Solving the Puzzle – How Many More Kids
This blog post is a translation of the blog post written in Malayalam by Kuttyedathi. Her blog posts in Malayalam are so humorous and rich in content. Her bio in Twitter reads as follows: “Mom |Blogger |Orkutter |Twitterer |exists everywhere in Internet |Nowhere in real world |SAP Professional |Future DC Books BestSeller Writer:)”. Now if you know how to read Malayalam go directly to her blog and read this post as I am sure I may not have captured the entire essence of her writing in my translation.
For the last few months I am having a serious syndrome – the main symptom of this syndrome being looking at families having three or more kids. This disease becomes severe when I go to church or take my kids for a doctor’s visit. It is a fashion in
Every week when I go to church if I see some family with more than two kids, it has become my hobby to watch them. The eldest kid putting the youngest in the car seat, making the kid sleep, the eldest giving milk from feeding bottle – I just cannot keep my eye away from those kids these days. Now I stand there watching the family of more than two kids, the Dream Girl (hence called DG) in me will whisper to me Dont envy then... "Have one more kid and make yourself proud"
Immediately the Practical Girl (hence called PG) in me will shout "it is very easy to tell to make more kids. Increasing the numbers is easy. Who will give them good education? Everything is so expensive. Who will buy them enough toys?"
DG: Hey as if your parents were extremely rich and using that they taught you. Kids will somehow study. How many toys did you have during childhood? It is not necessary to have toys for a kid to grow…
PG: hey DG, it is very easy to tell. After sending two kids to Montessori school itself we are financially so broke that we don’t save even to buy some poison if we want!
DG: Now who asked you to send the kids to Montessori? Aren’t there public schools in the nook and corner of
PG: If you ask like that… Yes there are… but… I never got a chance to study in an English medium school nor a good school. My father could not afford to send me to private school. Even now however much I act outside, sadness is still inside me that I could never go to an English medium school. So am I at fault if I dream of giving my two kids the best education possible…. Something I never got?
DG: Ohhh… so you are raising your kids to fulfill all the unfulfilled dreams and ambitions of you? Let me ask you something – Anything bad happened to you since you studied in a Malayalam medium school? Don’t you have a good job in US with a good pay? Are you not able to speak good English to Americans working with you? What else do you want for a girl born in a remote village in Kerala?
PG: Yes you are correct… but somewhere I feel something is missing….like something ….when I see some girls writing blogs in English using words I have never heard of…. I feel some kind of lack of confidence….
DG: You have an explanation for each and everything… have you noticed how happy the kids are when they go to church each Sunday to pray? Haven’t you seen that they have so many cousins and relatives there to take care of them? How was that possible? If your grandmother didn’t have a dozen kids will your kids ever get so many relatives to take care and play with them? During festivals like Christmas and Thanksgiving when all your relatives gather together why is it so much fun? Isn’t it because there are so many of you? So the happiness you got because you had so many relatives – you are trying to prevent from happening to the next generation by not having more kids? Isn’t it your selfishness that is preventing you from having more kids?
Now from your husband’s side - his parents had six kids. When all those six and their families get together during holidays you have a lot of fun, right? You don’t have any right to deny that fun to your kids. You enjoyed the benefits of a big family and it is your duty to make sure that your kids also enjoy these fun filled get togethers.
The PG couldn’t find any counter arguments/figure out any point to defend to DG…DG continues…
DG: OK, when you feel sad whom do you call first in your family?
PG: My brother and sister.
DG: See now…every day you call your brother and sister and talk to them. Like that did you ever think who will be there for your kids to talk to when they feel really down?
PG: but hasn’t time changed? Earlier it was very easy to manage a family with the salary of one person. What is the condition now? Isn’t a very big thing to raise the kids? Isn’t it very stressful?
DG: that is only if you go and raise the kids…tell me one thing… when you were a kid did someone raise you? Mother will cook food at the right time and give it to you. You with your friends may be in some fields playing all the time. Those days the kids were not being raised. They grew up on their own. These days’ parents won’t allow their kids to grow on their own rather they try to make them grow.
PG: Hey… You are ten years behind in your thought process…. Look around.. The whole is full of competition. Now what if my kids fail in this new world of competition? Won’t they blame me for not bringing them up to face this competitive world? Isn’t it quality more important than quantity?
DG: when an emergency comes if your kids don’t have anyone to go to what is the use of this “quality”? Just think about your kids after you are no more….whom do they have to speak to? Both your kids will be looking at each other and they will be cursing you for not having had more kids.
PG: Ok agreed, now tell me if we decided to go back to
for good, what will happen to me? I have seen people making lot of fun these days at people having more than 2 kids? Don’t few of them look at you as if you are a traitor? I have heard that if you have more than two kids you can’t contest for elections or be eligible for food subsidy and stuff like that…leave all these alone…how will I answer the questions of the people like “you don’t have anything for birth control in countries like US?” I have heard people telling that to my sister. I still remember a lady asking my sister “You people are well educated and wise, still you guys fail to avoid getting pregnant accidentally?” Those people themselves will determine that it was due to a mistake that the third kid was born. Now if we say we really wanted the third one then the comment you may get will be “yes after an unwanted pregnancy this is what every one tells - that they wanted one more”. I don’t want my relatives and neighbors in India to talk to me like that…. India
DG: Now I got the point. You are more concerned about what others will talk about you. When did you start getting concerned about views of others? You always used to say that you are never concerned about what others tell and that you will do what you like? What happened to that line of thought? People will tell so many things. Never mind any of that and go ahead with your life…
PG: hey haven’t we studied about population explosion in school? Haven’t we read that the resources in the whole world are not enough to feed the present population and that the population is increasing exponentially and hence shortage of food and stuff like that? So if I have more kids isn’t it a sin to the entire mankind?
DG: You have dumb reasoning for everything… nothing is going to happen to the world if you had one more kid. How many of your aunties told you at some point of time that they made a big mistake stopping with two kids.
PG: again those pregnant days…sleepless nights…changing diapers, I don’t want… I don’t have any more capacity to do all those…more over I am thirty two…I have read that if you have kids at such age they may have some genetic problems…. If something like that happens doesn’t that be the worst thing I could do to my baby?
The debates in my mind never end… who will win – the dream girl or the practical girl in me? Only time will tell…..
N.B. – If someone asks me who the best blogger in Malayalam is I don’t have to think twice. It is Berly who blogs at “Berlytharangal”. Whenever I read Kuttyedathi’s blog posts I feel some kind of similarity in the writing style between those two. Is Kuttyedathi the female Berly of Malayalam blogosphere?
Photo courtesy - www.wizkids.org.au