Growing up as an only girl child in a country almost famous for infanticide and foeticide was an unusual experience.
I still remember when I was about four and when people expected that my parents would have another child, it was a rare treat to watch all the nosy aunts gape in surprise when my parents said that I was the only one they would ever have.
I am happy that they are not the only set of parents who raised an only girl child. My best friends Ameya and Neha are single children as well.
I think it is not just lack of education that leads families to kill unborn girls.
It takes ages of grime that has settled on their minds and passed on as a piece of redundant belief.
Just like religion, which I think is more a function of what parents believe for a very long time after birth, the "need for a son" is also a badly passed on second-hand conviction.
In India, where there is very little clearance between two people or two cars on a street, desensitization comes very easy.
Just like it does not bother us that someone stands so close to us in a local train that we can hear their breath. Or when we have people standing behind our chairs in disorganized weddings with too many guests. Or thousands of Engineers and Doctors we produce every year to add to the growing dissatisfaction of having to struggle for a better future.
Foeticide is just another thing. Like the little girls begging on streets or being sold off to pimps. Why not just kill them before they come into this world?
So many of these families who take to crime for a son, don't even have any significant wealth to pass on and the kind of parents they eventually become, after killing girl foetus, they are insufficient to raise their sons the way they should. People who kill daughters cannot raise successful,positive and happy individuals.
When your first step into parenthood begins with a murder, you kind of kill the beauty of being able to be called an "Aai" or "Baba".
It is just ironical that everyone can make babies.
Sometimes I think that the act of making one, should require a bit of mind and intelligence too. I wish nature had made provisions and programmed a clause that could check this accidental bug of manipulation that is a characteristic of human mind. A goat or a mouse would not care if it is a girl!!
It is this unfertilized state of being "animals" with a "mind" that leads to most of the crimes against humanity.
If we erase all our inherited thoughts and just think of a girl as a human being we bring into this world...
She would go to school and learn how to count the money she gets back from the shopkeeper after an ice cream cone.
She would wear two oiled braids and come home crying because someone pulls them at school.
She would hide her fallen teeth under her pillow for the tooth fairy and grin her toothless grin!
She will go to college and read poetry or philosophy :).
Or she would become an Engineer, fighting with her guy friends over how she is just as capable as them!
My critics would point out that I talk of the upper classes of society and the lower ones are plagued by Marriages and Dowry. Even then, killing a girl baby and keeping a foetus over and over and letting it live only when it is a boy is an unpardonable cruelty. It is better to say, " I could not get my daughter married" than saying "I killed five daughters before I had a son".
Even the United States, apparently one of the most liberal nations of the world hasn't had a woman to lead them yet but India, with her imbalanced gender ratio has had one of the most powerful women rulers of the world and she was an only girl child too!