I was the only child and only daughter to my parents. People say that my dad was ecstatic to see the first sight of me as I was born after three miscarriages. My birth was followed by a series of celebrations. I was a very loved and pampered child but as years passed the feeling of not having a son started creeping in. In our Indian society it’s strongly believed that it is essential to have a son, irrespective of the fact whether you have a huge estate to take care of or you are a mere rickshaw puller.
In order to take the family legacy forward it is believed that only a son has that right and a daughter can never ever switch roles.
Whether it’s the share in ancestral property or whether it is the right to perform the last rites of the parents. Only a son is fit for it and not the daughter. It is so cliched in our so called traditional Indian society or we can say Asian society that a son is a must.
Every party or family get together we went for people often asked my parents, you don’t have a son and on listening to my parents reply people felt all the pity for my parents. As a young girl barely 5-6 years old I was more mature than my age as I was living with just 2 adults and no sibling of my age. Maturity had set in much before it should have.
At the tender age when children are often busy fighting with their siblings over petty thing, I was already questioning our gender bias society. A few years later I did figured out that yes ours is a male dominated society and that’s the reason every one prefers to have a dominant member of the society as their child and not the suppressed sex. As they know it very well their daughter will have to pay the price of being a female in this society in some way or the other.
Either by being a daughter, sister, wife, mother. Whatever role she plays in any phase of life she will always be at the receiving end.As a daughter she will have to abide by the set of rules laid by her father, as a sister she can never be at par with her brother even if she outdoes him in every way, as a wife she always has to obey her husband and never question her inlaws no matter how she is treated inorder to live a happy life, No matter how educated and financially independent she is, at home the decision maker is and will always be the MAN of the house even if he is incompetent and incapable. Just because he is the MAN. And of course as a mother it is her duty to give up her own life, her likes her wishes as soon as she becomes a mom and give the top most priority to the child she has given birth to. It’s not that we women don’t enjoy motherhood, we are born with motherly instincts and it’s very much evident the day a little girl buys her first doll. In many parts of India even today the birth of a girl child is mourned.
Have we ever given it a thought why is it so ? It’s not the birth of the girl the family or her parents are mourning. It’s actually the life that she might have to lead in future they dread and that makes them mourn the birth of a girl child. I was also a part of the same society and slowly started accepting the rules. Seeing parents with sons in a park or at a wedding I use to feel bad that why don’t my parents have a son. The news of birth of a boy in family was enough to spoil my day as we didn’t had a boy in our family. I slowly was getting sunk in the same swamp I once looked down upon. But I was the part of this society so it had to happen.
Although my parents didn’t leave any stone unturned to give my the best of education, upbringing and all the luxuries of life one can think of but the feeling of not having a son always existed. Now the time came when I had to become a mother. And it was just too obvious that all I wanted was a son. As they say that you long for something you have been deprived of. God was kind this time and I was blessed with my first son. The whole family rejoiced but no one just no one could imagine how happy I was as I had always seen my parents longing for one. I knew the importance of a SON.
The second time yet again I prayed to god for Son, maybe I was greedy this time. But I had listened to too much Male importance. I guess that had made me a male chauvinist inspite of being a woman myself. But god loved me too much I had my second son.
But then slowly as time passed and as I grew up as a woman I started questioning myself that I am just doing what I had suffered all these years.
The suffering had made me a part of the same group of people I had hated all my childhood. What exactly am I heading towards. Being a woman myself I didn’t wanted to have a daughter? I decided that I will go for the third child, prayed to allah frantically to bless me with a girl and promised to allah that shall give her all the respect and love she deserves. And yes, allah was kind enough to bless me with a daughter. Today she is the most prized possession of my life.
I cannot change the thought process or the rules of our society but shall definitely bring up my daughter in such a manner that she does not live the life of self pity, she does not have to accept things she does not agree to, she is not looked down upon, just because she is a woman. She should walk with all the pride and confidence, have her say, live life on her terms but happily.
Respect and love all the people in her life including all the men in her life, be it the father, brothers, husband and son, but not Worship them just because she is a woman and they are MEN.
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