Miss(understood) Feminist

This morning I saw a new article trending “I am a Domestically-Challenged Bride; A Proud One!“ and garnering lots of ‘likes’ and ‘thumbs up’.

I earn and help my husband take care of the bills. I am well-read and can hold interesting conversations with him and his friends when we entertain, I can add numbers real quick and if he wants to cross-check any fact, I am the one who can give him the info in a matter of minutes (thanks to Google and a good phone). Am I still a bad wife? A lot of people seem to think so.”

I read this article with over ‘33.3K shares’, and had a good laugh.

I think the people around me are suffering from what I call ‘afsar’ syndrome. Through my stints in a typical Delhi office environment I have observed how the afsars (officer Hindi-fied), the white collared gentry, think that it is not their job to do anything other than ‘work’ which should involve paper/computer/application of mind. Tasks such as washing their own cup, throwing the used paper cup, taking files out of the cupboard, removing the used plate are meant for the blue collared boys in their blue uniforms. I have also heard tales from my acquaintances who take ‘pride’ in the fact that they earn but can’t cook & clean and can afford a cook and a cleaning lady and that such ‘actions’ do not make them a ‘bad’ ‘wife’. No not all… rather such ‘thoughts’ only make you sound like an ‘immature’ ‘person’.

Do we ever take pride in saying ‘I just cant take a bath myself, I have a Man Friday do it for me, and I am proud of it’. Or ‘I just cant brush my teeth, I cant waste my time on such things’ Or how we wish this was true ‘Don’t expect me to do my own exercise in the gym… its too trivial for me to waste my time on this… I get a maid to do that for me’! Ever seen a Westerner boast that he doesn’t do his laundry or cook?

Recently my cook lost her teenage daughter under very tragic circumstances. My neighbour (who has a 7 year old girl) told me that she was ‘shell-shocked’ and told the cook to take ‘her time’ to recover. One day she was at my door at 6.30 am asking me if the cook resumed her job and that she ‘thought’ that the cook started coming to my house. I said no and it was only 4 days since the little girl passed away!

We go to schools and colleges to get educated. However, in the process of getting a degree to make ourselves financially independent, guess we forgot to educate ourselves about complete independence. Learning to cook and keep your house and surroundings clean does not make you a ‘typical Indian aunty’ (the derogatory term we like to call typical homemakers). Rather we are just doing our own jobs. Why is it that there is a lot of emphasis on how ‘well’ we perform at our professional jobs and that doubled with our inability to do our personal chores is received with applause. The fact that men are not expected to do these ‘menial’, ‘trivial’ jobs is another ball game all together.

Not knowing what to eat and when to eat, living in a dirty house and wearing unclean clothes harms only us. The aim is not to be Martha Stewart at housekeeping, but to know the basics and to DO it when the need arises and do not flaunt your ignorance!!

Respect the ‘blue collared boys’. We have our cooks, cleaning ladies, car washing bhaiyyas, etc. and they help us achieve more within the limited time that a day grants us. So when these helpful angels do not come, cut the bullshit and just do your own work! And no none of this is TRIVIAL or NOT WORTH YOUR TIME!

PS: Dear author, I don’t need to be a breadwinner to know how to ‘google’ to check facts or ‘entertain’ guests!

Inspired to Inspiring

Back in college I used to learn dance at SDIPA. Infact one of my all time personal highs in life was that I was auditioned by ‘THE’ shaimak davar during the peak of his popularity in the mid-2000s and got in 🙂 Fate also gave me the chance to be part of the troupe that went to Melbourne to perform for the closing ceremony for the CWG 2006.

The YAY moment!

                  The YAY moment!

anyway i digress…

During the 2 month long rehearsals, i interacted with a girl (ok lady!) who at that time was married and 32 yrs old. At a time when the average age of the dancers was 20, i was extremely surprised (ok shocked!) that here was a woman who was in her 30s and married and had a regular job and attended the grueling dance routines. We rarely saw her husband or saw her talk to her husband over the phone; to be honest many a times i wondered whether she was in a happy marriage. But she was sorted, calm, composed and wise and we got along very well. Somewhere inside i wished that one day i want to be her. In fact whenever we introduced ourselves to a new set of dancers, I would say ‘she is AP, she is married and 32’ and leave the new dancer spellbound 😀

Now 2 CWGs down and nearly a decade later, my dancing is restricted to the bathroom or when drunk. I needed some entertainment in life and i enrolled myself in a language class. The average age of the students is 20. On my first day, the teacher asked why I wanted to learn the language and i said my husband speaks a foreign language and i want to speak one too. The class was shocked on knowing that I am in my 30s, married and have a regular job. A few classes later a student introduced me to another student saying ‘she is AMJ, she is married and 32’ , leaving the new student spellbound 😀

‘Looking’ Married

The most common comment that I have been getting since the day I got married is that I don’t ‘look’ married, right from Day 2 of my marriage. What is with ‘looking’ married? Do I have to wear a board round my neck stating that I am married? Well in India…Yes!
Acceptable ways of ‘looking’ married in India: Sindoor, wedding ring, wedding locket, toe rings, blingy clothes in bright colours, couples of extra kilos preferably and sitting coy at public events! All of the above applicable only to the female, none applicable to men…(they are still ‘khulla saandh’ :~D)
Day 2 after the wedding, the Man and I attended my friends’ wedding anniversary. When she told her mother ‘Ma this is Ann…the one whose wedding V and I attended last night‘, there was a collective gasp from the heavily decked up aunties in blingy sarees who saw me in a khadi silk kurta and churidhar..that too in beige!!! (No red!…another gasp!) Me thinks the aunties looked more ‘newly married’ than me. 
Day 5 after the wedding, the Man and I started cleaning our new house and I could not bear the sight of the wedding band getting tortured by the metallic scrub and soap solution. Also the Man and I could not come to terms with the yellow shiny metal on our respective fingers and I could never come to terms with the thick gold chain I had to wear because on it hung the ‘wedding locket’. So out went the rings and the chain! The Man and I were very happy from that day!! But society clearly not! 
My best friend has this game where she loves watching people’s reaction when she tells them that I am married. Apart from the standard reactions of ‘ooh u don’t look married‘ we also get obnoxious ones. One of the most obnoxious comments I received was from a lady who is highly educated and working in a very high post with a government undertaking. She asked me ‘so how come you both decided not to wear anything…too much confidence in each other?!?!!‘ I stared at her and said “Yes absolutely!” (although convenience is the real answer ;~) )
The principal of one of the schools I studied in is the famous Mrs. Y.G. Parthasarathy. This cheerful woman at the young age of 80 and counting still sports the brightest kancheepuram sarees with fresh flowers on her hair. She once told us that people asked her why doesn’t she ‘show respect’ to the departed soul of Mr. Parthasarathy and ‘dress up’ like the other widows. Her answer was ‘Till I got married and my husband came into my life, I was sporting colorful clothes and flowers, so why should that stop once my husband is no longer alive‘. Coming from a lady belonging to the staunch Tam Bram community, this is blasphemy in their society!!
  
Dear Indians, I don’t need you to draw boundaries for me to remain loyal…I am capable of doing that by myself. As for showing India how lucky I am of being a ‘suhaagan’ (status of being married), luck is not represented by looking like a Christmas Tree with Chinese Diwali lights on it!! 
PS: Now my main worry is the Man not ‘looking’ married…especially since I heard that he is getting marriage proposals…that too from pretty expats!!! 

Gender Bender – Decoding Relationship Cold War


At the mall Saturday evening…

Husband: Do you want to check out something in Aldo? There is a sale going on…

Wife: NO…the sizes in Aldo don’t fit me.

Husband: Do you want to got to Paul Smith?

Wife: NO… They have only men’s clothes…why do you care, you got me into the mall at 9.30 pm when all the stores have closed for the day..

Husband: Bata is open!

Wife: I DON’T WANT ANYTHING!!


Husband: Okay…


Sunday morning…

Husband wakes up at 7.30 a.m, finds his cup of tea on the table…

Husband leaves plates on the table, does not switch off lights/fans..returns and sees everything in their proper place/state.

Sunday afternoon….

Husband: Do you want to go for a movie?

Wife: NO

Husband: Last week you said you wanted to watch that movie, now what happened?

Wife: Not in the mood….

Husband: Okay….

Husband spends Sunday evening surfing internet, read movie and car reviews, watching flicks on TV…

Wife thinks I will make him suffer by not talking to him…how dare he refuse to take me for the movie last week…and this week he takes me to the mall at 9.30 p.m…HE WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR THIS!!! I did everything so that I don’t have to talk to him…but Damn I can’t nag him!!!

Husband thinks WOW…had a whole day to myself after AGES!! and everything went exactly my way …didnt have to spend any money at the mall, didn’t have to make the mandatory Sunday morning tea…didn’t have to plead for food at 10 a.m., no weekly grocery shopping, didn’t have to watch that stupid chick flick she was talking about last week, didn’t have to switch off the lights/fan (which self respecting guy does that anyway!), didn’t have to face her random conversations and most of all NO NAGGING!! Is this a dream!!!

This my dearies is why husbands LOVE COLD WAR!!!

Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental!

(Pic courtesy: http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/f/fall_out.asp  I own nothing!)