There was much celebration in the house. The mother had been blessed with a baby boy. The baby was doing well and so was the mother. All relatives were rejoicing. Someone said – It’s good that the first born is a boy, now no one needs to worry about what the next will be. And others vehemently agreed.
And a couple of years later, a girl was born too. It was the proverbial “complete family”. All efforts were put in to provide the best in class education to the boy. The best school in town, the best college in the country and then a foreign MBA. The girl got a raw deal in comparison. Being a girl she wasn’t allowed to leave her small town to big bad world of Delhi or Mumbai for higher studies. She managed. Completed her graduation and started working in a bank, and slowly and steadily made her way up.
Both the children got married. The boy is settled in USA with his wife and a son. His trips to India are random, about one in 2-3 years. His parents have never visited him. They don’t even have a valid USA visa. The girl got married too. She has a daughter.
It’s been 35 years since that blessed son was born. The father is now heart patient. He suffered a stroke followed by a paralysis attack and then failed kidneys. He has to go for dialysis regularly. The mother is fighting cancer and is undergoing Chemotherapy. She also had a mighty fall and broke her hip and thigh bone. An iron plate and rod has been inserted and she has been put on bed and has been advised no movement what so ever.
The daughter has been living with them, since the first stroke happened. She had come to take care of the father with the intention to return as soon as he recovered. It’s been 3 years ever since. In these 3 years she has taken a job transfer back to her parents town. Her daughter now goes to school there. The husband lives in another town and visits them every weekend. Her whole life revolves around her parents. The son “has not been able” to visit even once.
And still our society craves for a son. They reason – “who will take care of us when we are old and frail? The daughter will be long gone”. This is a true story. It’s happening with someone I have known for over 15 years. The desire for the son is still very strong. It doesn’t matter if we are in the 21st century already. Can we for once treat children as children? Can we for once provide them equal opportunities? I am in no way typecasting all sons in this bracket. I am just narrating a true story. Think about it…