Dear Daughter

 

Vidisha could hardly hold the pen but this was all she could think of doing. She began writing with a heavy heart. 

“Dear daughter,                   

              I miss you. I do not know how to tell you that. My sorrow filled heart yearns for you and sadly  I have no way left to reach out to you. I do not know how many tears I would  need to shed to wash away this pain of separation. But my sorrow is still no match to what you went through. There are no words of apology. I can’t say that to you, even if I want to.

           You were a part of me. My joy and  my dream  . Perhaps you would never understand why I let that happen to you. Well !  I know you will never ask. You lost your chance to do so. That however doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t have wanted to ask me …WHY!!….. maa .. WHY!! 

          My dear child the love for you in my heart has been acidified by a deep remorse . It will scald my soul as long as I can recall this fateful day .  This unfortunate day when I realised my helplessness. This dark day , when I was smothered by my own compliance and ashamed of how instead of fighting for you I tried to convince myself that it was for a  greater good . Good for you and for me. But as the physical agony is tormenting me , I also feel an emptiness and a guilt. 

 (I had no right to decide that for you.But did I have a choice? )

             I just want you to know that I loved you. That I wanted to see you grow each day of my life. That I wanted to see you step into womanhood… I wanted to see you learn and achieve in life .. I wanted to help you when you were in doubt… I wanted to talk to you, I wanted to laugh with you, I wanted to be proud watching your bright face and sunny smile… I wanted to pray for you… I wanted to cook for you….. I wanted to feed you … I wanted to sing you to sleep… I wanted to  touch you , hug you , feel you…. I wanted to see you take your first steps… I wanted to hear you utter your very first words….. 

          But….. more than anything else my dear child, my love … I wanted you to be born… to bring you in this world!! 

          Forgive me if you can. I will fail to do so myself… I did not want to abort you and  I shall forever be guilty of not being able to stop it…

with love

 your  Maa.

(December 27, 2007)”

 

                          Having finished the letter Vidisha tucked the ultrasound film to it. The only reminder of the life , that was growing inside her womb, untill this tragic day. She was still trying to escape that feeling of cold emptiness of the room where her daughter was dislodged from her womb. The smell of that room was still haunting her. The doctor and the nurse had performed  that act with professional dexterity.Probably without even a thought. Just a matter of using their experienced reflexes. It was however horribly novel for Vidisha.  Her legs strapped to the side bars , she just prayed that she would wake up soon ,only to realise it was a bad dream. But the needle prick reminded her that it was all for real. The sound of the suction machine ,as it sucked out the flesh and blood, crushed her heart. Tears just kept falling down the corners of her eye wetting the pillow. The instruments kept clearing her womb without mercy , without remorse, as she silently cooperated.

She came back home  shattered by the realisation that she had no control over her own body. Her husband and in laws wanted a son .This  implied that she had to abort the unwanted female foetus growing in her womb. She failed to convince them to change their mind. Her shock, anger and retaliation had succumbed to the web of tradition, patriarchy and mindless son craving  of the society.

Now ,all alone ,she wept inconsolably with the letter in her hand. The tears fell and quietly dissolved some of those words of apology  and helpless expression of love for her unborn daughter.

Those smudged words  will remain a silent testimony of her sorrow for a quite long time…. without giving an inkling  about what would unfold when one day the letter would be found again .

(to be continued……)

 
 
 (Every year in India thousands and thousands of women like Vidisha undergo the pain of abortion unwillingly just because they are pregnant with a female child. Thanks to the hi-tech ultrasounds that can determine the fetal sex  conviniently and those unethical doctors who become a party to this irrational killing. Female foeticide is a very real problem in India  .The dwindling sex ratio and even worse child sex ratio. It is  as prevalent in southern part of India as in the Dimaru or daughter maru states of north India(particularly Punjab and Haryana) .This story is  a humble  attempt to fathom the sorrow of a disempowered mother. My literary competence may or may not succeed in servingthis purpose. But this does not decrease the gravity of the problem or it’s tragedy. )
 
 
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Remorse

I caught a butterfly
and then I let it fly
I still cant unwind
she left her colors behind…

I didnt plan to keep her
didnt plan to release her
I still cant unwind
she left her colors behind…

It was just a silly game
but now it doesnt seem the same
I still cant unwind

she left her colors behind…

Persistence

 
 
On my way to wisdom
There were times
I simply felt dumb.
 

On my way to life
There were times
I felt dead.
 

On my way to love
There were times
I felt unloved.

On my way
I learnt
It may be a dead end

 
Still I am
On my way
To wisdom
To life
To love
To a happy end.

 

(Originally written :24 August 2008 )