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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8 thoughts on “Dear Daughter

  1. Story is well thought out and nicely written. Will there be twist in this tale too?? People aborting girls today will regret their horrendous deeds when their sons will not find wives and will die as heartbroken men!! When man will play with nature, nature will come back and haunt mankind. I hope that it happens sooner than later so that the price paid in girl lives can be limited. I await the concluding part.

  2. Dear Nidhi,
    Congrats first of all for such marvelous writing skills you have and the way you creates life out of it. But I have some problems with all upcoming writers who seems lack imagination which I am saying after reading your very first story. You are writing a story on female foeticide then you can obviously switch to dowry killings, prostitution etc and you can easily create Vidisha in different forms. But you are not talking about something new and I have read hundreds of stories of such kind. Where it talks about solutions and reasons of such problems? Did you ever tried to study or write about the people who do such crime, i.e. what might be going on in their minds or what might be the reasons, why do they commit such inhuman activity?
    I also wanna ask you one more question out of curiosity. Every now and then you must be talking about discrimination against women, but then why don’t women oppose having seats reserved for women in public transport or a separate coach in metros etc etc? You yourself are supporting discrimination. Isn’t it?

    • Hi Paritosh,

      First of all thanks for dropping a comment and appreciating my writing skills. Well I haven’t finished the story yet. So probably it’s premature for you to comment upon the entire nature of it. I don’t claim that I would end up with a masterpiece and probably it would end up being pretty much in the league of every other writer 🙂 🙂 .

      For the part of women encouraging discrimination I think I would rather blog about it in the feminist section …. I hope you would read it.

      I really appreciate that you commented on my blog. Would look forward to suggestions and opinions on other stories.

  3. It is interesting that Vidhisha resorts to writing a letter to her unborn child and then shutting it inside the envelope… sealing away her silent protest forever…

    Well written, waiting for the second part…

  4. I just read VIDISHA.. I pray that the men, the women change this thinking of theirs.. Aren’t women equally capable??? So why this discrimination till now. I just can hope for this change to boom into people’s mindset, soul searching is required by everyone, not just men but by women also.. Given the stock of present condition it would definitely take time to change this mind set. Nothing can radically change but we have to keep patience. It actually surprises me seeing that even the educated women don’t have much say. There’s a small story of a fisherman throwing back star fishes into the sea in hope that at least ‘one star fish will get saved’. May be that ”one day” will surely come. By the way, your write up lovely, giving me goose pimples and brought tears.

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