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We’ll eat together

We all Indians are fond of feasts, especially when it’s a family or friends get together. We get to spend quality time with each other, talk our hearts out, smile, laugh, tease, prank and what not? The environment is encouraging until we are sitting in lounge pulling each other’s leg. The real drama starts when the food is served.

All the male members grab their seats even before the plates are laid on the table. The female members gather in the kitchen to help the female host. I have been in this situation many times. Sometimes I would ignore, sometimes I won’t feel right. Lately, I experienced discomfort while being invited to such parties. I couldn’t help, but ask myself questions, “Why can’t we all sit together? Why can’t male members help in preparing the table? Why can’t male members offer the female members the best piece? Why do all the females have to eat the leftover? Why do they even have to serve at the very first place?

Many would argue that since males usually work outside while females look after the home, the former need to be served first. However, in our present cultural set-up, even women are performing all the outside work including their household chores. In my house, me and wife both work and earn for the family. My wife drives to the market, pays the bill, handle bank accounts and looks after our baby. She even has to stay up in the night to make our baby sleep. As such, I don’t see any clear boundaries of priority to be served first.

Whenever I get up early, I prepare the bed tea for my wife. I do not feel an insult to my ego in doing so. I feel that if I am not being able to stay up at night to look after our little one, the least I can do is to serve my wife a cup of tea in the morning. I feel that the male community including myself, need to retrospect. We need to understand what putting our wife’s interest first does not hurt our male ego. Giving her the bigger piece of the cake or eating the burnt sides of the bread ourselves does nothing to our self-worth. Instead, it makes our wives feel loved. We buy them gifts on their birthdays and Valentine’s day but can’t gather enough strength to show that we value them more than ourselves. When this thought struck my mind, I wasn’t sure how I would be able to pursue my ideology. Especially, when the majority of the crowd still believe in the prevalent customs. So, I decided. If I cannot pursue my fellow male members, the least I can do is wait for my wife. And if she will ask me why I am not eating, I’ll say, “We’ll eat together”.

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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