What question do you hate to be asked? Why?
Explanations always get us in trouble. I have tried this many times, the more I tried to explain things to people, the more they got suspicious about my choices in life and tried to dig deeper. And in India, where you might get the nosiest of the nosy neighbours and relatives, it is hard to keep your privacy. Everyone is so “concerned” about you, they forget to look at their own lives. This is one of the things I dislike in people more than anything else.
There were so many questions I hated, but lately it has been only one. And it drives me crazy. I do not even try to explain myself anymore. A lot of people are smart enough to hide it behind other questions. How are you? Are you married? When did you get married? Do you have any children? And then the question I hate being asked. When are you planning to have children?
In India, this situation might be worse than other countries. The customs and rituals around wedding itself are indicative of what is expected ‘out’ of you. Right from the time of engagement, there are rituals in which someone’s baby or a baby-like toy is kept in the to-be-bride’s lap and everyone from to-be-groom’s side blesses the pair for a boy. And from that moment on when you meet someone and greet them, they respond by saying things like – Bless you with a son, Give good news soon, Have a healthy child (mostly specific - boy), bless you to experience motherhood soon. The look in their eyes is especially disgusting. It starts as early as your first night and I am not exaggerating.
I have met plenty of married women and most of them have children. These are the women who want to know when I am having children. Ironically these are also the women who always complain about how they cannot do things because of their children, how lucky I am to have time to do things I want to do, blah blah blah. I hate it because it is a very personal choice. The clear answer is that I do not want to be like them. I want to have my child when I am ready and then welcome him/her to the world and take care of him/her. I do not want to have a child just because I have been married for a certain amount of time or the “society” expects me to have a child. I want to be like my mother who treats her children like rays of sunshine and not like a burden who she has to attend to for the rest of her life. However with due respect to other’s choice, I do not think there is anything wrong with doing this, my only point is that it is not for me, certainly not for everyone.
I do not hate these questions just because of my experience, I have seen many other women who feel the same way about this utterly private choice in life. I can only hope I do not become one of ‘those women’ when I finally have a child.
What are your most dreaded questions?
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