We have come a long way, we have a long way to go. Every country goes through turbulence, so have we. Every country has its moments, we have had our own. Every country has a vision, we have ours. No country is perfect, the flaws exude beauty of renaissance and evolution. We did, we do, we will. 

Jai Hind!

She is an Iron Lady. I have never seen her blink an eye or being moist in a situation. She took tuition classes, her husband has a decent job and her son was studying in a boarding school in a different town. A family of 3 with dreams of their own, I knew them as a courageous and friendly family.

But destiny had other plans. A plan that shattered their lives and bought them to knees. But I just had one question. Why?

One midnight, the phone rings aloud. The call is from her son’s Boarding school. They inform that her son collapsed in his room last night and they did not have a clue till one of his room mates tried to get in to the room. With a heavy and scary tone, they inform her that he is dead. 

Her world has just gone down. The couple rush to the boarding school and get his body back home. Doctors inform that he died due to a respiratory problem leading to cardiac arrest. 

I met her a few weeks after her son’s death. She was her usual self, didn’t talk much and I did not have the tenacity to stay longer. But I could see the pain she locked herself in.

Not willing to remain inside and refuses to come outside. I could see how her world has collapsed with a blink of an eye.

But disasters have this uncanny knack of knocking doors twice. Again, I was living with the same question. Why?

I visited her a few months later and during the normal conversation, ended up enquiring about her husband. Her response startled me. He has been diagnosed with cancer and is under treatment for the last 3 months. Her voice, not for a minute, had a touch of fear or apprehension about the situation she is dangling with. 

I was out of town for 4 months. When I was back, I learnt from her that he passed away last month.

Her life stood toppled and devastated. Yet, she stood firm and I did not see tears in her eyes. She continued with her tuition classes. She started visiting a nearby orphanage and offered her services. Few months down the line, she quit classes and became a regular in the orphanage.

I have since moved out of the city since 7 years. Last time I visited her place, door was locked and neighbours have not seen her around for sometime. As of today, I don’t know where she lives or has moved to.

I, at times, remain astounded by the ways of life. We are not perfect. We make mistakes. We have sinned. Yet, life bestows numerous opportunities to redeem ourselves. And, we survive. We live to see glory.

But in the adversity of time, life decided to show off it’s gruesome face to this lady and her family. 

I am still living with the same question. Why?

*Inspired by real life events.

The Preface

Motherhood is the most beautiful emotion in this world. Unconditional, unearthed and supremely human. Can this feeling be compromised?

The Story

On the day of child birth, we visited Martha in hospital. Martha has been the caretaker of our home and the most exquisite cook we have ever seen, for the last 7 years.

Martha has just given birth to a baby girl and it was a moment of great relief for all of us. Elated, yes. The usual happiness of welcoming a baby in the family was a precursor for all households. We are no different, with smiles and sweets all over the place.

But Martha was not happy. I would say, her face quite dead as a pan and she preferred not looking at the baby.

We were perturbed and equally curious. Why would a mother not look at her baby? Where is the usual epitome of love and sacrifice?

We decided to wait for couple of days as we wanted her to get some rest.

A week gone by, we sat beside her and with a sense of judgment and sensitivity, popped up the all important question to her. 

‘What went wrong’?

Martha did not answer for few minutes. Then she looked up at us with a grim and hesitation. What she finally uttered shook us hard.
‘This is not my child’. ‘This baby is not mine’. – exclaimed an unassuming and nonchalant Martha. She had tears in her eyes but her words were not fake. She emoted naturally.
We spent a couple of minutes gathering ourselves before popping up yet another inevitable question. 

‘What do you mean’? How is this possible?
The spate of questions obviously meant we wanted Martha to elaborate on this shocking revelation. The understanding was mutual as Martha started to narrate what has gone through in the last 18 months of her life.

Martha is a surrogate mother. Couple of years back, she was visited by a Columbia couple through the local agent in Martha’s area. They were desperate for a child, Martha was in need of money. She had a paralysed husband with no income and her tiny little brick house went down in last year’s torrential rain. It was difficult making ends meet with 3 children and an almost ineffective husband. Thus, began a process by mutual consent and shared affection.

‘I will not have sex with this man’, Martha was curt when she informed the agent. The agent then explained that sexual intercourse is not required for her to carry a child in her womb.

“We have progressed”, the agent told Martha with a smile.

Though Martha was consciously in agreement to this, she never felt motherhood all through the 9 months of her disputed pregnancy period.

“I have just rented my womb for another person in exchange of money. This baby inside me is not to identify me as a Mother, I see myself as a business woman who is selling babies for cash”.
Martha’s tone was all guilt and conscience.

A week later, the Columbian couple and technically Martha’s customer, took the baby with them after paying the sum of money, as agreed.

Motherhood was redefined, but not sure where and who is the ‘Mother’ here?

The Moral

Surrogacy is bringing cheer to many such families across the world but we also sense that this introduction has perhaps murdered the purity of Motherhood. Consent or no consent, Motherhood is a woman’s right to her identify and integrity. Surrogacy, by all its noble intent, has manufactured a new and spurious Mother.

Talking about diabetes is a tasteless debate. Yet, quintessentially, has remained the most talked about subject in the last 4 decades (apparently, forever). For the curious onlookers, I ain’t talking about champion doctors and their tumultuous prescriptions this time.

Humans thrive on beliefs, tranditions and roots. Despite the spectacular evolution of technology and its peers, we remain faithful to our age old trivias and their adjoining stories of redemption.

In one such corner of severance and isolation, a small place called Kovilvenni thrives due to a rich history and an amicable legacy. Located near the more illustrious town of Thanjavur in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India, nothing looks or makes you feel spectacular. Yet, in this glorious temple that it resides on, will tell you some dramatic stories. One, amongst the many, is the cure for Diabetes.

Lord Shiva sits in this temple in the form of a ‘Lingam’ and is adorned with sugarcane stripes across the body of the ‘Lingam’. Sugarcane, for all we know, embodies sweetness and the lord here is acknowledged to cure the disease of sweetness, infamously known as ‘Diabetes’. Interesting, isn’t it? To all, he is revered as ‘Venni Karumbeswarar’ (The Lord with Sugarcane Stripes).

Yes, it is. Remember, belief is all about staggering faith and relentless patience. If this kind of breaks the restrain in you, I will urge you to visit this place, at least once, in your lifetime. No warranty slips here, but don’t forget to take your trust along with you. 

This is an invitation to the world of empowerment, sans logic and prescriptions. Yes, Science will look like a ‘David’ in front of a ‘Goliath’, not virtually that is.

I take immense courage to share this piece of history with all of you. I am an incorrigibly instinctive person but this element of me is a revelation. 

I am not worried if I may go without takers but am certain for one thing – this is a story that deserves to be told.