If Husbands Were Today’s Wives

Why couldn’t they cover up more? This was an open invitation. Now if some woman couldn’t control herself…could we blame her?

7:00 AM. I woke up and got ready to go to work. The rest of the house was already up and about.

I heard my father addressing my son. “Sweetheart, always be a good boy. Men need to be well-behaved and dress modestly.”

I scowled.

I’m happily married to Rajesh, and we are parents to Ayush and Arohi. I don’t differentiate between my children. If Arohi can do something, why not Ayush?

“Papa, stop saying that. I am raising my son to be independent and strong. Even after marriage, he will work, just like my husband. We are liberal.”

My father sulked and went back to peeling the potatoes. My mother was on the couch, sipping her tea.

“Raina, good morning! Rajesh has made tea for you; it’s on the table. Btw, today is an auspicious day. I hope he is fasting for your long health.”

“Ma, not that again. Let him be.”

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“I have one daughter, and now my son-in-law has turned her against me,” she sulked.

I shook my head in exasperation. I am an open-minded female who believes in equal rights.

“Ma, I don’t want his blood sugar to go low again. That’s why I don’t let him fast.”

My husband was in the kitchen preparing lunch. He usually did that before he headed off to work. I pecked him affectionately and he blushed.

“I’m making your favourite fritters.”

I nodded approvingly.

“Darling, I will be late. Don’t wait up for me, OK? And remember to revise English with Arohi, and Math with Ayush. I don’t think you prepared him well enough for the mid-terms.”

Rajesh looked apologetic. As I munched breakfast, I scrolled through my feed.

“Activists fear that the rights of men will be curtailed in war-torn provinces of the world.”

I was shocked. I would sign a petition demanding that the boy-child continued to be educated. Equality was the need of the hour.

“Mom, I have a party with my friends. I’m going to be late.” Arohi yelled.

“OK, have fun.”

“Mom, can I go too?” Ayush asked hesitantly.

“No, Ayush. Arohi is a girl; she can go. Tell me, is it the same with you? I will be so worried. There are so many incidents. It’s not safe for boys anymore.”

Ayush sulked. I set off to office, picking up the lunchbox that Rajesh had packed, and drove to work. On the way, I saw a few men wearing sleeveless t-shirts.

“They are asking for trouble!” I thought shaking my head.

Why couldn’t they cover up more? This was an open invitation. Now if some woman couldn’t control herself…could we blame her?

I reached work. Devi, one of my seniors, came over to my desk, with a box of sweets.

“I am very happy. I just fixed the marriage of my youngest son. I had three children, hoping one would be a girl, but they turned out to be sons. My mother-in-law kept cursing me saying that I was unlucky and that no one would look after me in my old age since I had no daughters. Finally, I am rid of responsibility.”

“Congratulations! I hope the girl’s family has no expectations?”

“No dowry. We are gifting them a car; for our status we have to give them something you know.”

“Lucky you. I too worry about my son, Ayush. He is young now, but I want to settle him down as soon as he graduates.”

“Did you hear what happened to Suvarna’s son?”

“What?” I cocked my brow curiously.

“He eloped and married a girl against his mother’s wishes!”

I gasped. “Disgusting!”

I better check Ayush’s phone today to make sure he wasn’t chatting with strangers. I had to be careful about a boy’s reputation. With Arohi, I was more relaxed. She could have a little fun if she wanted. This was the age, after all.

“Devi, did you hear that Rammohan got promoted?”

“Oh, we all know he would get the job. Isn’t that why he wore short pants every day?”

We sniggered conspiratorially.

“When is Harish getting back after his paternity leave?”

“He has extended the leave by one more month. He says he isn’t able to cope.”

“Such excuses. He must be lounging about. After all, a newborn sleeps for most of the time anyway. Lazy man!”

“I wonder how it would be if our roles were reversed.”

We burst into cackles of laughter. The thought was hilarious. That was when a loud siren sounded in the office.


“Wake up, Raina!”

I heard Rajesh’s voice and opened my eyes. Oh My God. That was a dream! It was 7:00 AM, and I had escaped from an inverted world and was now back into my humdrum reality.

I got up and made tea. My dream bothered me. In that world, everything seemed wrong, some of it was triggering too. But with genders swapped, the same things happened to women, on a day-to-day basis.

Why is this normal then?


Author’s note: I struggled to write this one, sometimes mixing up pronouns. Because there are expectations with SHE, that HE doesn’t always fulfil. (I am sure there are exceptions). 

Why do expectations don the colours of gender? Let’s teach our children to stop accepting stereotypes and break the mould.

Image source: 123ducu from Getty Images Signature Free for Canva Pro

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About the Author

Lalitha Ramanathan

Lalitha is a blogger and a dreamer. Her career is in finance, but writing is her way to unwind! Her little one is the center of her Universe. read more...

42 Posts | 61,459 Views

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