Today is the second birthday of my son Samar. When I go to my part-time college classes, people can hardly guess that I am a mother. It feels strangely weird. I am glad that people can’t guess but I also feel robbed of my identity.
Its been almost two years since that horrible day when Akhil broke up with me. We had been having a relationship for a while, and recently he had asked me to get physical. I do not blame any of us at all. The intimacy was good and it bought us closer. However, I did not know much about birth control options and he would use the condom on and off, assuring me that he was mindful of my period cycle and planning it accordingly and that nothing would happen.
But it did. I missed my period. In India, it is so difficult to get a non-judgemental gynaecologist. I remember how that test came positive, following which I went to the doctor and she gave me a moral lecture. How do these doctors forget that the male partner is equally responsible? They put it so easily on women. If we had been educated of birth control options instead of all the moralizing, I would have been better off.
I told Akhil and of course, like the typical Indian man, he walked off. I was beyond myself with tears. I remember my sleepless nights. Finally, my mom asked me what the matter was, and not able to keep it inside me anymore, I told her all of it. She was shocked, but she thought quickly on her feet. The useless doctor I went to did not even tell me about abortion options and the two months had already passed. My mom immediately took me to our Shimla hill house, and I stayed there till my delivery. We submitted an ill-health application in my bill and extended my admission.
The toughest part was Dad. He never really looked me the same. My mom understood it would be tough to change his mind, so she just got me a rented apartment and visited me often. I thought initially that I may hate the child for all the consequences I am facing, but one look at Samar and all my anger would fade away. He is the joy of my life. Soon he will start going to school, mom and son both will study, I think, and smile.
I think sometimes of the hypocritical society India is. We want girls to get married at 16 and 18 and have children, but look at the attitude people have towards me and my child. Just because once silly contract and one man is missing (who would have gobbled up tons of dowry, no doubt). I have decided, I am not going to define myself through societal standards. I love my son and we will live life for and with each other. I don’t care for anyone who may look at my child with anything less than affection.