What are some of the most overrated things in India that many seem to follow or do?I would say most Indians are obsessed about the reproductive capabilities of people around them. Whether it's a distant relative or neighbour or friend of a friend or a complete stranger, they don't mind asking about the most personal and sensitive issues of a married person. Not just asking they offer unsolicited advice even after you make it clear that you don't need any. When a couple say that they are not planning for kids right now they translate it like this: We're having some fertility issues. Then starts the flow of advices which range from the best foods for improving fertility or the best temple or babaji whose Darshan ensures a baby in your hands in 9 months, to the best fertility clinic in the town.
When the person is already carrying, these people have more curiosity about the baby's gender than the parents even. Once the baby is delivered they are full of advice on how to raise a baby even when they have not raised a single child in first place.
I had twins and it was my first ( and only) pregnancy. I'm very thin and me carrying twins with a big bump caught the eye of many people. After the delivery here are excerpts from personal experience:
1. I went for my postnatal check-up and a lady whom I've never met before asked me whether I had a boy or girl. I replied twins. So she said, " that's why you were carrying so big, I saw you at your prenatal check-up". I was like what the... Then she asked whether I had surgery. I innocently replied that it was a c section. But then my family friend who accompanied me clarified that she's asking about family planning operation. I was like "did she really ask that question???".
2. Around the same time a neighbour called my younger brother and asked him the same question about family planning operation. He came home all irritated saying" why's she asking me?".
3. A distant relative came to visit and asked me the same question. I politely replied No. To which she said" oh that's good, wait till the kids are 3 years old and get it done". I was like " did i ask for advice???"
4. Another neighbour came to visit and just declared " two kids are enough. Don't have anymore." I had an immediate urge to get pregnant again.
5. A few months later the maid asked when I'm planning to conceive again. I said I'm not planning again. She said, " no. you should give a little sister to your sons". I didn't know whether I should laugh or weep.
After facing all this I'd had enough. I desperately searched to buy clothes for my boys with the following caption:
"My Mom doesn't need your advice"
Unfortunately I couldn't get them anywhere.
Leaving the personal questions aside, I heard one of my immediate family members, a man, discussing about the infertility issues of our neighbours with a taxi driver and about the rituals they perform for having kids. And the taxi driver was suggesting some remedies as to which temple they should visit etc. It just drove me crazy.
I just wish people would respect personal matters of others and keep their noses out of sensitive family matters. Everyone has their own plans about these things and advice will be solicited when required.
I don't know if the situation is same in any other country, I can only speak for India. So stop obsessing over reproduction. Remember that our country's population is already way too high and people need not urge others to have children so soon.
( I know I've twins and not eligible to talk about population, but I didn't plan for 2. I was just lucky....or unlucky I don't know.)