Deccan Herald mar 6 2009:
A bank employee committed suicide by hanging herself at her house in CK Achukattu police limits on Thursday.
The deceased Priyamvada (27), an employee of IndusInd Bank, took the extreme step after she was reportedly told by a doctor that she had remote chances of conceiving.

According to sources, Priyamvada was married to an employee of a private bank two years ago and the couple had no issues. She recently met a doctor who is said to have told her that she might not conceive.
The incident came to light when her husband returned home in the evening. She has left a suicide note asking her husband to marry another girl.

In one of my earliest posts I had spoken about this craving for children among humans specially women. Last week someone had left a comment there asking me if I had any of my own. I could not make out if the person agreed or disagreed with me or if he/she was trying to see if I knew what i was talking about. I love kids, my own and those of others - I'd any day prefer to spend time with them than in the company of adults. I do not mind the demands on my time, energy and emotions but I don't think I'd have been shattered if I could not have one of my own. A child doesn't have to have the stamp of my genes for me to love him or her. And more importantly, I do not define myself in terms of my role as a mother.

In spite of their refusal to be stereotyped in many ways, it seems that many young women still feel inadequate when they cannot bear a child. One woman even told me that she saw it as a kind of personal failure. I responded: 'What is the big deal? You cannot paint, you cannot sing, you cannot have a child. have you thought about adoption?'
She thought I was joking or even a bit insensitive perhaps.

I am quite aware of the stigma that used to be attached to a woman who was not 'fertile'- there is even a specific word for a barren woman in Tamil. It is also interesting that there is no male equivalent to the same word!
A while ago a young girl wrote to me about the kind of insults that were thrown at her by her in-laws because she hasn't been able to give them a grandchild three or four years since her marriage. It was even more unfair because her gynecologist had cleared her of any possible problem and her in-laws refused to believe her. And the husband preferred to let her deal with his parents and did nothing to stop his parents or be emotionally supportive to the young wife. And all this was happening not in some remote village in India but in a country in the western world where they had made their home. And the girl herself is a well-educated woman with a career.
In her story I was not surprised by the attitude of her in-laws given their age and background. But I was surprised that the girl and her husband were affected by the criticism to the extent their marriage was in trouble.

The ability to create a life is a special gift that nature has bestowed upon most women but there is no reason to feel worthless if your body is not fit for the same. There are still ways to create meaning in life. It is not a handicap. You are still a perfect person.
This women's day my appeal my sisters would be not to allow others to define them in terms of roles. For this we have to first stop seeing ourselves as these roles. Being a mother is just one part of your life. If you cannot have one of your own, give vent to your maternal feelings by adopting a child or supporting one. Your life is too precious to be given up for this.

Happy women's day!