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Friday, February 26, 2016

Prejudiced Towards Duality...

Rahul is soft spoken and a cheerful boss at office. He always encourages his subordinates to work in a team by usually telling them the story of a bundle of sticks. If you break each stick individually, it will not take much time to destroy all the sticks. But if all sticks are tied together and then someone tries to break the bundle from the middle, it is impossible. Everyone praises Rahul at his workplace. He has been an exemplary individual for his colleagues and juniors. The head honchos would praise him in one or the other general meeting. He is the guy who believes in team work. He is the guy who believes in equality. He always tells his team leaders to make sure they involve each team member in the ongoing projects. In fact, he always emphasizes on the senior employees to contribute and set an example for their juniors. He always ensures that no female members from his department is to stay beyond office hours. If they have to, someone from the HR appoints a 'pink cab' which would drop them at their respective doorstep. This constructive attitude from Rahul's side has continued for almost a decade. Rahul has built a great rapport with all in his office.

Rahul’s wife Smita has been working as a consultant to an American firm. She works from home. Since most of their clients are based in the USA, hence Smita would be seen working in the wee hours of the day - late nights and early mornings. She would hardly get any time to sleep at night. During the day she had to also manage the house. Her duty, in fact, was never-ending during the day. She was working, as if for two organizations. Right in the morning, a reporting to the second firm would begin. Getting their two children to wake up, ironing their uniform, preparing their breakfast and tiffins, polishing their shoes and dropping them to school was just the first set of duties. Coming back, ironing Rahul's clothes, preparing his breakfast was just the second set of chores. Then it was about keeping an eye on the maid and supervising the prevalence of hygiene at home. But, she was always energetic and never complained. This routine had prevailed over the past decade.

There came a day for their eldest daughter to be engaged. Rahul's boss had asked for his daughter’s hand for his son. His would-be son-in-law was working in an MNC as a Marketing Head. Their daughter was working in the same MNC as Associate Manager - HR. It was Sameer’s first visit to their house after his engagement with Ramya. After the customary greetings, they all gathered together over lunch. Sameer started praising his to-be father-in-law's attitude in the office, elucidating the praises that he had heard from his father. It was news for Ramya and Smita. Both were wondering how one person could have maintained a harsh duality for so long. Rahul's positive attitude had never been seen at home, towards his wife and kids.

Such issues as equality and team work had been small talk at home, whenever Smita used to urge Rahul to lend a helping hand in the daily chores, but it was music to the mother-daughter's ears when they heard of him being so considerate towards his female colleagues at the workplace.

If only, Rahul had been considerate enough, towards his better half, to #ShareTheLoad, Ramya would have held her father in high regard. Her brother was also so accustomed to their mother breaking her back over routine tasks around the house that even he had learned to assist her by contributing in his own small ways like helping in slicing the veggies for meals, putting out the washed laundry on the clothesline or even volunteering to preparing quick-fix meals like Maggi when Smita used to feel low. However, Rahul, contrary to his exemplary professional self, used to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to Smita's efforts on the pretext of being a busy professional!

If only, as a kid, Rahul had witnessed his father volunteering to assist his mother in homely responsibilities, that he would have grown empathetic towards his significant other.

Listening to Sameer's false appreciation made Rahul wallow in guilt and self-pity, as this image of his, was but, a mirage. He had realized his folly and promised  to lend a helping hand to Smita and applaud his son's gesture of sharing his mother's and sister's load of household chores.

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I am joining the Ariel #ShareTheLoad campaign at BlogAdda and blogging about the prejudice related to household chores being passed on to the next generation.

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