Thursday, April 28, 2011

The big question of GOOD NEWS!

Last year, I had read an article in TOI – may be a Sunday glossy edition; how having a baby is a matter of public discussion in India. It was like someone wrote my words in the paper. The author discussed the age old topic of having a baby right after your marriage; relatives & neighbors & pretty much anyone is allowed to invade our privacy by asking, “So when is the good news? When are you having a baby?” The author correctly said that it is incorrect to discuss my personal bedroom information out in public. And really what is the rush to make a baby right after you marry. It must have been the case in previous generations where women stayed at home, cost of living was affordable, not all the kids born will study etc..Today our generation is so much different even from that of our parent’s! As a matter of fact I see vast level of difference in thinking and ambitions even with the generation of my cousins who are just 2-5 years younger than me.
Today, there are number of factors that we might have to consider before having a baby. The cost of living in the big cities has sky-rocketed. Needs like a house, a car have become a must and they are really expensive too. Education in India has become so expensive with private schools charging a huge sum of money starting from kinder garden. In these times, when I have a baby I want to be sure I have enough money to raise it in a descent safe environment with good quality food, clothes and school. All these factors were not such a big deal in the past. Even the number of kids is important. I believe to have one kid and provide it all the facilities than have 3 or more and then run out of money, patience and end up frustrated with the situation. Moreover, being an Indian I think we have to do something about the population control, right? It is our kids who will have to face the competition of large number of kids at their times. When our parents studied they probably had 15-20 students per class, my times we used to be from 60-90 per class. Imagine what it will be in 2025! Either we pay lakhs of rupees to make sure our kid is in a school with less number of students per class or go to regular cheaper affordable schools with 100 students per class, where the teacher barely knows 20 names in her class. Let alone be personal attention!
Beyond this, there is personal interest too. Our generation is much more ambitious than our parents with respect to career and education. Forget 10th or 12th grades, even the Masters Degree has become too common now. I have friends doing PhD! Friends trying for better jobs, better locations, better companies, better salaries, better life! Remember the old hindi movie dialogues “Ladka padha likha hai, sarkari naukri hai etc etc”. (The eligible groom is educated and has a Govt. job). How many of our generation actually look forward to Govt. jobs in India?
I do face the ‘good news’ question once in a while; but not as much as I had imagined when I moved to India. When you stay away, the question is not on your mind. But the mere thought of moving to India, makes us think of answers to the social question of, “Any good news?” I have to mention that I have very broad-minded in-laws and parents to support us in letting us decide our lives. It is a very big factor in India, where parents dominate in decision making even after your marriage! I think the trends are changing and we do see more career-oriented couples these days. Basically there are many more levels to consider in our generation. Again I know the ‘you don’t have to put so much thinking blah blah’ kinda comments people would make. I think it’s quite ok to think, plan and move ahead. Being Indians we all HAVE to have a child, there is no escape from the society and relatives etc. But what is wrong, if we think ahead of time for a better future of our child?


  1. “Ladka padha likha hai, sarkari naukri hai etc etc” hehehe... loved this line... truly a classic...

    good to know you have such supportive in-laws :-)

  2. The points you made here makes sense, but I would like ppl to think from a different angle as well.
    "Age Factor" - Couple should consider this while planning for a baby. In the sense that they should plan in such a way that they have their baby become independent (apne pairo mein khada ho) before they themselve become dependent (bhudapa)!

    With reference to one baby, having a sibling will be an advantage for the child as he/she will have someone to share and consult with when parents are no longer around!

    These are again a debatable points which one may think like Bhai ne Bhai ko maara, Dono ka aapas mein nahi jamta etc but these are not something we should assume while planning!


  3. Agreed. Very true. These factors are more cultural as per my understanding. "Pairo pe khada ho" factor is quite specific to Indian culture where children, actually adults stay with their parents, at the cost of their parents till late age like 25 & more. Like I mentioned becoming independent has got more levels now, adding more time.

    The sibling factor is always good, but I mentioned a more mature point in regard to my country's population which is going to affect the coming generations. Like simple example - 10 vacancies to a job & hundreds applying. What are the chances for your children to get a job? This would apply for everything from job, to food, housing everything. So again the chain of "Pairo pe khada ho" comes in picture! Your child will takes years to get a descent job. Its an endless cycle.

    You want your children to learn sharing, there are many more ways. A much social way to suggest, adopt a child. You will do good in so many ways. Raise an orphan & provide it all that it deserved like any other child. And both learn to share & live in harmony. How is that? Think about it.

    Our new generation has more to deal with than the older. If we think a bit more maturely we can help our children in future, as simple as that.

  4. Hmm ... Yes, I had actually mentioned these points keeping the Indian culture (which I believe is one of the best cultures) in mind. As far as population is concerned, well it will come down with following generation. Our grandparents on an average had 4 to 5 children’s which now has come down (refer with respect to population by age group. There are many other factors resulting to growth in population in India which includes illegal immigrants. When it comes to education, there are quota system which makes a child deprive of the deserved education. These factors should not be reasons for not having a sibling! Adoption is good thought and I have seen many couples opting this and as per your thoughts couple adopting 2 babies should take care of yours as well as my thoughts :) But again this should not be a reason for not thinking of having their own babies!
    This is a never ending debate. I am still of the opinion of having 2 children (instead of 1), may that be own or adopted! Maturity has its own angles, you think in one and I think in another.

  5. Again, agreed. I appreciate your comments but I am not stating a hard and fast rule of having no children or no siblings. Its a situational topic. My concern was the fact that it is made a public issue which I dont agree to be discussed without my own interest. As you see, the title says "Big Q of good news" which I dont think should a public topic of discussion! Having children and how many is a couple's decision! That's all I wanted to say.

    Coming to your link you mentioned above - It is recorded last in 2001. That is 10 years ago!!! I can't trust those numbers and also positively believe that somehow the population is going to come down. And well, its truly not coming down - And moreover the numbers the census actually shows is not exact. They again have so many factors for hiding.

    There are tons of factors that lead to over population in India. In my opinion Education is the key to reduce population. I am not sure if you live here in India, but when I walk on the streets, I can feel the pressure of the huge crowd and I do think ...we are so many, we all have dreams and goals. How many of us will be 'lucky' enough to achieve them through our hard work. Its not an unlimited world out there!