Monotony

bollywood-celebrities

There are several ways to kill time during this quarantine.
Like, doing dishes, and cooking meals, and taking care of the laundry.
Are you disappointed with my suggestion?
Then kindly consider this:
That is how half of mankind every day lives.
Yes, I mean the women. Take my mother, for instance.
She was a tender ten when she started doing chores and running errands.
She was a good student, but who really cared?
“You are a girl and your primary responsibility is to feed others and children bear.”
That is what my grandmother told her, for she only knew too well
That no matter how gifted a woman, she will burn in domestic hell.
“You belong in the kitchen,” I heard my father tell her one day.
And as a child, I too had chimed in, “yes, yes, in the kitchen”. I regret it to this day.
My mother drank her bitter tears and swallowed her youthful pride.
And spent her years in the monotony of domestic grind.
Now I watch Bollywood stars doing dishes, and laymen flaunting their cooking flair.
But pray, will all these happy ones agree to spend a lifetime this way?

© Vidya Venkat (2020)

Published by Vidya Venkat

Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at SOAS, London. Formerly, journalist at The Hindu, Chennai.

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