In my Dad’s words, “Your mother started making “halla” (commotion) at 9 in the morning. Since it was too early to arrange the car, I had to take your mom in a rickshaw to the hospital. And then you were was born at 9:45 am. (well that explains the halla :)). Your grandma was at home taking care of your didi (elder sis) and she came to the hospital later. At night, I and another tekhedaar (colleague) got drunk at home, not celebrating, but disappointed because you were a girl ! And then I vomited the whole night.
India was (and still is – but to a smaller extent) a male dominated society. Parents live with their son and his family when they are old. After someone dies, the son does the last rites, and only after that your soul is supposed to get peace. My Nanaji (maternal grand father) would travel for long and come, to see my mom and us and then leave in just a few housrs. He considered it a sin to even drink water in his daughter’s home ! My parents were much better, they gave us the best (and equal) education and best comforts they could provide, they still had/have a soft corner for ‘son’.
When you were two months old, we went to Delhi for Satish’s wedding (a cousin). You had high fever and we thought you died. We took you on a hand fan (the custom those days) but then you cried out aloud. We then took you to doctor who said you had gone in coma due to dehyradation. The doctor said that she will live if she doesn’t die tonight. My aunt said “Shadi ka ghar hain, Hamare ghar to marrio mat – This is a wedding going on, Please don’t die in our home”.
And I lived 🙂 I am happy to be alive 🙂 To be born in this family, to my Mom and Dad, my sisters, brothers – I am who I am because of all my experiences.