May you be the mother of a hundred sons

This blessing is commonly conferred on Indian women of child-bearing age.

Seriously? 100? Sons?

In the Mahabharata, still experienced as a model of ideals rather than an epic about greed and the futility of war, Gandhari (wife of Dhritarashtra) birthed 100 sons (not from her uterus per se, but that’s another story). The result was the 100 ‘greedy’ Kauravas who waged war against their cousins, the 5 ‘righteous’ Pandava brothers, and who almost destroyed the human race. Role models indeed.

Alternately, perhaps, a mother of 100 sons would have the unique opportunity to raise a whole bunch of boys to be good men. Men who share their lives with women–mothers, partners, daughters–treating them neither as ideals to be placed on a pedestal, nor as garbage to be trampled on. Instead, treating them simply as fellow human beings with hopes and aspirations, who thrive on love and kindness, and are cared for by friends, parents, neighbours, partners, children.

2 comments

  1. Valerie McDonald · · Reply

    I can’t remember if your collection contains a story about this issue directly. If not, it might be timely.

  2. ranitasen · · Reply

    Well said and the timing could not have been better…

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