I completed my graduation and jumped right into a Masters program from there. I had a month’s gap between the 2 courses and a tonne of things to do.
Right after my post-grad, I had about 6 months to start my job. My mother, who is a housewife, nagged me to learn basic household chores. I was too uppity about it. Instead I had a whale of a time with friends. Also, we had a 24 hour maid at home. Why do housework when she’s around huh? Too uppity, absolutely!
6 months passed by like 6 hours and I started work at Infosys. They kept me busy. Being ambitious I wanted to climb the corporate ladder in half the time someone else was. Around this time my parents started to search for a boy for me to marry. I told them he’s to support my career. In my mind, I told myself, a housewife?? Never!
My uncle once said – your weekdays are busy, weekends busier. I had friends, new restaurants to explore, new places to see and more stuff to buy. 5 years passed by in this fashion. I met my husband on a business trip and we were getting married in the first week of October-2013. I quit my job and my last date was 4-Oct.
After the wedding on our trip to Maldives, I was filling out the Immigrations form and at occupation, for the 1st time I had to write unemployed. I had a catch in my breath, hated the feeling. I shrugged it off and told myself “soon, that’ll change”.
That was my first face-off with being unemployed and saying…a housewife.
After a wonderful 4 week stay, vacation, party, get-togethers my husband came to Melbourne. I stayed back awaiting my visa for 1.5 months. It was hectic. 1.5 months to wrap up 28 years of your life and carry it in 40+7 kilos across the ocean to Melbourne. More get-togethers, parties and lovely mornings on the phone followed. 28-Nov when I finally left Bangalore I came to Melbourne with hopes, dreams and a lot of aspirations. One of them being able to start working in the new year. Another Immigration form though!
I spent Dec-Jan-Feb-Mar applying for identification card, registering my marriage in Melbourne with a JP, Medicare card and the drill = more forms to fill out, unemployment staring stark in my face. But I also had post-marital bliss going for me 🙂
My mother and aunt visited us in April for a fortnight. That went by in a blink and real life took over in May; I was bored. My husband had been insistent since January that I do volunteer work. I paid little heed. Winter had just started and I couldn’t go out as often. I couldn’t relate to staying home. It seemed like every turn I had to take, something would reiterate to me about my occupation. People going to work and getting back home would drive me mad and cranky.
On one of those desolate afternoons, I was lamenting about this to my mother and she said – stop complaining. Do you help around the house? Ummm…not much. Why don’t you? Is that how I raised you? Can’t you help around a bit more? Why don’t you make use of this time for your blog? For your cooking experiments? For more art and craft?
That was like a light bulb in my head. That day, this blog was born. I had the idea, layout, types of articles in my head. It was a question of putting down fingertips to the keys.
That day I stopped complaining so much too. And helped around a bit more at home.
Post September, when our situation changed and had me in charge of a big house with cooking, cleaning, gardening and other chores life came around a half circle. I had a different mindset. I was gearing to work on the chores. I was willing to experiment with cooking. My husband’s threshold of imperfection is really high. Unlike other stereotypical husbands he can afford to be so, because he does a lot at home. He did most of the work and I tagged along.
November 2014, I can do it. I don’t think it is not important, because it certainly is. I can’t see dirt around the house, I can’t see unwashed clothes overflowing the laundry basket or dishes piled up in the sink. I go after each of these, sift and work. I also have a routine that ensure that it is done, most times. I am lazy and I don’t feel like working one of those days. I don’t. I let it go. The next day, I have new vigour. The other day, I was on Skype with my mother, aunts and they could see the kitchen. My aunt, a confirmed housewife for 25+ years said – “oh God! Vaishu, the sink is empty, you have cooked 5 dishes and the kitchen is clean. Perfect housewife!”
That gave me a lurch, a good one though. I was happy. I was good at it. I also had my mother’s stamp of approval. I have grown up 🙂
Now I don’t cringe when people ask me what I do. I am proud to say it. I crave working for sure, I miss it. Because that’s a part of me too. Life will come a full circle when I start working again. But I am not ashamed of the tasks any more.
And I have a new respect for my grandmother, mother, Aunty, mother-in-law and chikammas who have done it the last 4-5 decades, without complain, uppity people and all.