Monday, September 26, 2011

A daughter is a blessing too !!!!

Image source : arthit

                               A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart
                                                                                        ---- Author Unknown                                                                                                  
This sunday i.e the 25th of september 2011 was world daughter's day, as a daughter as well as the mother of a daughter, this day certainly is very special for me. It is the only formal occassion  to celebrate being a daughter or having one.
I am not one of those who think that daughters are better than sons or vice-versa. There's something unique and wonderful about all children, and god gives us children that we are supposed to and meant to have in our life, so be it a son or a daughter they bring a whole lotta joy into their parents lives .

It is no secret however that as far as Indian homes go, a clear preference exists and it is towards the male child.
Even today every new bride is blessed with two things, her husband's long life, and that she be able to bear a son. As though, her life and happiness depends on only those two outcomes.

 Like nearly every other married Indian girl, even I've been 'blessed' by many people those two things  'saubhagyavati bhava' and 'putravati bhava' (may your husband live long and may you have a son).
These blessings irk me to no end, to the point at which I don't even care to get them.  Also to be noted is that my husband has never been blessed with having a long-living wife in a similar way, what a nice dig in the ribs it is (for me)....

Another aspect that disappoints me in such 'blessings' is that often times the person liberally dishing out such 'good-wishes' is a woman.  Why do we women, devalue our own selves ? How can we expect others to value or treasure us, if we don't treasure ourselves ? Is it so unthinkable to bless someone with a daughter ? What would happen exactly, if one did have a daughter (as is more likely than having a boy) ?

I have noticed that this type of a mindset exists in even the most 'supposedly advanced' section of Indian society, i.e the educated and urban elite section. There is a growing trend in recent years of young urban couples to limit the number of children they have to just one, or in some cases to two. It is a very logical and sensible decision in many ways, India is facing a huge population problem already, and  raising a child in today's world certainly isn't cheap, so with lesser number of children, couples can provide a lot more comforts to the child, not to mention more personal attention. However, an interesting little detail I see is that most couples with a boy will say that they are done having babies and don't want anymore, but among those who have a girl as the first child, seem more likely to try for another baby, seldom have I met a couple who says one is enough when the one is a girl, that is not to say that there aren't any examples of such couples, but those are by far in a minority, atleast in the present time.

In today's times, how much does it matter if one has a son or a daughter ?? most sons (in the urban educated section of society) are not living with their parents, due to the trend of more and more nuclear families catching up or are living in a different city/country due to work requirements . Then even in case of aging parents, more and more girls seem to be taking responsibility for the ongoing care and other financial responsibilities, I have several examples of the same in my own family . So in terms of parental love, respect and care, there isn't much of a difference in a son and a daughter anymore, yet we seem to enamored by the concept of a 'son'.

On the other hand, I also don't subscribe to the flawed reasoning that seems to be getting popular with some people these days, especially women, that a daughter loves or cares for her parents more so than a son, so in that sense it is better to have a daughter than a son, there can be just as many good and loving sons as there are daughters, many a times other compulsions of life be it work related or any other can get in the way of children fulfilling their responsibilities towards the parents, and so some times the sons may not be able to  completely fulfill their responsibilities towards their parents, but the difference is that society highlights the cases where the sons aren't doing their part, and any case where the sons are holding up their end of the deal isn't considered praiseworthy, while since there isn't a similar requirement from the girls, hence any case where the girls are willingly stepping up to the plate are highlighted as girls caring more, but other cases where the girls may be doing nothing doesn't raise eyebrows.

In the end I'd say, like I said in the beginning of the post, whether a boy or a girl we have the child we are meant to have, so long as we do our job to raise them with good values, and the ability to think for themselves, we've done our job as parents. So instead of blessing women with a son, we can start by wishing them a healthy pregnancy, and happy motherhood, and whether it results in a boy or a girl, we bless her that it'll be just as much of a fulfilling experience . That might be a good starting point for changing our outlook towards the girl child .


  1. Nicely written dear, a daughter is a blessing. She brings warmth in the family but I have friends who have one son and still doesn't want a baby girl. This is so shameful...


  2. totally make me crazy when i hear a woman blessing someone to have a son...a mindset that we have to change fast, or else we as a country are doomed...esp states like Hariyana....

    great post.


  3. I guess we are already changing...but surely it is slow..and as you rightly said women are the ones propagating it more... a very well projected thought again Anjali :) :)

  4. Nice thoughts. A dad with a daughter here. :)

  5. Oh gosh. I don't know if anyone's ever said this to me. I would have probably looked at them funny if they had and I'd understood it. The part about the husband living a long time is nice - but like you said, this blessing should go both ways!

  6. "be it a son or a daughter they bring a whole lotta joy into their parents lives" Apt words.
    I second your thoughts Anjali.
    You have worded my thoughts. :)

  7. Blessings to have a son irks me too .Its about time that we focus more on raising good human being .An apt post for daughter's day.

  8. A debate starts in my head inspired by your post.

    I am one of those who really wants a daughter, I don't properly know why, I guess its my way of compensating or making a statement to those who crave sons - silly strategy I agree.

    Thanks for the interesting post.

  9. Nice post,
    When I was pregnant I was actually hoping for a girl :) DH also wanted a girl. But I had a few aquaintance asking casualy "What do you wish the baby would be" and I said immediately a girl, quite funny to see the awkward look on their face, they were expecting me to see a boy and had no reply to keep the conversation going should the answer be a baby girl.

    Then once my daughter was born I had a few, asking me if I was planning to have another one, I replied by the "I really don't know" peope seemed fine with it, exept my landlord's wife who said "You should, next baby should be a boy"...ugh! I told her that should we decide for a second child, we would want her to be a girl too. Which of course prompted a why would you want that question, I had a vicious little pleasure into saying "See we have all these girly outfits and toys, would be a shame not to use them a second time" :P
    Of course should we plan for a second child, whcih is still undecided, son or daughter I will be happy and over the moon just the same, but I just feel like irking people who ask questions expecting me to go by the textbook answer wanting a son and a son only, my little act of feminist rebellion :)

  10. I am yet to read the whole post, but,

    ///It is the only occassion to celebrate being a daughter or having one.I am not one of those who think that daughters are better than sons or vice-versa.///

    This sort of annoyed me!
    Not true, each and every day is to be enjoyed, lived and a woman be respected no matter what.

    now, if you let me read please :D

  11. Wonderfully written! I think this crazy patriarchal culture is so embedded in us that we don't realize when we say things that make no sense. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard people say, "Hope you have a son." WTH. Im not even pregnant yet and it irritates me. Like you said, a healthy pregnancy and a happy motherhood are the most important wishes we need.'


  12. ok! Hmm!!

    An open comment, pardon me if I sound rude.

    I usually tend to relate a post I read with my life, especially if it's about women. I am blessed in this respect. My dad and father in law both totally spoil me like a brat, my father in law bluntly admits, how he loves me the most, so much that it annoys my MIL too. And as far as gender is concerned, we are humans first. I give a darn about gender, be it anyone, friends, family.

    As far as blessings are concerned, these are age old traditions, I don't mind if someone blesses me saying, may your husband lives longer! I am all for it, he must live longer, as far as blessings for me are concerned, I have god by my side. I know totally illogical, irrational way to think, but that's how I take it.

    I somehow felt, the post could have been better and conveyed what was to be conveyed much convincingly. I think I lost the interest once I read the above mentioned statement. That marred the whole article for me.

    Apologies for a long comment, I usually do not do this, but I did want to convey what I felt.


  13. Oh yeah, about the son bit, :D I just grin and say, you must be kidding me. Long way to go. :D

    I have a thick skin when it comes to all gender thing :D

  14. @ Saru : Yes, it is shameful indeed that in 2011, we still have a preference for one gender, if everyone had a son, and no daughters how would the human race continue ??

    @ Sub : True words indeed...haryana already seems to be in deep sh*t, as far as gender ratio goes, hope they wake up and realize the ridiculousness of it....ughh

    @ Sunita : Yes it may be changing, but v--e--r--y s--l--o--w--l--y ....women must start valuing themselves...period....only then can we challenge the double standard...

    @ Nona : Thankyou....

    @ Cora : You're lucky if no one's ever said this to you...I don't want such 'blessings'...about the hubby's long life, you know, yes, we love our spouse, and ofcourse want him to live long, but calling me 'saubhagyavati' i.e fortunate to have a husband that lives long, and not have even any corresponding word for a husband with a long living wife, is a huge double standard... and I don't care for it...

    @ sahana : Thankyou dear...

    @ Kavita : Agreed !! thankyou...

    @ Prathm : I used to think that way, until I had my daughter, and then I realized, that the joy a mother feels with her child is completely independent of the gender of her child, she would enjoy it nonetheless, I have had some friends who wanted a daughter and had a son, but they still were over the moon with the new bundle of joy... :-)
    And, yes I completely get the making a statement part...not stupid, I used to think that too,....until I became a I'm just happy to be a mom, son daughter, it's all the same, a good, healthy, happy, child is what we should aim for...

    @ Cyn : haha...hilarious...

  15. @ Chintan : I think I should've said 'the only formal occassion' because you are right we can celebrate a daughter or having one everyday, as I infact do in life... and about the women being respected...that line is more from the point of view of a a mother's feelings towards her child...not about all women and men....
    I apologize if the post didn't convey what you expected, it was from my perspective after becoming a mom, and that of a daughter...
    About the blessing, like I replied to another commentator, it is not the blessing per se, but the lack of a similar even gesture towards the same to my husband for his wife, that gets my goat....

    @ Gayatri : Absolutely...I agree...thankyou...

  16. cheers :) not to apologize please :)

  17. "my husband has never been blessed with having a long-living wife in a similar way"....seriously, it is complete devaluation of women, as well as, that of an important half of a couple.

    People with a son and a daughter claim that they love them both exactly equally, and that might be true. But it is a fact that they don't value them equally, or else they would not have yearned for a son after they had a daughter.

    Now that there are no Kings and Queens that need to have a son to be the heir to the throne, some things ought to go obsolete.

    You have put up some reality here, that most would be hypocritical about. But it might at least spark some guilt into the minds of such people.

  18. A wonderful post for daughter's day. Being a daughter and a mother of a daughter, I am proud to say that this part of the country where I live, sons and daughters are regarded equal. They are taught and brought up with the same amount of love and care. My experience in the field of rescue, shelter and adoption, over a decade now, I have observed that couples prefer and adopt a girl child more than a male child.

  19. Wonderful post. I never imagined that someone could make an interesting story out of "sowbhagyawati bhava"

  20. @ tanvi : I agree completely, thankyou for the kind words...

    @ Ruprekha : Welcome to the blog ! and thanks for your thoughtful comment, yes some parts of our country are certainly better than others when it comes to treating the boy and girl child equally, but I'd like to see this happen all over. And yes, the adoption thing, I'm aware that people adopt girls over boys, that's partly because they think a girl is easier to handle , and then they also feel that as a girl an orphan will have a tougher time hence the preference there....not that there's anything wrong with that...I'd ideally like to see a world, where no preference exists, either boy or girl, but that's a utopian concept in the current situation.

    @ Mr Valady : Thankyou !

  21. Yes I am still living this truth. I was always blessed with "sowbhaagyavathi...../putravati bhava". Despite all the blessings i got two beautiful daughters. ;) the more the people said putravati bhava, i prayed god to give me a girl. I do not consider boy or girl babies better than the other. Both genders are complimentary to each other and none is better than the other. Just being physically strong does not make a man better than a woman. Unfortunately my DH follows the rich indian culture strictly and says that there is nothing wrong in wishing a male child. He thinks that anyone will wish for a female child if She is like kalpana chawla or sunita williams. What about male child; he can be a stupid also? The elderly women in my family are still very conservative; it suffocates.


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