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Made to order baby, anyone?


By Pooja Marwah

Sundays are usually a day when literally everyone has their own individualistic routines! It is a day spent on harbouring one’s hobbies, interests and passions. So, needless to say when the last one rolled around, I did what I usually do – read the paper!

Yes, I do still read the print version. It is a 90’s thing, perhaps, to sit with a mug of coffee and open the TOI editorials on Sunday. There is always one article that day, which is off the beaten track and ends up tickling my funny bones! Being a day, I prefer to detox from the screen, an article on ‘popping out a designer baby’, was way too hilarious, and a tad heart wrenching, for me to refrain!

Through apps, videos and workshops, young parents can now manifest a baby of their choice. You are taught to focus on the colour of eyes you want or the texture of hair. You are explained the mythical verses of our sacred texts so that the baby inside of you masters them and is born a scholar. You are guided to eat certain things, wear certain clothes and behave in a certain manner… all so you can give birth to a baby with certain characteristics. After all, it is a rat race that your newborn child needs to enter the second they are born. High IQ chahiye, looks are a must, Sanskari baccha is a desire! The NRIs are concerned that their child will be born without Indian culture and roots but, hey, that onus lies on you as a parent, right?

The makers of the apps claim that they will teach you to be a healthier, happier mom so you can produce a healthier, happier baby. Nowhere in this entire rigmarole of parenthood do I see the word – LOVE! People decide to have a child because they want a family together. No methodology of parenting is applicable to everyone, for each human has their own ability and ways to raise a child. Books and other tutorials help in telling you what to expect but take it from a parent herself – Nothing prepares you for the moment when you hold your child for the very first time!

There is a process in childhood. And we have to learn to trust that process. There is a reason why a baby needs nine months in a womb. There is a high when you feel the baby kick for the first time. There are moments that you and your partner share during this process that connects you in more way than one. So, why aren’t we talking about that connection? Why aren’t we talking about the love and the compassion that the child needs to feel as it takes shape and form? There is so much innate pressure on children anyway these days. So, why put that heap on a child that is still trying to form its limbs? Why are we so obsessed with creating a baby like it is ordering pizza? Choose the toppings, choose the base, choose the garnish and put it in the oven to bake!

The harsh reality is – You don’t want a baby. What you want is a trophy to show off. A live size human robot that will function as you construct it to. Yes, it is as mechanical as that. Why is there so much brouhaha on Sophia the first human robot then? For, through this process of creating a designer baby, aren’t you guilty of doing the same?

These are hard hitting questions that need to be answered. What started as a piece of news that made me laugh actually ended up touching a chord inside. This isn’t motherhood, it’s just about creating something you want to bask in the publicity of.

Pregnancy is a process denied to many a woman. It is supposed to be a sacrosanct moment between a mother and her child. We are making a business out of basic life values and then fretting about imparting the same values to our unborn children. How human are we really?

(Pooja Poddar Marwah is an award winning author and Blogger. She writes an contemporary living and offers incisive reflections on the world around us. Her blog, Random Conversations is a go to guide to deal with the myraid stuggles we face each day.)