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Our society has clear expectations of what an Ideal Woman should be like. Would you really aspire to be one? Yes? No? You need to read this.
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How should I express my happiness? After all, I am writing something after so long . Thanks to Anu’s exam. It’s 11:45 p.m and I am awake so that I’ll be here if my Anu calls me to ask for some tea…it’s her Social Science exam tomorrow.
When was the last time I wrote like this? Yes, around 4 years back when Anu’s father had gone to US for 2 months..I could not talk to him properly. On the telephone it used to be small talk limited to Amma and Baba’s health. ISD’s are expensive he said once. That was when I tried to share about how much I missed him and some silly feelings…but I don’t blame him. Perhaps only a selfish woman would do that. He works so hard, earns for our family. He has given me such adorable kids. Two boys! And one girl too. What more could I have asked for?
Asked for? I don’t have to ask for anything. I thank god for such a loving family. Just some unfulfilled silly wishes perhaps?
Umm…I know I wanted to become teacher, but couldn’t complete the degree. I was very dear to my father and he awaited keenly for that special elaichi chai which I made after he returned tired as a professor. I being the eldest and ‘most loved’ daughter of the house, I teamed up everyday with my mother after school in kitchen chores and raising my younger sibings. I still remember the taste of mango pickle I had with the rotis – well, should I say perks of serving and eating at the end when family members have savored your cooked food till the last bite and you have nothing left for you?
They said they missed me after I got married. Obviously! After all wasn’t I the most loved?
My father was sure my husband was a nice guy after my aunt vouched for the groom. I was quickly ‘gifted’ to the Khuranas. Gifted, I say because whenever Anu’s father or my mother-in-law used to tease me, “What have your parents gifted to us in marriage – a Maruti 800…thats it?” I would ask them, “Am I not a gift for you?”
Hmm. My father actually wanted to gift my husband a flat too but he couldn’t just manage. Or I shall say afford? But that’s an old story now.
Frankly, when I was told I will be married off soon, I didn’t want to, partly because I worried my mother would have to do things all alone, and partly perhaps because of a desire deep down to get a degree and earn to help my family. Believe me Diary, I was very very passionate and capable.
I remember those faint light nights when after all my house work was over and everyone had slept, I would sit under the faint bulb lit in the verandah and open my books to understand the chapters of Psychology. Yes Psychology! I love psychology. I topped my university mid term exams in that subject if you didn’t know. It tells you why and how a person behaves in a certain way, what going on inside a persons mind. I wish I could do that too…maybe to understand my husband. So that he can show how much he loves me. Not much I expect. Just maybe a sweet sentence or two…ok, ok…maybe once in a week or month. Or maybe to understand how I can make him feel less irritated, and demanding, or become more pleasing. To understand who his dream woman is, and become one?
My boys don’t share things saying I won’t understand them. Perhaps if I had studied psychology I could have been their best friend? I try every time to be the desired wife and mother but I fail every time. What a loser I am! How should I become more worthy of them?
I have tried all but I am not able to do enough. I feel guilty. I have become fat after deliveries and don’t watch what I eat. I know that this is the reason Anu’s father is embarrassed to take me to parties. I try eating less, but alas! This post-pregnancy weight refuses to die down.
After all which husband would like a wife drenched in sweat smelling of onions gravy from the kitchen and smearing Iodex at night…oh Iodex! He so hates that smell! I have stopped putting now…he doesn’t like it. But what I should I do? My knees and lower back pains from constant standing and running, doing the chores. Maid? No we have not hired a maid. He wants to start a new business and even though my contribution would be little we are saving for that.
I actually wanted to earn…after our marriage, even though he was bound by his sisters marriage and couldn’t send me to take exam and get the degree…he was right perhaps. Who would take care of the family then? How could I miss a family marriage? Shouldn’t this family be my all the world?
But sometimes I wonder – what if he had not thrown away my admit card and stopped me from attending the exam? What if my sister-in-law’s marriage had not fallen in between my exams? Maybe I would have a degree and my kids in their school would not be embarrassed by having their mother’s profession written down as a housewife. Maybe I would have accompanied my husband better in parties with his friends and maybe would have become a psychologist and written in journals on breakthrough research? Well, am I not dreaming too much?
Anu’s father is so right!
After all, why should I regret not being able to complete my education or being independent? Shouldn’t watching my husband achieve great things be enough to fulfill my career desires too? Shouldn’t seeing my kids coming over and searching for me in the kitchen be enough to know how much they miss me? Shouldn’t my mother-in-law’s blessings of “sada sahuagan raho” when I massage her feet, be sufficient to make me feel so belonged and admired in my family?
Wait, oh wait…my daughter is calling. My Anu needs tea, has her exam tomorrow. Please, please, please pray for her success. Maybe her life will be better.
Note: The writer would like to state clearly that this post is meant to be sarcastic and that neither she nor Women’s Web advocates aspiring to this version of an ‘Ideal Woman’, and are in fact strongly against it.
Image source: Indian woman in kitchen by Shutterstock.
Writer,Quiller,Empath ,Researcher who loves reading classics with instrumental in the background. When not
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