1. My mother casually tells me “When you get married, have a child and start a family, you’ll understand how hard and excruciating it is to be a mother” I want to reply “Amma, I know, I know I can never be a mother, not as good as you for certain because motherhood is not for me. That’s Hogwarts and I am a muggle. Why is family considered to be the case only when I have to get married and give birth? Why does my uterus need to be labelled as a symbol of honour and dignity when I possess them in my heart? Why aren’t you, my friends, my colleagues, considered family? Why have a start and end point to family? Why define it? Why can’t I choose how and what I want my family to be? Could you for once treat my body organ as an organ and not some temple that would cradle an entire lineage?” But all I could reply was a “No, never” because reasons misunderstood are reasons misinterpreted are reasons misused.
  2. My brother is very eager to get married and he wants to raise a child. He has a very regressive view of society according to me: transphobic, homophobic, misogynistic, and I’m already concerned for the child who’s unborn, unnamed and unfettered by society. I want to scream and yell this to the heavens above and hells below, especially into his ears: don’t ever project your issues onto a child, especially when you do not resolve them, don’t raise a child with preconceived notions of how this world should be and function. I don’t know how that child will grow up to be, what values he will imbibe but I just hope the child and him learn, unlearn and relearn.
  3. I’m ace and I’m pro-choice and I’m not ashamed of it. I’ve had a man who said I’m definitely not ace and I’ve an aunt who asserted that I will “settle down” and it got me wondering if their presumptuous assumptions of me are in fact what define me. Wait! No! Never! I will never internalise their projections and I’ll never let anyone tell me who I must be because who I must be must be who I want to be. Being ace does not mean being frigid. Being ace doesn’t mean misandry. Being ace does not mean shunning motherhood. Being ace shouldn’t need to conform to your perceptions – Google it and do your own reading. For me, having no child doesn’t make one less of a woman. Having a child is never an end to one’s dreams and aspirations. Your child is a part of your world, not your entire world.
  4. I keep looking at my dad’s stilled photo, frozen in an uptight smile and I remember I’ll always be thankful to him for supporting my choices. I asked him if he was okay with me not getting married and having a kid and he was like “Whatever your choice is, I’ll support it.”
  5. Speaking of choice, it’s not something given, it’s never something acquired, choice exists within us in every step of our lives. I hope all of us use our right to choose and choose well. Choose to write, choose to draw, choose to paint, choose to follow our wildest dreams, choose to share our stories, choose to have or to not have a kid. And always always always choose yourself.

Vidya is a 21 year old literature student and a poet in the quest for verses that complete her and build her a canopy of words under which people can find comfort and solace.

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