Friday, August 30, 2013

A Child is a Child


It was teatime in the office and the peon went around distributing ‘peda’ to everyone.  He had just become the father of a girl.  The accountant picked up one and said loudly, “Look at this man – he gets only a daughter and distributes peda!” Everyone joined in the laughter this evoked.
Undaunted, the peon said, “Lakshmi has come to my house, and I will celebrate.” Should he have justified his action by relating a girl to the goddess of wealth?  It’s a shame that we talk of hi-tech and progress and yet underplay the birth of a daughter.
.  Even educated parents are concerned about having a son.  A relative of mine was so keen on having a son that after her second daughter was born; she took a vow to visit 100 temples to plead for a son!
Another friend had four daughters.  Each time, she hoped it would be a son and at last the fifth one was.  Unfortunately, she didn’t live to enjoy him as she died of cancer that followed the birth of the child.
To grand parents, a son’s son is more special than a daughter’s.  The daughter is supposed to be a member of another family after marriage; hence, her child is an outsider!  A boy is called a ‘Vamshodharak’ (one who continues the dynasty) A girl is ‘given away’ in “kanya daan’.
Some disappointed parents who do not have a son; keep declaring, “thank God we have daughters – they are more sympathetic and care for the family.  Sons are sons only till they get a wife.”  This is rather an unfair accusation as sons are equally affectionate and helpful and are alienated only when the mother starts the strong-arm techniques with his wife – and naturally, he has to take sides!
An uncle of mine has the habit of blessing everyone with a “May God give you a dozen daughters” – because he believes that daughters are better companions to a father than a son.  I remember the time when I was experiencing the pangs of labour when my first child was born.  The doctor asked me “What do you want?  A boy or a girl?”  Gasping and panting I said, “Please doc, a boy.  I don’t want another woman to suffer this way”.  My 80-year – old grandma who was around said, “Don’t say that child, a boy or girl is not what matters.  What you should ask for is a healthy child who will live well and bring glory to him or herself by good deeds and thoughts”.
How true!  A child is child for all that and let’s revel in the boon of creation rather than look a gift horse in the mouth.