Sunday, December 24, 2006

The plight of the housewife and the second child . Part I

The typical Indian housewife has always been one of the burning
issues inside my mind for many years and a few recent experinces has
provocated me to put down some of my observations and analysis in this
topic .

We take into consideration the typical case in a middle class or the
upper middle class Indian family , the section of the society with whom
I am most familiar .

It is a nuclear family . The husband is well established in his work
place but has a hectic life to cater to the needs of the proffession
and will on most days come home with the pending work from office in
his hand or mind . Or he will be joining in some promotion party of a
collegue in the office in the evening or will be poring over how to
sort out the next looming trouble in the office .

The son/daughter is doing well in school and is performing more or
less to the parent's expectations . He has his coaching classes to
assist him and his fellow friends to call up when in need of
non-financial help .

The wife is the person in question . The modern society has tried to
garb it in various fancy names like the "home-maker " but I sometimes
really wonder whether it is not in same spirit as calling the
maid-servant at home the "domestic help" .

She doesnt have the technical qualifications to assist either the
husband at work or her chid in studies . She is hence forced by fate to
contend herself to be helping in the so called back stage
duties behind every successful person in the world . She is left to be
helping out make the morning breakfast and iron the dresses for both of
them or worse wash it . She has to help both of them "get ready" to
face the "bigger" challenges in the world outside .

But no-matter how suave the modern male chauvinistic society tries to
get to hide its basic feelings by saying that thus " behind every
succssful man is a woman " ... the truth remains that up-front the
world will never recognise her contribution to the successful .

In the Indian society brought up with such terribly ingrained
inhibitions most husbands wont plant a tender kiss on their wife before
leaving for office .

Is money and duties as a husband a complete substitute for the need to
expresss gratitude and thankfulness ?

She will atmost be remembered as the " wife of Mr. So and So " and not
as the one who helped " Mr So and So " become successful . Her identity
was assumed to be lost the day she was married off .

The nation is brought up to believe that the success of the woman lies
in her ability to de-burden the man from his non-technical necessities
of life like to cook his food so that he doesnt have to "waste " time
cooking for himself . Thus the wife goes to sleep at night deluding
herself in a false sense of contentment of being the mother of a good
student and a successful husband .

Even if the day doesnt end forcing her again to be the instrument of
man's basic pleasures ,it ends bad enough to be detrimental to the
growth of the society.

During the day the wife's plight is the perhaps the worst . Both the
other residents being out of home she , being technically inacapable of
engaging herself in proffessional activity has the folowing options
left to her ::

1. Engage herself in her so called "implicit" duties of the
housewife to keep the house , clean and decorated .
These are supposed to be an indicator of the wife's success!! ..
so that the guests can come and say that " Mr So and So " has a
beautiful home and the husband can have the pleasure of behaving like
some rich guy giving alms way of saying " Its all due to the efforts of
my great wife " ... what a deplorable consolation prize !!!

2. Learn innovative cooking to "serve" her husband those
delicacies .
( For some stray of the hook appreciation from the husband about being a good hand at the kitchen ! )

3. Or the worst alternative is the wife spending such vital
periods of her life gorging herself on those pathetically churned out
typically mediocre soaps and serials on television , targetted at the
non-thinking masses . The same repititive kind of stories where the
husband's sister will be cruel to the wife and the husband will
probably have an extra marital affair with the wife's sister !!

The brainless soaps and serials have really gone a long way to
make sure that the in-family filths and the dark quagmires never end by
providing shallower and darker ideas of creating them . Thus they make
no contribution to the society than to make the society prone to such
ideas and to make people apprehensive of the the weirdest of
possibilities . They rarely come up with a solution since if they do so
the mega serials will have to end after a finite time .

Thus the house-wife is fed with such dark ideas thanks to the
silver screen and she has found company by then to discuss the possible
next episode with either the maid-servant or the next door wife .

What a waste of time , life and vital resources of India !!!

Ultimately we have at hand a society filled with such a huge section
of so called "home-makers" whose potential talents have been subjugated
, thinking has been convoluted and their education wasted and
converted into a machine that rises in the morning to "serve " , spend
the day wasting in totally unfruitful and brainless jobs and ends the
day "serving" .

No nation develops with such a cancerous growth inside it . A huge
reason for India's failures in the international arena is due to the
existence of such a class .

Over the next blogs I shall discuss the next 4 levels of this problem

1. What are the better alternatives for this house-wife to spend
the day with ?

2. In the evening the house-wife can atleast ask her child about the
progresses in school and try to help out with her common sense .
Atleast she has the worry of bringing up a child to occupy her mind .

But how capable is she of doing it ?

3. Now the son has passed out of calss 12 and is in an engineering
college far away living in a hostel . What does the house-wife now ,
possible aged 40 , do in the empty house ?

Enters the role of the second child .

4. What are the remedies to this problem ? What can be the better
future ?

Is a husband and a wife who are collegues in the proffession and decide
to have no children a better alternative ?

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