Living, for the child who I killed.

The following images are a part of the recent series I did to create awareness regarding female infanticide. This series is called ‘stelliferous’ which means belonging to the stars because these little angels now belong to the stars.

Dear little girl,

I’m sorry for letting you ruthlessly and mercilessly be murdered at the hands of your own father. The man who was as much responsible for your existence as I was. He was scared to have you because a daughter would be a burden that he’d have to carry on his shoulders whilst a son could not only share his burden but lessen it too. Hence he decided to get rid of you because daughters are worth killing.

As ironic as it is, these are the very men who decide that daughters are worth killing, and yet search high and low for a woman to marry, so she can bear him sons.

Your murderers recorded your ruthless killing and not only that but had the guts to play it before my eyes. I watched the barbaric act with utmost disbelief. I watched how you squirmed away as the weapon was brought near you in your peaceful abode in my womb. I watched how your little heart race faster and faster as the weapon came in contact with you and how you inched away but couldn’t escape it. How it shredded you into little piece and how you were strewn away. I became numb after witnessing this.

Hours later when I regained my consciousness I realised the magnitude of the calamity that had struck me. I realised how I could have saved you and it made me lament the moment I gave up. I could have risen above it all and ran away with you. I could have given you the life I always wanted to live. I could have saved your little body from being crushed into bits and pieces. The woman in me overshadowed my motherhood and I let you be subjected to such immense pain.

I promised you that your sacrifice wouldn’t be wasted and I’ll rise above and beyond to ‘save the girl child’. This is my only way of seeking forgiveness from you and my Lord who bestowed me with such a beautiful present yet I failed to acknowledge it.

Your unfortunate mother.

“Dear Mommy,

I’m not mad at you for I suffered the consequences of the X chromosome that came from Daddy. Things would’ve been different if I got a Y chromosome. I would have probably been in your arms right now. I could have heard you talk to me and I could have felt your warm embrace but I was a girl and there are too many of us up here. All suffering the consequences of a crime we never committed. Our throats were slashed and our skulls were cracked even before we got a chance to enter your world. They do it with girls all the time. Sometimes they kill them before they’re born and at other they do it after they’re born but somehow it’s wired to happen this way. Our throats are meant to be slashed. Our lives are unworthy so we should rather be dead, no?
You can’t undo what happened to me but you can live up to your promise a save the next girl child, please? Please don’t let her die because this place is too full of crushed bones and slashed throats I’m not sure if God will be able to accommodate more of these.”

“Dear God,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not acknowledging and valuing the gift you sent my way. I’m sorry for sending another mutilated corpse coupled with unaccomplished dreams and shattered hopes. I’m sorry for being this failure who couldn’t save the soul of my little angel.

I hope that someday you forgive me just like my little angel did but I’m sure I’ll never be able to forgive myself till my last breath.

When they say, ‘A wound is the place where light enters you.’ They’re right. They’re so right. There’s a choice we all have to make, and that is whether we want to live or die inside our hearts. At one point or another we all must stand on the precipice of fear and choose which direction we want to go and I have chosen my direction.

Thank you for all the blessings and enlightenment. I’ll make sure one day you and my baby are proud of me.”

This image marks the end of this photo series I did to create awareness regarding female infanticide. This series is called ‘stelliferous’ which means belonging to the stars.
The purpose of doing this series is to create awareness.

I know it’s hard to break a taboo which has been there since the beginning of times but atleast we can try taking baby steps towards breaking down the stereotypes. A daughter is the greatest gift God can send your way and when you don’t value the grestest gift slowly and gradually the blessings in your life start to lose their value. If you think sons will be the bread winners of the family and share your burden in old age, think again. A daughter can do the same if given an opportunity. 
In today’s society when we compare the achievements of girls and boys, it’s just mind boggling to see that girls are doing equally good as guys are doing in all walks of life. They are astronauts, they are pilots, they conquer mountains, they aspire to go beyond the horizon and alongside all this they’re also managing the domestic side of life pretty well. 
Imagine of Sharmeen Obaid’s parents thought the same way would we have an Oscar winner in our country? If Malala’s parents were lime all these stonehearted murderers, would we have a nobel prize? If Mehreen Jabbar’s parents considered daughters a burden wouldn’t the society be deprieved of an amazing director? If Muniba Mazari’s parents confined her within limits would we ever live to see such a charismatic and influential woman? I think not. So it’s all about how you percieve the subject. 
It’s very easy to shun someone by declaring them useless but it’s equally difficult to accept them with their flaws and watch them turn into their best version.


A photo-series by Shahroz Hyder and Natasha Zubair .

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