Over the years, your support has made Women’s Web the leading resource for women in India. Now, it is our turn to ask, how can we make this even more useful for you? Please take our short 5 minute questionnaire – your feedback is important to us!
Long back when I was new to this industrial town I was amused to observe an obsession for cleanliness in some of my neighbors. Now who doesn t like a well kept house with everything in perfect order? But it is one thing to strive to keep things in order and quite another to drive everyone crazy due to the obsession. S was one such person. Her house could be easily mistaken for a well maintained hospital ward; such was her obsession for cleanliness. I once went to her place to make an emergency phone call. I did not have the courage to step in lest I dirty her drawing room. Every thing starting from bed-linen to sofa covers were sparkling white. She had finished cooking, the gas stove had been wiped clean and covered with a white towel and every corner of her house looked well maintained. The children had gone to school. Their slippers had been washed and lined up in the balcony to dry. I was all praise for her house-keeping skills.
We had tea together in her balcony and I took leave and returned home. From my own balcony I could see hers and to my surprise I saw that within minutes of my departure she had washed the sofa cover that I had sat on and was quickly wiping the floor having swept it soon after I stepped out of her house. I was annoyed and amused at the same time. Stories related to her obsession for cleanliness were whispered by my neighbors. Her children were scared to use the toilet after they finished their morning routine and left for school. She would wash the bathroom cum toilet once in the morning and again before an evening bath. The children normally relieved themselves at school before coming home or found excuses to use a neighbor s bathroom. She was however kind enough to let them use it on their return from play in the evening before she washed it. It was a common sight to see her husband open his shoes in the landing and walk into the house carrying it in his hand to be placed in the shoe rack. I often wondered if it made sense to have a sparkling house at the expense of torturing children in their pre-teens.
Another neighbor D would detain her servant till seven in the evening. Every item in the house had to be dusted and ever corner of her house would be wiped over and over again. Her children aged six and two would be seen playing in the verandah in all weather conditions. They would be denied entry out of fear that they would mess up the house. Oh yes, she loved them a lot but her obsession for cleanliness far outweighed her love for them. We would often see her escort the servant home. She d be dressed in a petticoat and a loose shirt hardly befitting a woman of her status. Her excuse would be that she hadn t yet cooked for the family and would change after finishing her cooking and had a bath perhaps at nine or ten in the night. Through out the day one could see her peculiarly dressed, hair uncombed and duster in hand. I often wondered if she cooked breakfast and lunch for her children (her husband had his meals in his office canteen) or treated them to readymade snacks and cold milk if at all.
My own mother-in-law had a fetish for cleanliness. But hers was within normal limits and the routine of the house certainly did not suffer. While my sister-in-law and I relaxed with a book in the afternoon she would tidy the kitchen and clean up stuff. She would never be satisfied with the way we arranged things. To her credit I must admit that her organization was better than ours so what if she kept changing the order every now and then. And she certainly would not start sweeping and swabbing the house after every visitor left.
I wonder how common or uncommon this trait is in society. Wanting to have a well kept house with everything in perfect order and working towards it should be okay. Like in the case of S, she worked hard and maintained a high standard of cleanliness. But the fact that she was always well dressed and her family was well cared for is indicative of the fact that she did not let her obsession interfere with her role as wife and mother. She also had time for social visits, shopping etc. But not letting a child use the toilet in their own house was taking things too far.
D on the other hand was obsessed with her desire to have a sparkling house but her obsession was such that her children were neglected and her work was never over in time. I later heard that she was taken to a counselor for psychiatric assistance. When does an obsession become abnormal I wonder. Long back I read a short story titled araikuraigal by the Tamil writer Jayakanthan. It was amusing as well as thought provoking. It points out that the line dividing sanity from insanity is very thin. I suppose it would be wise to set limits to one s obsession/ambition and stick to them. Excess of any trait however appealing can only be harmful not only to the person but to others who are in association with him or her.
The Hip Grandma lives in a small industrial town called Jamshedpur and despite all its shortcomings, she would rather not shift anywhere! She began her career at a local women’s college for two reasons: read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
He said that he needed sometime to himself. I waited for him as any other woman would have done, and I gave him his space, I didn't want to be the clingy one.
Trigger Warning: This deals with mental trauma and depression, and may be triggering for survivors.
I am someone who believes in honesty and trust, I trust people easily and I think most of the times this habit of mine turns into bane.
This is a story of how a matrimonial website service turned into a nightmare for me, already traumatized by the two relationships I’ve had. It’s a story for every woman who lives her life on the principles of honesty and trust.
This can have a drastic effect on other victims of domestic violence. It will also encourage the abuser that they can now threaten their victim that he/she may end up like Amber Heard on the internet.
The lives of actors, be they from Hollywood or Bollywood, trouble my peace. Though they are worshipped by their fans, the real-life of many is quite troubled. It is scary to see what money and fame can do to a person. These are the people who have made me realize that fame and money are not that important.
I usually try to avoid reading about actors and their lives but there is no escape when the internet gets flooded with news and you come across it again and again as it happened with Aryan Khan’s arrest, Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, or now Amber Heard v/s Johnny Depp case.
We clearly see the pattern of uncivilized society in the above-mentioned cases where the mass verdict is passed even before the jury or judge passes the sentence. Usually, there is no middle ground for these people who are just there to make a topic trending on the internet. One is black and the other is white, there are no shades of grey for these modern-day witch hunters.