17 September 2008

Because he was a boy !

She asked us to pray. He should be a boy. And he should be good looking, pink hands and feet and skin all white.. and he should look perfect, that is all what mattered to her. And so we prayed, every day, till the day he was born – all so perfect. A boy.

I never understood then why they wanted a boy, and why we needed a brother. Traditionally, they wanted a son – somebody who will carry forward their name and somebody who will take care of them in their golden years.

He was the apple of the mother’s eye. She primped and pampered him and gave him the best of things. He got an extra chocolate, a bigger pencil. Special food was cooked for him. The mother asked us to pick up his plate, because a boy is not supposed to pick up after himself. He should not be cleaning the dining table because “it does not look nice”. And it is not appropriate for a boy to pick up the broom to sweep nor should he wash his own clothes…

They believed him more . He got away with big lies and small ones and was forgiven because 'He was a boy ! He lied to his teeth. When he tore my book, they did not question him. They said – “you deserved it.”

- From "the diary of Indian girls"

image credits maxi millipede

9 comments:

corine said...

I'm reading (you would love it) When heaven and earth changed places by Le Ly Hayslip. It takes place in vietnam during the french and american war. Same tune, different song. How could men not grow up with hubris when raised this way.

Vinod_Sharma said...

Yes, that discrimination is there in all patriarchal societies. But, fortunately at least in parts of urban India it is dying out.

The boy in question might have been a villain. But not all are like him!

Georg said...

Bonjour Anrosh,

What happened to mother's apple? Did he grew up to become a thug or did he morphed into a babu politician??

Georg

Anrosh said...

hello corine. i'll put the book on my list.

Vinod, of course, the girls have to do double duty now ! And the boys are made to learn the ropes if they have some 'feminist' siblings.

Yes Georg, you are right - he became a lawyer and moved into politics, only when death snatched him.

Mavin said...

Hi Anrosh,

I have two daughters and am very proud of them. Never missed having a son.

They are a delight. My only grouse is they grow up so fast.

Anrosh said...

hello mavin, Proud fathers are like salt in their daughter's lives.

Anrosh said...

hello mavin, Proud fathers are like salt in their daughter's lives.

Indian Home Maker said...

Have grown up fighting it. It's worse amongst the rich and the educated who now opt for sex selective abortions. Groups and Blogs like '50 Million Missing'(daughters) and 'Unchahi' (means 'unwanted' in Hindi, it is a common name for girls in Haryana) are created to create awareness about this bias.

Anrosh said...

ihm, sadly the sex that promotes it is woman itself.

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