On gender, being domestic et al! 

I am at the airport again, now on my way back. I have five hours to kill ..

So I am just back from an all-girls weekend with a group of friends from grad-school. This was the first time I am away after moving together with R. It felt a little weird (in a good way) to say home during conversations all through the weekend. Because this time ‘home’ meant ‘my own’ – with a kitchen and a man n all!!

img_20170110_201608.jpgThis post ties to a few things that happened before and during the past weekend.

Conversation 1-  Before the trip 

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Raising a “good” daughter! (could also be called Happy Mother’s Day moral story)

Scene 1:

A month ago:

Mom:  I need to tell you something

J: Yeaass

Mom: X told me that you should be careful of what you post on Facebook. You keep posting “unnecessary things”. X said if someone sees if might affect you.

J (suppressing anger): Someone who?

Mom: You know ..from grooms side. You are in “kalyana vayasu” (marriageable age). Why don’t you post good things like nice songs or videos or funny pictures.

J ( temperature reaching boiling point): First, looks like your X has too much time to snoop into my profile. Second, what I post is what I believe in and what I would want a grooms side to see( if they ever do!). So don’t come to me and tell what X said instead go to that person and ask them to mind their own f**** business. And maybe you should stay away from nosy people like X.

Scene 2 :

Few years ago after attending a wedding:

Mom (looking a little worried): You know seems Y’s daughter’s MIL is praising her for her housekeeping skills and also praised Y for raising a “good” daughter.

J: Good for her.

Mom: She has done Masters in US and is taking care of her house and kid. Maybe you should also learn cooking and how to draw kolam ( art drawn on the floor by creative people during special occasions in India).

J ( who was 19 and had no reason to learn cooking or kolam – read had no creative skills whatsoever with food or colors nor was I interested in getting praised by an imaginary MIL): Oh nice.. Masters sounds good but not cooking or kolam. Amma, why don’t you think this way. That whose ever MIL you become, that guy should aim to get your praise for being raised as a “good” boy for having good housekeeping and child rearing skills 😛

Mom: Stop talking like an idiot.

I had had this conversation as a young ( maybe immature) girl and as a joke but when I reminisced about it recently  I realized it probably wasn’t a joke. First I wish parents like my mom who at all other times raised their daughter as an equalist become doubtful when they come in conversation with people like X and Y. Though I could reason out saying my mom should be wise enough to not get such things into her head I restrain myself from saying it because I know how it works in an Indian setting and given the freedom I had been given itself was her/their (why leave my dad out) achievement. X and Y are toxic people to such parents who care about their child’s education and empowerment. ( And I do hope they stay far far away!)

So Amma if you are reading this.. Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂 I am proud of you and the way you raised me. And unfortunately we don’t say it out loud but I love you! 🙂

Note: An element of fiction was added in the first part of the post to make my point clear. That is not an exact replication of the conversation I had with my mom.