Should 'She' & 'Cooking' always go together?
What is in a Man that isn’t in a Woman? (Put aside your dirty thoughts).
It is the same question that comes up now and then, here and there, right from the time, Sati was in practice to every time news about a rape flashes across your television screen. Like every other news, it makes an impact in people’s mind but not in actions and then, it is history.
A scene at a workplace when the maid was on leave.
Hum: Hey you! Go make some tea na.
Tum: I would have made, but unfortunately I know how to prepare tea only for four and that too, with the spoon at my home 😀
(I loved the way she said that. Sounded very innocent & open.) I remember I was in such a stage once & never admitted it. 😛
Hum: Shame on you. You don’t know how to prepare a tea?
Tum: Why don’t you do that for a change?
Hum: Me? Nah I don’t know how to.
Tum: Haha shame on you!
Hum: Why shame on me? It is your responsibility. You will have to do that in future.
The typical, Indian clichéd words!
Tum: Why is that so?
Hum: Because that is how it is. Girls must know how to prepare tea.
You and I complete schooling together, graduate together, do a professional course together. You & I will be in the same position/job in future. I ought to know cooking by then because, in future cooking will be my responsibility. Why why why? An additional thing that I ‘should do’ & you ‘need not’?
Let me make myself clear. The problem here isn’t with cooking. I’d love to cook for my family. But it is about the attitude. This attitude would have been apt a century ago. Men went for work, women did the household chores. Today, men go for work, women go for work, there is no one at home, you share the work. I know the general answer for this. The traditions take the blame. For heaven’s sake there is no such ‘book of traditions’. The traditions that you talk about is something like;
Imagine there is a country with 100 people. 95 people do something in the same manner for 50 years & thus it gets considered to be the country’s tradition. Now slowly things change and in 10 years time people are seen practicing an entirely different deed & that is carried on for the next many years. This becomes their tradition later. Two extremely opposite things are given the same name – Tradition.
Traditions change with time. They can be good, they can be bad, some people follow them, and some don’t. It is not a law book. It isn’t mandatory. Your so called tradition where women curled up in kitchen is long over.If they find happiness in cooking for you & accept it as their duty; they will do it for you. But they aren’t ‘supposed’ to be the ones to cook.
That reminds me of a maid who comes to our workplace & prepares tea for us. When all of them left their tea cups unwashed she said;
‘I think you girls can clean up the tea cups that you have used. I can excuse the boys. (Smiling at them like they were her own sons & the guys smiling back savoring the sweetness of the bias she showed). I’ll wash theirs. But you girls need practice since you will have to do all this in future.’
My first instinct was to slap each & every person who had left his/her tea cups unwashed. (I wash mine every single day). I mean it isn’t a big task to wash your own cup instead of burdening one person with so many cups. Whether it is at work or at home.
My next instinct was to tell her that I wasn’t about to be hired at restaurant kitchens to wash cups in future. And to ask if she was paid anything extra to wash her dear boys’ tea cups. Or have they become physically or mentally challenged?
It is sad to know that women have tuned their mind to believe that they are the frogs in the pond & they tend to teach other women the same thing.
It was indeed a good practice, when the husband came home after a long & tiring day, he was welcomed by the neat and tidy hall room, shiny floors, smiling wife, soothing words. And most importantly, (As the saying goes, a women’s entry to a man’s heart is through his stomach, which again, I don’t entirely agree) hot and tasty favorite dishes. It was perfect indeed. A perfect home, perfect wife, perfect husband. During earlier times, women were unworthy of knowledge, were supposedly incapable and not allowed to work.
But now she has come out of her ignorance and she is very much capable of working. She too deserves to be welcomed home with smiles & love which of course, isn’t practical & she’ll never ask for it. But is she bound to be at the smiling, inviting & cooking end even now?
Should the girls be the only ones to get the prep talks & training for managing a household before marriage?
Is it compulsory even now that ‘should cook’ go only with ‘women’?
Ponder over this & forget it as usual for if things change, it will be for the benefit of women & that’s barely acceptable. 😉
PS: This is on behalf of those women who have ambitions about careers & who are expected to cook, feed & be at home. It is only against the attitude of people who have a list of shoulds & shouldn’ts’ dos’ & don’ts for women. When it comes to motherhood, a good mother would definitely sacrifice her aspirations & ambitions for her child. There the traditions don’t come into play. Love does. 🙂
PPS: There are many open minded people who have changed with time. I’m thankful to all the parents, in-laws & husbands who have not put such restrictions on their women & have given them the freedom to achieve their goals.