Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mother India Fuming!

I’ll push, I’m posh! The new mantra has been unleashed on us. The south Delhi madams who are eager to let drop, ‘Kal ghar main raid padi thi,’ so you know, have a new status symbol to flaunt. ‘I pushed, you know?’ they declare, touching the baby's chin lightly when it is brought in by the ayah, bathed and perfumed for the daily darshan of the Mamma before Mamma leaves for the spa. She’s so stressed, you see. The nurse says she got no sleep last night. The nurse.

The masses are completely taken by surprise at this sudden issue reversal. They’ve been let down by their idols. Just when they upgraded their vocab to include the cease – re – an and began to boast of the eye-widening , ‘Cease –re – an, bade opreshan se hua hai!’ This woman and her father-in-law came and completely overturned the snob-value ladder!

The Big B family otherwise known to guard their personal lives intensely suddenly went public with details of the delivery. At the press conference AB snapped at a very ritualistic question by a journalist, “Why do you want to know the weight!” I’m sure the journalist had not meant Aishwarya’s weight. But Father-in-law dwelt over the pain she bore for a long time without painkillers, the labour, the NORMAL delivery. Now when you say Taj Mahal, I do visualize Taj Mahal as the domed, white structure and not the crying, desperate love in the hearts of Shahjahan and his beloved. Likewise, when the Father-in-law draws his drawl longer in, ‘Aishwarya kept trying...’ my own body stiffens in sympathy and you know how I...visualize her. And everyone else does too – all the men who grew up dreaming of her making boiled tea in their kitchens.

Women facebookers, bloggers and tweeters are falling over one another (including me, of course) in their censure of this newest self-back-patting by the Bachchans. The misplaced sense of self-righteousness, the glorification of pain has Mother India fuming. Caesarean, normal, painkilled, induced, pushed, they say, is as personal a choice as Huggies or Pampers! Did we tell you sir that our grandfathers sported their bald pates with pride? Just a matter of personal choice, sir.

‘It’s an issue, goddamit!’ Big B fumes right back. Really? Is it so easy to forget that in this country hundreds of women try hard to hold their babies till they can reach the nearest hospital which may be 200 kilometers away? Hold on with fortitude to intense labour waiting outside hospitals begging for admission, for help. And so many of them and their newborns just die unattended. Issue that?

Ask the doctors, how many babies and their mothers have been saved because of the C Section? There is nothing wrong in requiring or preferring a caesarean section delivery. Let not these false notions of womanhood shake your pride in your independence, freedom of choice. Remember, when a glass of water is brought to you on a tray held by sanitised, gloved hands and you pick it and drink, no one lauds your effort, real woman.

I know we haven’t heard the last of this, even as columnists are busy tapping their keyboards right now. Sixteen to eighteen years hence, I’m afraid, Missy Bachchan in her Filmfare award acceptance will part her gooey lips to tell us that she owes it all to her beautiful mom who decided to push her. The hall will break into a thunderous applause and made-up, beautiful eyes will spout copious tears. Nah! Keep your tissues to yourself!