An open letter to …

Best of my bonding with abu-rabad happens when we are watching TV together and while doing homework. Let’s forget the existence of homework for the time being. Done? Good.

So, abu and i are watching either cricket or a music reality show he likes, Music Ka Maha Muqqabla, and a sanitary napkin ad comes and goes. And of course –

abu – what’s that ad for?

me (super-composed and surprisingly ready) – all women need to wear a diaper-like thing once a month. this is an ad for that.

abu – oh

Next ad. Since I couldn’t find the video on the net, i’m going to try my best to describe it. No people, it wasn’t a condom ad.

Blank, black screen.

A semi-thick white straight line runs down vertically.

The line takes the shape of a belly towards the bottom, Now the line looks like the outline of a pregnant woman’s belly.

The word “Miss” appears on the left of the line.

The word “Manisha” appears on the right side of the line.

The word “Manisha” is now deleted backwards, letter by letter.

The belly goes flat.

The word “Miss” now is changed to “Missing”.

It’s a public service message for the ‘Save the girl child’ program.

abu – mamma, what that for now?

me (taking a deep breath) – There are many people who want the baby to be a boy when it’s in the mamma’s stomach. So, when they find out it’s a girl, they do something to stop the girl baby from growing and don’t let her be born at all.

abu – oh… (not a man of many words, my boy), then?

me – This is not a good thing, right?

abu – right.

me – so this ad is saying don’t kill the baby Manisha when it’s in the mamma’s tummy. Don’t let her become missing.

abu – oh

i’m wondering whether he understood the concept, and –

abu – why do people like to have only boys?

me – …

don’t really know baby, because i don’t think that way, but maybe because a girl get’s married and has to change her surname. See A mama’s (my brother, abu’s maternal uncle) has the same last name as nana (my dad, abu’s maternal grandfather) but i don’t. And I live far away and am not expected to take care of him, where as A mama is expected to…

I don’t know baby, i really don’t

* * *

Use of a sanitary napkin is something that helps us deal with something nature gave us.

Who do I blame for making the ‘Save the girl child’ message a product?

Why did we create such a situation for ourselves that I have to explain this to my 8-year old child?

* * *

ps. A story from last month.

we get a call, “congratulations you are uncle and aunt to a handsome baby boy!”

we – “thank you, but what? who? when?”

them – “so and so delivered a baby yesterday”

i called the new mommy, “hey, congrats!” Among other pleasantries exchanged asked how here two older daughters were doing. Then –

me – we met just 4 months ago, how come you didn’t mention you were pregnant…Goodness! you didn’t even look pregnant…

she – you know how it is. we don’t know what our decision is going to be, so might as well let you know after everything goes fine.

The intention of this post is not to get anyone in trouble, but this is a first hand story. And i’m so not proud of even knowing this.


  1. “Why did we create such a situation for ourselves that I have to explain this to my 8-year old child?”….

    No one really can answer that question dear. Whenever I think about what started all this no girl thing, I find a vast array of reasons and contributing factors.

  2. are you serious they did not know what to do until so late??

  3. Its troubling to know that our generation (and people we know) still think like that!

  4. @sudarshan Darwin is sited more often than not. But that was old, this is a new age

    @Rohan hun, they waited to know whether it was a boy or a girl before deciding whether to go ahead or not. Since it was a boy we knew, else we wouldn’t know about the pregnancy at all.

    @Manushi 🙁 🙁 🙁

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