You’re Enjoying Retirement, Uncle, But When Will Your Wife Get Some Respite From Housework?

Inconsiderate husbands who have no idea of and don't care about the labour of their wives are everywhere in Indian society.

Inconsiderate husbands who have no idea of and don’t care about the labour of their wives are everywhere in Indian society.

Mr Mahesh was a bank manager and his wife was a housewife. Both used to do almost the same amount of work daily, one at office the other at home.

After retirement, Mr Sharma declared that he is not going to work ever again and that he wants to enjoy his old age. He stared going to morning walks, savouring tea in the lawn, doing yoga, watching movies and occasionally meditating.

He seldom worked at home. Not even once he has made a cup of tea for his wife. He wakes up in the morning shouting for tea, he wakes up in the afternoon doing the same. He even wakes his sleeping wife up asking her to bring him a glass of water! How shameful.

When will your wife retire?

This Mr Mahesh happens to be a close family friend. I had to stay in their house for over a week sometime ago.

One day I asked him, “Uncle you are enjoying your old age after retirement. But when will your wife retire.” He smiled at her wife and said, “If Hema decides to retire someday, this household will stop. We will all perish the same day. This household rests on her able shoulders.”

“So she will never get to enjoy her old age like you are doing?”

“This question concerns her so you better ask her,” he said with a smile and turned round for his ‘afternoon nap’.

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Hema also retired for the afternoon in her room. She would watch some TV. She would have to be vigilant for her husband’s call at 3 pm, when he wakes up and need a glass of water and then tea.

One day I jokingly said, ‘today uncle will make tea’. He also smiled and said, ‘as if this is only thing left for me to do.’

Whose fault was it that uncle was like this?

It was 70% his fault and 30% his parent’s fault for making him the person he was – a man who can’t cook for his wife while she is doing the dishes, who can’t sweep the floor while she is washing the clothes and who can’t make a cup of tea while she is sleeping.

One day Mr Mahesh’s brother and brother’s wife came. They were also the same. Both the brothers ate to their hearts content, stretched on the sofa and started the ‘intellectual debate’ about God. While their wives (after feeding these two giant sloths) ate food surreptitiously and in a hurry, went to the kitchen again washing the dishes, cleaning the leftovers, wiping the slab, boiling the milk adding haldi powder to it and giving it to the two sloths stretching on the sofas, setting the curd, soaking daal for the next day and deciding what to cook in the breakfast.

By now they were exhausted. But they talked late till 1 pm in the night. They still woke up next day at 5 am. And started working for the sloths again. They will probably do this for the rest of their lives.

Shame on this idle hypocrite, who prays to goddesses for one hour daily while simultaneously ignoring the pain and efforts of this real woman that is working day and night in his house. She is also old, she also gets tired and she might have her own set of hobbies too.

And shame on this woman too, who had made herself a doormat. Can’t she just shout aloud one day, at the top of her voice, ‘I’m not your servant, get up and take water yourself.’

Image source: a still from the film Khosla ka Ghosla

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About the Author

Swati Pandey

Greetings! I'm Swati, a passionate yoga instructor and a dedicated writer. I am on a journey to share the transformative power of yoga through my teaching and to inspire and connect with others through read more...

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