By SILA DHAKAL
Let me start from a miniscule anecdote connected to my elder sister who was undergoing delivery process recently at Thapathali maternity home. As an attendant, I nursed her during the whole night without having a chance to blink my eyes. There was no possibility even to doze because each pregnant woman lying on the beds of the big ward was crying and yelling in pain at the top of her voice. I was turned almost cruel and inhuman. It seemed as if I was experiencing the delivery pain before getting married. Their shouting in pain was causing my heart to crush and also causing my lower stomach to feel discomforted.
Meanwhile, I happened to undergo the stream of consciousness with the conflict of ideas in my mind. First, I loathed myself for being a woman who has to bear a baby for nine months in her womb and deliver the child after suffering utmost pain. She may also die in the process whereas a male has nothing else to do after making the woman pregnant. Nor do they feel any pain. Why did god curse us and for which crime?
The pain the females suffer is beyond our expectation and imagination - simply inexpressible and unthinkable. A mother survives simply with the bliss of becoming a mother. Do the males know it? Ouch! That hurts! Then, I thought of women's immense power and courage, which only she possesses. I exalted myself that woman was a fertile and creative creature biologically.
As my sister was taken to the delivery room at her final stage of labor pain, I came out of the patents' ward and heaved a sigh of relief. After my half an hour's wait, my sister came with a baby. I was cheered up but my sister's visage was very sad and somber.
When my sister was asked 'son or daughter?' she was reluctant to answer. She said Chhori (daughter) with the expression of disenchantment. It was evident she was expecting a son.
However, she gradually accepted the child positively and happily after her well-wishers praised the beauty of the newly-born baby. This story unravels an important theme to discuss about the female psyche.
Why couldn't my sister easily accept the baby as she knew the baby was daughter though she is a well-informed woman living in the twenty-first century? Why could not she feel a sense of excitement to be the mother after she knew the sex of the baby? Where did the pain and love vanish?
Is the daughter not worthy of our love? Are there not women who have ruled the nation and did their country proud through their contribution? Are the people like Pasang Lahamu Sherpa, Laura Bush, Mother Teresa and the like not women? Does the creation exist in the absence of women?
The answers to these questions should undoubtedly enable women to feel proud of being women with extraordinary role and capacity in this world. (TKP, March 15, 2007)