A Short Story
Came across a short story on the blog, Filling Interstices, by Tina Rathore. There are also some awesome poems on her blog, but relevant to the discussion on female feticide is her short story, Let me grow in your backyard, Mother, about a female fetus trying unsuccessfully to negotiate with her mother her entry into this world. I copy below an excerpt:
She started belching early in the morning, puking everything she had eaten at night leaning against that wash basin. But now everything she had eaten is out. She does not stop. She has finger in her mouth, while she belches- her stomach, her entrails contract to push out something- what is it? Her stomach has nothing else but me. She wants me out? No mother, please! I’m too big for your gullet, for the wash basin, for the tiny little holes that sieve your dinner, for the drain pipe, mother! I’m too big now. But she wouldn’t stop. She is eating again, So that it may come, so that it brings me along.
and then later
They must have told you, the nurse too conspired against us along with that the doctor you call your friend. They must have told you.”It was a still born.” You know mother? They have dug me to death. But i am growing. The concrete stomach has delivered a still born. The worms are feasting on me. The ants are taking my flesh away, holding me by their mouth, moving in a bee line. Do they know of beauty mother? Your moon baby is eaten away. What they know of art? Of creation? They know only instinct, desire, food, stomach. They do not even ask me who I am. Why I am here. They have no purpose. They only have holes from where they come and go.
I see there is someone digging in. Is that my brother? He is observing the ants, the food they have stored. He is digging the holes. “Is he looking for me?”
It is a short story that goes a long way. I strongly recommend a read. Check it out here.
The story reminds me of the poem Lori written in Punjabi by Gurbhajan Gill, which Jasbir Jassi has sung as a song, Rakhri di Tand. Follow the link for the song, for its lyrics in Punjabi and for the English translation of the lyrics.