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Jun 11, 2008

They have a name for Him

She had hoped the baby would resemble its father. It would have been easier to disown him. But after her aunt had cleaned it, he didn't resemble his father. Till that moment, It had been a parting gift from a rapist, a reminder of the humiliation and agony. But now It had become a Him, who was screaming for; her??

It had been easy for an eighteen year old unmarried rape victim, to decide to abandon It in an orphange when she had discovered, it was too late to abort it. But now, she felt a new sense of responsibility and comprehension.

The It was a new life, though born under unfortunate circumstances. Her throat filled with pain and tears dropped from her eyes. The cry had turned into a wail. What did he want after all? To be soothed, to be held, and few drops of milk?

Some months back her elder sister had given birth and she remembered, the sleepless nights and constant care. If it had taken an entire family to take care of that newborn, how could she expect the orphange officials to take care of all the children? When would he realise it would be pointless to cry, when would he realise its pointless to ask. How could she expect strangers to care for him, when his own mother had abandoned him?

Who would give him milk every two hours? And would they patiently burp him after it? Who would check his nappy? Who would smile and cajole him?
Who would hold his hands when he would want to walk? Who would share his dreams and tell him stories before sleep? Who would he trust? Who, Whom, How, the questions echoed in her mind.

And then anger rose like a volcano. The Why. The rape was not her fault, yet she had been told to be quite about it, since that wouldn't make her "marriage material"! She felt tempted to go back on her decision and tell her parents, let me keep my son, he is mine, even if it means being unmarried. But she knew she wouldn't have the guts to follow her instinct. Since her decision would be a stigma on the entire family and her younger sister too, wouldn't become "marriage material".

She felt shame and sorrow.She requested her aunt to hand him over for few minutes. Her aunt, had been hostile towards her till now, since she had believed, it was the women's fault if they got raped. But at that moment, even she felt a drop of pity for her niece. But she denied the request. It would become more difficult, she reasoned. And took him away. The baby's wail turned into a whimper. Perhaps he would learn to adjust soon.

She stared at the wall blankly, wondering if she would recognise him, if she met him again. Would they brush against each other in a crowd, someday. Would they turn back and feel a connection? Or would she simply move on from this moment, while he would continue to search for his mother, constantly, even in a crowd.

A marvellous chemistry called life, and humans find so many stupid ways to complicate and destroy it. Would times change she wondered. Ages ago, Kunti had felt it while sending away Karna. And she wouldn't be the last mother who would have to give away her child, fearing "They" would pour scorn on her. After all They had an abusive word for a child without father, instead of stepping in to help the mother.

How dare They decide the child is to be blamed, and scorned and abandoned. How dare They decide what makes a woman suitable for marriage and society? Even animals have better rules on caring for the infants.

Who are They to decide civilization is worth the wails of infants..

Hmmm, Who are They?




  2. Wonderful piece of writing.

  3. Hey I didn't get a mail from you. Hope you are doing well :).

  4. superb, the way you build up the story, really good.

  5. deeps thanks doing well:)

    unknown thanks:)

  6. unknown as i said, the kid keeps me on my toes:)

  7. WDM,

    You'd mentioned this story to me before, and now after reading it I'm not finding it relevant to what we were discussing.

    Okay, so now I've finished with the easier thing that I wanted to say.

    Coming to the difficult part. I don't know how to praise this story!!!

    My first response was "Wow, good that I discovered your blog!"

    This is a huge compliment if you consider how much have we interacted in this much time and that I must have easily read a hundred posts by you, and yet I come across a post that leaves me totally dumbfounded not knowing how to praise you despite having got used to a generally very high standard of your writing.

    When I'm praising your writing, specifically in context of this post, it is your sensitivity that I'm acknowledging.

    You've not used flowery language, and yet, I felt I could feel what the mother would've felt. It literally made me look at rapes, rape victims and kids born out of wedlock in a new perspective.

    I'm not meaning that I used to ever hold rape victims or 'illegitimate' children responsible in any way. But there was an indifference. Maybe now on, I'll be more sensitive to their cause.

    I don't know what else to say. Heart-breaking story.


  8. i had read about orphans of Ireland in a Steve Berry thriller long back, and that left an impact..and was perhaps in the background of the post..

    i forgot the context i had mentioned this post, but recently came across another heartbreaking link

    Women doctors in Raigad force rape victim to deliver, kill infant

  9. Thanks for the link!

    You'd mentioned this post in context of how it is difficult to not feel pride for your son, which was in turn being discussed in context of feeling proud of things we're associated with by birth.


  10. I just read the link.

    It was really shocking.

    But of really puzzling thing was who was PAYING the doctors to do all that? Obviously, they wouldn't put in so much efforts and risks without being paid - either by the rapist or the victim's family. And one thus paying would also become equally liable to face all the charges leveled against the 2 gynecologists. But bad, indeed. She is just 15! That's even worse. Thanks again for the link. TC.

  11. grrrrrrr typed a long comment now blogger lost it before posting..

    on the link. i was wondering the same. perhaps the rapists. if its her parents, imagine having parents like that!
    i think the worst part was the way they killed the baby. u know what would happen, the drs would be out on bail and move on..i agree those who paid should be given equal if not more punishment.
    i thought the story was incomplete, and had the feeling it was supressed..

  12. well i don't know if its just me, but mostly whenever i do something for my son, especially when i console him, i automatically think, who is doing it for the orphans..i think my son is adorable, but i know the orphans are equally adorable, and it tears me to think, no one would appreciate them, cherish them..(this is not to question the sincerity of the workers but too many kids can be overwhelming) when i see the delight in my son's eyes, instead of just enjoying it...i go back to Them..
    i had thought the post would make me think less, but it hasn't. i stil feel the same way.

    on the pride logic - like any country, any religion, any child..

    when people think of orphanages they think of clothing food etc. but i think love is equally imp. i remember how a baby in an orphanage refused to let my finger go..when i was a teenager..

    today on news there was a mention of a child abandoned in drain and attacked by rats ..

    i dont know if i got it out, but the society has to be blamed for the plight of these innocent babies. because of the stigma WE attach, children are suffering..

    its so sick to have the B*** an abuse

  13. No, I don't think the doctors would be let out that easily. If it's come in a national daily, they're bound to be jailed and their careers are totally finished.

    Actually, there are many other things sounding fishy to me. Being qualified doctors, it's impossible that they'd wait for 3 days for the baby to die by starving it. It might sound cruel coming from me, but they could've easily killed the baby by administering opinioids (morphine-like substances).

    Plus, a seven-month old baby is highly premature under Indian conditions (that too when nurtured by a teenager). It will have very little store of glycogen (the storage form of glucose) in its liver. So for it to survive for 3 days, that too in winter, when the energy demand goes up very high, is next to impossible.

    Plus not to mention, even if the delivery was carried out at 28 completed weeks, the baby's lungs would be highly immature - another reason it can't survive that long. Unless and until the mother and/or child are given steroids (with an intent to save the child), such children have very litte chance of surviving for more than a few hours. And the thing is, the article mentions it as seventh month, which just means 6 completed months, so the baby could be anything between 24 and 28 weeks (further prematurity).

    Why am I pointing this out is 'cuz I could sense the typical attempt to portray stereotyped bad doctor-image (not to mean doctors can't be bad and cruel), and that too many facts are not adding up.

    Plus, kidnapping a 15 year-old girl that too by only ONE lady doctor, without the involvement of a 'kidnapping gang', and without the knowledge/permission of parents sounds toooooo far fetched! Really. I mean, they've much less riskier means of earning money, except for of course, if 'Raju' was their relative. But unlikely 'cuz had it been so, his name would've been splashed more prominently!

    And the way they've described the youth as 'Raju' - the name sounds too generic. Why haven't they given complete name unlike of doctors'? If he was a very nondescript person, then it's unlikely he would have the resources to bribe TWO doctors to carry out such a risky crime.

    By pointing out all this, I'm not saying that the event if it happened the way it was described, was not bad, but somehow, a major portion of the story sounds fictitious to me to the extent I know about the physiology of newborns, and the options available to doctors to do 'certain' things....

  14. ...Also, if you'd see from the perspective of legal investigation, a fact like "It was not even shown to the young mother who was in the nursing home at the time, Patil said" would have no significance. So why would Patil mention it to the reporter, and editor put it to publication?

    And the biggest doubt - if the doctors could take the risk of being caught by keeping the baby alive for 3 days in the clinic, then why would they ask the driver to do something as risky (and suspicion-inviting) as dumping the baby in a septic tank? Why would the baby be not buried like any other baby that could die at a gynecologist's clinic, or still better, be sent for incineration - a technique used also for dead born fetuses? After all, a baby dying at a gynecologist's clinic is not a big deal at all!!

    So the story the way it has been described makes hardly any sense to me!!

    But since the paper is ToI, it makes complete sense to me! ;)


  15. As to your second comment, I understand your sentiments. And interacting with you makes me look at things fro new perspectives. Surely, I'll be less apathetic towards these causes owing to reading what you write.

    These are some of the reasons I find 'society's' perspective of issues (largely rooted in religious beliefs), highly distasteful. And hence, I don't go by it.

    Thanks, again!


  16. This is the 3rd time I am reading the story...really a moving one..
    I like the way you make the readers feel the pain through your simple words.

    The followup comments are new for me..informative..
    If you see even I commented on your blog long back :)

  17. unknown, i am not sure if you know, but i do suffer from a memory problem, i had written a post about it.
    your name seemed familiar, but when profile pic change, it becomes tougher for me to remember and i had been away quite a lot in between.

    thanks for reading the story, this one is really close to me, and even now, when i do something for my child, however simple, i wonder, how it would be, for orphans.

  18. hatsoff! for the last part..very true..after our parents do so much for us..we are in this position..its terrible to think putting myself in to their shoes :(((
    I am now thinking of doing something from my side..when I go back to India.

  19. my policy is one in every 3 birthday would be celebrated with a cause orphanage or cancer care etc. the other 2 birthdays one could be a party with friends and the other just enjoying with family. that way the child enjoys and still is aware of the reality.

    i will not forget my first visit. i was a teenager and a family friend used to visit the orphanage every diwali instead of blowing money on firecrackers. what made me cry for long was how an infant refused to let go of my finger.

    i am not questioning the commitment of the care givers, but its so unfair that we put a child through this loneliness and call ourselves civilised.

    then there are horror stories of orphanages in china russia and romania etc.
    one that stayed in my mind. an infant from china eating slowly or not swallowing even after being adopted by americans because food was precious and rocking herself to sleep.
    oh i could go on probably...


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