Choice : انتخاب : Intikhab
Birthdays are the best society devised concept to boost your ego. Don’t believe me ? Self-introspection is all you need and you’ll realize that the most attention showered on you by your dear ones has to be on your birthday – go scroll your facebook and whatsapp profiles on your yaum-e-paidaish and you’ll end up agreeing to it.
So, as I turned 21 today (umm, mental age doesn’t count) and was bombarded with wishes as soon as the clock ticked 12 and being a lark in the world of night owls, I wondered who devised the concept of wishing people at 12. Whyy don’t people love their sleep ? As the messages started pouring in and I was made to count my “achievements”, remarked about my seamless transition from a girl to a young lady and sung paeans of my trysts with daily survival, the realization of significance of my birthday dawned upon me. Is it the manifestation of my successful survival of the brutal world or does it mark the anniversary of beautiful journey undertaken by a lady which marks the onset of a new stage in her life – the mother. After all, motherhood is not a cake-walk and requires a lot of mental and physical preparation by a woman no matter at what point of her life she undertakes this decision.
Motherhood isn’t really an easy path to choose especially when it takes difficult turns in your life trajectory where the lady has to make serious choices with reference to her future course of action. It’s no more what you read in fairy tales or the bed time stories which used to be recited to us by our previous generations – over simplification of isn’t something which comes naturally to us. Even in current times, we rarely hear of late motherhood.
Turn 25 and you’re packed off to the best suitor who’s well settled and earns enough to cater to your and his needs combined – shush, girls from good families don’t question back – it’s against our sanskaar. The family circle gets completed within a few years of the holy matrimony and ta-daa you’re gifted with a mini-you.
Late child-births are laughable and a serious dining table topics, also not to miss out that the trips to fertility clinics are made most of the times by the mother in laws of the family with the bahu in tow because “there can be nothing wrong with jigar ka tukda (read-beta) of the khandaan”.
But does anyone care to ask girl if she’s ready for such a drastic change in her life ? No doubt, the female is made conducive to carry another body inside her but is it really what she would wish to choose if given an option ? Mental preparation for birth decisions by a woman is a subject which we absolutely refuse to broach. It has been the norm since generations so why question it now ? Haven’t the women of the past been able to adjust to these circumstances naturally with enough gusto, why do the “strong women” of today need time and choice to prepare for something which is anything but natural ?
We, as a society need to learn to respect the choices made by all the ladies out there- child or no child or a child only when they’re ready. Also, next time someone comes and compliments you – ask them to thank your parents for making you a wonderful person that you are. Your existence today is an outcome of the brave choice made by a woman whom you love to brush aside every now and then.
Birthdays are not just a day of your celebration in this world but also the struggles of your mother.