The maid's daughter is six months pregnant. And the foetus is male. And how did she find out? The doctor who conducted her scan told her. Yes.
And me? The ultrasound clinics I went to had large posters with foreboding red lettering which warned me that "Foetal sex determination is illegal and a punishable offence". I had to sign declarations that I wouldn't ask the doctor to reveal the sex of the foetus, and the doctor had to sign in the report that s/he hasn't disclosed the sex of the foetus to me. And this is when I was ready, to welcome with open arms, either sex, be it a boy or a girl.
And the doctor reveals the sex of the foetus to the maid's daughter, she from that class of society, who are more likely than us to treat girls as burdens, and would tend to abort female foetuses. And as I gather, the doctor offered the information just like that. No money seems to have exchanged hands.
Did he offer the information because the foetus is male? Would he have done the same if it was female? But if he had the reputation of revealing the sex of the foetus, wouldn't his silence indicate that it is a female foetus?
In fact, when I was expecting, the same maid asked me if the doctor did not tell me the sex of the foetus, and that in her village, they "take a photo" and tell them the sex of the foetus. But this scan was done right here, in Bangalore. Where is this clinic? "There", with a vague wave of the hand is all the information we get from the maid about the whereabouts of this place.
This tells me how widespread sex determination is. And we scream ourselves hoarse about female foeticide.
Update on Jan 8th: The girl delivered the baby yesterday... and it turned out to be a girl!