The Channel 46
“Bacche nahin chaiye? Are you mad? Who doesn’t want kids?” My cousin was surrounded by countless female relatives at a family function, as she shared with the entire khaandan that she and her husband were not planning on having children. Tired of being asked when she was going to give them the ‘good news’, she decided that she couldn’t take it any further. And blurted out the truth – they had no intention of becoming parents. My cousin and her husband decided to go child-free, out of choice. My cousin is an environmentalist who believed that having a child would put unnecessary pressure on the planet, and her husband agreed with her decision.
We can always adopt if we change our mind later, he said. When they announced their decision to the family, everyone thought they were lying.
Koi problem hoga, everyone whispered to each other. How can someone not want children? One chachi advised my cousin to fast on Thursdays because it supposedly pleases some God who would grant them a child.
And a cousin even asked him if thOne mami nudged her to visit a renowned gynaecologist who had a track record of making sure every woman who visited him gave birth to a healthy child.ey needed any advice on, ahem, their sex life. All because no one believed that they would want to not have a child, consciously. Because every woman wants to become a maa. And wanting one was not the law of the land.
Motherhood, and being maternal is an emotion. Motherhood comes in different forms. And colours. And sizes. And choices. Some women choose to not have children, consciously. Some choose to have pets and plants – as alternative options for displaying maternal emotion. Some choose to look over nieces and nephews. Some choose to be mothers, some don’t. But we taunt, degrade and judge such women.
The Channel 46