Love’s Labour’s Lost

Written By

Lakshmi A

Love's labour lost.Nov6 2015.Final_Loves labor lost-03 Loading

I have a friend who I call ‘chuddi buddy’ – and she is literally so. Serendipity brought us close to each other (both geographically and mentally) all my life. She was one of the many women I know who got married at a young age of 23. I still remember when she was pregnant for the first time (in 2003), we were lying down on the grass along Lake Shore drive in Chicago, staring at the sky and wondering whether she should let her pregnancy advance or not. Her marriage, in my opinion, was not the highlight of her life. She was, in fact, a completely devastated person and a bag of fears and tears. I strongly advised her, in my non emotional, no nonsense style, to go ahead and get her pregnancy terminated. A few days later I got to know that she went till the point of carrying out the deed, and just before taking the pill, broke down. She was convinced by her then husband that he would reform his ways and they would live happily ever after. Today, she is divorced, has two children, and is extremely happy. When I ask her, she unflinchingly states that bearing her two children was the best decision she has ever made all her life and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Fast forward 11 years later — another close friend comes up to me around Diwali and whispers — I am pregnant, but I don’t want this child. I already have one, and I want to ensure that we provide for this child to the best of our abilities. After trying to sell to her (and failing) the pros of having twos, we then looked for a sympathetic and understanding gynecologist, who prescribed the medication for her to terminate the pregnancy. Amidst protests from her family elders, who also emotionally declared that it was Goddess Lakshmi she was getting rid of, she went ahead with a task that, I am sure, was emotionally tough but practically the best for her. Today, she and her husband have a brilliant, lovely and intelligent 3 year old; and they are very happy in their lives too. In both cases, I advised my friends differently, and they both did the exact opposite of my advice (like my husband always does too!), and are both extremely happy and wouldn’t think of having done things differently.

So the question really is — is abortion a bad thing or good? Doesn’t it really come down to what is good in the context of a family and the circumstances one is in?

Talking about motherhood is a very touchy topic. There are some, as per our Bollywood movies, who can get pregnant even if they as much as spelt ‘sex’ or got wet in rain! Information and medical knowledge is at our fingertips today. The result is that most women wanting to get pregnant end up over engineering the whole process, and killing themselves with guilt on their past lives, or their existing body states.

There is a constant debate on everything regarding parenthood: single kid vs.  double, medical intervention for pregnancy, adoption, surrogacy, and so on. Along with these comes the stigma attached to each of these ‘conditions’.  In the midst of this, abortion has often become a complex and almost insulting word to use.

Agreed life is not fair, nor is it equal. Why is life so? — is a topic for philosophical debate and can also creep into religion. But probably the best thing is to not judge people for what they do, and let them be. After all, only the wearer of the shoe knows where and how it pinches. Let them be the best judges of what is good for their lives….after all, not all lives are the same.

Read The One that Nearly Got Away for a different view on the topic.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lakshmi Ananthamurthy, almost 40, is the founder and CEO of Siya. She is the Jack-of-all-trades, master of none and has dabbled in Music, Travel, Reading, Sudoku while working in senior level corporate positions across the globe. She is the mother of two young children, who keep her active but not enough to help her lose her baby weight. She tries hard to not take herself too seriously, and is seriously working at it.

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