THE GIRL WHO NEVER lived

Amma (Mother): “Ram, eat your roti (food) and goto class, the teacher is waiting for you”

Ram: “Hmm…what roti Amma”, pointing to an empty plate.

Amma looked and swore mentally that she had indeed put a hot roti on the plate.

Lila simply laughed — she had finished the roti (food) while Ram was busy watching TV.

Amma gave Ram another roti and went about her daily chores.

— — — — — — -

It was around noon — when Amma (mother) was drying clothes in the courtyard. Suddenly there was a feeling of something tugging at the clothes line. Amma turned to find no one!

She thought she had imagined it and continued her work.

Lila wondered why Amma didn’t respond to her antics — yet again.

“Hmm — seems Amma is deaf” — said Lila aloud.

Amma just jerked — as she felt a rush of cold run through the back of her sari

— — — — — — — — -

5pm — and Amma was preparing snacks for Ram and Papa, when she fainted!

Lila rushed to Amma — and tried to awaken her.

Amma — just wouldn’t wake up. Lila kept screaming and shaking Amma — but to no avail.

Papa(father) came home to find Amma on the floor, with Lila sobbing quietly near her. But he simply didn’t bother about Lila.

This hurt Lila — but in the last 5 years of her life she had grown accustomed to Papa (father) looking past her.

— — — — — — — — — -

The doctor came and announced that Amma was going to give “good news” soon!

Lila wondered what “good news” meant. She tried asking Papa (father) but he again ignored her.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — -

Life went on!

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

3 months later — the doctor announced that “it was AGAIN a girl”.

Amma wept — and Papa looked stern and Dida (Grand-mother) simply said “Finish the WORK” and both walked out.

Lila wondered what the work was…

— — — — — — — — — —

Suddenly Lila felt a soft presence near her.

“She was a chubby-cutie — Leena, she called herself”

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — -

(This is the story of Lila who was killed in her mother’s womb at the ripe old age of 4 months. As per Hindu beliefs, one who suffers a violent and untimely death, suffers the fate of staying in the mortal world as an ‘aatma’ (Ghost))

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The reality in India is that families go in for gender discrimination tests during pregnancy — and simply chose to kill any girl child which is to be born.

The Government has made this practice illegal and punishable under law — but doctors continue helping families for very large sums of money.

And the gender ratio in India is skewed to 940 females to 1000 males.