“You are so bold. How come you don’t cry, Surabhi!” her doctor exclaimed. She was biting her teeth tight in aggression.
It was Surabhi’s first delivery, and she was not yelling in pain. She was plain but solely biting her pain down when that cramp was beyond her limit. She had her eyes closed and turned her mind to some cold truth she had to face. The ringtone of her phone alarmed her. She looked at her Didi, who was beside her. Her only companion in her labor.
“Ji…” Surabhi answered the phone.
“Is it a boy or a girl ?” It was the same question for the fifth time.
“Don’t know.” She replied bluntly.
“Don’t come back if it’s a girl.”
And that was it, call ended. It was her husband, or rather the person responsible for her pain.
She bit her teeth as the pain and aggression were killing her.
“Surabhi, how frequent is your pain now. Can I please check your dilation?”. The nurse reached near to Surabhi.
She did not reply, but she stretched her legs wide for the nurse to check.
“9 cm dilation! You are doing good. Don’t stress.”
The nurse turned to Surabhi’s didi and continued.
“She is almost there. Could you please wait outside now”.
Didi looked at Surabhi.
“Di, just don’t answer the phone, I’m….” she bit her teeth again.
Her didi knew she was in pain again.
A few more stressful minutes passed.
“Surabhi, breathe in, take a deep breath and a final push, full force.” Her midwife was helping her untangling the knots of labor.
She pushed in her full strength and merely ripped apart herself. She felt as if she was dead. Alongside, the cry of a newborn adorned the tension of the room.
“Surabhi, do you want a boy or a girl ?” her doctor asked.
“Girl…” her answer was stern, tears rolling down her cheeks.
“Oh, it’s a Prince, a boy.” The doctor replied with a smile.
Surabhi’s face was expressionless. She felt darkness around her. She had wished for a girl. With a girl, she wouldn’t have to return to that hell. The hell, where she was just a bin to give birth to a boy. A boy who can carry their legacy forward!
A lot of minutes in silence passed.
The phone rang for the sixth time. Surabhi answered the phone, this time with a ‘Halo…’.
‘It’s a girl.’ And she ended the call.
She was done with it. She looked at her didi who was staring in astonishment at what she heard.
“It’s a lie, I know. But I don’t want to go to hell, where girls are not accepted. Let MY legacy live with me in a slum, but I will teach my son the value of a girl, the value of a lady.”
Didi had a smile with tears.
“What will we name him?” her didi asked.
“Anmol…” Surabhi replied.
“Priceless!! It was the only name I had in mind, be it was a boy or girl for me, my baby will always be priceless.”