When I was a little girl, I used to tell my Mom that I’ll never get married. What I understood as a child about Marriage was becoming someone who cooks, cleans and washes all the day, all the time. I thought only my mother was married, not my father because I never saw him do any of those things.
My cousins who were a year or two younger or elder to me knew how to cook all kinds of curries , they could even paint , sew clothes , wash dishes and apply make up. My relatives often accused my Maa of not teaching her daughters household chores. My mother always ignored what they had to say. She would never let us enter the kitchen or perform any household chores. She always asked us to play or study .
I did not knew how to make a Tea when I graduated from College. I was not sure even how a gas burner is turned on. My batchmates at College said things like, ” The one who can make round roti is loved by her mother in law ” That was the moment I realized I am in deep shit..
Maa never let us do anything that would make us feel any less privileged than our brother. Everyone called us Princesses in a taunting manner but my Maa made us live like them.
I saw her work all day . There were no washing machines , dish washers and microwaves those days. We did not had housemaids to clean the house either. She single handedly completed all the household chores without any help from anyone of us . Suprisingly she always smiled and never complained about anything to my father.
Despite knowing that Maa would never force me to do any household chore, I knew that this could be my future too. I would be reduced to a House Maid responsible for all chores one day.
I was not scared of Ghosts, I was scared of getting Married as a Child.
This is the kind of prejudice we are passing on to next generations that Cleaning Dishes and Clothes is a Woman’s reponsibility .
I have seen women saying ,
1- ” Chi chi..ladke se bartan saaaf karayoge ab ” ( You’ll make a boy wash dishes. How shameful ) ,
2- ” Sharam nahi aati Pati se kaam karwate hue ” ( Are you not ashamed of making your husband do household chores )
3- ” Biwi ka ghulam hai , chai bna k pilata hai ” ( He is a servant of his wife as he makes tea for her )
This kind of BELIEF SYSTEM is deep rooted in Indian Households.
I was having Dinner at a friend’s place when something fell down from the table.As I stepped down to pick up , he stopped me and called his wife to clear the mess and told me, ” Patni kis kaam ayegi fir
( What is the use of having a Wife, if not this )
This is the everyday life of 80 % of Indian Married Woman.
A Woman is expected to put everyone else’s happiness above her own. I have seen my Maa sacrifice herself everyday for us.
I am lucky to be married to a Man who shares household chores with me. He does not believes that it is solely a woman’s responsibility to cook , clean and wash. I wish all Indian Men understand and share the Load with their sisters , mothers and wives.
Be the Change you want to see in the World – Gandhiji