Friday, June 27, 2008

no kidding

time runs out fast. the other day we were discussing marriage stuff on the same table where we had discussed office politics, hot chicks, campus placements, engineering submissions... . so i figure talkin abt kids wont be far behind. this is one of my "write now, read later" kinda posts. i know this is a sensitive issue so its best to write abt it when you are not too close to the fire

we generally act our age. software professionals dont behave like kids in office (though they may behave worst :P) and kids do not behave like chartered accountants on playfield. i guess we grow up just because we have to. The body is growing no matter what, so if the mind decides not to, it just looks stupid. the body knows what its doing, it grows up, grows down and perishes. but the mind is clueless. it knows it has to change but doesnt know why and what to. so it looks around and quietly does what others its age are doing. This is all fine till you are shifting from playing hide n'seek to playing cricket, from learning arithmetic to understanding calculus, from partying with friends to romancing your girlfriend. but when your mind wants to shift from enjoying your marriage to having kids, its a paradigm shift. and it is _not_ ok to do it just because everyone else is doing it.
I say its not ok because you have the right to do anything with your own life, but do you have the right to get a new human in this world just because you have run out of answers to "wht nxt?" and want some fun in your and your family's boring life?

why have kids? this question obviously doesn't have a practical answer except that they are a high risk insurance policy and a high cost pension plan. there are other answers, some emotional some egoist and some plain stupid. here is a random sampling..

A: giving birth and raising a kid is the greatest joy one can get.
Q: i think this is true. but is it right to use somebody for your own joy and entertainment? you want to give birth because its fun?? i would suggest adoption and a school teacher job if you are so in love with bringing up kids.

A: No its great only if they are your own flesh and blood.
Q: This is plain and simple ego. What is so great about your DNA? get over it, kid is gonna be as good/bad as you raise it to be, if you are damn lucky that is. In most cases how a kid turns out is as unpredictable as the weather.

A: What if everyone stops having kids? the human race will end.
Q: yes i have actually heard this argument :P however stupid a question may seem, it deserves an answer :) when you ignore violence, turn a blind eye to corruption, roll up the window when a beggar asks for a buck, does it occur to you what if the whole humanity starts doing that? if everyone did what we do, humanity would have ran out of luck a long time ago. So dude, stop thinking about human race and think about your own, like you always do.
on second thoughts, if it actually happens that one generation decides it wont reproduce and humanity dies a natural death, it wont be such a bad end afterall. the earth wont mind for sure ;)

A: I want my kids to get to do things i didnt get to do, i want them to become what i could not.
Q: you are a loser, accept it and get on with life. dont drag an innocent being into your world of unfulfilled desires.

A: my family name should go on.
Q: yes fantastic. go spawn a cricket team.

A: I am a female, I have an instinct to be a mother.
Q: again the same thing. you have an instinct, it is fun for you to be a mother. wht about the kid? r u not using it for your own enjoyment?

A: its been 5 years after marriage. there is nothing new in life. I get bored.
Q: atleast this is honest. I can identify with you man. im gonna have the same problem. but i hope i wont get a kid to solve it for me.


Please dont get me wrong, the intent is not to ridicule. but it is sad that I haven't heard a single answer which appeals to any sort of rationale. If you have one please share it.

NOTE TO SELF: i dont think you will ever ask your parents why they got you here, but if you ever decide to have kids of your own, u've got to visit this post and pen a reason you believe in.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

considering I am very much in the pregnancy boat right now, I think its too late to think about the "Why", but reading your post definitly got me thinking - why did I take this decision?Couldnt really find an answer, it just felt like the right thing to do at this stage in my life - all the reasons u have put forth like, love for kids, wanting the family name to go on, providing them with things I didnt get etc etc - all maybe crossed my mind sometime before, maybe not - dont recall - but now when I feel my baby inside me, all I can think of is how amazing the whole process is, the whole act of creating a living soul, nurturing it, its just a feeling that can't be explained, cant be justified - doesnt need to be - its just the continuation of life--

Actually as I read certain further posts you have, the one about your experience with that begger, I think I found my answer -

The reason I think people have kids is the "Hope" factor - the ability to create something beautiful be it a piece of code, your favorite dish, a painting or in my case a child drives with the anticipation of the end result, the hope that this child gets to experience what this world has to offer - both good and bad and gets to appreciate it, deal with it- Arent we all about "going On" - I am shit scared of how I would be with this kid, how I will be able to guide it, make it stand for itself when I have completly failed to do so myself - but then again didnt you say in this very blog- "its not an adventure if it doesn't scare u"?

So why not have kids? You tell me.Dont say that its just a ruthless plot against an innocent soul for ones own enjoyment/entertainment - plzzzz, raising a kid is definitly far from a source of entertainment! - Why do you want to deprieve someone of all the experiences that life has to offer - what all you have in your blog posts - providing a chance to someone to experience the growing up "khatke", guiding him to be maybe more than "just another guy" , finding that one Love and then the joy of finding it again incase lost it before:-)?

So I guess my answer is, I am having a kid with the HOPE that maybe that it can be the one to find the answer to why exactly anyone of us is here.

siddhya said...

wow tht is a generously long comment! thanks a lot for reading all this and commenting on it too :)

anon: Why do you want to deprieve someone of all the experiences that life has to offer
siddhya: i admit life is fun. i don't mind tht i was born. but i wouldn't have had a prob even if i was not born(cause if there is no me, my desires don't exist)
point is, i don't think there is a line in heaven where kids are waiting and hoping some girl will get pregnant and get them in this beautiful(?) world. so if u don't have a kid, you are _not_ depriving anyone of any opportunity!

anon: I am having a kid with the HOPE that maybe that it can be the one to find the answer to why exactly anyone of us is here.
siddhya: phew! thts a tough ask. try to be easy on the kid ma'am ;)
hope is good. only when you hope/expect something from yourself not _others_ (it may seem weird to you right now, but your kid is soon going to be a completely separate individual)
to hope tht he/she will find out what you want to know (why we all are here?) is not fair, i think.

Anonymous said...

:D - agreed that was one huge comments - way too much time at wrk with nothin on my hand i guess:-)neways thrz more cause(bet ur goin - NO not again!!!;))

Neways, eher it comes:
1)Please, this is definitly not what i think too - "there is a line in heaven where kids are waiting and hoping some girl will get pregnant and get them in this beautiful(?) world" tht snds like something:-), but arey again I ask - why not be born? We have life and can create 1 then why not?U think u wldnt mind if u wernt born, but thats after u've had this life, now why not, whn u can, give some1 a chance to b here and decide for themselevs if they cld have done w/o it?
2) yes I know my kid will be a totally seperate individual and trust me thats how it should be - I really dont want him to find my answers, I just HOPE that the kid thru its own experiences finds something here which is much more meaningful than to most of us including you cause otherwise u wont have had this post. Again this hope very much rests on how I am able to frm whtever lil I have experienced, make it appreciate things around, thats somethin I have to do, and then just let go, I dont hope it to do nethin for me - my point is I am happy in providing it that ability to do so - ofcourse wht evr happens next is in no ones hands!

On different note: Adoption is somethin we all can do, n I totally think all of us shld defn give it a good thght - but yes similarly, creating good kids if we can do is defn something we shld give a good thght!Again i agree how they turn out is in nobody's hands, but u can atleast try!

So I ask you again - why not have kids?

Phew - tht sure is lots and I've pretty much crossed the toleration - so bttr signoff!

one last note - thnks for this post, I donno how i came across it, but its got me thinking of a lot of thhings, not tht I have all the answers, but hey thn i guess as per u - thts wht my kids gonna b for-rite;)!!??

siddhya said...

u r welcome :)

Anonymous said...

but there are many species which procreate for none(almost none) of the reasons you mentioned, but they still do. What could be their driving force? May be that is the underlying driving force for humans too?

siddhya said...

they (and most of us) do it cause its programmed in our DNA (as an instinct necessary for survival of species) If we stop thinking, we are pretty much like any other species on this planet i.e. instinct driven.

Anonymous said...

my thought on this is that we are hardwired to procreate. with our excessive thinking, this sole reason is now kind of covered with layers and layers of other reasons and has become oblivious.
So would like to ask are you against procreation or not? if yes than what is the reason.

siddhya said...

perfect! u nailed it. i also think tht beneath all th reasons (mentioned in the blog and more) its just that hard-wired DNA stuff tht makes us procreate.
the real fun of being human is not being able to make and drive a BMW, its the ability to understand and control our own instincts. thts th real power :)
but i guess we r far off from understanding let alone controlling this instinct (to procreate i.e.)
and 2 ans ur q, i am not against procreation, but 2 do it jst cause nature tells me to, seems a bit animalish :P

sayali tamane said...

I dont know why i thought this but i think the female is never really sure of her partner ever and since men never completely surrender, this is her way of wanting to hold her partner completely for herself without insecurity or fear of loosing.So even if women might not think too high of letting the species live on, they certainly want to hold their love.

siddhya said...

ahh th insidious female! beware my fellow men!! :P

Anonymous said...

I dont quite agree with Sayali. I think raising children is something male were or may be are not very good at. if you look at our ancestors(monkeys/chimp/gorilla) and other animals(lions) ... this had been solely job of the female member/s. Modern day men are take part in the activity.(out of interest or societal norm is debatable.)

@siddhya: I am seeing a whole lot of comments coming.

S said...

@annonymous - i dont mean to hold the partner in the sense that the partner will be compelled to be around since there is a kid - i mean holding in the other sense - as having a person for urself in the form of ur child, having complete right over him - having the man in the form of the child

siddhya said...

and tht insecurity is a good enough reason to give birth, u think?

S said...

'good enuf' is so much of a perspective that you can fit almost anything into it. I think it is not about how valid the reason is - its just taht it should be a conscious well thoughtout choice than just a thing that has been there for centuries

Personally i dont find any reason to have kids.. but then i am just 23 and women :)

Anonymous said...

You probably would not get any rational answer behind the question, only guesses or adaptations to contemporary culture and society. So no answer you get can be extended in time. As far as I see it, it was just another basic instinct. And now we can reason ways of justifying it, probably just because we have evolved cerebrally.
In a contemporary setting, I would say the problem is inherently in the analysis. And the same would hold for any question where emotions lead rationale.

siddhya said...

wht do u mean by "I would say the problem is inherently in the analysis."?

Anonymous said...

We do a lot of fun things in life..just because we can..and we want to have fun and be happy. (trekking for example is painful for the feet..but it is so much fun) ..you act in a play...because you you can and you want to have fun..at that time you do not care about the audience that you are about to torture...you do it for your own fun..in general most of the things in life are done only for having fun..similary..a woman should have a kid because she can..and the general stats are that it is fun :-D (and it saves the woman from a lot of illnesses)

siddhya said...

hi maitreyee,
ya fun is by far the most reasonable reason ive got :)
but i still think ther is a fundamental diff btwn doin a trek for fun and making a baby for fun.
doing a trek is non-intrusive, u trouble urself..noone else is involved, and if thy r involved thy've done so with their own free will. thts nt quiet true abt th later. is it?

Anonymous said...

IMO, wanting a kid is reflection of a desire of creating a new relation. I think, looking for a new relation,is a very natural desire to a human. When you are kid you probably want a bunch of cousins to spend summer vacations with, you grow up and you want bunch cool friends to hang out with. Then one day you wish you get that "special friend", then you wish get married to some one special. We always look out for creating new relations. The exact relation that you are looking for is, i guess, a reflective of your "mind-age". When mind grows up, again, many of us start wanting to be a "parent".

But this is probably the only relation that is intentionally created AND "forced" upon someone at the same time. You can choose to be not friends with someone, or you can deny to be spouse of someone. But you have to be child of your parents. I think, we are in a different space when it comes to parent child relation. This cannot be compared on the same matrices of fairness as others.

What we have to understand, is that when a couple starts wanting a child for their own emotional/mental/parental needs, they are implicitly signing up of a something that they have never done before. They are signing up for raising a life. They are singing up for taking care of another dependent life for next (god knows how) many years. They will have the responsibility that the new life shapes up with the proud feeling of existence. From diapers to school to bday parties to colleges to marriage the onus is on them. They would be giving up so many things that they have been doing because that no longer fits in the equation.

Parents will do all that for wanting a child....I think that's a fare game!

But at the same time this realization is natural and cannot be force upon. You mind will tell you when it has reached that age ... and btw mine isn't ;)

Ashish Gupta said...

I found your blog almost randomly. Someone in my college posted a link to "Washing Machine" article but I forgot who. You write with great depth and quite wit. I read your past posts and topics are diverse and opinions unique. I just wanted to say this and hope your blogging frequency doesn't suffer much.

By the way, are you still in Boston University? I've studied in Boston (MIT) and lived there in 2003-05 before coming to India.

Moreshwar Apte said...

porani rasta cross karatana dharalelya bota warachi pakad anubhav...mhanaje uttar milel....

swatachya bapala kamawarun alyawar garam garam chaha karun de mhanje tyachi najar tula utaar deil....

porani jewata jewata madhyech kharakatya tondani ghetalela muka anubhav uttar milel...

baap houn madhyech jewata jewata porache barabatalele kulle dhoo....uttar milel...

kahi goshtinchi uttara logically shodhayachi nasatat...fakta anubhawayachi asatat.....

Lata didincha gane ka awadate..?
Rashid chi bhairavee manala hur hur ka lawate..?

thech lagalyawar tondatun patkan "Aai ga.." ka nighate...?

kahi kshan fakta jagayache asata kuthalehi login na lawata.....

mhanunach dewani kadachit Mendu ani Hruday he don wega wegale awayaw dile asatil....

asala bhikaar ani dalbhadri post lihilya baddal tamam baap mandalin kadun tuza nishedh...

Anonymous said...

dusryaancha je zale te zale.. aapan tari changla samjutdareene rahaycha..
je vait zale te aapan naahi taalu shaklo kaaran tyaat itar khoop lok 'ghar modne' yaa karyakramat sahbhaagi hote' teethe vishwaas kami padla.
Je aaplyaa pudhe aahe te aapan karoo shakto..Apan Changla Tar He Jaghi Changle..

Anonymous said...

Himmat asel tar vikhurlele ekatra aan.. te naahich jamle tar jo koni ek khoop maage rahila aahe.. tyaala gheun ye...tyaa vaktisathi tumhich sagle kaahi hotaat.. tumchyaasathich tee aahe.. pan tumhi teecha naahi aikla.. dusryaanvar vishwaas thevla..jyaani 'ghar' todle tyaanchya sobat hotaaat.. aani jyaane tumchyaasathi saare kaahi aarop sahan kele tyaala matra dooooor kelat...
aata tari samaj veleche mahatva..naahitar asech ekek karoon sare kaahi sampel.. aani haati urel tee faqt rakh...

Anonymous said...

A refreshing exchange of opinions, and a critical look at the rationale behind our urge to procreate. I am a parent. Prior to becoming a parent, I certainly had my share of experiences as a single, and when later on getting married, "dink" life (double income, no kids) . Travelling, sports, parties, and whatever we felt like. After a while like that, you may experience an overwhelming sense of emptiness, like I did. That something is amiss. Where does that feeling come from ? Our DNA ? What about love ? When you love somebody, seeing the physical manifestation of our combined genes comes very naturally, and appears very attractive.

siddhya said...

@apte: senti nako hou.

@anon1 & anon2: (assuming u r th same guy/gal). wht r u talking abt??? didnt understand a word of wht you have written. please be a bit more coherent

@anon3: thanks :) so u say u fall under the last category for ppl i hve mentioned in th blog. (few yrs after marriage, nothing new in life, got bored, had kids)
love has nothing to do with genes (i hope :P) plus when you say u want physical manifestation of ur combined genes etc. u r treating the kid as an object, which he/she is certainly not. i dont see the harm in you loving someone and just leaving it at tht. why create objects/people/symbols of tht love? i dont think u love ur spouses genes, u love _her_ right?

Anonymous said...

maybe the urge in a woman to become mother is due to the fact that giving birth to a child is solely her previledge ..a man can not do this.so that is a kind of self esteem booster in her marriage.our society has always been male dominant for years and she had a little chance to prove her abilities other than managing the house ,giving birth to a child and raising him/her.giving a birth and raising children atleast bought her some respect from her man,from the society and from herself too. even though this urge is called as "matrutvachi aas" and all ,i think actually it is nothing but using ur inbuilt abilities to earn respect.

Anurati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Parag Salasakar said...

There is always a thin line between "Tarka" (Logic)and "Tarkat".
Sometimes in the act of immaturely showcasing "how matured and logical thinker I am " people cross the border and get into "Tarkat" domain may be unknowingly and then continue defending themselves for the sake of ego.

getting logical answers to EVERY question is neither necessary nor end of the world.

Happiness (which is far more valuable than logic) of both parents and children, or rather in more generic sense of any human being is really what matters at the end.


siddhya said...

Hi Parag,

Thanks for reading the blog!

In my case, happiness comes from understanding. That is why i ask questions.

Getting a kid for your own happiness i can understand (already covered in this post) but for the kid's happiness is just a wrong argument.

I hope, you don't believe that the kid would have been crying non-stop and feeling sad somewhere if you had not given birth to it.

anil raju said...

Wow amazing take on things.. I had thought about so many of these things and have shared it with friends and relatives too... Not my parents for sure.. �� Thanks for penning down the same and helping me feel less alien...

siddhya said...

Hi Anil, you are welcome. This was written 8 years back but my thoughts haven't change much since then. Talk about progress :)