Monday, April 23, 2007

Whose Gain, at What Cost ? - I

Sometime back, based on a real incident I had written about Suhani, about her happiness & anguish. If you have not yet read the story, please do now for continuity & better perspective of this post.

During my absence from blogosphere, I had to make several visits to hospitals, all for different reasons.. Suhani being one of them.

Almost for a whole day I had to be with her as no one from her family was available that day. The experience I had in those few hours was quite disturbing to me. Hospital visits always make me sick. Sometimes the simplest things which are taken for granted shatter us beyond words.

Well, Suhani was admitted in a private twin sharing room of gynaec department as no single room was available in such a short time.

When I reached there, the other bed in the room was getting ready to welcome a new patient. I came to know that the woman who had occupied that bed till then, had died a few hours back.

The reason ?

She was seven months pregnant with twins, unaware that one of the fetuses had died inside and the poison was spreading rapidly to endanger the life of the other one. When her condition became serious, she was brought to the hospital. I would call the whole affair as sheer negligence on everybody’s part.

It was her third delivery.. she already had two little sons.

I was wondering then why this third one needed and was told that her husband wanted a girl this time to ‘complete’ the family.

True, this time she was carrying a girl and a boy but at what cost ? She was a frail woman, third pregnancy with twins had made her extremely weak and anemic.

Moreover, when one of the fetuses died (unfortunately the girl), whole attention was diverted to save the other one which was still very small. In the process the woman bled heavily and lost her life on the operation table itself. I won't say the doctors were incompetent.

The newborn was kept in incubator and what an irony !! Now, all the three boys are motherless. Though I had not seen the woman, I could visualize her agony and trauma the way it was explained to me. She came, she wailed, she struggled and within hours she left.

Pause for a second and think about what has husband gained. Did that woman had any say ? How many times women succumb to husbands' demands ?

If this case was bad, I don’t know what to call the case of the next patient who had come to occupy that bed.

Current song- Jahan Ja Ke Chain Se Mar Saku – Mehndi Hasan

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Princess Banter said...

My word, how truly tragic! A close friend once told me that a man's greatest fear is to ask for a choice between his wife and his child -- especially in a life and death scenario. Children are gifts regardless of the gender. I never understood why some cultures (or sometimes some people) demand for a certain gender... does it even matter? If he/she comes from your own flesh and blood, does it really matter?

SiD said...

well what intrigued me was the husband's demand for a GIRL...
though he was Not At All correct in his burdening the poor wife with a 3rd child, the positive I can see out of this is that he wanted a girl - a change of mindset towards good - one can say..
Also, i cannot help imagining that if the lady had lived, given birth to the twins - what would be their life be then?? 4 children - virtually unheard in todays society!! That further proves the decision of both the parents wrong...
waiting for the next patient's Daastan!!

Bendtherulz said...

Very Sad - I suppose Homo sapien race is like that - we are never happy with our lot...if we have a boy , then we want a girl and if we have a girl then we want a boy. Or if we have this position then we want a better then this.....very sad...I mean if they already had 2 boys...may be they could have had ADOPTED a girl child...frankly if all the married couples would even try to adopt ( one child) without any gender bias...we would not see so many kids out on street & no woman have to go through that breeding torture which you mentioned....motherhood is celebration if 2 people are enjoying the entire 9 months + all the preparation...if looks like only one person is going through whole 9 yards and your partner is just waiting for the CANDY.
I can imagine your horrror in facing all that.
I think entire family LOST just not the husband!!
Tk care ~

Aditi said...

how very tragic.. and yet the husband lost a wife too.. i think its unfair to think that she didnt matter to him..
neglect i blame that on the lack of education maybe poverty who knows
but a shame nevertheless

tulipspeaks said...

i can visualise the trauma the woman could hv went through up to her death ...all from ur write up. and i can't help it but to feel the pain and agony myself, right here. :(


Mumbai Guy said...

Bad reality is that this selfish act is still very prevalent even today and even in rich educated families. Good thing is that hopefully with education, such incidents are not repeated.

This was going on since huindreds of generations. We living in todays world, in midst of better life, expect all bad things to change for better overnight. Fact is that is not a fast process and we have to stimulate this change by educating people around us. We should do our part.

I am saying this because, personally I have seen these beliefs and incidents happen around me and it is very difficult to change them. I have had many slaps but think I wont give up.

Keshi said...

some husbands value their dreams more than their wives.


Abhijeet said...


niki sato said...

soooo sad!! wat an aweful death!
she should have left her husband earlier.. :(

Ranjeet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ranjeet said...

Moreover, when one of the fetuses died (unfortunately the girl)"
In my view, it would have been equally unfortunate if the boy fetus had been lost. Ironic-yes, but unfortunate-no.
Also, we may be wrong to assume husband's wish as his demand. We also tend to see a woman as a classic weak partner in a marriage which need not be true in every case. It could very well have been a mutual decision prompted by husband's wish - However, whenever there is a danger to the mother, doctors always ask the relatives whose life is more important to be saved and I don't think that anyone would choose a fetus over mother. If her husband chose the child, then your assumption of the husband being demanding and wrong all along seems true.
Otherwise, doctors will never save a child at his mother's expense.

There are some loose ends in the story and so it may not be right to blame the husband / doctors / lady in question based on the presented facts.

But the story was sad and touching... A death always makes life seem so important!

Cuckoo said...

Welcome again. Yes, does it really matter ? But human nature is full of voracity, he always wants something more & more and in the process loses what he has.

Yes, if you want to see the positive side, then I agree with you.

what intrigued me was the husband's demand for a GIRL... Well, only the demand. Mindset changed only for the demand (I can attribute this to human nature of never ending greed to have everything on the platter)… how to fulfill that, they didn’t know. In my views, adoption of a baby girl would have been ideal. And of course, they hadn't expected this result.

I agree completely with you. How truly & beautifully you’ve said !

motherhood is celebration if 2 people are enjoying the entire 9 months + all the preparation... Ditto !! Spot on !

may be they could have had ADOPTED a girl child... Exactly same viewss we all had but you know in our society people still think of ‘apna khoon’ and all. Long way to go.

Cuckoo said...

i think its unfair to think that she didnt matter to him.. on the lack of education maybe poverty who knows.. No, they were educated, from well to do small business family.. it’s just that human nature always asks for more & more and doesn’t realize the consequences.

Yeah, it was too painful even to describe. Why do you think I took time to write on this ? Though I have tried to make it as simple & short as I could, I was not mentally prepared to write. Sometimes we just don’t want to talk about some of the things.

Yes, completely agree with you.

Education doesn't mean taking a degree only. Mindset changes should happen with the practical solutions as well. They were from well to do educated family as well.

Thanks for your views.

Cuckoo said...

some husbands value their dreams more than their wives… Yup, some husbands.


she should have left her husband earlier.. Can’t say that. The husband was shattered by that sudden outcome.

Well, I agree that the boy’s death would have been equally unfortunate. I said so because when the parents were told that the girl had died, they were quite repentant of their decision.

we may be wrong to assume husband's wish as his demand… I understand as a male how you feel about it but given the circumstances when the patient was asked about the reason for third child, she had said so.. maybe in anger/frustration/anguish or an emotional outburst when she knew she too was sinking.. but primarily it was husband’s decision. I agree, later on it would have become a joint one.. not sure though.

Please don’t put yourself in an educated urban person’s shoes.., in our country many decisions are still taken by the dominant males & their wives just have to carry/obey them.

I don't think that anyone would choose a fetus over mother… I agree. No sensible person would do that. I don’t think even the husband had done that. He was shocked beyond words & blaming himself for bringing this sad day in his life. It was all sudden. I think the doctors would have felt they could save both.
Anyhow, it was a tragic & unfortunate one. No one to be blamed in particular except for the decision itself. That's what I can say.

Ranjeet said...

Cuckoo, while I agree with most of what you have said, my point was that let's not pass judgement on a situation and people not involving us. Also, the decision to have a third child is not such a bad decision unless the mother was already sick enough to unable to bear a third child. If a couple is financially stable, healthy and in love, they can have a third child as it is entirely their own personal decision.
But put this in perspective of typical Indian rural life and you sound right.

Cuckoo said...

Ha.. Did I sound like passing the judgement ? It was only a viewpoint of an incident. I have not named anybody.
And I absolutely agree about that personal decision thing.

Sigma said...

This is so very tragic. I am at a complete loss of words here ...

Pyare Mohan said...

Tragic, it is. But how come any of us knew that it was not within the wishes of the woman too?

Cuckoo, I do think there is an element of prejudice. It is their (couples) world, their decisions and their repercussions. We only have the liberty to make or take opinions. It is sad that such things happened. But the woman HAD a choice, of saying - NO.

Ash said...

OMG, that really tragic.
The husbnads's preference for a girl child surprises me though!

Maverick said...

May be the women also wanted to have a girl, may be she didnt just succumb to her husband's wishes, she really wanted one. i dont justify her death, neither do i justify having four kids,esp. a third pregnancy after two.but its jus tht i dont understand if u've really got reasons to believe tht the woman succumbed to her husband or is it jus a presumption.

Cuckoo said...

Yes, it is.

Well, I am not passing any judgement here. As you said & I rightly agree that the decision taken was purely theirs but I can’t comment on whether she had a choice or not. I have not even seen her. It was based only on the statements what she made to others.
Anyway, how can you be so sure that she HAD ?

I was not surprised by the husband’s preference… especially after having two sons.

Well, I am neither passing any judgements here nor am I authorized to do so.
It was just my viewpoint or presumption based on what I heard about her and her reasons.

Pyare Mohan said...


Cuckoo said...

I beg to differ here.
Perhaps I'll write something on it when I have time.

alpine path said...

Very sad indeed! And, we talk of equal rights for women. First, we should treat them as fellow humans. It is time men stop putting their demands on women and time that women stop acting as doormats for men and try to think sensibly, both for themselves and others.