The maladies of ‘Y’

The ‘Y’ chromosome technically has 12.5% stake in my small family of me, my wife and two daughters. If I count my extended family with all the cousin sisters, stakes would plummet down further, may be somewhere at 2-3% in the middle of the sea of ‘X’ chromosomes. Till recently, people used to keep on having daughters till they finally get one son- the ‘Yeay’ moment of finally achieving the ‘Y’- the heir, the torchbearer, the proclaimed flag-keeper! The declaration of an arrival of ‘Y’ in the world was so theatrical. A whimpering tiny human will face his first public humiliation, to begin with. His innocuous dark ‘winky’ would grab all the limelight. Nobody would be interested in his chubby face until the nurse lifts the muslin cloth from the hidden masculine flesh and declare its a boy! I wasn’t shown anything when my daughters were born, obviously implying there was nothing great to be shown. One of the over-curious patients of mine kept whining to know the gender when I was performing an ultrasound. I almost threw him out and he cursed me, “Bhagwan kare aapki do betiyan ho (God! give him two daughters).” His curse was little too late since god had already given me two daughters.
His curse was echoing in my thoughts. My dreams. I imagined a day in a world without the entire XX pool.

(My dreams would be like a live movie-show, some hits, some flops. And, they will be well clocked like- dream one runs 12 PM -3 AM, and another would begin after a pause lets say from 4 AM-7 AM. And, most will have a background score too. As that dream had U2 singing…..No women….No cry…..)
A day without any woman. A day with no females in the world.
The show begins!
I woke up with another man and two boys in the shabbiest possible bedroom of the world, with some beer bottles rolling down the floor and obnoxious smoke inundating the room. Kept rolling uneasily in my bed, til the urge to have morning tea brought me into the kitchen. Must have made tea umpteen times, but for some reason, I was fiddling through the entire sequence. The tea tasted like some ayurvedic portion for piles and constipation- Arshakuthar Ras (the cactus juice). Unnerved, I gave up the idea of breakfast.
In digital India, everybody’s morning begins with facebook and WhatsApp notifications. As I scrolled through WhatsApp messages of the morning, all it had were abominable curse words from my friends. To my surprise, all those glamorous girls had just vanished from the messages. Jokes on Modi, Obama, Lalu and others were galore, but that saucy stuff was conspicuously missing. Curious myself, typed ‘Sunny Leone’ on Google and it showed ‘Did you mean sunny gavaskar?’
What’s more was there in the store- a skimpily clad Sunil Gavaskar smiling at me? Something was utterly wrong.
While I was still recovering from this, my son came running to me with a newly carved head-bump. It seemed both of them had a duel, first thing in the morning. Other got a bleeding swollen lip. But, it didn’t feel odd when I dropped them in the school-bus studded with all wounded, belligerent, unkempt kids.
The bland morning was becoming blander. Some panting middle-aged men jogging across, and some overweight tummies bobbing from a distance at the treadmill. The figurine beauties of Bangalore were nowhere in sight, neither with their funky ear-plugs nor in their sleazy track-suits.
Somehow I dragged myself to the hospital (yes, I am a doctor. Radiologist to be precise). A dotted face stared at me as I reached my cabin. The smiling receptionist was transformed to a poker-faced gentleman. Nurses had disappeared, rather an army of sniggering lewd fellows took over the etiquette hospital. Some walking with a staggering wide gate, some clapping each other’s hands and some laughing aloud with a repulsive echo.
My morning began with my ultrasound clinic. There always used to be an eclectic mix of gravid, wanna-be-gravid, and am-I-gravid females waiting for me. But instead of carefully strolling pregnant female, a man with a big tummy entered shoving aside another similar looking man in a queue, taking a long stride and jump, landing flat on the patient couch. Whoa! The man was 24 weeks pregnant and I was applying ultrasound gel on his hairy tummy. He was neither interested in looking at screen nor was excited on sight of fetus. To my surprise, the man had brought a morning newspaper and struggling to read it in darkness of my ultrasound room. As it got over, he expelled a loud suffocating fart and jumped off the couch. Yuck!
I ran out in despair. The filth was all over the hospital. For ages, men had been taking bath or grooming themselves to impress women. Since there were none, forget bath, most of them had barely brushed their teeth. I was craving for beauty. The flawless skin and the shiny hairs. Felt as if I was pushed into ‘stone-age’ with all those shabbily bearded half-naked men pounding all over with their grins and burly physiques. Brouhahas over poorly articulated dirty jokes. And uttering curse words as prepositions, subjunctions, adjectives, and interjections. Never felt so claustrophobic.
And then I hear a familiar appearing high-decibel yet a soft soothing voice. I didn’t respond and just enjoyed listening to it till the voice got louder and louder, closer to the ears. As if some alien has stepped into land of uncouthness, trying to revive us all. Soon, the voice became synchronous with a banging movement on my legs.
“Get up! tea is ready. Don’t you listen to me? you jerk!”
The dream was over. The travails of a day without women. The incompleteness. The fool’s paradise. The dark side of jingoistic male pride. The maladies of Y. It was all over for good.
Let the dream stay a bad dream.
Save the girl child! Never ever detest, deny, decimate them

– Pravin Jha


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