Guests have come to your place. You greet them with put on smiles, laugh at their silly jokes and pretend to be interested in how their daughter got a perfect groom when it is the dinner time.
As idealistic, the same conversation isn’t shifted to the dining room with people chuckling and giggling and nodding their heads. The living room is still occupied, albeit now it is just the men who are sitting there. The stock market debate rages on as the ladies, including the guests’, including the 80 year old who is one of the guests are now in the kitchen laying out plates. After a few min you hear a gentle call of the host lady- “Are you listening? Dinner is ready.”
The men come to the dining room, occupy the chairs and talk on while the ladies, I repeat, including those from the guests’, including the 80 year old lady who is one of the guests is in the kitchen rolling out hot rotis, waiting to be summoned by the head of the household to bring in some more kheer.
The men talk on for half an hour. Even after the plates are empty, they sit there chewing paan.
All the time, the ladies are hungry. But nobody is bothered.
Not even the ladies.
After the men finally rise, the mess is cleared by the ladies. It is now that they eat. There’s no one to roll out hot rotis for them. Nobody to serve them some more kheer. But they don’t mind.
They can still use their left hand, they say.
Can’t the men too, you ask.
You are reprimanded for your audacity and arrogance.
They are seniors, you are told.
But not more than the grandma, you argue.
‘I wasn’t hungry. After all, in this age, who lusts after food,’ the grandma tries to cajole you.
‘I was brought up that way, kid. Why do you bother? You are a man. Enjoy,’ you hear.
Then you remember the classic anecdote you read once-
A renowned feminist once visited Iraq after Desert Storm. She was pleased to see that once where the women used to walk 10 paces behind their husbands, the women were now walking 20 paces ahead of their husbands.
She went up to a woman and said that she was very happy to see them ‘taking the lead’. She went on to ask, ‘So how did this change come about?’
Iraqi Woman: Landmines.
– Omkar Khandekar –