A friend of mine recently got married and just came to the US a week back. She called me today to plan a meet-up.
I was so elated to hear her voice as I was speaking to her after a long time. Since I couldn’t attend her wedding, we hadn’t really caught-up in a few months. It was so great to talk to her and listen to her stories about the new experience; a new country, a husband, the wedding, post-wedding rituals etc. etc. There was so much to talk about.
I was curious to know how she was feeling in the new country and if she is doing ok. I was glad to hear she was considerably happy. I say ‘considerably’ now because of what she told me after a few mins of this. As we were on call for at least a couple of hours now, she was getting more comfortable and back to our old mode of chatting.
Slowly, she started revealing the common woes of all newly-wed brides; the cooking.
She, like most of the members in my girls gang, was a working women and never had to do much cooking at home or while staying in another city for work. We all had stayed with a group of 4-5 girlfriends and had hired a maid since it was difficult to prepare 3 healthy meals a day while managing a job. Plus, we were novices. Plus, there was no reason to not do so as we were financially capable enough to afford a maid.
So here is a newly-wed bride, in a new country, where paid labour for daily chores is neither convenient nor cheap, with her working husband, while she is on sabbatical to enjoy her marital bliss for a few months (although I could never understand why only women do this and not many men. Its almost as if this is thrust upon the bride).
While she continued with her little miseries of daily cooking and proudly told that one fine day, she woke up at 6AM in the morning to prepare breakfast and a full lunch for the husband to carry to work, a sudden gloom came over me. “He respected my gesture so much that he got me a big bouquet on the way back from work.” – her words. And she was floored with admiration and love.
Here was a girl I knew as strong and independent, smart and intelligent, turning into the stereotyped ‘Indian wife’. I dint want to think about the more severe consequences but couldn’t help it.
Do we really want our women to be this way? With such low expectations? The wife works her ass-off to make the husband happy and gets overwhelmed and overjoyed with a bouquet in return? They deserve better and much more!
We really need to teach our daughters, girlfriends and sisters to raise our standards! Stop patronising and gratifying the other half for every little insignificant act and glorifying it like an achievement.
The onus lies on all of us.