Skip to main content

Respect for Life

It has been several weeks since I have done my regular Loose Blogger Consortium post.  But today's topic is close to my heart, so even though I'm late, I've ot a few spare minutes and I've decided to do itAnyone who knows me or even reads my blog regularly will know that I was born and brought up in a Roman Catholic family in Ireland, which is as Catholic a country as you will find in the English speaking world.  I was quite a devotee of the whole 'Catholic' way of life until the Murphy Report of late 2009 (and 2010) in Ireland awakened a few old memories and shattered my illusions.  I now style myself as Christian and nothing else.

However, the values inculcated by my upbringing will probably never leave me.  Respect for life is paramount in my philosophy.  I am totally opposed to abortion and mercy  killing.  Human life is sacred.  In my opinion, when respect for life goes, nothing is left.

India, where I live, has a large population problem.  For many years, there has been a huge family planning propaganda machine in operation.  You will seldom find an Indian middle class family with more than two children nowadays.  In fact, one child is the growing norm.  

Yash, my husband, never tells anyone he is a father of four if he can help it.  He might talk about 'my son' or 'my daughter' or mention having 'two sons' or 'two daughters'.  Years ago, when I'd just given birth to my little Nitin, now eight, I remember having to pick up my infant and go into a back room in the house when some unexpected visitors arrived from Yash's office.  He commutes to the next city for work, so very few people know about our four.

I don't blame my husband for this.  He is a quiet sort of person who doesn't like to disclose much about himself.  Moreover, he has been the subject of some very cruel remarks when people came to know about his parental status.  It is truly mortifying to be asked (by a person maybe half your age) "Daktar Sahib, how did this happen?  You are an educated man!"  I was sickened by this particular remark, and I chipped in "Would you like me to draw you a picture?"  Such ignorance.

I was in my thirties when I got married.  I breastfed my children for years, not months.  I used some form of family planning every time after the birth of the first child.  Still I got four of them.  I couldn't seem to help it.

One day Yash's friend  Ravi  visited our house with his wife, Gauri.  Gauri wasn't looking well at all.  I wondered why they didn't have their (two!) kids with  them.  Gauri had been to see a doctor and was carrying a huge bag of medicines.

The two husbands went out for a while, probably to the nearest shop for a smoke.  I asked Gauri what was wrong with her.  You know, woman to woman, very discreet.  Imagine my shock when she told me she'd just had her THIRD abortion?

I don't want to judge anyone.  It's not my place to do so.  But three?  And her husband was back soon, laughing and chatting away, not a care in the world.  I felt like walking up and asking him why couldn't he do something to stop putting his wife through this agony?  What a nice man, perfect family.  Only two kids you know?  How sophisticated.  Not like Yash and Mrs. Yash, a pair of fools if ever you saw them.  You know they have FOUR?  In this day and age?  Overpopulating the country!

Accuse me of overpopulating as many countries as you like.  But at least I kept my children.  

With no malice towards anyone whosoever. 

Poor Gauri.

This is my weekly post for the Loose Blogger Consortium. We are a group of bloggers from different parts of the world with diverse views and styles of writing, and we post simultaneously (well, we try to) on a weekly basis on a given topic.  Our members  are, in no particular order,    AkankshaDelirious, Padmini, AshokConrad, gaelikaa, Grannymar, and Rummuser. This topic 'Respect for Life' was chosen by Conrad.

If you would like to leave a comment please click on the heading and wait for the Intense Debate Comment System to load.  Thank you.

Popular posts from this blog


Many years ago, when I lived in Dublin, I met someone nice and started dating. I wasn't serious, I just thought we could have nice interesting discussions about India, which I found absolutely fascinating, as I was working in the Embassy of India back then. I had no intention of getting attached with a foreigner, with all the attendant cultural problems. I was happy living in Ireland and the idea of marriage couldn't have been further from my mind.

We both thought we could just keep things in control. One day, after a lot of emotional turmoil and denial, it hit us both that we were in love. Truly. Madly. Irrevocably. To the point where we couldn't live without each other. I'd known about the Indian system of arranged marriages and when it occurred to me that he would probably be married off by his family as soon as he returned to India, I felt physically ill at the thought. We are both tenacious and patient people. We realised that bringing our two worlds together would…

Five Ways Social Media Has Changed Our Lives

Has social media changed the way we live? You bet it has! I’ve been in India for 22 years and have visited home in Ireland maybe half-a-dozen times. The biggest challenge about this, for me, has always been coping with the difficulty of making contact with old friends and family. However, that’s all over now, thanks to Facebook. I check my phone every morning and read that uncle Ned in Dublin is furious over the biased referee in the boxing match or that my cousin Paula in Dublin went to see Take That in concert (or whoever!). I speak to my cousin Veronica in Scotland every few days thanks to WhatsApp. We haven’t spoken this frequently since we wrote to each other as kids. Social media has definitely changed our lives forever. I can think of at least five ways that social in which it has affected life as we know it.

Social media makes the world more accessible to us. This is a fact. The world is at your fingertips. Find out which of your friends and family are on Facebook and once you …

Kipling Got it Wrong! Or Eastern and Western Culture - Reflections

What Is Culture?
I’m opening this blog post with a question. What is that elusive concept which is commonly known as ‘culture? Culture is way of life. How we live. What our values are.  Our customs, attitudes and perceptions. And also, I suppose, how we express ourselves in art through, such as music, dance, theatre and cinema.  It’s quite a comprehensive area and not too easy to define, really.

The Journey
I was born in what is commonly known as ‘the west’. I lived in Ireland for the first thirty years of my life. When I was thirty, I married my husband and came out to India to live here with him. That was the beginning of an interesting journey, which is still evolving. I must have had some east/west comparison stereotypes in my head. But in India, I found that the people I met had huge stereotypes in their heads about what they called ‘western culture’ and ‘western way of life’. Not long after I arrived in India, I was struck by the number of people who said things to me like ‘in the …