Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Family


7th June
My two girls are real darlings. Mithi made a drawing titled-My Family. There was Jai, me, Mithi, Ma, Shona and a small child crawling.
I asked her, “Who is that Mithi?”
“Oh! Mamma. That`s our little Babu. When are you getting him? Pa says we can dress him, play with him and take him for walks in his pram. Mamma, what fun it will be.”She looked ecstatic.
I sighed.
12th June.
It`s that time of the month. I dread it. I really don`t know what I am dreading? Will I get them this month. I hope so. I feel claustrophobic. Need to step out for a while.
13th June.
I am feeling bloated. Heavy. Irritable. A little sticky. Maybe I have got them I`l just check.
15th June.
Still no sign . Not even a stain. This waiting is killing me. Jai says I must check. I don`t want to. Jai thinks I am stupid. Last night he said, “Just do it. Else go to the path lab for a urine test. The sooner we confirm the better it is.”Yeah! But better for whom?
17th June.
Still no sign. I am worried sick. I vomited in the morning. Ma has been praying fervently. She gave the washerwoman Rs. 51 and asked her to pray for me. This has happened so many times. Her prayers don`t seem to work for me. I know faith can move mountains but unfortunately cannot get me what Ma wants. Even Jai. I may not want it for myself but I do want one for Jai. If it will bring him peace then so be it. But I am tired. I want to cry. Mithi just got me some lemonade. “Mamma drink up. Badi Ma says Babu will come soon. What fun Mamma.”
I smiled through the tears. How innocent and sweet she is. And when she hugs me with her fat dimpled arms I want to squeeze her tight.
19TH June.
I feel sticky. But still no sign. I don`t know whether I am relieved or worried ?Minku is coming over for dinner. Oh! How I love having her over. My fat adorable sister is so much fun. She goes into these peals of laughter and I just can`t help joining her. Amal and Sujal , her twin boys are just a year older to Shona. Last time they came they broke Shona`s favorite doll. Obviously she cannot bear to be with boys. But Mithi is different. She loves to mother them. And they too lap up all the attention!
Minku loves Pasta . I think I will cook today. I am feeling energetic today. Maybe its because Minku`s coming after a long time. Hmm 4 months now since the last …
20th June
I am so happy. Jai said that I was glowing last night. Minku said so too. Ma just smiled. She just paid the sweeper Rs. 21.
Jai called Dr. J. But he is out of town. Gone to Chicago for a conference. I am relieved.
25th June
Mithi won the first prize for her drawing’ My family’. Ma said that she will tell Jai to frame it and we will put it in the living room.
Ma says it is a good omen. Is it ? or is she just hoping ?
28th June
Minku has sent me this book called Secrets. It says’ Ask and you shall receive’.’ Visualise and it will happen’. I just read a few parts to Jai. He just grunted in response.
29th June
Jai got me a huge picture of a baby boy playing with a ball. He says he has a surprise for me too. Can`t wait for it! It’s been a long time since Jay got me a gift. And even longer since he smiled at me.
1st July
Today`s Doctor Day. We called Dr. J and wished him. He will be back on 4th.We see him that morning at 9.00 a.m.
2nd July
I could only stare at the beautiful pictures. Jai asked his friend to morph the pictures. There are at least a dozen pictures of the baby boy. In one I am holding him. In another ,we are playing snakes and ladders. He is lying on his stomach, the rays of the sun shimmering on his light brown hair and me looking with an indulgent smile. Yet another is a family portrait.
Me with the boy on my lap, Shona next to me, Ma with Mithi on her lap. Jai behind us with his arms protectively around us, smiling.
Jai said, “You said to visualize. I did. Now it’s your turn”.
I want to cry.
3rd July.
I don`t want to see Dr. J
4th July.
8.00 a.m.
We leave in an hour. I don`t want to see Dr. J.

12.00 p.m.
We saw Dr. J.
He was really grim. He told Jai, " I am your friend. But you got to stop this. You will kill her. This is the last time I will do it. Last time . You get it?”
On the way back Jai said that it wasn`t as if Dr. J was doing us any favour. We pay him for his services and pay him well.
Dr. J said we will get the report soon.
5th July.
I held Mithi and Shona tight when they came from school. I want to lie next to them and feel their baby breaths. Jai thinks I am juvenile. I must not let girls be in my bed. They are 7 and 4.
Thank God, he is gone to Delhi for a day. I can hug and kiss the girls and pillow fight with them till as long as I please.
6th July
Jai called. He says I have to go to Dr. J `s clinic.
He has already spoken to Ma. The girls are in school. Shivprasad, our driver will drive me to the clinic. Ma will stay at home for the girls.
He will get back tonight.
I want to cry.
10th July
I feel empty. Broken. Wounded.
Today Maria dropped the framed ' My Family' while cleaning. The glass shattered into tiny pieces. One of the shards cut through the tiny Babu. Mithi was inconsolable.
I want to cry. But there are no tears. Dr J told Jai that he just couldn`t do it anymore.
He looked stricken when he told Jai, “Do you even understand the implications? 4 abortions in 2 years ? I cannot go on. Spare her. She will die”.
Wish I would. Mithi and Shona?
I guess we will have to find another Doctor. I read about this new age technology where you get to choose the sex. May be we can try that. I will ask Jai tonight.

pic courtsey : www.aph.org

32 comments:

Mampi said...

Oh my goodness, you write so well, so so well.
Such pain, such helplessness, and such a wonderful portrayal.
You brought tears to my eyes, a lump in my throat.

D said...

That's a beautiful story. Loved it. An amazingly true picture of what women have to go through to meet the unrealistic expectations of giving birth to a boy!

SMRITI said...

Whoa!!! I've been meaning to read your posts for a while now, blog-rolled you for that purpose, but never came around I guess :( Slap Slap Slap for me coz I didn't.

This one just blew me off... It was engrossing to say the least...My morning coffee is cold now as I read and re-read this one again and again...Phew!! Amazingly written. A sad reality of the boy child still persists in many of the "educated" homes too, some of which I've personally seen or am related to. Will keep coming back...I didnt get expect to be blown away so early in the morning you know :)

Cheers!!

DeeplyDip said...

fantastic story! I have told you this before also...I loved the way it's written...protrays the emotions so well...shabaash!

Sandhya said...

Do you write stories for magazines? The conversations are beautiful. It is like conversing with full emotions. You are too good and the craze for baby boy, is conveyed nicely.

Thanks for a good story. I will remember it for sometime.

my space said...

@mampi..thanx :-)

@D..really ..even today gender is a big big issue..

@ Smriti hugs hugs hugs for your sweet comment..i am flattered!and education ,class,caste-- none of these account for such absurd demands..

@deeplydip..thank you hain ji aapko :-)..sab aap ki pushing ka kamaal hain..

@ Sandhya.. no i dont write fr magazines..have recently plucked the courage to put my stories on the blog

(behn ,credit goes to u..ie my sister)..

i wrote this fr a story writing competition but failed to make it as it was way beyond the stipulated word limit..i tried editing it but didnt happen..
I am so glad u all liked it..I am maha thrilled by the response so far..
i was taken aback when a friend ,who has teenaged daughters ,tried one last time to get a boy! hence this came up..

Nisha said...

wow..very nice. i remember reading more like these by you. now that you know how well you write and how much everyone appreciates it...its time to get published!
and yeah...keep deleting the archives...you never know who's copying what.n i don't sound silly!

Iya said...

this is so beautiful...u have once again managed to bring out the pain in such a convincing way...i was speechless after reading this...

Reflections said...

How heartbreaking.....the helpless ness & pathos is brought out so clearly.
Its beautiful Aarti[see I'm not asking for permission:-)]

DeeplyDip said...

:) I'm glad you are finally putting it all up...but yes as Nikky said, pelase do put a note on the blog saying the material is yours and no one should copy it. If someone wants it they need to pay/ask permission. There are loads of people out there who are looking at stealing stuff from blogs...
I see a "page protected by Copyscape" in many blogs...use that as welll

my space said...

@Iya, Nancy ..thanks :-)
@Nisha, Deeplydip...chaliye 2 fan toh pakke hain !! I am thrilled to know that u think that people will actually pilfer my blog!!!
I would need help to put the copyright thingie...blame it on my non existent technical skills!

How do we know said...

OMG! OMG! its not easy to inspire tears, but you make small job of it.

DeeplyDip said...

do visit my blog. an award is awaiting you :)

How do we know said...

i kept thinking of ur story for a long time afterwards... gender can only be known after 12 weeks of gestation.. that somehow doesnt fit into the story... see, that many times the story comes back to me.

my space said...

@HDWK...THANKS..I thought it was 10 weeks..Must recheck on that...thank u..henceforth i will double check my facts :-)

D said...

You've been awarded on my bog :)

Renu said...

OMG !I thought that u r writing about urself till i came forward.very well written.

aneri_masi said...

Very nicely written! Heart-wrenching and at the same time makes me angry at everyone involved!

Shalom said...

You've been awarded!!!

Reflections said...

Hellooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!
No new post???????????
Busy???????????
Are u ok??????????????

Tek Care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DeeplyDip said...

i know you are studying for the exams and well all the bets for the same. But once you are done, you better come and claim another award on my blog. It's waiting for you

Mampi said...

You are our Honest BLogger.
Kindly accept the award from my blog.
Thanks.

my space said...

@Shalom, deeply dip, mampi...thank you,thank you very much..(deep bow)...i am honoured!
neck deep wth studies..exam round the corner.will give my acceptance speech et al later...mwah..mwaah..mwaah...miss world style ;-)

Amrita said...

you write really well!

Iya said...

hey..u have been missing from action for a while and other comments tell me u r busy with some kind of exams..all the bst..

and once u are done do hop over to my page as u have been tagged..

Pinku said...

I was about to go and bash up your husband till I read the last line that said its an attempt at fiction.

It so well written...that I cant attempt to put it into words.

Piper .. said...

hey, long long time.. how was Christmas? how`ve you been? I`m back home again! :) Dad`s much better now..

my space said...

hey thanks all of yo!! I am back! exams just got over..so hope to see alot of all of u..
@Amrita..thanks for dropping by :-)

@Iya..thanku ji ..will drop by soon

@Piper ..Hey !! v.v. long time..Good to hear that Dads better :-)

@Pinku .:-)

Reflections said...

Good to hear ur exams r over.....

Wishing U a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

p.s: what exams....sorry, cdn't contain my curiousity:-P

Saroja said...

You are gifted, Arti. The diary form you chose made the story so life-like! Please continue to write. :)

my space said...

@ Saroja ..thankoo
@ Reflections..MPhil exams.. doing in english

Reflections said...

MPhil!!!!!!!
Wow!!!!!!!!! Cooool!!!!!!!!!!