Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Hostile planet

My friend Aruna had a break up with her fiancé. This was their umpteenth breakup and I treated it as such. This time the reason was a tiff over having babies!!!!! Her fiancé “J” wants children after marriage. But Aruna is adamant that she was not going to bring children into a miserable, waterless, forestless, futureless earth. I have to accept that she is right. However having been appointed the official referee for this duel, I have to be fair and hear both sides out.So Monday evening we set out to Cubbon Park for the face off. Aruna swears that this meeting will decide once and for all her future with “J”.

Both parties have their say, but I am sympathetic to Aruna’s views. “J” her fiancé is not backing down. He wants children. I ask him why? He replies that they would be a little piece of him to leave on the Earth.

Now … “J” has changed four jobs last year. Aruna asks him if he would want the same for his kids. The struggle to get admission in school, pass exams, struggle for college admissions and then the struggle for a good job. The struggles for a home, food, water, clean air, time and the struggle to grow old in dignity and to live your old age in dignity. “J” has no answer to her queries. He is sullen. Maybe the primal urge to procreate makes him blind to the ground realities.

The whole issue makes me ponder. Are we doing the right thing by bringing children into this world?


An Ideal Boy said...

Ya!! As long as you get only one or at the max two.

chupru said...

Not fair to bring in materialistic excuses for not having a baby; you need to procreate and there is no excuse for that.
Survival is the key what ever be the situation. You do not stop eating just because Mc Donalds closed down; do you?
Schooling, comforts etc for your kid is called "Responsibility"; some can't handle it, understandable; but please don't use it is an excuse to deprive yourself of most important cycle of life "reproduction".
Hands down agree with "J". Make babies (not more than 2).
I think your friend is out of her mind!!

silverine said...

@ an ideal boy: Ideal number for the ideal family!

@anoop: Man that was deeeeep and well said.I am gonna show ur comment to my friend.

silverine said...

@ an ideal boy: Ideal numbers for the ideal family!

@anoop: Man that was deeeep. Well said and I am gonna show ur commentsto my friend.

And thanks Praveen for the mail with your vituperative bull s**t. U sit next to me u lazy fellow.

Jiby said...

I sympathise with Aruna. More than the horrendous place the earth is turning out to be its become increasingly hard for women to take the major share of trouble with bringing up kids in this age of nuclear families and career growth.Our men need to be more helpful at home but coming from a family where my mom works and efficiently manages the home i am really spoilt in that regards. If Aruna is realistic that then is the issue she needs to address with "J".

Matter of Choice said...

"she was not going to bring children into a miserable, waterless, forestless, futureless earth. "

I generally classify myself as a pessimist, but after reading this statement i found out that i am actually an optimist :)

But honestly, i look at it from a different view point. Through out history, times are always tough. ok the tough things change. earlier it was geting a job versus job stability today. earlier it was lack of electricity connection versus power cuts today. earlier it was lack of medical facilities versus cost of medical treatment today etc..

point of fact, india's middle class has never had it so good. If today indian middle class life is hopeless what was life during the middle ages in europe, slavery in US and other places, apartheid in South Africa, dictatorships, civil wars and famines in africa and coming closer life during the "great" famine in bengal and emergency in india!. If the generation which lived during those times had decided against having kids where will we be?

Moreover, just imagine how you or aruna or me feel about our lives. Our lives might be dreary (and believe me..in chennai it is!) and occasionally we get desperate. But in our heart of hearts arent we glad that we are still living and that our parents did not give into a whim such as what aruna is having today?. I am and i think most of us are too

without sounding rude, i would ask aruna to get on with life. if she doesnt want kids it is ok; if she doesnt want kids with "J" it is ok. if she doesnt want to settle with "J" even that is ok. But then she has to wake up and face the real reason and not hide behind all these pessimistic kafkaesque self dialogues.

Kraz Arkin said...

No. (Thumping table resoundingly and puffing chest).

MadMan said...

I can see your friend Aruna's view. I too share the same opinion, but for slightly different reasons. :)

QuaTros said...

Hello Anish, I think I'd agree with you totally! Whew, you did give quite a bit of thought on this bit. :-)
Having kids and bringing them up is an immense parental responsibility, and if one does'nt the grit to take up this responsibility, better not have kids! You'd be a a parent to future perverts and delinquents if one plans to 'procreate' and not give one inch of attention to children later on.

Adarsh A. Varghese said...

I feel its rather a silly excuse. I guess your friend is more worried about the responsibilities that would be imposed on her as a parent. If not, she would be worried about her figure!

zimblymallu said...

would you want to live in a world without children?
i wonder what our parents said about the world in their time. i dont think it looked that great then either... a little idealistic, but it might be the way to go - have as many kids as you want, they're good for the soul. life is tough. suck it up.
i could understand it if she didnt want to have kids coz she would have to go through childbirth...
adoption is an option...

silverine said...

Now this is what I call a testoterone tsunami!!!!!

Gosh, you guys are buzzing like indignant hornets. (except for jiby,madman and Kraz). Give the poor girl a break I say.

Firstly, Aruna loves kids. Always did. And that is why she does not want to bring one into this world. I mean she gets so upset when she hears about children being killed or ill treated. This she says is the reason why she believes people should not bring children into the world. Even animals stop reproducing when the environment is hostile and food is scarce. It's a natural instinct says Aruna.

Aruna also says that she has heard mothers say that after having their babies they wish they did not give birth to them. Because they are terrified of the constant danger the kids are in.So it is the natural protective instict of a woman which is making many young women decide against having babies today. Not the concern for their figures or careers.

( I did not know this but Aruna informs of an association of young people in India who do not want to procreate!)

Aruna agrees with Qua Tros that if you do not have the time to take care of kids then you should not have them. As for those who want to have kids, she says" please go ahead and Happy Parenting."

Aruna leaves for the US today and I hope she would have sorted out her thoughts and feelings by the time she gets back next month.

And Me - I confess I misjudged the Indian male. You guys have shown amazing candour in your thoughts about parenting.

And thanks for the numerous mails sent to me for Aruna.

"J" in the meantime ( after reading your comments) is grinning like the cat that has swallowed the cream and the saucer!!

zimblymallu said...

i'd hate to be categorized as a testosterone tsunami... i mean, i can bring it, but u know... lol. who's going to clean up the mess.

would nobody consider adoption an option? of course, she still faces the same problem... but i dont see how that would solve any of the problems she's concerned about.
put it down to a male fixation on finding solutions.

jake said...

I so much agree with what aruna has to say about watching kids being ill treated and hence not wanting to have kids. When i am out and i watch some kid begging, and there if i am wolfing down something, it makes me feel bad, very bad, i dunno maybe i am sucker for sick puppy faces, but the point here is that the world _IS_ f*ked and no you are not paranoid. but the real question here is this, the act of procreation is something that we are made with, the continuation of the specie is not something a sinlge member of the species can ignore or ignore easily at that. so aruna deciding not to have kids -- while now the fury of youth may carry her through, as age catches up with her, it'll only get difficult.
And no by saying this i am not asking aruna to change her mind, in fact agree with her views, but there are two sides to every coin no ?
besides why do you think we enjoy 'the act' so much ? ;-)

Living_dead said...

A child is not just a child, its a token of "our" love. its the very cause of our existence. i will do anything do keep this flame on , no matter what it takes. i feel i gotta better genes.

the reason that she doesnot want to bring up kids because she hears how kids are mistreated is pretty ludicrous. i am unsure if she is going to let her kids go all alone! phew!! :D god save that kid! amen !

no idea how aruna thinks!

jake said...

Aruna's reason is not ludicurous. would you yet the token of your love, be abused, torn about, cheated, lied to and what not in this world of ours ?
No i dont mean that existence is all suffering, but all one has are moments. moments of happiness and moments of sadness, moments of agony. Is a few moments of happiness worth all the others. i dont know. its personal choice. Personally i wouldnt wish this rat race called 'life' on people i like. having a kid is not a desicion to be lightly made. and definitely not in the fervour of passion or in monets where the heart rules, than the mind.

zimblymallu said...

laying it on a bit thick, aren't we sirrah?
would you really choose nonexistence over existence?
i would risk death, for even the most painful, excruciating moment of life. because i would have lived.
hmm... nice topic for a post, lets leave aruna and her chota sahib alone for now. its their life...

u can continue this argument at

Jake said...

I agree. nice topic for a post and i also agree, lets leave aruna alone.onwards to your blog zimbly

Kraz Arkin said...

Proof that much ado about nothing is still a mallu bastion.

clash said...

so phoney i say! sorry to disrupt the status quo!

KillerQueen said...

I am dying to have a kid.
I know the world is evil and so forth..but its not all evil.
Its also quite beautiful. Human relationships are complex. I'd like my offspring to see the things I saw, meet the people I met..and much more.
I'd like my child to leave her mark in this world..and carry on living...not because its a bad world.
But because I RAISED her, to be the very best she could be, and I gave her the best I could, so that she could make a difference, just like I hope one day I'll be able to.
I'm dying to tell my daughter all the things I have learnt. About life, love, relationships, morals, values, mankind..etc.
I WANT to impart the best in me to my child...and I can't wait.
Too bad I need a husband as a prerequisite (its not in me to be a single mom)

archie said...

May be adoption is the best solution. U r not bringing another child into this world, u have a chance to improve a childs life and u can enjoy having a child....

ritika said...

man this is crazy..itz like saying 'stop driving cause there are too many accidents now a days...', 'don't eat food as the no. of food poisoning cases have risen', etc etc etc.....

i think ur pal is juss running away frm the situation.....rather she shud have kids and teach them how 2 live gud lives...didnt darwin talk abt struggle 4 existence and survival of the fittest.....ups and downs are a part of everyones lives.....i think your friend is really sad..seems like she can only see the negatives......what about all the great things that this world has to offer...has she given that a thought.......

Richa said...

So how's your friend Aruna now?
Btw, I share the exact same views as her. Since around the same time you wrote this post. :-)