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Pregnancy by Choice

  • Shortly after the brief honeymoon in Shimla, the love birds, Anu, 18, and GauravChaudhuri, 22, were no longer ecstatic. For, following a visit to the lady doctor for Anu’s early morning sickness coupled with nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite, she had turned out to be, as Dr. SushmaBhardwaj put it, “in the family way”. Pregnant at just 18 and yet to complete her degree in Arts! And hell, her hubby was no better; he had barely made a beginning in his career. Were they really ready for responsible parenthood? “Of course, not,” they answered almost simultaneously.
  • Our next-door neighbour, Mrs. Raina, while busy bringing up a cute six-month-old daughter, has conceived again. To quote her husband Mr. VipinRaina: “The very thought of another child all too soon gives me the creeps.” Adds Mrs. Raina: “With our meagre income, I wonder how we shall be able to do justice to two children…. And imagine the increasing stress and strain on my own body.”
  • The Singhs, a happy-go-lucky couple, are rather gloomy because though they were keen to postpone the arrival of a child for a couple of years, Meena Singh has become pregnant. “Our economic condition and the stress of the jobs do not permit us this luxury at present,” they say.
  • The other day, I ran into this young couple, the Pathaks. What surprised me was that, despite four children surrounding them, the wife was in fairly an advanced stage of pregnancy. To my indirect query, the husband replied: “Well, well, this is all God’s will.” Nevertheless, they were unhappy that they would have to cope with so many children.

The million dollar question is: Who’s responsible for the unhappiness of the Chaudhuris, Rainas, Singhs and the Pathaks? You’ll agree with me that no one else but the couples themselves. They should have used one or the other of the birth control measures, the subject matter of this chapter.

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