Oh, Afreen, the tender child! I start trembling the moment I think of the trauma you underwent when that gruesome, mindless and inhuman attack was launched on you by none other than your own father! And for what, for being born as a girl and not as a boy! For whose fault, certainly not yours! And not even your mother's! Oh Afreen, the most unfortunate kid to be sent off the world in the most ungrateful manner, would anyone pardon us, the co-inhabitants of this earth for haplessly witnessing that inconsolable cries of Reshma, your dear mother?
We hang our heads in shame, Afreen, for daring to declare our society a modern one even as the worst manifestations of gender discrimination pass off unquestioned every other moment. But you should know that even modern scientific inventions have become subservient to the feudal dictates and scan centres forewarn the vested interests to forestall the birth of Afreens.
When that fails, even cruder reception awaits them at their birth. If they are lucky enough to cross that barrier, at every stage of their growth, ruthless demarcation would invariably be set in their upbringing. In dress, food, play, studies, matrimonial choice and in every other thing, it would be reiterated dismissively that you are a girl, and not a boy!
Oh, Afreen, you are one more victim in a row of innumerable girlchildren whose lives were so prematurely terminated by vengeful fathers. You never knew you had an enemy with whom you had no rivalry. Your enemy settled scores with you, whereas you had not acted against him anyway. It occurred little to your enemy that you were not his equal and you could never ever overpower him, but he proceeded against you so violently taking no chances. And this unwarranted and arrogant act of his was not between him and you alone any longer! He intended it to be his hate reply to his wife for giving birth to you. But this is to be read as a message to society as well. This exercise was his signal message of guidance to similarly placed menfolk and one of intimidation to the womenfolk placed similar to Reshma, your dear mother.
It is here, Afreen, that this unpardonable act deserves to be challenged head-on. Such a rank pervert approach to the gift of nature runs counter to the basic spirit of very human life on earth. This betrays a lack of scientific understanding of who, between the partners in a relationship, causes it to be a girl, in the first place. But why discuss the chromosome principle here which may take it for granted that the birth of a girl child is a curse. Graceful people welcome with open arms every new entrant into the universe, irrespective of colour, creed, gender, caste, etc.
Oh, Afreen, at every punch you suffered, every beating you took and every cruel handling that you were subjected to at the hands of your father that fateful day, every one of the cherished dreams of Reshma, your dear mother, must have got shattered. Going back to her pregnant days, the poor lady must have enjoyed even her physical sufferings at the very thought of a cute young one taking shape inside her womb. She breathed, ate, drank, slept and did every normal routine in your thoughts. She may have had her imagination of your looks. She may have even planned your name, either way. She may have coined your pet names, even, dear Afreen! Where would she shed her dreams, now? How could she dispose of her imaginations, now? When, at all, could she be freed of all that she had imagined about you, Afreen!
Oh, Afreen, as we stand silently in your memory, we make a vow to do every bit to cry a halt to this barbaric male preference in society. We vow to make this society truly gender-equitable. We vow to express ourselves categorically on all fora to call it a day for female foeticide and killing of female infants! We vow to impart a scientific temper to the future generations and enable them to have a progressive attitude as their lifestyle. We vow to voice for extraordinary and deterrent punishment to those who indulge in preventing the birth of or in killing of girl children.
But Afreen, the visual of your mother's uncontrollable wailing at your passing away would sure render our nights sleepless for some more time to come. This, we do deserve for that unforgivable occurrence.
(The writer's email is firstname.lastname@example.org)