Creative Writing

I AM UNWANTED

10-09-2018
English Teacher Website

I am Unwanted

K. V. Dominic

Here is a short story which has a fusion of history and fiction. The story took place in the State of Madhya Pradesh in India.

Let me start my autobiographical account from my high school days in the government school in our village. You will be laughing or shocked when you hear my name. My parents gave me the name ‘Avaanchhit’ which in our mother tongue Hindi means ‘Unwanted.’ In my childhood when parents and others called me this name I couldn’t know its meaning. But when I entered into the high school, my classmates started to ridicule me telling that you are an unwanted daughter of your parents. Even the teachers were startled at the name and asked me who had given me this name. Then with bleeding heart I asked my mother, “Ma, why did you give me such a funny, taunting, ridiculous name? I am laughed at by the pupils in our school, and even by my own teachers.”

“We are really sorry for it, dear child. Your father and I were advised by our relatives that if you were given the name ‘Avaanchhit’ I would give birth to a son after you,” mother replied.

“That means I and all my five elder sisters were your unwanted children. And you couldn’t have your desired son after me. So my younger sister is also unwanted to you. Ma, you being a woman like me, how could you think of us as unwanted?” Avaanchhit reacted.

I wanted to curse my parents. On a rethinking I understood the mental disposition of my illiterate parents. I learnt the truth that not only my parents but almost all parents in our country long for male children rather than female. The reason is that a son is a boon to the parents in the material sense that he would bring wealth to the family by way of dowry when he is married. Naturally a daughter is a burden to the parents because they will have to find out a huge amount to give as dowry when she is given in marriage.

The fact that I am born as an unwanted being to my parents and to the world grieved me a lot but my faith in the Creator gave me courage to take it as a challenge. I am sure that the Creator wanted me and that’s why He created me and sent me to this world. Unlike the earthly fathers and mothers, the divine Father has no discrimination to any of his children (creations). This reality disclosed God’s intention in my creation and prompted me to do karma according to His will. I vowed to reveal to the world how wanted is women on earth.

My plan to change my name through gazette notification was dropped and I decided to retain that stigmatic name. Since this gender discrimination is an offshoot of patriarchy I decided to fight against it in an administration level. With that ambition in mind I studied hard to top in the examinations in school, undergraduate and postgraduate courses. I came out victorious in the Civil Services Examinations. As I dreamed I was posted as the District Collector of Anuppur District in Madhya Pradesh. Within the capacity of a Collector, with the resources collected from the State and the Central governments, I launched several schemes for the empowerment of women. Talks by eminent personalities and one day seminars were conducted in all the villages and made the people aware of the role of women in the society; the need for gender equality in education, employment, administration and politics; how sinful is foeticide and sexism; the need for abolition of dowry system etc. The parents who give birth to daughters were honoured with an allowance Rs. 10000. The education expense of the female children will be borne by the government. The dowry system was abolished from the district.

 Avaanchhit’s efforts for the empowerment of women brought out tremendous result. The society which hated the newly born girl babies started loving them and even longed for their births.  Avaanchhit was honoured by the State and Central governments as the best government servant. The schemes she implemented in her district were taken as models for the entire country and they were launched in all the districts and States of the country. Thus Avaanchhit proved through her life how wanted is women in a society. 

(TAKEN FROM K V DOMINIC'S BOOK SANCHITA KARMA AND OTHER TALES OF ETHICS AND HUMAN VALUES FROM INDIA PUBLISHED BY MODERN HISTORY PRESS, ANN ARBOR, USA IN 2018)

Posted By: Dr. K. V. Dominic Category: Creative Writing

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About Dr. K. V. Dominic

Dr. K. V. Dominic, English poet, critic, short story writer and editor is a retired professor of the PG & Research Department of English, Newman College, Thodupuzha, Kerala, India. He had been the Editor of the international refereed biannual journal Indian Journal of Postcolonial Literatures (IJPCL), published from Newman College, from 2002 to his retirement in 2011. He was born on 13 February 1956 at Kalady, a holy place in Kerala where Adi Sankara, the philosopher who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta was born. He took his PhD on the topic “East-West Conflicts in the Novels of R. K. Narayan with Special Reference to The Vendor of Sweets, Waiting for the Mahatma, The Painter of Signs and The Guide” from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala. In addition to innumerable poems, short stories and critical articles published in national and international journals, he has authored/edited thirty six books so far.  Prof. Dominic is the Secretary of Guild of Indian English Writers, Editors and Critics (GIEWEC), a non-profitable registered organization having now two hundred and fifty members mainly consisting of university/college professors, research scholars and professional English writers. Prof. Dominic has conducted several national seminars and workshops all over India. He is a SAARC writer and participant of SAARC literary festivals. He is the Editor and Publisher of the international refereed biannual journal, International Journal on Multicultural Literature (IJML) and Editor-in-Chief of the Guild’s international refereed biannual journal, Writers Editors Critics (WEC). Both the journals are abstracted and indexed by Literary Reference Centre Plus, EBSCO Host, USA for Worldwide reference. He is in the Advisory and Editorial Boards of several leading journals in India. International Poets Academy, Chennai conferred on him its highest award LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD in 2009. India Inter-Continental Cultural Association, Chandigarh conferred on him Kafla Inter-continental Award of Honour SAHITYA SHIROMANI in recognition of his contribution in the field of literature at the 10th International Writers' Festival at Trivandrum (Kerala) on 28th December 2014. An edited book on K. V. Dominic’s poetry, consisting of 25 critical papers, an interview and some of his famous poems was published from the American publishing house, Modern History Press under the title Philosophical Musings for Meaningful Life: An Analysis of K. V. Dominic’s Poems in 2016.. The book is edited by Dr. S. Kumaran of Chennai. Besides a complete collection of his poems with questions and critical articles was published from the same American publishing house in 2016 under the title K V DOMINIC: ESSEENTIAL READING AND STUDY GUIDE. Both the books are meant for inclusion in the university syllabus of South Asian Studies in USA, UK, Canada and Austrailia. In 2017 another critical book on his poetry by Dr. Ramesh Chandra Mukhopadhyaya came out from the same Modern History Press entitled K V DOMINIC CRITICISM AND COMMENTARY: ESSENTIAL READINGS COMPANION. A second collection of his short stories entitled SANCHITA KARMA AND OTHER TALES OF ETHICS AND HUMAN VALUES FROM INDIA was published by Modern History Press, USA in 2018. Prof. Dominic can be contacted at: Email: prof.kvdominic@gmail.com Web Site: www.profkvdominic.com, Blog: www.profkvdominic.blogspot.in

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