It was a bright Sunday morning and Sumedh had no worries to wake up early and rush to work! He was in no mood to get up and hence was wallowing in the comfort of his bed. Midst that, he was glancing all over his room but he couldn’t find Shreeja anywhere. “Oh, she must have gone for a morning walking”, he thought and continued with his sleep. Suddenly, he heard sobs from his bathroom and ran to check out. He knocked and knocked repeatedly and the sobbing turned into a loud cry. It was Shreeja who was repeatedly shouting, “why me”? Her cries worried him and he started convincing her to open the door! Reluctant Shreeja was repeatedly saying the same words but Sumedh had no option then waiting! After 15 mins of convincing, she finally opened the door and Sumedh heaved a sigh of relief.
Shreeja ran into his arms and started crying at the top of her voice. “What happened, please tell me Shree”, is what Sumedh continuously uttered. Finally, she placed the Pregnancy Test on his hand and started weeping again. The Pregnancy test showed a ‘negative test’ yet again and Shreeja and Sumedh just couldn’t control their emotions. Sumedh calm and composed yet shattered from inside, comforted her and made her sit on the bed. This was the 5th time that Shreeja had got this test. Both Shreeja and Sumedh had been trying for a baby for 5 long years. Shreeja had conceived thrice but they all lead to miscarriage – a painful process that plays with your body and emotions. She had put on a lot of weight but in the span of 6 months she reduced and had become more fitter then before.
She had undertaken everything possible – diet, extensive exercises for a healthier body but everything had turned unfruitful. They both also opted for IUI but even that turned unmitigable. In the meantime, if you are wondering what about Sumedh’s medical check-ups? Fortunately, he had no medical conditions and his reports were fantastic. This condition too, made Shreeja feel victimised because she felt she was the reason for dismay. Fortunately, Sumedh was extremely understanding and being a ‘childless’ couple didn’t really bother him! But the ‘fussy’ factors were – Sumedh and Shreeja’s parents and that is what made the situation worrisome.
Shreeja was in no mood to face their banter because their series of superstitious rituals would kick off which she had undergone earlier. Both kept insisting and convincing their respective parents for adoption but all their attempt went on deaf ears. Being her best friend, I insisted her to meet me once and pour her heart out. Fortunately, she agreed and we met at my place so that we would have no disturbance. I was curious about her reaction towards their respective parents and wanted to know more. So, finally she spilled the beans and the rituals that I heard were truly obnoxious to even imagine.
- She once went for a naming ceremony (बारसं – fondly called in Marathi) and she was asked to sit near the cradle. According to the ritual, on the four corners of the cradle – a small half cooked roti, rice, curd and vegetable is placed as prasad. A woman who is trying to conceive is supposed to eat that prasad facing the cradle. Then the elderly clan of women put haldi-kumkum (turmeric and vermilion powder) on her forehead and she has to sit and eat in front of them all. They all shower blessings saying that by next year, let her be pregnant and enjoy this moment of motherhood.
- Once her in-laws conducted a grand pooja and called a very famous Maharaj (a saint that the entire family follows). This Saint apparently had got some rice which were from a sacred place or he had made them sacred (something even she was confused about). This rice had to be consumed on a daily basis little by little until she got pregnant. (The saint was definitely high).
- Another Godly person had asked them to get an orange bottle and fill it with water. Then he asked them to keep the water in the sun so that every ray penetrates inside the bottle. This water will then be in its purest form and then she had to consume it everyday to conceive.
- She was asked to donate a wooden murli (flute) to Lord Krishna and bribe him that you must give me a child next year. And if my wishes come true, then I will donate a silver murli (flute) – for that matter gold too for blessing me with a child.
- She was asked to go to a temple apparently a jagrut one (where Gods are believed to be ‘alive’ or rather ‘attentive’ to the prayers of their devotees). She was asked to pray continuously till she bears the child. Again, she was asked to bribe the God and once fulfilled, she will definitely pay a visit again and repay in form of money or object.
And the list goes on! I really felt sad that my friend has got embroiled in such bad situation which can be wiped out only if her parents and in-laws are counselled. On the other side, the situation of her parents and in-laws was beyond repair who wore fake mask of education. Every parent longs for a child but forcing a couple with some superficial rituals is nothing but TORTURE! Parents are supposed to be a support system but they behaving in such weird manner is not acceptable! Today, we are in the most advanced stage – thanks to Science. But following these rituals are pulling us down! So, say NO to these pathetic rituals and stand your ground for your opinions! If its a NO, then say it with a strong face and a strong voice!