India - Land of traditions...
Called India this weekend to tell them all is well with the wife and kid and everything is on schedule for the new arrival.
At the end of the phone conversation we got the usual blessings from the elders :
"we will pray that you have a normal delivery and that mother and child will be safe".
The "normal" refers in this case to "non C-section", a painful truth that just makes me shake my head.
In spite of having this C-section scheduled months in advance people in India always have this notion that a "normal" delivery is better than a C-section and they hope by that some miracle the surgery will be avoided!!
In those days, C-sections were more risky than a normal childbirth and hence the apprehension over surgical deliveries(C-section is Ceasarian section - a procedure that dates back to Julius Ceasar times !!). Today a planned C-section is a much better option than a normal delivery, especially since the normal delivery might end up in an emergency C-section (my wife already went through that horrible experience !!)
This is just similar to the "we will pray that you have a boy!" blessing from people who were already informed that the Ultrasound tells us that we are having a GIRL !! We were really worried that the kid might try to grow something between its legs in the last minute, after hearing all these blessings, and might end up short changed !!
I know that my friends and relatives back home are very sincere in their wishes- that "ALL should go well". The language and semantics make the blessing less appealing.
Like our doctor said "No one is going to give you a gold medal if you have a normal delivery !".
I know this is a sensitive post, and the only point I would like to make is that the standard blessing formats are handed over from generation to generation that there is little room for change. It is like the standard Greeting options available to you in the Indian telegraph service (at least when I was a kid)!!.
So they cannot deviate from :
God bless you with many sons !
May you have a normal delivery !
May you have many sons who will carry your genes forward !!etc. etc.
We need to start practising some new blessings / greetings for the today's world !!
It is an interesting fact that most of my hispanic friends gave me similar blessings (biased towards a boy baby or a normal delivery !!). When asked for a clarification, they also said that they mean (boy/girl) and safe/normal . . just that they are used to the way the blessing is worded generation after generation !!
That means we are not the only culture which has managed to retain its bias over the generations by standardizing the blessings.
Today's TV mega serials have one thing in common. The protagonist is a WOMAN, who triumphs against all odds !! Today's world (at least the Tamil population) is being raised on a healthy diet of "the triumph of the determined woman" and it just makes sense that we change our greetings accordingly !!!