It’s neither a new nor any unique subject, at least not in the Indian set-up where I’ve grown up hearing from my fellow school goers that their moms did ‘nothing’ but staying at home. Off course, I do agree that these present generation kids are way smarter than what we used to be, and they have picked up quite well dedicated terminologies like ‘housewife’, ‘homemaker’ for their mothers opting to ‘put an indefinite coma’ to their careers either after marriage or delivery of the baby. But even after this spontaneous refinement of spoken words, the picture remains the same- a lazy woman with mediocre self esteem, choosing to avoid the sun and enjoy watermelon on husband’s hard earned bucks while making the life of housemaid miserable! Now, if you feel I’m speaking magazine words, then be brave, most importantly honest and answer me what’ll be your natural reply to my question “What does your better half do” if she is a housewife? Most probably you’re educated (since you’ve logged into internet and taken the trouble of reading my blog) and hence I take it, you’re among those sophisticated husbands with good verbal skill and palatable courteousness. So, your male chivalry will add up to the former and give me a reply like, “When I’m working why does she have to do anything?”. The epilogue remains the same, your ‘housewife’ wife or your child’s ‘housewife’ mom is doing just nothing… cool! By the way, are these sounding inappropriate from a male blogger’s keyboard? Sorry mate, facts are not slaves to any particular gender and I don’t have to be a daughter to read those unsaid aspects of the life of my ‘housewife’ mother.
Very frankly speaking, I could simply add up the calorie consumption of majority of our Indian housewives by household chores per day and show you it’s no less than their outside working male counterparts. But my today’s talk is not simply a housewife vs. working-husband discussions, it’s more specific… it’s the macro image of those virtuous women who chose to remain at home for taking exclusive care of their families and children despite holding academic/vocational benchmark scores equal to their husbands and yet, now and then an inevitable social nosiness bothers them- “Why don’t you do anything?” (It’s undoubtedly a matter of pity that their mothers did ‘something’!) Or, those who are her real well wishers would just ask- “Honey, why you are wasting your degrees? We never thought you’d babysit… you were so bright!” So, as per their belief three major conclusions can be drawn: University degrees come with expiry dates, the lady was presumed to be joining NASA and children should only be reared by uneducated nannies (moms would do too provided they’re illiterate). Chill guys, chill… I’m not barking under the comfy prejudice of any doghouse… these are all what they mean and sometimes you’re one of ‘them’. Firstly and boldly I would like to disregard the “Why don’t you do anything?” query of those curious long nosed folks, because I too believe that sometimes we tend to indulge in brainless chat, at least to recharge the validity of Einstein’s notion about infinite human stupidity. Better we will reflect on the view of ‘well wishers’ category. There’s no denying the truth that a pilot looks best in her cockpit and lack of culture makes anyone a vulture. As a matter of fact, time and staying out of touch puts a fine coat of rust on professional skill of a lady and many skills are there which can’t be kept alive in a domestic environment. Then answer my goddamn question- why motherhood has to be such an underrated designation of a woman? Let us just contemplate on why does it bother us when some lady is giving greater priority to her ‘being a mother’ than being a doctor, architect, advocate, scientist and anything that brings money to her family? Is it merely because it doesn’t add up to the income of the family? Or, is it due to the inadequacy of any institution to grant a paper degree/diploma of the unsung worth called motherhood? Or, is it simply due to the rigidness of the fact that a woman can only occupy the chair of motherhood? Coming to the other conclusion “children should only be reared by uneducated nannies”, yes, why not… better why don’t you put a Rubik’s cube in your child’s hand let the rollercoaster of his sensory and motor development run on its own? Honestly I feel I need to write a full article if I’ve to explain why a child deserves an educated mentor in the crucial period of his growth and development and nobody can justify that role better than the mother. Well, the sole purpose of this article was not to justify the importance of housewives dedicated to motherhood but to pity on those absurd thinkers who fail to accept that motherhood is such a versatile designation of his/her next door housewife…!
This is no astrophysics that you’ll need special intellect to appreciate. Kindly oblige yourself by broadening your horizon and accept the fact that, many housewives you see “enjoying mangoes at home” are actually skilled individuals, who could see through the importance of spending time with their children unlike you. Though they’ve put their personal goal at the backseat for the time being they’re serving greater purpose by moulding good heads for tomorrow. This is something they’re completely focussed at right now and certainly by their own choice. This doesn’t mean that if need arises, those women can’t uncap a pen or unsheathe a sword. Emboss it in your mind that a ‘housewife’ mother is usually a storehouse of patience and perseverance, owing to which she ignores your callous enquiry, “Don’t you do anything?” most probably, taking you for an imbecile to whom she doesn’t owe any answer. But, even if you can’t be respectful, I advise you to be careful… save your slippery tongue and unfortified back from the gallant eternal souls of these martyrs dressed modestly in the gown of ‘housewife’. In this context I remember a poem “The Martyr” I had penned few months back:
Pay homage to the sacred flame
That hides in the darkest cave
Or meditate in the ocean bed,
Too volcanic to exist with you!
She left her balloon for her brother,
Abandoned her lover for the family,
Resigned her desk job for her kids &
Preserved her fire only for one man…
Revere that unselfish gale
Which could freeze the sun,
But didn’t even shudder a leaf
Only to die in your woman’s heart!
(Picture Courtesy: Screenshot from Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 2)