In conversation with Sudha

Sudha is my maid. A decent looking woman in her 30s.She is so well kept all the time and her conduct is graceful. I usually chit chat with her when she is doing her chores around the house. Today generally I asked her about her kids’ age and their routine. So here’s the snapshot- it’s a little bit trimmed here and there.

Me: How many kids do you have?
Sudha: 4
Me: Aww…
Sudha: 3 girls and 1 boy
Me: The boy must be the youngest ?
Sudha: Yes
Me:No wonder !
Sudha: My father-in-law[FIL] insisted on having a baby boy and we could not say no to that. He also said that we should keep trying till we have one !
Me: Horrible ya !
Sudha: Yes, but finally we had one after 3 girls and I’m thankful to the almighty ! Otherwise looking after so many kids is not that easy for us. We live in a rented house and we are 7 members in the family out which only 2 are earning !
Me: But why did you and your husband listened to your FIL ?
Sudha: He said if we don’t try further he will get my husband married to another woman. She will surely get us one grandson.
Me: And to this how did your husband react ?
Sudha: He asked my FIL what if the other woman also fails to deliver a baby boy ? FIL replied we will marry you to another woman then !!!
Me: Totally astonished and horrified to this fact of life…could not say anything but my facial expressions would have indicated something to Sudha.
Sudha: So, obviously we had to listen to FIL. What if he really would have married my husband to another woman ? I was scared. Where would I go with my daughters ?
Me: Hmmmm.. but that’s awful !
Sudha: Yes, we realise that but we can’t help it. This is the way it happens within our community. And after I was pregnant for the fourth time my FIL passed away. He himself is not there to see the boy and to look after us as well. But made sure we get into this trouble before he dies šŸ˜¦
Me: How do you handle all this then. I mean how old are you ?
Sudha: I must be 30 or 35. I’m not sure !
Me: Well….How old is your eldest daughter ?
Sudha: She is 15 years old !
Me: :((((((( But are these girls going to school ?
Sudha: Yes, I make sure these girls complete their education.
Me: That’s really good and wise of you. Please never let these girls stop going to school and please try not to get these married in early age.
Sudha: Marriage.. I can’t control but till the time they are living with me I’ll never let them leave the school. My husband also supports this decision of educating the girls as well.

I was really really amazed. Not that I haven’t heard or known this fact of people craving for a boy so much so that to risk a females life. But hearing it from the horses’ mouth I realised the pain. I could see that hatred for her FIL and the agony in her eyes while she was narrating all this to me. I could sense how much emotional and physical pain she has gone through. And now to support the family how much more physical pain she has to go through !!!


12 thoughts on “In conversation with Sudha

  1. Kind of something that fits in a stereotypical bracket. Hindu society – old, traditional values – female inequity – population explosion – poverty, etc, etc.At least the writer did spare a bit of left-ism by painting a rosy end to the conversation.This is not just a mere, neutral conversation – the writer is part of it herself – so, definitely not objective.How about an analysis of how such an state of affairs of a society came to be – the only society that represents and worships the ultimate truth in the form of a woman. How about an account of the lost 1000 years of Hindu history?

  2. well..its sad..but so true… forget the maid, I still know people..well educated, taking part in social reforms, keep on reproducing girls..all for a boy… phew…

  3. @Nonsense123: Felt really great to see 7 comments altogether from one source ! It seems you read almost decade posts of my blog šŸ˜‰ Then visited your profile and realised that why the posts are read which are read !! So, Sharad, thanks for dropping by and keep doing that. I would love to hear from you about my posts in future as well!!

  4. Well – its a stereotypical puking of a complex, societal issue without any serious understanding or analysis of it. As I had commented earlier – very, very subjective and one-sided: showing a pre-determined, bad side.

  5. @Anonymous: I appreciate your comments. All 3. It would be really nice if you would leave your name with the comments.As far as One sidedness is considered, yes it might appear one sided since it was from one source only and whats happening at the other end we don't know and may not even know. But tell how many issues and topics are well analysed and from all angles. There are certain limitations to one's point of view to analyse.And I guess some issues should left open ended for others too to relate to their experiences and to analyse and have their own point of view. If I would have closed it totally then there was no point in people to analyse.. Then the analysis would have been restricted to the analysis of my writing abilities and word power !

  6. there are so many Sudha’s living in India.. šŸ˜¦ I am glad that at least her husband is supportive.. In many cases of maid the husband will either be a drunkard or be after the maid’s money..

  7. This is a story which never seems to end. For me the question is what we can do to make it end and not the whys and what ifs because those are the past which we can’t change. The future we can shape so what do we do to not have people go through this?

C'mon,out with it,right here :)

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