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Girl Child

By Arpita Kumar


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  Mummy, it has been three months since my world began in your womb.

  But today mummy I feel scared, I don’t like this place and I know you are extremely sad.

   Two days ago you saw my first glimpse, my first picture on the screen when you and Papa went for an ultrasound.

  I remember how rapturous you were when my first image emerged on the screen but the happiness was momentary – when the doctor told you I was a girl. I felt your heart skip a beat, I felt Papa’s grip loosen.

  The journey back home Mummy was very strange. Your whole body was cold and numb and Papa was also very quiet. That night my little world was torn apart when Papa said that a second girl has no right to be born…I have no right to be born Mummy? Is my crime so grave? Is being a girl so bad?

   I remember how you cried. I felt your pain Mummy, how you clutched your stomach and yelled out “NO” but then you submitted. Amidst the tears and the cries you gave up. NO!! Mummy don’t kill me.

   Mummy, I want to live. I wish to be born. I want you to hold me and love me. I want you to be proud of me, I want to feel the sun on my face and play with my elder sister. Mummy I want you to celebrate my birth every year. I want you to celebrate me..

  Am I asking too much ?! I remember how you sobbed the whole night, how my kicking you cry out louder. I remember earlier my little movements elated you but now it gives rise to agony.

   “It’s a man’s world” grandma said. She spoke of dowry deaths, acid attacks, female genital mutation and child sexual abuse. She asked you if you would be able to protect another girl from all of this. Tell me Mummy is this what you are scared of?

    I remember how my elder sister spent hours thinking of a name for me. If it’s a boy and if it’s a girl.  Anupriya she suggested for a girl and you smiled. Mummy don’t you want your Anupriya?! I could be as good as a boy or maybe better if you give me a chance, if you let me live.

   We sit here in this waiting room. Waiting ..waiting for you to terminate this pregnancy ..waiting for you to kill me. My crime – my sex…My punishment – death.


                                                 Arpita Kumar



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