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Men who think beyond themselves and their comfort, are stepping up to share in household work during this lockdown, as are kids. Let’s count them in our blessings.
We are living in difficult times. Catastrophic Corona has caused mayhem beyond words. Nothing can describe the havoc. Thousands of pictures and videos of infected heroes are doing multiple rounds on social media; across platforms sharing their victorious but tormented journey. And no sooner, disappointing news of countless deaths in the various power cities of the world is flashed. Everyday adds to uncertainties and anguish.
But these times are also leaving behind many new and unseen moments.
My loud applause goes to all those men who never knew –
~ That Vim is for washing dirty vessels and not a liquid detergent for dirty laundry.
~ That, chole have to be soaked overnight before getting frustrated over their stubbornness the next day.
~ That, there is a lot of pre and post work (segregation based on fabric, colour, utility, functionality, etc) before pressing the washing machine button.
~ That, switching on the fan is paramount while mopping the floor.
~ That, watering the plants and dusting jobs have a timeline, they are pretty high-headed. They should be catered to before the mopping job.
~ That, vessels have to be well air dried before stacking them in our anglicized and haldi stained modular kitchen.
~ That, while drying clothes on the stand, the aluminium rod needs to wiped clear of any dust.
~ That, spreading the bed cover is a fine art and not all bedrooms can be like the suite of a seven-star hotel.
~ That, one needs to clear up the mess, after making a vegetable sandwich.
~ That, in the washing sink smaller dishes are LIFO (last in first out) and bigger vessels are FILO (first in last out).
Regular looking households are busy with conversations and eureka moments over mundane jobs. Chores which the moms or maids would have accomplished without any ahhh!! or ohhh!! are the agendas for discussion now. Rooster roll calls and chore charts are created. Spread sheets are printed and posted on the refrigerator behind the magnet, purchased from the last vacay…Awwww!!
Next time when you see men contributing in the household chores during the lock down, check out for their expressions
~ when you leave behind your footprints over the ‘just mopped floor’;
~ when post dinner, you don’t clear your plate and glass;
~ when the men are cooking and you critique their cooking skills;
~ when you ask them to wipe the bathroom after a shower;
~ when paneer was not sliced in the right size for ‘butter paneer’.
Well, all this on the lighter side; many empathetic and discerning men are extending all possible help to the women in the house. They may not have done these odd-jobs earlier, but it is extremely heart-warming to see how they are initiating and contributing to an endearing lock down time at home.
Each moment of their labour in the kitchen is adding to the family moments of strength and unity. And believe me, it is not easy for the menfolk too!! In single income households, they have to be relevant at work as well. This means that just like working women usually do, they also have to attend to virtual office meetings in between household chores.
My applause also goes to the young children, who are braving the hardships along with their parents.
Children are the most undermined and impacted lot. India is completing the 4th week of lockdown and we still don’t know how long this trench will be. But our children are the silent champions of ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ crusade against Covid-19.
In the BC (as my friend likes to call it Before Corona) period, how many of us can recall a day when our children missed stepping out to the park? I guess none of us. As parents we strongly feel that children need to be outdoors for a few hours in the evening. Science explains that this exposure is necessary for their mental and physical growth. Playing in the park, or in the school, meeting friends, cycling, building tent houses, playing sports, doing role-play, stepping out for ice-cream or dinners was a default privilege. We did not snatch it and we let them be in their happy zones.
Now, every child on this earth is home bound. Sitting safe behind the closed doors of the house. Attending virtual school and having a little more than requisite screen time, yet patient with the turmoil outside. Obeying each instruction of the parent and furthermore reminding them about the hygiene habits. Schools, parks, swings, malls, ice cream parlours, gaming arenas wear a deserted look.
As an educator, when I see my young children everyday on my screen, I find them oblivious to the ravages outside. They live in the moment. Their eyes widen up and elephant ears open up to listen to each and every instruction. They are like soft lumps of clay waiting to be put in a shape.
Occasionally restless but broadly calm; children are taking in a lot of passive anguish. Whether it is their unattended physical need to be outbound, or the near jobless scenario of their parents, they have risen to the occasion. A hug and a smile from the parent can help them more than anything else.
We lit candles and lights, clapped, sang, rang bells, clanked all kitchen vessels; only to express our gratitude to all the medical practitioners, police officers, security guards, workers in essential commodities and services sectors, NGOs, media personnel and many more. It’s time we also express our gratitude towards all those innocent and harmless children and the men who are pitching in on the home front.
Because in AD (as my friend likes to call it After Death of Covid19) period, we would like to cherish the goofy pictures of fathers kneading the dough and the children rolling a heart shaped chapatti.
Image source: shutterstock
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