“What’s the matter, Aditi?” Bavishni asked her friend. They were sitting on the verandah watching little Jaafar run barefoot about the yard.
Aditi sighed. “I’m pregnant,” she announced.
“Pregnant?” Bavishni got up and hugged her. “Congratulations!”
“You don’t seem happy that you’re pregnant.”
“What if it’s another girl?”
“You can say that because you have a son. Tahir and I already have a girl. What if this one’s another girl instead of a boy?”
“Aditi, it isn’t the end of the world if you have another girl–”
“You’ve been living in America too long, Bavishni. You’ve forgotten our ways. Back home having a girl is considered by many to be a curse. Don’t you remember what happened to Rekha? She had another daughter and her mother-in-law poured paraffin over her. She was about to strike a match and set her on fire in the bed when the neighbors rushed in. They’d heard Rekha screaming. I don’t want that to happen to me if this baby turns out to be another girl.”
Bavishni put her arm around her. “Tahir won’t let anyone harm you. He loves you.”
“But he wants a son.”
“I hope it’s a boy.”
This story was inspired by the sad reality that still exists in India where according to Anju Dubey Panbey, of the Centre for Social Research, “if you are blessed with a son you are almost revered, and if you are the mother of daughters you are made to feel guilty and your status in your family goes down. It is very, very disturbing.” To read more about this, visit Here. Many Indians don’t want daughters who become financial burdens because the matrimonial dowry demanded by a groom’s family. Perhaps the best solution to this problem may be to do away with the dowry.
Source: The Guardian