Deprived? I never felt that way. Ours was a family where everything was shared. Happiness, sadness everything. Ours was a family where papa after mealtimes, would check which mango/es had ripened, then take out the knife and divide into five and distribute. When the going was tough, there were 3 shares for my sister, me and my brother and nothing for them-the parents. That’s the way it was. Never was my brother given more because he was a son, never were we given less because we were daughters. But then arrived a family in our street, a family with three children, same like us. Eldest the ‘prodigal’ son, the other two daughters. The best was always kept for him, the best fruit, the largest portion of food, the best clothes. No bother if he was doing badly at school and busy learning ‘goondaism’, no worries if he was already at 12 addicted to ‘Pan parag’. The other two girls excelled at school-studies, sports everything and came home to homework and housework and minimum food. Why? Because after all they were girls and there is always a risk in giving ample food and good food to girls…… they matured faster. That meant that there figure matured too and then that would mean better clothes and they would have to begin groom hunting too. And then care would have to be taken for their safety too. Such a bother isn’t it. Better to keep them undernourished.

The eldest girl was my classmate, she arrived one day when I was throwing a tantrum because the food was not to my liking. She saw me and said , ” Itna accha khana aur tu chilla rahi hain? Maa naaraz nahi hoti?” (Such nice food and you are screaming. Won’t your mother get angry?). For her a girl throwing tantrum for food was a shock.

This happened in the 80s. But for some girls in some families the situation still continues. When will we understand that girls are humans too?

However the girls did well, the last that I heard was that my classmate became an engineer, the younger one an IAS and the boy…….well he is somewhere in Bihar with a lath in his hand

11 thoughts on “Deprived

  1. Treatment meted out to girls many families even till date hasn’t changed. Why this gender bias I don’t know.Last week a2 day old girl was buried alive and a feeble cries alerted a farmer and she was rescued. Really shocking…

  2. In our family, we were two sisters and a brother. Just like your family, we never felt any difference of a boy or a girl while growing up. Everything was equal for each of us. I even heard a relative snigger once — What’s the point if she is so bright in studies, she is a girl after all? A comment which was ignored with a smile by my parents. Even, I’ve seen this stupid indulgence of the male child in some families. And, you can spot such men from far. You and I are so lucky, Bhagyashree. Imagine if we were born in a family like your friend’s. Sadly, the lure of the male child and the neglect of a female child still continues in our country. Men like your dad and my dad deserve a lot of credit for raising strong, independent women. Wish more power to such men!

    • oh yes. And of course our mothers too. As I have said before, very ofthen its the woman who causes misery to another woman. In my friends case it was her mother who did not give enough food to her daughters. Call it ignorance, upbringing or societal pressure, she had been led to believe that her son was more important.

  3. I am glad the girls have done well for themselves. Goes out to prove that where there is a will, there is a way. I liked the piece. I hope that the tables are turned on the ones meting out such discrimination. And soon.

    • Yes, but there was another factor, we were in Bhilai and for those who want to study, it has good teachers, a competitive environment and it is a place where gender bias don’t go too far. In a more traditional society, it would have been difficult

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