The words of the Principal of the orphanage were still reverberating in the hall “Education is the only way by which one can change his state of mind as well as his way of life . It is the torch which lights up your mind showing you the right path of your life.” Being an orphan,Shalini knew what those words exactly mean,she must work hard to be the captain of her own ship called life. ”I will try my best” she promised to herself ” and one day the world would be mine.”
Shalini was not a very brilliant student but she had the tenacity and urge to give her best . She managed a first class in her school leaving exam and opted for a nursing degree .After passing the degree course with flying colours she started working in a reputed private hospital and due to her expertise in the field soon became an inevitable part of it. Everybody loved her,her patients,her colleagues ,doctors and one special one….Dr. Rohan.. Shalini always dreamt of a family…a father,a loving mother and a dear husband . But she knew her limitations..she was an orphan with no family pride or lineage ,how would a reputed family accept her ? She tried for some time to make Dr. Rohan understand her social predicament but in vain. He was madly in love with her.” Without you in my arms , I’ve no existence,I feel lost” said he and then things were happening fast! Rohan gave a prior notice to the marriage registrar and one fine morning they got married.
Shalini had no idea of a family.She never had got that fatherly care or motherly love.She was over excited and simultaneously a feeling of trepidation overcast her mind. Rohan’s parents ,both of whom were doctors, were out of the town at the time of their marriage.When they came back and got the news,they behaved in a strange manner. They neither approved nor disapproved the wedlock but maintained a dour relationship with Shalini. She tried her best to break the ice but experienced the coldest behaviour in return..especially from her mother-in-law,who kept on saying how she hated those parents who gave birth to unwanted children ! “They must be someone from the lowest social strata !What a shame that I have to bear and rear one in my own family ” she openly said one day. Shalini was stunned . She wept for long..she wept for her forlorn state..for her unseen mother. She knew that whatever her activities might be,her situation,her past,her life would never change. It would always bear the scar..that she was an orphan.Her only happiness was that Rohan never said anything to her but , at the same time, he never uttered a word of protest against her mother.
One day,as Shalini was returning from the hospital she felt a strange pain in her lower abdomen. As an experienced nurse she doubted that she might be pregnant. The very next day it was confirmed after a simple test. Shalini was in the seventh heaven! It was a happiness , an ecstasy which one couldn’t express in words ! “Motherhood is such a bliss,so sublime ,so joyous ! oh God ! thank you ” Shalini said to herself . She couldn’t wait to give the good news to Rohan and his parents .She forgot all about her insults . That evening she returned home early and was waiting for others. As soon as her mother-in-law returned from her chamber she showed her the report . For the first time in 10 months she seemed to have showing some interest in her. ” How many weeks?” she demanded ..”six or seven ..I guess” said Shalini. ” You guess? and they said that you’re a certified nurse !! huh ! ” “Whatever, you must go with me for some more examinations tomorrow ..Dr Kohli is the best in town ” she went off to her room without any more words.Somehow,Shalini was feeling happy..finally her mother-in-law is showing some ‘care’ for her. When Dr.Rohan returned lately, he congratulated her and after dinner both of them were planning about their child. ” We’ll make him a doctor too” said Rohan..”why he? it could be she ..how do you know ?” giggled Shalini. ” I know” said Rohan sternly “its in our blood ,its our tradition ..the first child should be a son ” Shalini was taken aback by the strangeness of his voice. Still to lighten the mood she said ,” Com’on Rohan ..grow up..you’re a doctor, no one knows better than you about this XX, XY game..its not in our hands “. “Stop it Shalini !! what I said ..I said ..now let me sleep ..I’m damn tired”. Feeling exasperated ,Shalini didn’t utter any more word.
Next morning,her mother-in-law escorted her to Dr.Kohli’s chamber. He was a very reputed doctor in his field and was well known to the family. He congratulated Shalini and took her inside for some regular tests and an ultrasound scan. She was feeling a bit dizzy after all was finished and wanted to go home. Dr.Kohli said that the reports would be available by the evening. Her mother-in-law dropped her at home and left for her chamber. All the afternoon Shalini was dreaming of her baby . She felt asleep until someone called by her name. She hastily woke up to see it was already 7 o’clock in the evening ,her mother-in-law is standing in front of her with a bunch of reports in her hand accompanied by Rohan and his father. ” What happened ?” she inquired “is there anything wrong? “. Her voice trembled as she said. ” Everything is wrong !!! the fetus in your abdomen is a female ! you can’t give birth to her. you’ve to abort the child ” Rohan’s mother was shouting. ” But..but..how can you do this ? isn’t a prior sex determination illegal ? “… Shalini was trying to fight back. ” Stop all this nonsense” hissed Rohan”and do what we’re saying”. ” If you want to remain a part of our family,you must abort this unwanted child” added Rohan’s father.
Shalini felt a sudden surge of anger. Her child was not unwanted. It was her daughter ..her blood..whom she must protect. She must not succumb to these sub-humans. She was feeling determined and this time ,she raised the bar..! ” I don’t want to be a part of this family anymore ..who are not educated enough to accept the truth and gift of Nature. I’m leaving this house and I’ll soon send the legal notice for divorce”. Within a few minutes she gathered herself and packed a few essential things in a suitcase and as she crossed the threshold the three human forms stood there..watching her..flabbergasted.
Shalini was about to begin her own journey of life. She knew she was not only fighting for herself and her unborn daughter, she was fighting for millions of unborn girl child who are killed every year..just because they lack the Y factor . “But I’ll protect you my darling” she whispered ,” I promise”.