“She cannot give u a son”, my mother in law was pricking my husband, “I m going to die without seeing the face of my grandson”. My husband was silent. She further nagged him. “You are still young, get another wife“. Hearing this conversation, my legs were not able to support me. Silently, I collapsed on the floor behind the wooden door. I felt the room sinking in a pit of darkness. Yes, after the birth of my fourth daughter 2 years ago, my mother in law had refused to see my face and would not talk to any of her granddaughters. She had declared me a curse on the family and all of my daughters were part of the curse. Even my husband had started to ignore me. I was only hoping that time will change the situation but what I had overheard today had simply crushed all my hopes.
I decided to take advice of a doctor to help me give a son to the family. As there was no doctor in the village, I had to go to another village to meet the doctor. Next day, I went to the doctor’s clinic. When my turn came, I told the doctor that I had four daughters and my family wants a son. The doctor advised me that it was none of my fault that I had 4 daughters, it was because of my husband that I was having daughters. He advised me to come along with my husband and assured me that with proper medicines, the chances of having a son can be increased. That night, I talked to my husband that we should see a doctor for having a son. Unexpectedly, my husband flared up. He was really fuming at me for questioning his masculinity. He growled that it was my entire fault that I was cursing the family by giving birth to a daughter after daughter.
Next day, my mother in law and my husband had discussions again and my gut feelings were that both of them were up to something. I was scared. Not for myself but for my daughters. I feared the worst, the second marriage of my husband. Again I tried to talk to my husband to visit a doctor but it only made him angrier with me and he retorted at me that the family wanted a son and he was ready for the second marriage.
I went to the doctor again and pleaded to help me. The doctor again advised me to come with my husband otherwise he told me he was helpless. I confessed my situation to him and pleaded for help with tears in my eyes. Finally, the doctor said he is ready to help me but I had to keep everything very confidential. I took oath over my daughters to keep everything secret and then he disclosed the solution to me. I could not believe my ears. I came back home shattered.
When I reached home, my elder daughter, trembling, whispered to me that my mother in law had gone to another village to arrange for second marriage of my husband. She was in tears and though she, just 10 years old, could understand that the situation was really grim. For the next three nights, I could not sleep. On one side, I could visualize a near hell for me and my daughters for rest of our lives. On the other side, it was something, I could never think of even in my wildest dreams – something I would never be able to share with anybody. Finally, it was my daughters who won this battle.
On the fourth day, I went to the doctor again and agreed for what he had asked me to do. After coming back from the doctor’s clinic, I pleaded to my mother in law that I wanted to do a Putra Anusthan (a ritual for son) for a week and even if after completion of this Anusthan I could not give a grandson to her, she was free to go for second marriage. She agreed to my pleadings.
The doctor told me the week when I was to visit the clinic and I conveyed to the family that for the said week, I will be on fast and will not be talking to anybody in the house. The dreaded week came & I went to the doctor every day during the week. At home, I was like a walking corpse. I have no words to describe how I completed the week. I never saw the doctor again.
In due course of time, I gave birth to a son. The whole family was in jubilation. Now my son is 21 years old and resembles the doctor , a horrendous reminder to me of this loathsome society in which daughters are not treated at par with sons and a woman has to undergo unthinkable tortures to give birth to a son .
[This post is a piece of fiction. Resemblance to any person is accidental and is not intended.]
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