How are you?
I hope this letter finds you in jest and jubilation. I am not sure about your mood but I was in real jubilation when I went to the hospital last week to confirm my pregnancy status. You should have seen the hospital, it looks nothing short of a corporate office.
I have seen those grand hoardings quite a number of times, but finally got the chance to enter those buildings and get the real feel of it. The hospital that I visited is dedicated to mother and child care. It struck me unusual that such a huge building with its innumerable staff exists only to serve mothers and children.
A simple walk around the corridors would reinstate one’s faith in how much women are respected in this country and might silence many. Well, until they see those countless boards claiming that sex determination tests are not conducted in the hospital. Those boards are anywhere and everywhere; all around the hospital, so you cannot possibly ignore their presence.
They do not strike unusual on the very first look, just like romanticised eve-teasing in films doesn’t strike us unusual anymore. It took me a while to get over the sense of wonder that overwhelmed me since I’d entered the building. Only after emptying half of my wallet’s contents at the billing counter and spending two hours waiting in those plush chairs did I finally start noticing those ‘boards’.
“A child is a gift of God best received unwrapped,” said one of them. Gift of God? Best received unwrapped? Wait, yes. I hadn’t given it a thought until then, but if I am expecting a baby, then I must naturally be curious about its biological sex, right? Then why am I not?
I am going to have a baby, yes.
I am going to become a mother, yes.
But what difference will its sex make to me?
And why has this hospital stuck on its every blank wall available, its commitment towards not revealing the sex of an unborn? I must admit it took me a while to grasp the whole point behind those official declarations, but the moment I realised its magnitude, my heart did skip a beat. I have been reading reports and statistics about the number of female foeticides in our country, but just like dogs are blind to certain colours, I was blind to these stats and figures. Until that moment, I had not done a basic calculation of the drastic increase in the number of unborn girls who are not let into the world with every slight escalation in the graph.
If those buildings try to prove that we love our mothers so dearly, then those boards inside do prove that we do not love our girls as much as we love our mothers.
Dear society, it’s been less than a week since I wrote my first letter to you and already you have spread the word of my pregnancy like wildfire. I beg you to please use your network and spread a word about my anguish towards the increasing foeticides in the name of sex too.
Thanking you for your kind support.
An Expecting Mother.