This narrative is based on a true story but has been changed and adapted to respect privacy.
As I was glancing through my messages one morning. I saw a message from a woman, she wanted a call back from me to discuss something important. So I called her back, “Hi Amanda, this is Navjot, you requested a call from me, how can I help?”
“Navjot, I want a paternity test for the baby, can you refer me to someone?”
“Sure, you don’t need a referral, you can go to a genetics lab. It costs about $1000 and the cost is not covered by your health insurance. You will be paying out of pocket?
“Oh! That expensive, I can’t afford that?”
“Ok, can you help me find the date of conception? It might be helpful in coming to some conclusion?”
“Sure we can get you to do an ultrasound to date the pregnancy and then look at the possible dates but it is never a hundred percent.”
“I get it, can I have an ultrasound?”
“Sure, you can!”
A few days after she called and said.
“I got an ultrasound done two days ago, can you schedule an appointment for me, once the results are in to review the possible dates of conception.”
“Sure, I will. Meanwhile you take care.”
Couple days later, she came in to see me and we went over possible dates when conception could have happened.
I asked her, since you are pursuing this this with a lot of passion “May I ask you the reason why? You don’t have to answer if you don’t feel like. But if you do, it might help me to serve you better. If I knew where you want to get.”
“I have two men in my life, one is a long term relationship and other a casual one. I want to keep the baby if it is within the long term relationship. I want to abort if it is with the casual relationship.”
“Sounds reasonable. So looking at the possible dates of conception it appears to be…… what would you like to do.”
“I would like an abortion” with this she broke down crying profusely. I wish it was with my long term partner, it just won’t happen there. We have been working on this for ten years now.
“I am sorry to hear that my dear, is there something I can do to help.”
“Please make a referral for an abortion, Thank you!’
“Sure, I will do that.”
“Abortion is always an emotionally challenging issue, please let me know if you want to talk to a social worker.”
“I am Ok for now, I will get back to you, if I want it.”
My heart went out to her. Woman has two relationships and still can’t find happiness. Oh! She must be feeling so terrible!

As I was thinking about her, I recalled an article that I was reading a few months ago. Article focused on a new emerging trend among couples. Where a marriage contract ( marriage is a legally enforceable contract ) as it exists today was unacceptable to some and newer contracts were coming into existence where the couples came together to just raise a family. Sexual partnership was not a part of it. Maybe the partners that are good to raise a family with are not good enough for a sexual partnership! We are still not aware of the long-term effects of such arrangements! Whew! Too many things happening!

Surrogacy and Artificial reproductive techniques are giving the traditional family arrangement a makeover too! I had a same sex couple, and they shared their experience with me about shopping for a sperm donor. Apparently there are some criteria to get a good one. So that you can optimize your chances of getting a healthy enough baby. Apparently, the sperm donors have their websites where you can see the babies they made!

Are people going to be happier with these newer partnership arrangements? I am not sure. Maybe the pendulum may swing to the other side and these newer arrangements will become the norm. Then will start the disillusionment with these models of family structure and the pendulum will shift back to the current family system.

Satisfaction in relationships seem to be evading partners. As usual the blame is always on everything around and hence attempts to change things constantly until exhaustion or sickness sets in and takes away the tempo to switch up things. Often there is a deep seated unmet psychological need somewhere that is going unidentified by people. In search of meeting and satisfying this need, people walk into multiple physical relationships or experiences. Leading to more chaos than before. And making it even harder to identify this unmet need and inadvertently creating more problems for themselves. Until the person makes an attempt to stop this self-perpetuating cycle and look at it with a different perspective. I think at some point we do have to face the fact that physical needs are driven by the human brain. The key to understanding how to exercise control over the brain is fundamental to a satisfactory and happy existence.

Now, some culture’s do allow casual relationships alongside the long term relationships, sometimes it happens anyways regardless of the cultural permission. Often, this happens without disclosure of information to partners involved. Downside of this is that it is a recipe for sexually transmitted infections including HIV, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomonas. Unless everyone in the chain exercises good sexual hygiene. This means using male or female  barrier contraceptive.  None of these infection are fun to have. But the good news is they are treatable including HIV. You can maintain a normal quality of life with timely diagnoses and treatment. If left untreated it can cause permanent damage to people infected and their babies. In some countries it is a legal requirement to disclose HIV status to partners.

Interestingly, when I see this starvation amidst plenty. This could be anything increased consumption of food and obesity. Maybe increased sexual activity and social issues associated with it. Or plain and simple hoarding resources or things.

My suggestion is that if you are indulging in something way much more than an average person. Then it is good to do some reflection on what is it that you really want from it and are you looking for that thing in the right place?

This also reminds me of one of the demons in Shree Durgashaptshati (You will hear this from me many times!) Raktbeej, is a terrible demon. Each drop of his blood that is shed, has the ability to create another powerful demon like himself. Wisdom lies in killing him without spilling any blood. Similarly, smartness lies in addressing your needs without getting caught in this quick sand of needs, by creating more needs in satisfying one need. While we enjoy a physical existence, we stay in control at all times. None of us want to be slaves, we want to exercise our free will and enjoy freedom, then why accept this form of slavery?