Friday, April 1, 2016

A - Anoushka

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The day is oddly calm, full of sunshine, almost as if it has nothing to do with the darkness that I feel. I get Megha ready for school, she kisses me just before running outside to wait for her school bus. 

"Shall we leave then, if you are ready?" My husband's voice reminds me that it is just another day for him too. The only person who seems to be raging a silent storm inside seems to be me. 

I get ready, choosing the most comfortable of my clothes. As we get in the car and he starts to drive, his hands fumble around and find mine. His eyes though are still fixated on the road. Yes, I have always been proud of the fact that the man I married was one who followed all the rules. No, he definitely wouldn't put others at a risk even if his life depended on it. 

"Anoushka, you do know that we are doing the right thing here... It's not that I don't want another child. But you know how desperately I crave a son. And we really can't afford more than two children, thought we were on the same page there.." His voice drones on as he holds my cold fingers. The warmth from his refuses to seep into mine. 

I, I, I... Everything has to be about him. What about what I want? This is my child too that we are talking about. But no, I have always been the ideal wife; staying at home and taking care of him and our daughter was my sole duty. I for one, was never allowed a voice. Or even if I did speak out, I remained unheard. 

At the hospital, everything proceeds so smoothly that it's ironic. The one time where I wouldn't mind waiting longer, things seems to move with extra precision. I'm told to strip down and don the shapeless disposable hospital gown. They ask me the routine questions. 

How far along am I? That I may feel a slight discomfort in my lower belly as they proceed. That I will be mildly sedated and that the procedure was almost painless. 

What about my heart? I want to ask. Do you have anything to sedate my thoughts? To wipe it all away? It would be absurd to voice these out aloud, of course. So I don't. And it's not their fault in any case. They are just doing their duty, I remind myself. 

But what about yours? A nagging voice inside my head asks. 

They note down seemingly irrelevant things like my weight and blood pressure. The important questions remain unasked and unanswered. I look into their eyes, I see no judgement. This maybe just another day for them. Just another mother and the baby that she's not ready to have. I cringe inwardly at the thought, my baby. I feel like nothing but a butcher as the nurses continued to prick and prod at me. 

I think of my husband waiting outside. He was busy with his phone as I was called inside. He gave me a grim smile and patted my shoulder awkwardly just before I walked in here. Taking in the antiseptic smell and my sterile surroundings, I knew I had to make a choice now or live forever with the knowledge that I did nothing. That is the moment I think that I realized, I couldn't go on with this abortion. I'm already a mother to my two girls. One was in school this moment and the other is growing inside of me. I think a part of me had already left the man I was married to the moment he suggested I do this. 

I sit up and climb out of the hospital bed. My choice is made. 


Linking this post to the A to Z Challenge

31 comments:

  1. Oh that's so sad! :( There are many Anoushka's in India. :(

    A - The Art Attack

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    1. True. If only all of them made the right choice like this one.

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  2. Glad she made the right choice. Hope everything got to do this.

    All the best for this month. Looking forward for more stories. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Hon! I wanted to end it on a positive note. And good luck to you too :)

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  3. Nicely penned the rage of a woman who does not wishes to abort her child but is forced by someone else.

    All the best for the A to Z challenge.

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  4. You expressed it so powerfully... It's terrible that things like this still happen in our country... Hope women find more strength and voice.

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  5. I was so hoping for it to end the way it did.. You know how to enter reader's mind Aathira.. The language was perfect and the emotions were so vivid..
    Waiting for more to come :)

    Love,
    Geets

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    Replies
    1. It had to be that way. Thanks so much, Geets!

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  6. I loved the way it ended..I was hoping she'd listen to her mind rather than giving in to her husband's wishes.. Great start!

    Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad she did as well. Thank you!

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  7. WOOOHOOOO.. You go, girl :) I hope she left that jackass.

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  8. Very few have the guts to make the right choice. Glad she did.
    - Chicky Kadambari @ www.mysteriouskaddu.com

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    Replies
    1. Sadly yes. Let's hope it changes soon.

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  9. Very Nice Post...

    Welcome in the letter "A"... thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2016]

    Stop over and find a free "SIX STRINGS: BLOGGING AtoZ CHALLENGE" Here: http://www.jmhdigital.com/

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

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  10. I'm glad she left him and walked away!

    Great start, my dear :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad she did too :) There was no way you can continue life with a man like that.

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  11. Beautifully penned! I could feel the sadness and I was all choked up. Awesome start!

    *Shalini @ Something's Cooking

    *Read Army Wife Tales @ TaleofTwoTomatoes

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  12. Glad she made that decision. Loved this story Aathira. :)

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  13. i have always loved your narrative.. i visited your blog for the first time in last year's A to Z challenge and now it has been one year.. liked your posts ever since.. you just seem to feed my crave for words with every post.. :) all the best for the challenge.. i am not participating this year in the challenge...

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    Replies
    1. Oh my God. One year already? How fast time flew by! And thanks so much, my dear. Means a lot to me. And why are you not taking part? Come on, join!

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    2. :D didn't manage time enough to plan for anything.. :) will join next year sure..

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  14. Strangely, I feel that having an abortion is better than having a child you don't really want. I am a mother to two girls and have never felt the need for a son but if somebody prefers a son, what's wrong with that?
    BellyBytes from
    Mumbai On A High

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    Replies
    1. Abortion can be for a lot of reasons which was not the intention of my post. It was directed particularly at female foeticide. I'm not sure whether you have read it fully as you seem to have missed the point entirely. And I can not see that as an acceptable view that you have to kill a daughter in order to love a son that you may or may not have. I have never ever understood the preference of a son to a daughter. As long as they are your children, I don't think it matters. At least for me it doesn't. A mother should love them regardless of the gender.

      As for the others, I think I have made my point clear. And I don't think it is a matter to be shrugged off this casually. What is wrong in that you ask me? Is there anything right about it? It is nothing but a heinous murder.

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  15. Good on Anoushka. She made the right choice. :) And you told her story beautifully.

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  16. Wow very gripping story.. Loved it

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