Monday, December 29, 2008

Joys of Motherhood - Part 2

Few months ago my maid walked up to me and said "I have missed my date" I have never been able to come up with an appropriate response to this statement. The first time I heard it was when I was 20 and an unmarried girl friend of mine said this on phone. I panicked but had no clue what to say. Thankfully the "date" arrived a little later simplifying lives for both of us.

My maid who is probably in her mid 20s (she can't tell how old she is) has a 4 year old boy and had once told me she doesn't want to have a second child. She even had tied up her tubes to that effect. But these things are not permanent solutions apparently Every 3 years you are supposed to re-do them to avoid infections ( I am not sure of this). She got it removed and was to go back and put in a fresh "copper-T" after a few days and she got pregnant in that 10 days! She didn't want to have that child. But her entire family said that having a second child would be the best way to reign in her wayward husband who spent all his money on god knows what!

She was in two minds. I asked her if she needed any sort of help. Although I didn't really want to complicate things for her by giving her gyaan. (Although had she been pregnant for 3rd time or something I'd probably have persuaded to think about this) But what I wasn't comprehending was how having another child would make a man responsible? He didn't do that when he got married nor with the first child...I am afraid this girl will end up taking care of both the children!

She decided to keep the child. But she wouldn't do any of the things that is said to be good for mother and child. She still skipped breakfast. Hardly had any supplements and nutrition was not even considered. If I try goading here she'd say "I didn't do any of this for my first child and he's fine." But what about her health? She's one skinny thing with no flesh anywhere. She just won't lsiten. Now she's 7 months pregnant and she still comes to work and cleans my house. My heart misses a beat everytime she picks up a bucket of water for mopping or she dives to pick up something on the floor. I can ask her not come for work. But that won't change anything she'll simply find another house! So all I can do for now is keep her here, give her as less work as possible. I can't feed her because she thinks anything tasty or healthy ought to be given to her son and not her. Even if I give her plenty she'll take it all for that boy. I get angry at how little she cares about herself. She won't even let someone pamper her at this most "special" time.

I am just hoping she has a safe delivery and a healthy baby. Of course V is very very worried that she's gonna be delivering in our living room because she has no intentions of taking off till her ninth month.


Samba said...

In the animal world, there are loners and there are social animals. However, among Indians, I guess the only kind of legitimate animals are family animals. The rest are rogues. And family animals, by definition, let their immediate family and relatives dictate their lives. It's a society that believes in the wisdom of crowds, while the phenomenon at work really is stupidity of crowds. The ironic beauty of the crowd is that it never realizes its own stupidity.

Like you, I do not have foggiest as to how having a child makes a irresponsible man responsible. In the first place it was the mistake of his parents and inlaws to allow him to get married. Secondly it was his wife's mistake to let him have unprotected sex with her. Whether children end up making parents responsible is debatable. What's beyond debate is, children end up making parents poorer, if the parents are poor to start with.

At the moment, I'm softly fighting off pressures and emotional blackmails at home to get married. My mom hates to force me. So she uses allegories and allusions. She doesn't have a good reason as to why she does it though, beyond the cliche that it's "abnormal" not to get married. Even my girlfriend wants me to get married, either to her or to someone. And my relatives think I'm torturing my mom by not getting married. (Well, they don't realize I might actually be sparing her the torture of a saas-bahu relationship).

I guess these are different facets of one thing - a collectivist society. Not having kids and not knowing the latest bollywood gossip are very similar in this country. You end up being coaxed, bullied and if the environment aint westernized enough, ridiculed for being different from the herd.

Abhipraya said...


you said it...only family animals are legitimate that means the whole deal right from when you are about 5 years old till the very end.