I was sitting outside in the sun, with the baby. The gate opened and in walked one chakka (eunuch). It was too late by the time I realised. A whole group followed behind him. And the drums and the singing started. My Mom ran out and quickly bundled the baby and me inside. The chakkas were merrily creating a rucus with their song and dance. Then came their demands. Rs 5100, a new saree & rice. They refused to settle for anything less. And mom was to scared to do anything but comply. “Aap dadi bante, tho hum 11,000 mangte. Aap nani bane ho tho kewal 5100 maang rahe hain” (If it was your son had a kid, we’d ask for Rs11000. But since it’s your daughter’s child, we’re only asking for Rs5100). Hmmm..
Brings up so many ingrained beliefs of the Indian psyche.
1. Becoming a Dadi is a ‘happier’ occasion than becoming a Nani. ie Your son’s kids are ‘more important’ than your daughter’s kids. Hahaha.
. Though this is changing in the middle class.. its still very much there. The son and his kids carry on the family name. They stay with you. The daughter on the other hand, goes to her sasural, she carries on their family name.
2. In the name of tradition, its so easy for these eunuchs to walk in at every festival, every celebration and hold you at ransom. They demand whatever they wish – and everyone complies. So many people work so hard to earn that Rs5000 a month. These eunuchs just walked in, demanded it, and got it. Why is everyone so scared to refuse them? I really wonder what happens if you dont comply with them. My mom was too scared to even consider the option.