An Open Letter
You are all grown up now! My dolly, seems like only yesterday you were larking all over the house. Making me run after you to retrieve my office bag. Making your mother restless. Now my child, you are yourself a mother. Running your own business and looking after the family. Making sure everyone is fed at the right times and the house is tidy. While your husband enjoys his game on the couch. You run around the house restless with your chores. Why doesn’t he ever help? You both have your own jobs outside. Then, why don’t you share the household chores equally? You are both equal parts of this family. Then, why only always you are the one taking care of children, and a husband?
Lilly, yesterday afternoon when I came to visit you. Only Dada-vai was home. You both were at your offices. So, I decided to stay the night to see you two. You came right after your husband came home from work. Still on the phone. You seemed so happy to see me, but could only share a smile. The heavy eyes were telling how tired you were. Still, you went right in the kitchen to make dinner. While preparing you were also helping your son with his homework. But, your husband, Autish was enjoying his football match on the couch. Complaining about, how long it was taking you to prepare the dinner. Why couldn’t you ask him for a hand? He could help his son to do homework. Or chop some vegetables for the dinner. Why do you have to do everything on your own? I wanted to give a piece of my mind that evening. Sadly, I also realized, wasn’t I the same as Autish at that age? While I was enjoying my cricket match on the tv. Your mom was busy with you and the chores all day. I never thought of helping your mother. Never helped in the house or ask about the kitchen. Only, made a fuss about her work when there was less salt in the daal. Made me feel a bit guilty thinking about myself that day. We raised you with such culture. Then why was I so sad and angry seeing you following the same? Autish, must have been raised in the same environment. He and his dad was probably busy debating about sports and politics. While his mother and sister was cooking in the kitchen or baking in the toy oven. Why have we been nurturing such segregative culture in our society? Isn’t it our fault? I am sorry Lily. Sorry from the parents of Autish.
I am sorry Lily. I remember teaching you, how responsible a girl should be about her household chores. How it is her duty to take care of her children and maintain the house. Bought you Barbie, baby-dolls or cooking toy sets. While probably, Autish’s Dad bought him balls and business toy sets. As a girl, you were raised to take care of everything in the house and still look pretty. Never to complain, smile and feel complete in doing everything on your own in the house. While Autish was taught how to behave, to be strong and fight in the corporate world. When you were showing academic interest we could only think about your marriage. Much like trying to get rid of you as soon as possible. We thought this as ethical to always concern about your marriage right after your high school. Even we got upset when you declined to marry till your graduation from Business School. Always neglected your decisions. But you made it through my daughter. You opened your own business with your own saved money. Honey, we never showed, but you have no idea how proud you made us feel. And I regret that I ever doubted you, only because you were a girl. But where is that my little champ and the fighter? Who always struggled to make a point and outstand the rules. Tragically, even yourself has fallen the victim of our so called old-time tradition.
Even our text books teach how loyal and ever caring a wife should be to her husband. But why doesn’t it ever say, a husband should also lend an extra pair of hands in the household duties? Why can’t a man help in the house besides his job? It is not like the old times that, the man of the house went out and did all labor for earning food. While women stayed home. Now in modern times, they both work outside and equally. Then why shouldn’t a man take over some of household jobs? They say man and woman are equal in the family. Sadly, they still distinct the gender with some sets of habitual duties. We teach and try to control the characteristic of a boy’s and a girl’s mental growth separately. That they must perform as it was in the long way linage of our culture and tradition. So, one day they can become parents like ours. Can’t we break this vicious cycle? A nation can only prosper when their newer generation surpasses their parents through change and development to ensure better future. I believe it is still not too late. One of the generation of parents should step up and make the odds. To set the better examples.I am writing this when you are asleep after all day’s work and chores. By the time you get to read this in the morning, I will be on the train to home. Or probably have reached. I am sorry Lily. I am sorry from the parents of Autish. And all the other parents of our society who have set such awful examples for our dear daughters. I wish to redeem myself. So from now on, I will always be by your mother’s side till my last light. I want take an attempt to share her household chores. Besides, only bringing in the groceries. I will also chop the onions for her when she cooks. I will try to wash some of my clothes and help her clean the house. I will go with her to the roof to put up the wet clothes to dry. Honey, both you and Autish together make the family. You two shared the same oaths to do everything for your family. To share all the happiness and sorrow. Nothing is your own burden. You are not alone in this. Start with little things. Call him in your times of need around the house. Even when you feel you don’t need him. Trust me, he is a gentle man. He will understand. He is only pretending there to watch the game or reading newspaper when he is sitting alone. Waiting for you to call.
Your guilty Dad