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Sunday, July 3, 2022
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Give space to personal choice

"Nadia is one of so many women who have to pass through insensitive and cruel comments of their family members, close relatives, distant relatives, neighbors next-door and the neighbours living down the lane, colleagues, and acquaintances"

If Nadia Afgan does not want to have children by choice, let her live and respect her decision. Instead, the ace actress faces a storm of questions, laced with criticism, for her decision to live without kids.

Personal choice is one of many things in our part of the world which people do not and cannot tolerate. I have come across many people abroad who are single by choice. They are single despite having met several compatible potential partners in the past, and still they have many as friends, but they want to live their own life. Similarly, such chanced encounters are available abroad where certain couples have decided not to conceive a child.

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Why are such instances not seen in our part of the country? It is OK to ask a friend if they are married or not.  But grilling them for not having married or having no kid is a breach of privacy.

The issue of personal choice hit my mind when I went through the media reports of “controversy” surrounding Nadia Afgan’s comment which she gave to a TV talk show host that “You guys are so brave that you have children, I can’t hold my breath”.

This stirred a storm, a storm of criticism towards Nadia Afgan. The most painful thing is that most of the warriors are women, who have unleashed a war on “anti-kids” Nadia Afgan. So sad.

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But this comment gives the incomplete picture of the whole story.

After days of a (social) media trial, Nadia deemed it necessary to issue a detailed explanation on her Instagram explaining her present decision and painful experiences regarding the birth of her children.

She shares the untold story of her painful journey in the post:

“The irony is that these (commentators) are women, their hurtful comments, cruel opinions, strong messages and lack of sympathy, which made me change my mind and talk about it in public,” she wrote. “Judy and I have been married for 15 years,” said Nadia Afghan. We both like children, we wanted to have one, but God’s plan was different.”

Judy is her husband.

Nadia Afgan had a dream to give birth and raise her children. “I have had two miscarriages,” she said.

She tried three IUIs (treatment of infertility) but failed. Every experience of losing children before their birth left her broken and depressed.

“We were ready for IVF but I couldn’t do it just because I can’t stand the pain of just one line on a pregnancy test after another emotionally and physically debilitating procedure,” she said.

Nadia is one of so many women who have to pass through insensitive and cruel comments of their family members, close relatives, distant relatives, neighbors next-door and the neighbours living down the lane, colleagues, and acquaintances.

This is the peer and societal pressure on women, and every newly wed couple to conceive a child at the earliest.

It is safe to say that after the third month of marriage, if not the first, parents of both the woman and the man start asking them about any “khushkhabri” or good news. And if the couple is vigilant enough to deliver the much-needed “khushkhabri”, the next question is about the gender of the “khushkhabri”.

Living happy is a personal choice, and happiness comes from our decisions, if we are allowed to do so.

Happiness is a choice, and to some extent, it is dependent on circumstances.

How to be happy when the situation is difficult, and you are down and out?

Well, I would say that when all of us learn to live and let others live, our society would reach the ultimate point of happiness.

This absence of real happiness makes us feel happy when gossiping about other people’s private matters – marriage, kids, appearance, income, social status, and so on.

So sad!

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