Manjula was hanging out at her friend the tailors. It’s become quite a place for women to gather, to pass the time of day and chat!
A customer four months pregnant was wishing for a girl. She already had a three year old boy but now wanted a girl. It created a big conversation of the relative merits of boys and girls.
“my husband is no good, my husband’s brother is no good” (drinking every day, not bringing money home, lady is therefore having to work) “so I don’t want a boy”, said the pregnant lady.
the lady tailor says boys are good, come back home no problem if girl comes home late big problem, with ‘monthly’ starting things start to get expensive, clothes, gold needed for the marriage
Manjula says girl is good, looking after Mummy and Daddy if there is any problem, boys don’t care, some boys are good. Some boys are bad. Our next door neighbours son, maybe unusually, has a disabled mother and he is still unmarried carries her around and generally looks after her.
Manjula reckons that girls are like our dog Lucy, she didn’t mean that in a pejorative term. Lucy is sort of allowed out to do what she wants but must back in by a certain time!
Saris are in!
The tailors seem to be a bit of a hangout. Another customer gifted a Sari for, the Ganpati festival has brought it to leave at the tailors to sell. It’s yellow with red border. Another of the gathering asks Manjula … Why doesn’t she buy it, her friend and our cleaner Kamlama interjects, “Manjula has over 50 sarees and doesn’t need or like it, Manjula has good taste and you should go with her when you go shopping for sarees.” 🙂
Manjula’s attitude is if you don’t like it, give it to someone else in you family such as your daughter, the woman says no, I want and need the money
that conversation was a couple of weeks ago
Just this week we learned that the pregnant lady’s husband has died of jaundice.
The husband’s family where she lives will now look after her and her children.
things will however be very hard
Death is of course a regular occurrence but happens for what seems to be avoidable reasons. Jaundice does seem to figure a lot, maybe it’s the alcohol.
This does however show how difficult things can be. Families have to pull together and deal with the situations that arise with limited if any help from the State.
please note: all photos are posed by models
traditionally a boy is seen as more desirable for a whole host of reasons, it leads to abortion and even infanticide and in some areas there is a massive imbalance between the sexes. For this reason that it’s actually illegal for a doctor to reveal the gender of a foetus after a scan. It’s led to some doctors winking a lot.