I woke up this morning with a call from my mother saying my picture was in the my newspaper. Uh-oh, this wasn’t supposed to happen till next week.
I grab the paper before my cousin calls and sure enough, there’s me and Tushar severely misquoted under a headline that screams CHILDLESS BY CHOICE!
The article makes and my mum-in-law seem like complete martyrs. I, apparently, am “appalled(!) at the way I saw things shaping out around me, in terms of environment and societal degradation, and I decided then that I didn’t want to bring a child into a world I wasn’t convinced about. Tushar shares my opinion and we honestly don’t see children in our lives.”
In college, I did spend a lot of time intellectualizing in the canteen instead of attending lectures, but I was more “appalled” that my lit professor would find out about my raging crush on him than by “environmental and societal degradation”
My mom-in-law, a lady this interviewer never spoke to, certainly did not feel like this: “She raised three children and in those years hectic years compromised greatly on her career aspirations as an artist.”
Her children are my ma’s career. She hated that she had to go out and raise the money as a single parent and not spend time with them. Her art is closely tied to her children. She knitted and stitched all their pretty dresses because she loved to. She made birthday cards and prayer books for them. When the going got tough and she had to make chutney at home and sell it at the grocers, she found her art in the labels, lovingly designing and painting each one on.
When the going got good and she was touring Europe twice a year, all she thought of was her kids at home and how many goodies she could stuff into her bag and take home.
And that was the point of citing her example. Only people who treat raising their children as a career should have them. Only people who love children so deeply and are aware of their duties as parent. Who read up on parenting, learn from the mistakes of their parents and are alert every minute.
Not those who have them as a biological necessity or a rite of progress.
My reasons have been fairly more simple and those that this journalist has completely ignored. And I took a good part of an hour talking to her about them, because who doesn’t like talking about themselves?
Firstly, I’m burdened with the knowledge that we are the generation that has to do damage control. Which is why we can’t be lazy about recycling, conserving energy and go about randomly killing animals.
Especially because we learn that our burgeoning population is responsible for most problems we face in India (and some other places). So let those who really want children and raise them.
I would rather adopt. Because I do love children, but I know how easy it is to love a child than live with it. Especially if you want a life of adventure.
I want to enjoy my money, do different jobs,travel and generally live an irresponsible life. And having a child in the middle of this chaos would only mean resenting it. And that’s not why you should have children.
Some day, I would like to work with orphans and children of political conflict, just as I would like to get back to caring for animals.
So my decision has very little to do with being appalled at the state of the world and more with knowing that we are the cause of it. And I would rather spend my life bettering it a little bit, than adding to it.