I met B at an anniversary dinner a couple fo months ago- the first time after we had Naddu. I like B, shes outspoken and funny and irreverent and she honestly seems to not care about what anyone thinks. Which is why a conversation with her is always refreshing because one doesn’t have to tiptoe on eggs pretending to be all politically correct about anything.
“Why on earth would you choose to have kids in this country?” she asks blatantly after congratulating me and making the appropriate cooing noises when shown a picture of Naddu. “I mean isn’t it enough that we have to live here now you want a child to grow up here also?” Under normal circumstances, I would have simply lashed out, but because I happen to like B, I controlled my spasming facial muscles and asked in what I hoped what a voice not quavering with too much indignation, “Why would you say that?”
“Come on, you can’t be serious. Don’t you remember our childhoods? Being able to cycle when we wanted? Where we wanted? Less pollution. Safer neighbourhoods. Just the overall sense of better life. Now if you want to bring kids into the world wouldn’t you rather atleast do it in a safer more progressive country where you can give your kids what they need?”
“Bringing a kid into the world like this…” is such a hot topic of discussion, more so whenever happens in the city which disrupts our already hanging-in-the-balance political atmosphere. I have no answer here except that everytime someone talks about the future, I say a prayer for Naddu and all other children who will inherit our wars and fights and burdens. The tension, the volatility, the mistakes no longer only belong to this side of the world. It ‘s something of a global issue and I also hope that along with all the bad things they also inherit a sense of hope, peace and faith that good eventually does win out over evil because in many cases, and in the way I choose to bring up Naddu, believing does make it so. M put it well when I asked her if she thought of this before she had her baby and she says “Of course, I wondered what kind of a screwed up world will he grow up in- and why on earth do I want to do this…and then I realized it is because a part of me is selfish and I want to know and live the kind of hope only a baby brings- one that makes you feel glad that there is a tomorrow.”