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Monday, April 11, 2011

Role Reversal

A friend of my husband's decided that, once his wife completed her maternity leave period, he would take a break from work and take care of their new borne . This , he felt, would help his wife catch up with her career and let him spend more time with his baby (such a beautiful thought I say). As he had planned , he took break from work and started baby sitting but unsurprisingly his noble intentions didn't get too far. Pressure started building. A man who doesn't work is no man at all. Parents started getting worried. In-laws got paranoid. Well, finally he succumbed to pressure and got back to work.

I am sure there are more men out there than who would want to openly admit, who would have more of such noble intentions . but society doesn't show discrimination on that front. Men are still expected to go hunting and bring back food like during Iron Age.

During my childhood years , while I was at Kochi, our next door neighbors were a family of 4 with a couple and two kids. The aunty was a Doctor and did private practice and the Uncle decided not to work. Both of them were quite learned and knowledgeable people who had traveled at lot and had a perspective much different from the people of that generation. The Uncle used to cook, do household chores, take care of the dogs and kids and do gardening and he always sounded like he was a satisfied man and much happier than all the men who stayed around him. As a kid, due to my social conditioning at the time , I used to wonder what kind of a person he was , maybe a person without any shame .Today, I admire him for the strength and determination he showed at the time when most others were too afraid of losing their manhood if they helped out their wives in doing household chores.

A salute to that man who lived (and died )a life on his own rules!

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