Thursday, December 15, 2011

The giving tree

We live in a modern world. Our days and nights are filled with advanced technologies and the latest of gadgets. In this fast, techno world, we barely have time- for ourselves or for others. A guest is either taken out for a meal, or the food is ordered. At times, we do not even care to take that kind of efforts and put a handful of snacks, in front of them - at a meal time! Of course, we expect them to understand that we have a very busy schedule and that they should be thankful enough that we are sparing some time and a little bit of our pantry for them.

In this sky-rocketing priced world, we do not have enough money to help a needy charity/organization. Of course, we cannot even think of giving away goods like toys/books/stationary to some needy kids though we do not think twice before stocking them up for our children who, most probably, already have plenty of them! We can waste away thousands in lavish parties, but cannot spare even a twenty to feed one hungry stomach who cannot buy food. Needless, to say, we would rather throw the expired cans from our refrigerator but could not have given them away to a food bank. And, who has time to stop and think that, because we let that food rot away, we did not need it in the first place!

To sum up, we are letting our SPIRIT of GIVING die! And what a brutal way of killing it!!

Aamir and his wife recently had a baby, thanks to the marvels of the modern science. That they didn't go for an adoption ,albeit disappointing, is quite understandable as they would have wanted to continue their own genes and bloodline forward. Surrogacy, in itself, is quite a turbulent and immensely difficult decision in itself. And a couple, who has already gone through innumerable medical treatments and uncountable emotional turbulence, knows the next-best option that they want to choose. Hence, I respect their decision. Our erstwhile Bollywood has tackled the delicate concept of surrogacy, beautifully, in movies like 'filhaal and Life Express and many more. The lovable 'Phoebe' carries her half-brother's and his wife's multiples in Friend's season four. Another interesting factor is though new to the 21st century, the notion is not very new itself. In Mahabharat, Balram, son of Devaki and Vasudev, is born to Rohini who had miraculously taken him from Devaki's womb to her own womb. Since we are talking about Mahabharat, let's also talk about foster parenting and/or adoption, as Balram's younger brother, Krishna, though born to Devaki and Vasudev, was raised by the Yadavas(Nanda and Yashoda) and hence, came to be known as nandlal/yashodanandan.

Coincidentally, a few weeks ago, when the Aamir-Kiran baby hadn't created waves in the mediaI was talking to my dad (over the phone, of course) and in general, updating him about our lives and those of some of my friends whom he know. And, in the process, told him about this very sweet couple, who have been trying for a child and unfortunately, even after years of marriage and numerous treatments/IVF's etc. haven't been blessed. On this, my dad narrated an incident back in 70's when a neighbour(not relative and not neighbours from ages) had given their second-born to a couple, who did not have any child of their own. Just like that. No hesitations, just a simple, pure, thoughtful act. Being in transferrable job, They had parted ways after a couple of years. Whether or not they always remained in touch, dad is not aware of that. But, he told that such gestures were very genuine and done without hesitation those days. Wasn't this the most precious gift to that couple? I believe, they would have gone on to raise the baby as their own, fussed over her milestones, worried over her sicknesses, educated her, married her off and then again made a huge noise over the grandchild(ren). (And Yes, you can trust me picturising a whole movie out of a small line! That's me!!) This led me to some thinking and lots of soul-searching within myself.

I asked myself, if I can muster enough courage to offer my offspring to a couple, who would bless me their entire lives? Will I ever be able to be that 'giving tree' who, with her entire heart, be that 'source of joy' to them? Would I be willing to offer my seed, my uterus, the fruit of my womb to somebody? Surprisingly, the answer came as a 'no'. With the second difficult pregnancy, where I had developed, vericose veins condition, looking after one very easy-to-handle toddler had become a strenuous task for me. And, the aftermath, of the PND, phew! not to go into details, let's just say, I had seen the darkness. I just fear to go through all that again. The first question that comes to my mind is, who will look after my two kids, if, in case, any complications arise. I don't think I will be able to do it even for my own family. I felt very very selfish with that thought and felt, in today's world, we miss that feeling of living as a community as a family and have become very very individualistic. It has to be an act of selflessness to the highest degree. And following it, also came the question, even if I did, would it be acceptable to the would-be parents? I pictured myself, saying, " We, Me and my husband, are done having kids for ourselves, but would would go ahead and try once again for you. Our next child is going to be yours. He will know your lap as the mom's lap, your hand as the dad's hand." Would they doubt my spirit? Would my bonding with the child ever be gone? will my heart still ache for the child? Nine months is a long time, after all! Promising somebody such a blessing is one thing, and actually carrying it, dutifully, through the end is another. I will have to forego all attachments. If I go ahead and give the child in their arms, later on, Will they find me as an interference, a nuisance? Or the child will enjoy the love and warmth of two sets of parents and all will be peaceful? I put myself in their shoes, and tried to find an answer. Most Shockingly, even to this question the answer came as a 'no'. It won't be accepted, by the receiver as well. Probably, I might be wrong in this answer as I have not been there. I cannot understand, fully, their thought process.

What do you think? Can you see yourself as that giving tree?Or Will you be able to take the fruit from such a giving tree?

In case, you are wondering
The picture above is of the tree in our frontyard(old home) and was taken in spring.
A tree bears all the fruits, nurtures it, and when ripe, gives it away. Hence, the title for this post.

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