By Mushtaq Hurra
Mehmood and Azra were about to board a cab for the city when the former’s mother called him angrily, “ Mehmood, don’t come back without getting the job done”. The command shot a bullet in his bosom. Mehmood’s legs got paralyzed but he managed to drag his feet into the cab in which Azra was already seated. Azra’s melancholic face was enough to narrate her ordeal. The driver started the vehicle and left for the city.
The couple didn’t talk during the journey; their haplessness was vividly evident in their eyes. The couple was in such a terrible state as if they were being taken to a jail. Their looks were witness to the fact that something was terribly wrong. Seated , Azra went into a reverie.
Mehmood and Azra had been married some twelve years ago. They were very happy and people were jealous of their bonding and love for each other. Azra was the apple of every eye in the family of her in-laws. Life was all beautiful and smooth for them. Then, one day, she asked Mehmood to take her to the nearest hospital as she was feeling nauseous. The doctor, at once, advised them to go for a gravindax test( fortunately the test was positive).The couple’s joy and happiness knew no bounds. They bought sweets and fruits for the whole family. There was a festive atmosphere in the family. Azra was pampered by her in-laws particularly by her mother-in-law. They were all feeling on top of the world as if Allah had been kind enough on them.
Azra’s pregnancy was now in its fifth month. Now, the couple was advised by the doctor to get an ultrasonography done. “ I will take you to the modern sonography centre, tomorrow. Take adequate fluids and don’t forget to take this medicine “, Mehmood said to Azra very lovingly. His mother over-heard them, and instantly decided to accompany both the next day. “ Mehmood, Don’t forget to take me with you, tomorrow “, his mother asked him audaciously.
Next morning, the trio left for the USG centre and almost after two hours of wait, Azra was called in to have the USG done. Azra’s mother-in-law entered the room with her. Mehmood was waiting in the corridor of the centre. After some ten minutes, Mehmood’s mother came out of the room with a frowned look on her face. “Mother ( Moujee) you are looking upset, is everything alright “, asked Mehmood. She didn’t reply and left for home.
“Get this fetus aborted, I don’t need a daughter. I wish to become the grandmother of a grandson; not of a grand-daughter .If you will not do it then I will set ablaze your wife “, said Mehmood’s mother very obstinately. He tried a lot but could not persuade his mother. Thus, Mehmood was forced to abort his first child.
The cab stopped and the driver asked the passengers to get off. Now, Mehmood and Azra were outside the maternity centre. The couple boarded off the cab with heavy feet. Azra didn’t want to lose her fetus at any cost; she tried hard to persuade her husband but to no avail. Her mother-in-law was hell bent to kill the female fetus and had categorically asked them to abort the second child as well .
Papa: the melodious voice soothed his ears and Mehmood stopped for a while, looked back into the busy corridor of the hospital but found people so busy, making their way out by pushing others to the wall and this scenario assured him that it wasn’t his niece who used to call him Papa as he was still childless although he had celebrated his twelfth marriage anniversary recently. Mehmood resumed his steps when the same voice interrupted his way again, “Papa, don’t buy this surgi-care, scissors and abortive pills. I am afraid of this clinic and these doctors. I can see you and Mom. Both of you are good looking and loving. The world around you is very beautiful. I want to live. I want to be your friend and companion. I promise to be very obedient and intelligent. Don’t kill me ,Papa”.
Mehmood’s feet froze. His wife was lying on a bed waiting for some surgi-care and drugs to abort the fetus. Mehmood was near the drug store, caught in a difficult state of mind where his decision making ability had almost ceased but he marched towards the store and asked the store keeper very confidently, “Can I get a pack of diapers?”
The writer is a teacher and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org