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Mother & Daughter

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Aman Singh, May 10, 2010.

  1. Aman Singh

    Aman Singh
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    Jun 1, 2004
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    Mother & Daughter

    The mothers and daughters sit close. They lock eyes and you can see how they are bound together - by genes and family history. The mothers are telling stories their girls have never heard, stories that explain how they came to be the women they are today, and the bottomless wells of love they have for their daughters. The week before Mother's Day, we invited mothers and daughters from the Star's girls' panel, which meets throughout the year, to talk and listen.

    The following is the story of a Sikh-Canadian 'mother & daughter'.

    In the Saini's family room in Rexdale, Surinder Kaur, 50, is wearing a turquoise salwar kameez and sitting on the leather sofa beside Bavleen Kaur, her fourth daughter, who is barefoot and in knee length black shorts. Navreet, 21, who studies aeronautical engineering, is on a smaller sofa beside Harminder, 9.

    Upstairs, their father, Bhajan Singh , is saying prayers before the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Scripture. On the glass table are drinks made of mango pulp and ice cream.

    Surinder hesitates and then falteringly begins.

    "We had three daughters and after that we decided that's it, no more kids. Then one day I was feeling sick . . . I went to the doctor."

    There is a long, long pause. And tears.

    "My friends told me to go and check the sex of the baby. ‘If it is a baby girl, do the abortion.' "

    Her voice breaks.

    "If it is a boy, keep him, they said.

    "I told them, ‘This baby is a gift from God. No matter what, I'm going to keep this baby.' "

    That child was Bavleen, student council president, a confident young woman deciding which university she'll accept.

    "Most of our friends were kind of sad. They said, ‘Why did you have another girl?' To have a baby boy - it's a big thing in our culture."

    Bavleen, who has been crying, and staring down at her red painted toes, lifts her gaze.

    "It's hard to accept the possibility that I may not have been here - and my little sister, too. It's scary that people think about wanting a child of a specific gender. You think it's the role of a mother to love child, unconditionally, which my mother has done. I'm sure it wasn't easy, thinking of what people wanted from her."

    "Not one person congratulated me on the baby," says Surinder. Instead, many wept.

    When each of her daughters was born, she ordered small portraits at the hospital. "I told my husband this time I want a big picture, poster size. Because when I saw Bavleen, there was no sadness. She was wonderful."

    "Now people know us as Bavleen's mother," continues Surinder. "I am so proud of my daughters. They are beautiful, strong and kind. These daughters are my five stars."

    [Courtesy: The Toronto Star]

    May 8, 2010

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