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My Unborn- A Letter


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My unborn child,

I know, even as you grow bigger and bigger inside  me, that one day you will be bigger than me. A bigger person in front of a shrivelled old woman bent under the load of years of realizations, heartbreaks, heartburns, sagging skin and snowed hair that were once ebony. You will be everything and nothing I have ever dreamt of, all at once. But I will love you.

I will love you with every single cell of my body. As your own cells multiply and the atoms within you become more and more crowded, the grey cells of my head will become less and less competent in knowing the best ways to take care of you. From your first ear-splitting cry in my arms to your nappy days, your first crawl, your first school day, your ever-changing demands and screams for attention, your always morphing ambitions, your flitting desires, your longings for love and the vacancy in your heart, your need to prove yourself in a competitive world, I’ll watch all of it, trying to cover my eyes every time you falter and hoping I could be a shield between you and the rest of the universe.

As I think of you tonight, getting ready to leave me bit by bit, I know that one day it won’t just be the physical leaving but the mental and spiritual too. It will haunt me. But I have seen birds leave their nests and fly into the unknown dawn and I know you will too. I have seen chicks fall out of their nests and never wake up again. It scares me. No. It terrifies me.

You see, I’ve known for all these years, much before you became a reality that this world is the cruelest, most unforgiving place imaginable. I will leave you to form your own opinions of it (as I indeed, must) and try not to force my own down your throat. I will try to be the perfect mother. But all these years of knowing what my own vulnerabilities are makes me feel that the first person you must be protected from in this world is me. I will smother you with love, I will fill you with hope and joy and happiness. And then one day you’ll see that I too, was only human. Just another woman. You will know how I imprinted my own fears, some justified and others irrational, onto your soul. You will quantify the flaws that grew in you out of me. You will break apart your DNA strands and count the ones you inherited from my body. You will question, question, question.

I only hope you will forgive me that day. I only hope you will know that I have loved you more than anything or anyone else in this universe. I only hope you will understand that no matter how wonderful and pure love is, it is subjective and open to cracks. I only hope you will know that I never wanted to hurt you.

You might even wonder if it was worth it, falling out of the skies into a world that is so despicable. You’ll wonder why, if I loved you, did I let you come into this world at all? The answer to this is a selfish one. I have been programmed to not want barrenness to haunt me. I have been conditioned to want to give my human body and soul to a being I generate inside me and then present to the world.

Are you a scapegoat then? I hope you never come to this realization but as your mother, my unborn child, I must be honest with you. We are all nature’s scapegoats. Caught in an experiment we did not begin, we are destined to wander alone and helpless, clinging to desperate solutions. I can only give you this. This and my body and soul. It will not be enough to keep you from collapse, my love. Like me, you too will succumb one day, to all the miseries and the painfully short nature of life.

You will wonder now, how, if I knew all this, did I have the audacity to let the only thing I care for in the universe, be exposed to it. How could my human weakness have let me come this far? I will let you form your own conclusions.

My dear, as you explore the answers for life, you will find your own weaknesses and even if there is no one else to embrace them, I will. That is the best I can promise you. I will be the sponge that will absorb every shock, every single one of the pains that shake your world. I will be there for you.

In the end, I hope you will find a reason to belong here for a while, even if it is with the realization that there is nothing here for any of us. Not really. In the end, whatever choices you make, I hope you will feel that your time here was worthwhile. In that moment when I’m long gone and you yourself are living in the fringes of life, I hope everything that will flash before your eyes will be beautiful and free from negative emotions, not clouded by bitterness and disappointment. Like every other mother of the world, I too will wish you all the good things in life. Even if they do not deliver, I’ll keep wishing them with every last breath.

But for now, my love, you are at peace. You are swimming in an ocean of unconsciousness, picking up speed as you prepare to enter the racecourse. Everything will feel colossal at first. It will be new and exciting. You will get distracted with the sensations that  run down your finger, the hunger that crawls across your stomach, the softness of your new bones, the sounds that fill your ears, the sights and smells that overwhelm you. It will be a shock of colours. It will be a medley of tunes. It will be a rollercoaster. And right there, in the very corner, you will find me with a box of tissues and a heart laden with mingled sadness and joy. Don’t worry because you will know me when you hear my heartbeat. You and I, sweetheart, are connected in this lifetime by bonds stronger than this utterly contemptible world can break.

And so I will end this letter at the very beginning.

Love you to the moon and back,

Your already-mother

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2 thoughts on “My Unborn- A Letter

  1. The matter of this piece is really something new for me atleast and after understanding, it gave birth to many questions in my head which I would like to ask.

    1. what was your purpose behind writing this letter?
    2. what crime did this child commit that he/she had to be born?
    3. you say you have been programmed to not want barrenness to haunt you, you have been conditioned to want to give your human body and soul to a being you generate inside yourself and then present to the world. Do you mean because we are programmed in a certain way we should not alter that way? Are humans so bound to nature that they cannot control/change what they ‘want’? Knowledge though born out of the will, may yet master the will.
    4. yes I agree to the statement that every living organism is bestowed with a will to live. A living thing will always try to live, produce and keep the species alive. But my question is just because we have a will to live, should we live? Just because we can do anything in our scope, should we do anything(morally)?

    Life is evil because as soon as want and suffering permits rest to a man, ennui is at once so near that he necessarily requires a diversion i.e more suffering. As long as our consciousness is filled by our will, so long as we are given upto the throngs of desires with their constant hope and fears, so long as we are subject to willing, we can never have lasting happiness or peace. And if happiness or peace is not the purpose of life, I wonder what is.

    1. You’ve raised many doubts:
      1) Why did I write it? Because I want to be a mother some day and somewhere along the journey, I wanted to address my future child. I will probably evolve these views over the years, when I am truly a mother but until then, this would do. And my own mother actually liked this piece and found it relatable, which was something I was happy about.
      2) The child did not commit any crime. I am merely pointing out that wanting children is a selfish by its very design. If you come right down to it and think: why do you want a baby? The motivation will most definitely be selfish. If you want a child to care for, you can adopt one of tens of thousands who suffer but you want to create your own because that is how nature has designed you, to propagate your species.
      3) Yes, of course we can fight it. Human beings evolve, evolution is dynamic. This means that we can slowly change the way we are. A lot of people don’t want kids, this programming is not universal but the essence of any species propagation lies in reproduction, which means that wanting to reproduce is an important part of the equation, which is why sexual attraction can be irresistible and why sex is pleasurable in the first place. This does not mean that humans are incapable of being asexual or women are incapable of not wanting to have children.
      4) I don’t have an answer as to why we should be alive. Frankly, I don’t think this can be answered. If we think about the short term why our answers may be: friends, family, happiness, fun, the pursuit of knowledge, travelling and so forth. Not everyone is necessarily concerned about peace or happiness. A lot of people may not think about those things on a broader scale than their own personal reasons. But if you think of the BIG picture, there is NO answer. Which may be why people constructed concepts such as heaven or hell or god and intricate philosophies involving WHAT ultimately happens to our ‘souls’; none of which we can prove with absolute certainty as far as we know it. But remove those barriers and we are susceptible to vulnerability and fear and grappling with a bleak, bleak world that has no purpose other than what we might assign to it.

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