Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Aamir-Kiran show the way...

Was shooting with a good crew last afternoon. Sky TV is planning an important series on 'The Great Cities of the World'. Mumbai features as one of them along with Moscow,Rome, London, New York... please note : not a single city in China! The presenter is a distinguished diplomat ( former ambassador to America), and he was back in Mumbai after 25 long years. The other Mumbaikars interviewed are Adi Godrej,Shah Rukh Khan, Nita Ambani, Nirav Modi ( so far ). The idea is for Christopher ( the presenter) to see a city through the eyes of people who live and work there, and in a way, define the city.I was flattered to be included. So far, it has been a happy experience for the team. On their wish list? Raj Thackeray! Let's see if that interview takes place. If it does, I hope Raj sticks to Marathi.

This appeared in The Week

Aamir-Kiran show the way….

It’s amazing how Aamir Khan gets it right over and over again. Not just with his career in which he reigns as India’s number one actor ( other Khans come and go, playing yo-yo with the top slot). But off-screen as well. Aamir’s reel and real life have fused seamlessly, especially after his second marriage to the cerebral and immensely likeable Kiran Rao. Their recent joint announcement about the arrival of a baby boy was greeted with uniform joy across the country. Not just because they were blessed by their first child ( Aamir is the father of three kids, two from an earlier marriage, and one with a British journalist), but the fact that this one was carried by a surrogate mother. And the proud biological parents (Aamir-Kiran) had zero hang -ups about going public with the information. Bravo! By doing that, they automatically diffused any speculation, besides sending out a strong message to our conservative society that surrogacy is a perfectly acceptable option for childless couples in the 21st century. In one stroke, Aamir and Kiran established their own credentials as progressive, modern people willing to go the extra mile to have a child of their own. Surrogacy remains a comparatively new field in India. And yet, there are thousands of childless couples longing to become parents. Due to ignorance, embarrassment and fear (“What will people say?”), most don’t take advantage of the dramatic breakthroughs that facilitate having ones own baby, thanks to IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation). As Dr. Firuza Parikh, Director of Reproduction and Genetics at a reputed Mumbai Hospital explained, “Kiran had a uterine factor which caused her difficulty in conceiving. Hence we recommended IVF surrogacy to her.” Aamir’s detailed press release expanded this information further by reminding fans that Kiran’s earlier miscarriage had left both of them distraught and disappointed. He wrote,“ This baby is very dear to us because he was born after a long wait and some difficulty due to medical reasons.” When was the last time you heard such straight talk from a superstar?
Surrogacy is a complex issue with several ramifications, including legal ones. Potential parents are required to understand the long term implications of the decision before they participate in this programme. For example, apart from privacy issues, there is the financial obligation that is at the core of the arrangement. What happens if the couple divorces before the baby is born, or dies in an accident? Is the surrogate mother left holding a baby that is technically not her own? Since surrogacy depends on a contract between the parties involved, it is not as easy as merely ‘hiring a womb’. There are clauses in place that aim to protect the baby’s interests, along with the surrogate mother’s. While in India, such contracts are recognized via ‘national guidelines’ drawn by the ICMR, there are no stipulations for the violations of the contract. Most times, it is a woman from an underprivileged background who agrees to carry someone else’s baby for a generous fee. This is where the terrain gets tricky. There have been reported cases of poverty-stricken women agreeing to ‘host’ babies of foreigners who are citizens of countries which insist on far greater scrutiny before giving the green signal for surrogacy.
Despite these reservations, it is commendable that Aamir and Kiran have chosen to share their experience with fans. To call Aamir’s child a ‘poster boy’ for surrogacy (as some doctors have done), is to trivialize the issue and ‘sell’ surrogacy across the board. When we talk of ‘greater social acceptance’ of the procedure, it is important to qualify that remark some more. Like adoption, surrogacy too, requires a great deal of deep thought combined with a life long commitment to the innocent baby a couple brings home. The IVF procedure has provided untold happiness to countless childless couples who were at a dead end. Aamir and Kiran are responsible, informed and financially secure parents. Other couples are not as fortunate. What Aamir and Kiran have achieved is to break through age old taboos about fertility and a woman’s right to go ahead and take advantage of what science has to offer. In a country steeped in superstition, Aamir and Kiran have displayed admirable boldness that must be acknowledged. Aamir has thanked the Almighty and said they were “humbled by the greatness of God, the miracle of science….” To that, it’s worth adding the gratitude of innumerable despairing couples who may now explore the possibilities open to them to bring their own little bundles of joy home.This is star power at its positive best. Here’s wishing the proud parents and their little boy all the happiness in the world.


goodluck said...

I have one question. The surrogate mother's system supplies food and nurtures the baby. Will the baby have some part of surrogate mother's features and bloodline?

Any average woman who gives birth to a baby after 9 months will definitely have feelings for the baby. It does not matter whose actual baby it is.

The woman who gets the baby is like a shopper. Paying the money and owning the product.

The question is the bond. Will the baby can have bonds with the surrogate mother in any way?

goodluck said...

Hope somebody enlightens about this.

Anil Kumar said...

You are spot on that surrogacy is a great way to have kids for people who can't conceive.

But you don't have to praise these bastards who bombarded innocent people with FILTHY songs like BossDK and also made filthy money in the process.

If the BossDK song is ok and its freedom of expression then the ease with which Kiran rao's stinking Bhosadi escape the pain of child birth should also be mentioned. Had she earned money with sweat and hard work she would have tried to conceive many times before turning to poor surrogate mother. But because these people MAKE DIRTY money they deserve to be placed in the category where they belong.

If my comments and crude language offends your readers, then the songs of these haraam ki aullaad offends me also.

चंद्रमौलेश्वर प्रसाद said...

China is a peace loving country.. so no HINSA of shooting please :)

surrogate motherhood may create some employment in poor country like India... Three Cheers to Amir family.

Desi Babu said...

Dear Mrs. De,

Complex biological systems, such as our planet run on evolution and genetics -- we have a deep desire to pass on our DNA to the next generation, and hence, the need for an aulaad , the desire to procreate. Unfortunately, most of our genes are lost in a grand pool of DNA, after the third generation or so. After that, we are all made of the complex genetic soup, which is a product of millions of years of evolution. You and I probably share more genes (who knows, you might be my long lost "genetic" sister!) than you ever will, with your great grandson.

So, I fail to see why rich people go to such great lengths to get their DNA mixed in a petri-dish and put inside a poor woman with a "womb for hire". It makes me sad to see such news stories along with those of crying six year old orphans chained in Madrassas in Pakistan -- many of them deserve to be "Azaad" too.

Perhaps, the next stigma we will attack together, is that of adoption. We have a lot of kids to go around, perhaps, not designer babies, but definitely human babies.


Another Kiran In NYC said...

Having faced fertility issues a decade ago I feel qualified to talk a bit about this subject. It is not something any one else can understand or even empathise with unless they themselves walk in those shoes. A complex subject that has broken many a person. Perhaps one day, when my own emotions about this are more managable, I will write about my own experiences on my blog.

Goodluck : As long as the surrogate mother has not used her own eggs, the baby will share no genetic traits with the surrogate mother. The baby will not look like her, behave like her or in any way share her characteristics. The surrogate mother's uterus is just an incubator. The food she eats will nourish the baby, and her body will provide a safe space, for the baby to grow. Of course the surrogate will feel emotions unless she is a robot incubator. The woman who gets the baby is not just a shopper. Her emotions are equally invested. Perhaps she used her own eggs, in which case the baby is genetically related to her, but in any case as a future nurturer of the child she is as involved in the emotional process. The baby can grow a bond with the surrogate mother if the child interacts with the surrogate mother in later years. Just growing in the surrogate's womb does not make an automatic bond. I hope I answered some of your questions.

Anil Kumar: You and I do not know that Kiran Rao did not want to take the trouble to bear her own child. The couple (and some doctors too.. which is kind of strange) have been forthright about health issues. I think we should take them at face value and not cast aspersions. You may have other issues with the couple, but being nasty and insensitive about the welcome birth of a child and the making of a family, is just sad and very unfair.

Desibabu: I agree with you that there should be many Azaad's. There are many waiting to become a part of a loving family. However it is unfair to be judgemental about why people choose to have their own genetic offspring. It is sometimes less about convinence and how rich you are and more about how much your sense of self is defeated and broken by the seeming inability to be able to achieve something that is natural and so easy for others. It is a complex and heart breaking emotion and something only those who face fertility issues can understand. I have been there and I can tell you it breaks down the strongest people.

goodluck said...

Thanks Another Kiran from NYC for taking trouble to explain patiently.

Anil Kumar said...

@ Only Kiran from NYC,

I know I am unfair to the CHILD of Kiran Rao.

But the people who are in the business of making money (instead of earning it) in Bollywood trample and bombard us with FILTHY songs, advertisements and what not everyday. They don't spare even the children's cartoon channels.

So I know that only way to beat the shit out of such people is to tell them what they are and place them, their parents who raised them and their offsprings WHERE THEY BELONG.

Rakesh Kumar Jha said...

Anil kumar what so ever offense who hv against the khan s couple ... N their mvies n songs ... But whats that kids fault , who isnt born yet least bless him... A nice future ahead...

Anil Kumar said...

If people stoop to low levels to MAKE money without giving a thought to the effect on society and specially kids then that's the only language applicable to them and their newborn and their to be born children.

Now there is new Chikni chameli in the market. Munni, Sheela, Chameli are all old names and poor people in villages have these names.

Will Aishwarya Rai name her daughter Chameli, Munni or Sheila...or Kiran Rao nickname her son BossDK and when he grows up and goes to school, tell his teacher that I am the mother of BossDK??

If so then I will say Bollywood sincerely believes in what they show in bollywood...If the answer is NO the I would say majority of these bastards are out there only to make quick bucks and should be treated accordingly.

I may be wrong because some soft journalists appreciate their timing and call it a masterstroke.

Pooja Rathore said...

Good to know about Mumbai to be included as one of the greatest cities of the world. you are included thats good, they have done a wise thing ,you love your mumbai and know the city very well.
The post is very well written while reading i could sense the effortlessness in your writing so free flow ,you have put things very well.
i agree with you with regard to aamir , kiran rao and about the pros and cons of surrogacy.If all safety measures are taken surrogacy a boon for childless couples.

KG Bee said...

@Anil Kumar: Abbey Gaandu! BhosDK ki aulaad. Kuch to sharam kar. Just because you disliked the song from Delhi Belly doesn't mean you can abuse a woman who just gave birth to a baby after much difficulty. Especially so since she's only the wife of the film's producer, not the lyricist or the director of the song Bhaag DK Bose! Agar tere mein ek khargosh ke dimaag ki size ka bhi akal hota... aur agar tu newspaper padne waala normal insaan hota to shaayad tere ko maaloom hota ki Kiran Rao ko Delhi Belly ke few months pehle MISCARRIAGE hua tha. Her baby was born dead & it broke both Aamir & her heart. At a time when majority would feel disheartened & give up these two have set an example by going for a surrogate... which is why Aamir mentioned 'medical reasons' in his open letter to fans. Bloody jaahil gawaar you cant even understand their emotion. You deserve no bloody respect. Die you worm!

Anil Kumar said...

I can understand your pain buddy.

Don't worry !!

ND Tiwari will go through the paternity test one day and you will get your due in his fortune. You should thank your mother for hooking up with that old bastard.

Supreme court is active these days and your case will be heard.

Yes..These bastareds must be heart broken. Fathering kids from 3 woman and then you have sympathies. You must be a product of cross-breed between various individuals as your emotions show.

Good Luck !!

Anil Kumar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anil Kumar said...

By the way your beloved sister Kiran Rao didnt give birth with great difficulty - read my comment - Her smelly Bhosadi remained intact for past 9 months...She got a baby by paying money to the surrogate mother. Complete your college education first and then come and discuss.

lalsub said...

@ Anil Kumar--I am shocked to read your repeated attacks on Aamir and Kiran.Of course the net does throw up plenty of angry frustrated souls like you, people filled with unreasonable hate towards a third party, so your rage is understandable though unforgivable--after all what crime have this couple done? Made a risque funny film, ok,but also produced the brilliant funny and empathetic Peepli Live--not to speak of other terrific films from the AKP stable. And Aamir has not mowed down sleeping people or anything really reprehensible--he is just a successful moviemaker with a persona that is secular and totally Indian, thank God.

As for Kiran--the lady has suffered a traumatic miscarriage--and deserves every happiness she can get through her own genetic child. The couple have chosen to be upfront about this legal option--and I hope made things easier for the many ladies who are unable to carry a baby full term, but wish to have own genetic child.

I am a mother myself, and I understand the yearning pain a childless woman feels.

Anil Kumar said...

I have all the sympathies for woman or man who are childless and for medical reasons can't have their own. I am for surrogacy if it can bring joy to such individuals.

My hatred towards them is that these two individuals openly defended on TV the filthy song BossDK. The kind of wordings you don't want your children or ladies to listen to. This kind of language is not acceptable in a civilized society. If this is ok - there is no harm in telling Kiran that your stinking Bhosadi is no good.

In addition to promote their movie these SOB's went to FM Radio in Noida - 93.5 - and called ladies randomly at home and played this filthy song to them and asked them what do they think. And majority of ladies put down the phone. And the person who was in studio was none other than one of their co-star. This bitch Kiran Rao was giggling too when asked about the song and defended it as if she is some Kothe waali.

Just because they have done good work in past, I can not let them go free when such immoral sins are committed - I know I am a minority in this country on such issues - But I am also voice of many people who just don't know how to stop this menace and cheap behaviour.

The freedom of expression comes with responsibility and not by ripping the family values apart in search of moolahs.

Hope they are listening and she will protect her BOSSD from now on and will never indulge in such abuse of freedom and luxury she has.

Vie said...

Well I would respect Aamir more if he owned up to the other hush-hush subject- his love child with Jessica Hines

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