We, Indians, are not known for our subtlety. And what’s happening (or not happening) in your life is our business too! Well, I got a taste of it first-hand myself.

As soon as little Aanya turned 1, I started receiving hints.

“Poor child, playing all alone. Once she has a sibling, she will enjoy playing with them” or “It’s easier to bring up two children together than one.” The logic beat me but I refrained from commenting.

Now when her second birthday is almost upon us, there are no more hints. This time, they are open and direct.

“It’s time you plan a second child. Aanya is growing up fast and you are not turning any younger yourself.” Gee! Thanks so much for reminding me that I am turning into an old fag.

But another child? Why?

The last I heard the population in India was 1.24 billion and still counting. Do I need to contribute to it?

We all know about the straining infrastructure, failing economy, poor safety and contemptuous climate. Should I add to the misery?

Forget about the country for a moment and see closer home. As if the soaring inflation and astronomical education fees were not enough, the political uncertainty and poor employment prospects are only adding to the woes. Should I bring another child into this environment?

Yes my daughter needs a sibling to play with. She would want someone to call her own long after we are gone. But at what cost? Isn’t she better off playing with friends and cousins? Do I give her a happy present or a dream lollipop for the future? How about adopting a sibling, would that be bad?