I wasn’t born in a normal way.
Or at least, I was told I wasn’t.
Until I was 7, I was made to believe that I’ve been picked up from a garbage can next to a big hospital. 99% of the parents in my country, Bangladesh have a hard time answering the question, “How was I born?” from their children. The whole zygote-concept is a very uncomfortable thing to talk about and they try to avoid it by making all sorts of excuses and stories. Many even find such questions as paknami (i.e. over-curious and smart for anyone’s age, especially applicable for people below 18).
However, for the excuses, they’re typically alike. Babies are usually found:
A. Abandoned near trash cans next to big hospitals; or
B. Floating in a small casket in the river; or
C. Left underneath big, shady trees.
Parents are floating all over the country and cute, little babies are just waiting for them – abandoned’ – so that they can be picked anytime parents feel like being ‘parents’.
Just like another 0.2 million parents in Bangladesh, my parents picked Option A. Hence, I was tormented by the thought getting picked from garbage for solid 7 years. I tried to ask in many different ways about the identity of my ‘real’ parents and my questions were always buried deeper inside my mind with laughter or other stupid answers.
My wandering mind imagined my ‘real’ parents as richer than the-parents-I’m-living-with and I wanted to go back to them for a refrigerator full of chocolates. The other half of my mind was grateful to those-parents-I’m-living-with since my original parents were probably poor (which explains as to why they abandoned me) and I was satisfied with my good life.
Around 10-13, I discovered the word ‘sex’ and learnt that babies are born through an experience of ‘sex’. ‘Sex’ was always a topic of much fascination and disgust among the male and female demographies of our classrooms respectively. We, the girls held a contempt towards our parents for bringing us to the world through such a disgusting process; and felt we would never punish our children through the same procedure. Later, ‘sex’ became less disgusting and more of something to giggle about.
Higher up at school, thanks to Biology classes and over-enthusiastic friends, ‘sex’ became an eloborated process of a zygote evolving into an embryo and finally, into a tiny, pink baby. It was finally a satisfying, scientific and reasonable answer.
Hence, still worrying and wandering if I looked like my ‘original’ parents or the-parents-I’m-living-with, I began my journey through the horrible maze called ‘life’!