Garbh Vigyan Sanskar's logic: Have sex when the right planets are lined up; stop after you get pregnant, notes Mitali Saran.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
Canadian singer Justin Bieber was visiting India just as India was talking about babies, though not as many babies as in Justin's superhit Baby. Nothing reflects the zeitgeist like horrible teenage pop.
I'm no baby lover. I have had none myself, despite some close shaves.
I have been a useless aunt in terms of babysitting, and in all the other terms in which one can be an aunt.
I can't wait to get to life's reproductive checkout counter and exchange my fertility for a small beard.
The reason for my sluggish maternal instinct was precisely put by American writer Jean Kerr: 'Now the thing about having a baby -- and I can't be the first person to have noticed this -- is that thereafter you have it.'
This is not to say that I don't appreciate children. They're cute as buttons, and nothing is as interesting as a child before its native genius is schooled out of it.
But let's face it: I don't like the short, dark, dumb ones. Who does?
Certainly no self-respecting Ary -- I mean Ayurvedic -- people. This is why I am so delighted, as a patriot, that those amongst us who are most dedicated to social work and nation-building have taken on the challenge of turning short, dark, skinny, dumb Indians into taller, fairer, better-built, smarter... Germans, I guess?
Or Norwegians? No matter -- they're all Hindus anyway.
If you're a short, dark, skinny dumbo who had a hard time finding someone to marry, you can give your children a leg up on the marriage market and in life by turning to the Garbh Vigyan Sanskar (Uterus Science Culture) project, the brainchild of the Arogya Bharati, the health wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
They will help you have not just babies, but better babies.
If you have already had the great misfortune of birthing a short, dark, skinny, dim replica of yourself, you will have to keep him/her -- hello, we’re not barbarians -- but then you can try to have a better baby, and who's to know which one you take better care of?
We've been doing this with boys versus girls for ages.
Members of the RSS have, in the past, demonstrated their scientific temper by covering their cell phones in cowdung; saying that cows both inhale and exhale oxygen; and warning that girls who study past 10 pm are immoral.
I'm no doctor, but the science behind manufacturing super-babies sounds similar: Have sex when the right planets are lined up; stop having sex after you get pregnant (according to Arogya Bharati's Ashok Kumar Varshney, a PhD in biochemistry, it's 'suicidal for the mother and the baby'); and have the pregnant mother chant shlokas and mantras.
All of this apparently repairs faulty genes, making Jatin look more like Justin.
Western science can engineer genes in petri dishes; India can engineer racist pride right in the womb.
Arogya Bharati has tried to help Indians manufacture proper fair babies ever since they got the idea from Germany in the 1940s.
You can't really tell this from casting your eye over the Indian population, but these things take time.
Luckily, the RSS will be around for a while.
Speaking for myself, I'm glad to be off the baby-making hook -- or, as Shashi Tharoor might have said, exultant to have eternally recused myself from viviparously nurturing minuscule iterations of Homo sapiens despite my biologically enhanced capacity to perform the function of distaff ancestor.
I don't know why people make fun of the guy. If my super-baby didn't come with a super vocabulary, I'd want my money back.