This story by Hanushaa was originally featured on Malaysian Indian Anthology and has been reproduced in Astro Ulagam.

Being born into a conservative Indian family, the life my parents had envisioned for me was stereotypically simple; graduate, get married and build a family. But in the words of Arya Stark, “That’s not me”.

At the age of 23, I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure. As a medical student, I had expected it, perusing my symptoms in textbooks and asking lecturers about my condition. Growing up, I dreamt of joining Médecins Sans Frontières, to travel the world and help those truly in need. Marriage and kids weren’t in the picture.

I remember that afternoon when the doctor delivered the news to us. When I heard I might never have children, something changed. I suddenly felt small, helpless and found myself yearning something I never wanted. What broke my heart was my mother’s eyes glistening with tears as she asked the doctor, “Will she never have kids?”. If I hadn’t felt like a failure before, I did then.

I’ve never understood why the idea of matrimony and motherhood is placed on a high pedestal in Indian families. Why are parents adamant that having a family would ensure their child’s happiness?

I just want to be content with my pursuits.

Photo source: Malaysian Indian Anthology