Monday, December 24, 2012

Mother of a Son

Yes, I have a son.

When he was born, there were joyous celebrations to welcome him. My elder child, a daughter, welcomed him with love only a sister can have for a brother. All the ashirvads (blessings) of “Doodho nahao puto falo” (bathe in milk (ugh!!!) and give birth to sons(!)) had apparently worked its effect well.

Before my son was born, my daughter was my entire world. I would glare angrily at anyone who even remotely suggested that my second one (I knew I wanted two!) had to be a boy to “complete the family” (whatever that meant!).

I was certain that my second one would be a daughter too – because I felt I would never be able to love a son as much – yes, that’s how much I love my daughter.

But when he was born, it ceased to matter that he was a son. For me, it was just love all over again. I remember how some indignant relatives (angered by the fact that I preferred to have healthy babies to “puto falo”) told me that bringing up a daughter was a difficult task in this terrible world. How the daughter would prove to be a huge responsibility – even a liability (“Paraya dhan” – somebody else’s 'property' - WTF!!)

But today, what prompted me to write this post is not how my daughter is my blessing (which she is!). Rather, it is to explain why I am glad I do have a son.

No – not because my family is “complete”.

Nor because I feel he will set fire to the pyre when I die (frankly, I care two hoots what happens to my body after my death). Neither is it because I think a son is insurance to an easy retired life, or because of a dowry that he traditionally is supposed bring in.

No – not even that he may act as a bodyguard to my daughter…..

After all, these are the traditional reasons to have a son, right?

My reason is something different. The way I see it, raising a son is way more difficult.

See why,  in my post at Parentous.


  1. hmmmmmmmmmm I need to ask my mum if that is true was it realy hard raising me or my sis :)


    1. hehehe.... do let me know what she said, Bikram!! :-)

  2. I agree,for generations now the onus has been on raising our daughters like sons(sick again) but yeah it meant equal education,right to property its time to raise our sons as daughters if that is what it means to raise gender sensitive aware men.
    difficult indeed in a society where a husband making a cup of tea for a wife or a brother playing with his sister's kitchen set is till considered sissy.

    1. Pooja,not only are they considered sissy, but the woman making them do so are blamed. For example, there are mothers of sons who feel offended that their son makes tea for his wife, complaining "Dekho mere bete ka kya haal kiya hai" ..... strange!

  3. Aaah... u captured the entire social consciousness against women in this post itself..

    1. RAJ - am not a feminist in any sense of the word. I do not believe in bra-burning or slut walks .... but just that humanity is what id getting comprmised in our