Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Lady of the House

She does not have to be who she is, but she chooses to remain that individual. This is something a Tamil, Brahmin girl understands in her life- it is something she sees. The woman who stands in the kitchen, cooking, is not a lady who does not want to be there. She is an educated woman, MSc, smart, intelligent and courageous. She is not docile or innocent and is not left without a choice.
She gets up early in the morning, sweeps the pooja room and enters the kitchen, fresh and ready to start the day's work. She neatly cuts the vegetables, and keeps the rice, rasam and sambar. As a girl, who doesn't particularly want to be the typical house-wife, her daughter watches her. But there is a bit of a paradox. This woman, she is not subdued or unhappy. Indeed, she is enjoying- no, relishing- her day's duty.
I do not know how this fits in in today's feminist readings. Some people might say that she is fitting into a patriarchal set up. But is she? If this is what she loves, then does it matter? She does not remain within the bounds of her home. She is a brilliant car-driver (beats many a Formula One racer, in my opinion), and loves cricket (ardent Sachin supporter). She takes care that her family gets the best food possible. She takes care that the clothes are in order, and the room is clean. She takes care that the accounts are settled and that tabs are kept. She gossips. She discusses. She talks. She teaches. She does not earn. She learns. She listens and sees. She is here, there and everywhere.

She is the Lady of the House.

11 comments:

Dershowitz said...

Sort of like Sisyphus in Camus' adaptation of the myth. The conscious sufferer overcomes the suffering vide his/her consciouness of it.

Sayujya said...

right... except, there is no suffering in the first place. Or is the enjoyment of labour considered this consciousness?

creativityinborn said...

The only question is whether she can enjoy it with full and complete consciousness of what else she could be and what options she had. then its cool. But if she was so severely conditioned to look on this as her only avenue of fulfillment, then we have a pickle.

indi said...

In today's world, it is a choice the woman makes. Reminds me of that movie, monalisa smile.

And the first para's filled with negations. I love :)

Spica said...

I love this one! :-)

Sayujya said...

@mridhula- I know we say that, but aren't there also a lot of women who aren't allowed to make that choice, even in today's world? I mean, when we say we have a choice, isn't that 'we' only the upper class individuals? How many of the others do we know who are free to do as they wish? I cannot be sure about that. I mean, I can't speak for or against it, because I do not know anything about their situation. But my guess is that they do not have as many options as we do.

Sayujya said...

@chitra - thanks... any comments?

Spica said...

Sayuja, you say "we"(upper class Indians) have the freedom to make our own choices, but do we really? If tomorrow, you or I wanted to be like the woman you just described, and say to all and sundry "I want to just stay at home and take care of my house/family", would society (and by that, I mean our parents and friends and relatives) really be okay with that? Won't they just tell you that you're wasting your life and education? I dunno.. I thought that was the point of the post. That "we" are judged the other way around!

Daddy's gal... Bharu said...

I think it is not just the 'upper class' or the 'lower class' that matters, it is really we ourselves and the people around us.

As in, my maid's daughter-in-law is from a village, very low class family, but that girl does not do any house-hold work because she feels once she starts working, people will continue burdening her. Now this is a choice she has taken, and I do not see her facing much opposition, not from her husband, not from her mother-in-law.

Similarly, my friend's mother, she is a working woman but is obsessed with cleaning the house. She just cannot sit idle even for a minute. She came to hostel to visit us and within moments she swept and washed the floor and was about to wash our clothes before we managed to stop her.

Monu's the name said...

'She' is happy,coz she has tried to find happiness in wat life laid out for her...n i felt u cud substantiate ur point by includin more incidents,by movin her out f the kitchen,
yeah but i must say u've got a breezy, enticin language that makes it seem really effortless...

Sayujya said...

hahaha, thanks monu.. but I did take her out of the kitchen context, except, she chooses to define herself that way...