpless woman manage three children, this past weekend. All by herself. And she wasn’t even a single mother. In fact she was just another Indian mother.

She had a perfectly capable husband, who had quietly huddled up with his buddies to discuss something that I believe was more important than helping the mother of his children. 

Because clearly, while the woman struggled to keep all her children from running away in three different directions, he took solace in smoking a well deserved cigarret.  While she held one kid by his arm, tried to shove a banana in the other toddlers mouth, and tried to verbally pacify her eldest daughter who had a perfectly timed temper tantrum. He seemed unmoved. 

When I made my way past her, I could see the regret in her eyes. I could tell she wanted all of this to end. She wanted to just let her hair down and dip her feet in the white waterfall and close her eyes. I knew she wanted to shut herself to the world she lived in and just breath the fragrant air for a change. But where was she? Was she even aware of the other side? The one where you can really be yourself and live life queenlike?

Every time I read an article about women liberation and empowerment, I think about this woman and the likes of her. I would like to see her happy, but does she want to be on the other side of the fence? Maybe she doesn’t, because she doesn’t know it exists. The only media she is exposed to is the drama filled Indian soaps, which are definitely no source for picking up feminist virtues. Neither is she on Twitter or Facebook, where she could read these personal blogs and understand that she has the power too. She doesn’t know her place in the world, she only believes what she is told without questioning it, because thats how she was brought up. 

But how is her upbringing to be blamed for her current situation? She’s probably 35 by now, has three brats for kids and a wonderful doctor/engineer husband, who probably got a huge dowry for taking this girl off her parents hands. How is her life before she got married to be blamed for her misery now? 

 

What does it take for us to think before we leap?

As human beings we always express regret or concern over only those issues that affect us personally. A wise man once said to me, most behavior altering changes occur only when one has either something to gain or loose from it. In other words, when you can mentally put yourself in someone else shoes and feel his/her pain is when you are most likely to empathize with the affected person. 

Now to give you a background in to that thought. About a week ago, we got our four month old puppy fixed. What does that mean, you ask?

Well, to put it simply, he underwent a tiny surgery called ‘neutering’. Like most well-informed doggie parents, we too did our research, consulted several experts including doctors, read a million yelp reviews and almost a month later took an appointment with a local non-profit called Emancipet for his sterilization. My experience so far in this episode has been extremely positive and my pup is recovering just fine with our love and affection, but the only thing amusing in this entire process were the extreme reactions that he received. It is good to see and hear that so many men and a handful of women have expressed their deepest regret at the puppy’s lack of possible sexual activity in the future. (I am sorry that he is not going to be casanova and will always be our little baby. I am extremely regretful that he never going to be a ladies man.) But what is more unsettling is that most people have a stronger reaction to him loosing his genitals than a 16-year old girl being raped over and over again and dumped in the field to die. 

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard everything from “you got him fixed, huh!” to “what’s he good for now”, “did he loose his you know what” and “what’s he, a girl now?”, “what does he know about the pleasures of life”.

Surprisingly, something that moves these people to make such harsh statements about a four month old puppy, also makes them flip the pages of a newspaper every time they read of a brutal murder and rape.  Why is that? Is it only because they know that it will never happen to them? But are they really thinking straight? That they sleep every night feeling secure.

So when a woman in India is forced to abandon her girl child in the trash can, where the baby dies due to lack any post natal care and dehydration, nobody so much as points a finger at her family, because apparently only women are responsible for giving birth to a girl child. No man every played a role in it. And what gives anybody the right to demand a woman to abort her child based on it’s gender? Why doesn’t this move anyone enough to make a comment about it? Even if it is in the passing. Why doesn’t anyone talk about having more girls in a normal conversation or making this world a better/safer place for women to be themselves and not just some puppets born to bred more irresponsible men?

Why are there more corpses of newborn girls in the wells in India than there is water for irrigation? Why don’t we spend a precious moment from objectifying women and think about these little souls who never got a chance? When we talk about women in the most degrading manner, why are we forgetting that we have mothers and we will have daughters at someday. I want a daughter and I feel sorry for the people who don’t want one. I hope, wish and pray that you don’t regret saying every horrible lusting statement you’ve made about a woman when your teenage daughter steps out of the house. I hope she feels safe with you, because if you don’t want her right now, I doubt you will ever really make her truly comfortable. 

Why don’t people think about the consequences of what they do or express? When they call a woman fat or blonde. When they reduce her entire identity to her appreance? Is that how you would like to be seen? Would you be happy if your entire existence was reduced to the lack of teeth in your mouth? 

How much do we have to grow up before we stop doing any of this? Or should we just sweep this under the carpet because it’s easier to let boys be boys and when we have sisters and daughters we’d just follow them till the day we die to ensure their safety.