It has been several weeks since I have done my regular Loose Blogger Consortium post. But today's topic is close to my heart, so even though I'm late, I've ot a few spare minutes and I've decided to do it. Anyone who knows me or even reads my blog regularly will know that I was born and brought up in a Roman Catholic family in Ireland, which is as Catholic a country as you will find in the English speaking world. I was quite a devotee of the whole 'Catholic' way of life until the Murphy Report of late 2009 (and 2010) in Ireland awakened a few old memories and shattered my illusions. I now style myself as Christian and nothing else.
However, the values inculcated by my upbringing will probably never leave me. Respect for life is paramount in my philosophy. I am totally opposed to abortion and mercy killing. Human life is sacred. In my opinion, when respect for life goes, nothing is left.
India, where I live, has a large population problem. For many years, there has been a huge family planning propaganda machine in operation. You will seldom find an Indian middle class family with more than two children nowadays. In fact, one child is the growing norm.
Yash, my husband, never tells anyone he is a father of four if he can help it. He might talk about 'my son' or 'my daughter' or mention having 'two sons' or 'two daughters'. Years ago, when I'd just given birth to my little Nitin, now eight, I remember having to pick up my infant and go into a back room in the house when some unexpected visitors arrived from Yash's office. He commutes to the next city for work, so very few people know about our four.
I don't blame my husband for this. He is a quiet sort of person who doesn't like to disclose much about himself. Moreover, he has been the subject of some very cruel remarks when people came to know about his parental status. It is truly mortifying to be asked (by a person maybe half your age) "Daktar Sahib, how did this happen? You are an educated man!" I was sickened by this particular remark, and I chipped in "Would you like me to draw you a picture?" Such ignorance.
I was in my thirties when I got married. I breastfed my children for years, not months. I used some form of family planning every time after the birth of the first child. Still I got four of them. I couldn't seem to help it.
One day Yash's friend Ravi visited our house with his wife, Gauri. Gauri wasn't looking well at all. I wondered why they didn't have their (two!) kids with them. Gauri had been to see a doctor and was carrying a huge bag of medicines.
The two husbands went out for a while, probably to the nearest shop for a smoke. I asked Gauri what was wrong with her. You know, woman to woman, very discreet. Imagine my shock when she told me she'd just had her THIRD abortion?
I don't want to judge anyone. It's not my place to do so. But three? And her husband was back soon, laughing and chatting away, not a care in the world. I felt like walking up and asking him why couldn't he do something to stop putting his wife through this agony? What a nice man, perfect family. Only two kids you know? How sophisticated. Not like Yash and Mrs. Yash, a pair of fools if ever you saw them. You know they have FOUR? In this day and age? Overpopulating the country!
Accuse me of overpopulating as many countries as you like. But at least I kept my children.
With no malice towards anyone whosoever.
This is my weekly post for the Loose Blogger Consortium. We are a group of bloggers from different parts of the world with diverse views and styles of writing, and we post simultaneously (well, we try to) on a weekly basis on a given topic. Our members are, in no particular order, Akanksha, Delirious, Padmini, Ashok, Conrad, gaelikaa, Grannymar, and Rummuser. This topic 'Respect for Life' was chosen by Conrad.
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