Tuesday, May 10, 2005
OF the pitter patter of tiny feet..
I just got up after watching an interesting movie: Hyderabad Blues 2. it revolves around a couple married for 6 years, where the wife is dying to have kids, but the husband is not ready for the responsibility, the resulting fights and tension, and the falling apart of the marriage. What concerns me is not the fights or the couple… but the new trend that has started in our Indian culture as well: the decision to not have children.
Up till now what we saw was a shift in the family system: from joint family to nuclear family, then from working husbands an housewives to Double-income-no-kids households. But even they just delayed the whole process of having a family, owing to the need of settling down. It seems now though, that a completely new and never-before fashion has cropped up: of having no kids at all.
Now why on earth would one not want to have any kids at all??? Isn’t procreation what makes the world go on? Isn’t it what we are here to do, we are supposed to do?? How can anyone choose not to have kids? If everyone stops having children, what will happen to this earth? Hey chill… we don’t have to get so carried away…. Chances that everyone on this earth decides to skip having kids is as high as the sun rising from the west... but nevertheless, a surprisingly large number of people don’t seem bothered, and do not wish to take up the responsibility of progression of human population.
Many couples adopt kids, not because they are unable to have their own, but because they don’t wish to increase the already overburdening pressure of population on earth, and also wish to do something for the orphans. Some adopt because they can’t have kids of their own, either because they are medically unfit, or they are homosexuals. Still others adopt kids because they don’t have life partners, and want children, even at the cost of bringing them up single-handedly.
But there is also another group of people, steadily on the rise, who just don’t want kids. Usually the reason is financial stability. They feel they won’t be able to bring up a child well. But even such couples have at least 1 child. They may wait till they are settled and financially well off before they have children, i.e. they have kids late, maybe very late, but they do. Other reason may be that their marriage/ relationship is on the rocks and they feel having kids may weaken their stand and make it difficult for them to separate if need be, as everyone very well knows the harshest impact of divorce/separation is the children of the couple. Some people don’t have kids due to their career limitations: they believe having kids can wreak havoc on their superb career. As a result, many married actresses/models skip the having children routine, lest they ruin their figure and lose their charm, their USP, their salability.
But what does one say to/think of those people who are physically and mentally fit, financially stable, have a great marriage/relationship, well settled in their jobs… in short possess everything that takes to become great parents, but still opt out of it. They don’t even adopt. They just don’t want kids. As simple as that. Why, you ask? How can a human being naturally not want to procreate? Well… it’s an interesting issue.
These kid-less couples say that they don’t want children simply because they see no need to have kids. Now why on earth do people want to have kids, apart from our basic instinct? Mainly because they feel it’s the natural next step to a relationship/marriage. They are expected to have kids. Many women want kids because they feel incomplete unless they have given birth and experienced the miracle of god. Most couples get bored of their monotonous lives… they want some action and excitement. Some people want support in old age, while others want to continue their lineage. Some have kids just so that their child can take over their business. After all, they can’t leave all that they strove for to some stranger… don’t these things apply to this set of couples as well?
Apparently not. They don’t really care. They are too well settled in their lives, jobs, to let anything upset the schedule, including kids. They don’t think they are ready to have kids….EVER! They don’t think they will have time, or the mental preparation to handle kids. Many people have jobs/ambitions/lifestyle that would be hampered if they had kids. They don’t need support in their old age, they don’t feel empty and lonely, they don’t want to experience creating a new soul, or bringing up another human being. All in all they think having kids is a bad idea, which will ruin their life. In exchange they have to listen to a lot of hushed whispers and eager queries about WHY they don’t have any kids, and suffer a number of shocked and disapproving looks when they tell them they just don’t need kids. But it doesn’t matter to them. They are ready to take a whole lifetime of this nonsense but have made up their minds not to give in to the pressure of parents dying to have grandkids etc., and stick to their decision.
Now I personally don’t have anything against these people… after all it’s their life, and they are the ones responsible for whatever decisions they take. But I do feel that it is a great feeling to be a parent and give birth to and bring up a child. It’s really a gift from God which all of us should accept and experience. There used to be a time when I was sure I was never going to give birth to any kids because the whole process seemed so painful and difficult, right from conception to childbirth to post natal care of the child. But over the years I have mulled over the issue, and have come to the conclusion that everyone must have kids, and OWN kids if possible, including me. Now I want to be a proud mother of a naughty boy and a pretty daughter one day, no matter what I have to do to make that possible and successful! And though I can’t force these people, I sure want to tell them, “Guys, you are missing a lot in life. Life is short, enjoy it and make the most of it while you can. It’s never too late. Maybe you think children are a burden, but trust me, they are god’s most beautiful creation. Try having one child, then you will know of the innumerable pleasures they bring to us, who, in our fast paced lives, have forgotten how to smile!”