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Women Get Pregnant, Not Men… (but wish they did lolz)

November 6, 2014

 

I may very much sound like a feminist but I am not for what is all pedalled in the name of ‘feminism’ today.

One main reason is, its women who get pregnant although I wish men too get pregnant lolz. (Pausing to imagine some men pregnant now lolz) (ROFL !!!)

I am not at all for this total westernization. Very much value our desi culture.

Btw just want to clear the air about cooking here. It does not mean that when a woman is well accomplished, she need not have to cook or do any domestic chores – that she can absolve herself from her share of homely duties. Ofcourse a woman’s place is NOT ONLY in the kitchen – not limited to the kitchen. And i do not by any means happen to think kitchen is a woman’s domain: it is as much a man’s as it is a woman’s.

But nature has programmed it in a way that women are more responsible, care for the younger ones nursing them, keep the family together and uphold age old customs and pass on the cultural values to the next generation. Men hardly take these duties seriously. The difference lies in our hormones. Women are by chromosome rooted whereas men are restless. More women cook because we think it makes us feel responsible. So how can we both – men and women – be equal ever. We are equal in some ways, and different in many other.

I don’t like the idea of WOMEN NOT COOKING. For one thing there are only 2 things you can do to keep your man in line(!) One is the ‘Pillow Talk/Mantra’ lol. Nothing works like that. Second is what you cook in the kitchen – i strongly believe the shortest route to a man’s heart is through his stomach. A combination of both is best 🙂 Use the first one as blackmail tool to wean away your man from your MIL! The second is to do to your son what your MIL managed to do to your husband hahaha. Atleast for first few years after your son marries, he will keep talking about your food the way your man would bore you with his ‘Ma this, Ma that’ story! Indian husbands!

Jokes apart, I think there will be much more harmony in the family if the wife/mother cooks in the kitchen and serves her brood homefood in the dining table. Or even in the den in front of the tv. What fun is there in eating out or in home ordering food every other day as some so diligently do or in men making the Maggi noodles or bread toast-omelette or fetching themselves a bowl of cereals. KILLJOY if you ask me. There is also the health factor to consider. Notwithstanding Masterchefs around the world happen to be mostly men…

The idea of having a paid cook/driver: I am not for it sorry. May be if we are sick/indisposed, we can exercise this option. I hate the idea of someone hanging about our place always (even if we can afford them here in India). I see to that my maid wouldn’t be around for more than 30-4o min in my home. Ladies, true independence is living a maid-free life. Don’t ever let your life be run on their terms. Reduce your dependence on them as much as possible. You can survive without help, believe me! (But today wherever I go, my fake society is aghast that I am cooking my own food, changing my own bed linen and loading the washing machine, taking auto everywhere and not employing a driver for my car – and that the car size is small) (More shocked are some with my taste for cheap clothes lolz).

There are women in my own circle who can’t do without cooks. In which case, I strongly suggest, even if a cook gets your food done, make it a point to SERVE the family – especially your man and kids – YOURSELF. I don’t even give the privilege to my MIL. If she tries to be pushy, I tell her, ‘Ma, please go and take rest. You have brought up 5 kids. Let me have my way with my husband and son. MILs must know where to stop too.

No mother counselled me how I must conduct myself in my in-laws home when I wedded. But my friends were there. They said, ‘the only place you can hook your man is in kitchen & bedroom. if you lose your hold there, you are finished!’ Wise girls! All in the family, think of it that way 🙂

Think of your body as a 300 cc motorbike. If you eat cereals in the morning, it means you are keeping the power engine at home well polished without feeding its appetite – without burning calories. So probably the cereal is just enough. When would you load the mean machine with more petrol? When you may use it optimum or maximum. That is when your body/bike will be well oiled, well serviced and smooth. Tell me which is better. Eating a power breakfast/lunch and working it out or starving yourself.

Once I was also a working woman. My days used to dawn by 3.30 am when my son was an infant. Would get over by 9.30-10.00. When i would hit the bed, I would be dead to the world. But the tiredness was a healthy tiredness. There was a purpose to life. Mothers, please don’t indulge your daughters telling them, its alright NOT to cook or enjoy life with their husbands only because they’re better educated and well employed. This is the problem with urban India these days. You are not doing your daughters any favour.

Now that my son is having exams, I am rising at 5.30 am only (and not 4.30 as usual). I was busy cooking and doing pooja until 11.30. Went to Zumba/Yoga and returned after 1.30. The lunch was ready to be served to the hungry boys. Just a short nap for 20 min from 3.30 to 4. Again it was tea time for the boys. Now leaving for the temple. Where is the time for a housewife. In the afternoons I schedule all errands – like going to shop for groceries, bank etc. Night time is for serving dinner, webchat with hubby, reading books, blogging – of late i am slipping from my reading target 🙂 There are commitments i cannot talk about. 24 hours is sometimes not enough for me.

I think couples can divide the domestic duties, share responsibilities evenly – we can be complementary to each other. I do regret not working, but mercifully I do try to stay busy as much as possible, not to brood over it much.

I have girl cousins and nieces and friends who are doctors, engineers and chartered accountants. All of them cook at home. Men please do not make us think cooking makes us women inferior. It is therapeutic, cathartic to some of us. It makes us feel like a complete woman. A day is well spent for me when I complete my duties to my satisfaction as a bahu/beti to my MIL, as a mother to my son and as a wife to my husband.  Everything else is secondary.

Cooking means a lot to me because, I was once this teenage girl who would come back to a locked home. None to get me my chai or a plate of roti/rice….  So its not just about cooking… its about being there…

A wife or mother or even daughter who cooks is not merely getting you a plate of hot meal,she is in effect being there for you. That is the point. There is no need therefore for a woman to feel low about cooking or proud about not cooking (!) (some women are).

 

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The best gift a man can give his family and the people who adore him is by BEING THERE FOR THEM.

 

As someone who married as an orphan, I know how painful it is not to have a parents’ home to go to even if i could be in my 40s now.

My husband was smoking when we married. After our son came along, he left smoking at home. But in Malaysia it was too much – because he was surrounded by chain-smokers – chinese and malays (0nly in office hours). Booze has always been in control. After years of tears and arguments, i finally made him quit smoking in 2001. He does now socially – i found a lighter last year in our Doha flat and we fought once again over that. He says it is for his friends. I wanted to know which smoking friend of his goes around without a lighter that he has to keep one handy.

Then booze – you need a licence thank god in middle-east for that. Most Indians go for it the moment they land in the gulf. Very rarely our men can do without liquor – my husband is again a social drinker – or atleast swears so. Here in Chennai he shares a bottle always with his brothers and friends. I can’t get the logic. Why do men want to smoke or booze when they get together.

It is not good – is all I can say.

How can wives change their husbands/make them quit smoking: SIMPLY SAY NO TO SHARING THE BED WITH YOUR HUSBAND AND HE WILL LEARN… Ofcourse takes a very strong heart! Ask him to choose between you and cigarette. Make it clear, he has to abstain either from you or the cigar and cannot have both. This method definitely works. In fact this is the only way to make a smoking Indian husband kick his habit.

My husband picked up smoking at his university hostel thanks to peer pressure. It was toughest for me to make him quit. He is over it now like some 95%.

Who is a wife. When my husband turned 35, he was diagnosed as borderline diabetic. No medication was prescribed but lifestyle changes were advised. He was asked to refrain from taking direct sugar. We were young then and it broke my heart to give him a sugarless cuppa the next morning. If he is in town, he would rise with me and hang about in the kitchen when I would make coffee or tea. We enjoy that kind of kitchen moments.

That very day I quit taking direct sugar in my chai. I take coffee with sugar but not tea. It may sound silly now but in that age, imagining my husband taking his chai without sugar was too painful for me . I do take tea with sugar if I am offered by friends/relatives. I do take sweets also. But somehow, the chai that we both so much enjoy together got into my conscience and lodged itself stubborn.

Its over 10 years now since i have had sugar in my tea – except on very rare occasions.

I cannot define precisely what is this bond called marriage, but my heart tells me what I felt about the sugarless chai all those years back has something to do with that.

And this is why I cannot understand western culture. Women/men, many of them, divorce in their society after having kids. How can they. To us Indian women, the father of our children mean the world. Even if he could be alcoholic or womanizer or whatever. There can be none to take his place. May be this is what we call family here.

Even yesterday my son’s friend’s mother – a widow of my age – came home to pick up her son by 9 pm. She showed me her husband’s picture. He had passed away at the age of 49-50, 2 years back. The pic in the phone was taken hardly a week before he died – it is unbelievable that such a healthy looking man’s life could have been curtailed in such a young age. He looked most robust.

3 boys’ fathers passed away in the age group 48-52 in quick succession in last 3 years. All chain smokers. My son’s friends’ fathers – in the peak of their careers, in the peak of their life. The mothers are of the same age group as mine, so it affects me badly. I attended a boy’s father’s death and it was horrible.

It is very scary really, even my son got scared. The year I crossed my mother’s age, I was very conscious of the feat I had achieved. I had outlived my mother. And that was something I had waited with bated breath all along. Crossing my parents’ age somehow became an obsession with me. Every year as I neared their age, I wondered whether my Goddess would allow me to pull ahead of them….

And why have not my son’s friends’ widowed mothers remarried. That is because this is India where marriage happens only once to most of us in our lifetime. The mothers are all not yet 50. Look younger for their age. Those who talk about Women’s Lib – can you make us women change our fixed mindset. 

PURDAH PREJUDICE: I have seen/read about women wearing purdah or tudong (headscarf in Malaysia) or Abaya getting remarried after having 5-6 children, either on getting talaak or on widowhood. It is very wrong to judge a woman with her clothes. An Indian (hindu) woman could trot in swim suit in the common unisex pool – but whether she will marry more than one man is a big question mark. This nation of mine is infamous for its widows (and was once for ‘Sati’). I am not trying to put down other cultures – it is just to show how different and unique we are, our desi culture is. Who has more shame here. A woman in her 50s in abaya covered head to foot seeking a second or third husband and begetting children from different men – or a jean-clad jovial happy-go-lucky woman who sticks to one man. We all have different parameters to judge people. Morality is defined in different ways in different cultures. Which is why I get irritated when these arabs talk big about shame, women etc. At the same time, I am not blind to the freedom women behind the veils still enjoy in their closed societies.They have a second, third chance, something almost impossible to dream about for an average Indian Nari, supposedly better off compared to her arab counterparts. Even in Khalid Hosseini’s, the Afghan girl marries twice, begetting children from both husbands. Whereas the condition of Indian women is precarious.

That’s why I pray for everyone’s Ayush, not just  my family’s. I even pray for Narendra Modi’s. Such an important life. Every single day I recite the ‘Mrithunjaya Mantra.’

When you smoke more or booze, it shows in your face.

Whoever it is, this is my sincere request. Men please think of your family, friends, well-wishers. Kick this deadly addiction. Social drinking is okay. (Even I do it hehe). I may not be the first or last one in your lives to say this, but I still want to say it.

Smoking is slow poison.

Master check-up once in 6 months is a must once you cross 40 years. I force my husband into one whenever he is here. As i said, the best emotional blackmail mantra we wives can adopt is: to make our men starve! Nothing works like that. How long can they go on – 3 months maximum? 6 months?!

My son says his dad has special chewing gum, paste etc to banish the smoking smell and cheat me. He says he is having it all in office! But i do trust my husband when he swears he doesn’t smoke regularly. If he is with foreign national friends of his, they coerce him into smoking. But he smokes very rarely these days. He says he wants to live longer and healthier for his wife (me) and his son.

Even I am undergoing master check-up now with my husband but so far i have not done mammogram. We both take one complete day off for medical tests.

Fitness is very important. My husband walks a lot in his site – and also goes for walking. I have not attended any fitness classes in Doha. Very shortly (once my son may leave for higher studies next year hopefully) i will have to shift bases. My husband is waiting for that date. We both go for regular walks if I am in Doha. From this year i am planning to join Yoga and Aerobics even in Qatar. Logistics is the main problem there for me. Everyday I cannot command my husband’s office car and I don’t drive there. There is no Zumba news in Doha. Lets see.  I will have to arrange for a taxi.

Zumba is good. I am feeling very vital in the last 2 months – if that is the right word to use. I have lost inches, not weight. And I am amazed at my own fitness. Its a very good feeling to feel tired in a healthy way. I am eating well and sleeping better. Yoga – is regular and usual for most of us in India. We actually take it for granted. I left Yoga for years so some ‘Aasanas’ I am not getting now. In the meantime, my body has got rigid in certain ways. I don’t have anymore the kind of fluidity i thought i had some years back. Still, whatever is possible I try to do.

Fitness is very important. I want to be fit. I want to eat well. I want to enjoy life. And we guys want to have an interesting life even in our 50s. For that I know, keeping fit is a must. More than anything, I want to see my grandchildren and spoil them!

Guys if you smoke too much, your face gives that away. The puffiness is unmistakable.

I am not for looks – i like someone’s mind first. But for middle-age men,this is just a friendly tip from someone who grew up the hard way on her own. Be there always for your folks,take better care of yourselves. Those who love you will want you forever. Such a simple, basic thing. And this is all you have to do for them: be there forever.

And for that: QUIT SMOKING TODAY IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY. DRINK BUT IN MODERATION. As for cigars, don’t even allow one a day. Say a big ‘No’ everytime and think of the passive smokers you are affecting/offending. Smoking also reduces one’s appetite. Smoking + Meat + No exercise + Junk Food + Sedentary lifestyle + Stress + Pre-existing lifestyle conditions like elevated blood pressure/diabetes – Guys this is a volatile combi. Recipe for disaster. Is this healthy. The enemy is within, whereelse. Ofcourse i cannot pass a general judgement or comment on anyone without being there on the scene. Its just that when I see some pictures I get the impression someone is smoking or boozing a little too much I donno why ….

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Who knows who will precede whom or who will follow whom.

But to live a healthy life anyday must be our life motto.

Today in my Yoga class, a girl about my age was talking about her classmate, a teetotaller, who passed away 2 days before because of some cardiac problem. He was working for World Bank and the bank footed bills upto Rs. 90 lac on his medical expenses in last 2 years. I have lost friends to breast cancer, ovarian cancer who had had no clue until it got out of hand….

I am not saying, those who don’t smoke or drink live to 100 years.

I don’t think I am 100% fit either.

 

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In Tamil we have this adage: ‘Vaazhara Pennai Thaaye Keduppal.’

It means, its the mother who spoils/disturbs her married daughter’s life. I am seeing quite a few examples for this around me. Mothers who meddle in husband-wife business/spats forgetting that by night time they will make peace inevitably. I may be motherless from a young age, but my sincere suggestion for any married woman is to put some space with your mother, however older or wiser she could be. Confiding everything in your mother or to your folks will shatter family peace and will break all hell loose. Mothers forget how much they have done for their own children, their own daughters when they were young. They can’t bear to see their daughters suffering or doing the same kind of sacrifice for their own families.

I have a newly married niece who has turned her back already on her parents lolz. Her parents are upset but I can get it. She has come to terms with reality rather too soon. Being a young bahu, so intelligent and sharp with a successful profession awaiting her shortly, the transformation that has come over her amazes me. She is very clear about her priorities. ‘Mother’s home is for visits only’ says she – and I think of the years I have regretted being motherless and with no place to go home to…

I know of a mother who sent her married daughter abroad on marriage. On average, the mother would make atleast 7-8 calls per day asking her daughter if all was okay. The daughter complained about everything – from food to climate to neighbours to alien culture to furniture and car she did not like. The webchat complicated matters. Within 2-3 years, all love was gone out of the love marriage couple. Daughters, learn where to draw the line even if you love being doted upon by your parents. The bitter couple are leading a sorry life today. The mother has not changed her manners.

I had a tenant – a young couple from Delhi. The girl was a spendthrift who was used to buying labelled accessories and clothes. Her husband had just opened new business having moved southward. The shift was already tough on them. Down came the girls’parents who hated the city, people everything. They alleged their daughter was harassed when indeed she was liking it here. First they took away the granddaughter. They kept coming every 3 months and stayed over with daughter’s family for months together. I was shocked to see the parents encouraging their daughter go get divorced. The pair became the laughing stock of the neighbourhood having loud, ugly spats every single day. Separation followed because the parents could not bear the troubling thought of their darling daughter not being able to shop for what all she desired. In fact, the dad sent the daughter a one-way airticket asking her to return to Delhi. In front of my eyes, the couple divorced. The girl is in her 30s now. She is posting photos taken with her parents, daughter, brother’s happy family. The boy, her husband, a punjabi, is too young to live alone like this, is still here, and slowly but steadily his business is picking up. He has not remarried – he lives above his business now and has no intentions of leaving. What a damage the pampering parents have done to their daughter. Where is happiness now in the girl’s face. Presently she works in a hi-fi multinational drawing a handsome salary. Can parents and brother give her what her husband can give.

Someone enlighten me, what Feminism or Women’s Lib is about. Is it about a woman’s impatience, expensive tastes, inflexibility, unaccommodating nature. The best role models we can think about are Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, CEO of World Pepsico, and Sudha Narayanamurthy, wife of Infosys founder & mentor Shri Narayanamurthy.

Sometimes in order for peace and harmony to prevail, it is okay for the woman/wife/mother to give in. There are spaces/areas in our life where it will be better if we don’t seek gender neutrality. In the long run, we women will live to see the fruits of our labour and love. Family is like an elastic band. What will happen to it if it is pulled from all sides. One side has to go slack for it to survive.

 

 

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