To be Or Not To Be
It was only after my marriage that I first entered a kitchen. My culinary skills were suspect and kitchen glossary not an asset. If on one day, my vanity going up in smoke from a charred dal, needed soothing, on others, grave follies would need both shoulders for my spirits to be lifted. Like, in the instance of a misunderstood measurement of tsp vs. tbsp wherein our guests had to consume volumes of water as if attempting to douse an active volcano. Undeterred, and as a firm supporter of the woman’s empowerment cause, I held fort for my working wife.
Whether it was changing diapers for our newborn or washing onethird of a load (two-thirds by the washing machine which had several issues with water levels), hanging out tons of clothes on clotheslines to dry as the machine too had its days of bodyache during spin and with would even abort operation if it felt overloaded with two extra nappies. Other places where I rallied forth were in doing the dishes with optimum breakage. This was not all, far more was in store.
My in-laws. Always successful in permeating my Hanumanchalisa Yantra shield, they would seep into my house unnoticed through reverse-osmosis. As I would self-immolate in my grief each time their veiled caustic remarks of my being a GFN would be thrown at me casually, my wife would be nowhere to be found with the stick of balm. Out of this problem with my tortuous washing machine and in-laws, was born an urge to go out there into the real man’s world and earn a real livelihood once again. A male-pride was lurking somewhere, alive and kicking.
Butsoon enough, I degenerated from a jobs-seeker to an object of curiosity to an object of ridicule for a large sniggering female workforce, in personnel departments of companies. I began to realise after several unsuccessful outcomes, that I was being called, merely to be regaled by a male’s problem in work – life balance – “Oh, so instead of your wife joining you – you left your job each time to join her at a new location in the
Women have toiled silently as beasts of burden; shielding men – folk from the hassles of tedious household budgeting from meagre incomes and raising a whole bunch of chunnu- munnus for him. Then why this sudden hankering for empowerment? Whether the woman takes charge or not. “Aa gayee deeyur? Khana? Tayyar hai!