Age: 38 years
I still remember my hesitation when I had to fill out the ‘Occupation’ field for a passport renewal form, two years after marriage. Housewife! How much more old fashioned and passé it could get! I tried searching for ‘Home maker’ or ‘Stay at home mum”, or ‘Family Relationship Manager’ from the list of available designations, but to no avail. I had to resign to the fact that a Housewife I was and was going to be, for a very long time. In my mind it conjured up just one image – Surf model, Lalitaji ‘Surf ki kharidari mein hi samajdari hain!’ – a saree clad, hair tied in a bun, tired looking woman – a wife married to the house!
|Lalitaji saying “Surf ki kharidari mein hi samajdari hain.”|
While the kids were still in their nappies and depended on me for eating, drinking, walking, every waking hour would be spent hovering around them. The only time I would give attention to the house was when it needed a quick mop up. It was as child friendly as child-friendly could get, as the last thing I wanted on my mind was to protect a crystal flower vase! I did do mindless splurges on some paintings and decorative wall hangings once in a while, but that was just to cover up the stains on the walls left by tiny fingers. The hierarchy was clear…I looked after the boys (husband included) and the house looked after us.
So you see after a certain stage The home becomes the focus point for any housewife, specially one turning or going upwards of 40. I can now empathise with my dear mother who used to constantly remind us to keep our feet off the sofa and not to jump in bed for fear of crushing her preciously ironed linen. “Deevar sambhalke” (take care of the wall) “Arre light bachake,” (mind the overhead lamp) she would shout out to the helpers, trying her best to protect her home. I never liked mum saying that all the time and now believe it or not I am her! “Don’t rock the chair!” “Don’t put your hands on the wall!” “Don’t bang the cupboard shut!”