Our resident agony aunt answers your questions
No more Ms. Nice Girl!
I have lived in Australia for 10 years following marriage to an Australian of Indian descent. I specifically chose my husband because, having being born here, I expected him to have different values. I did not want to become a homemaker who does everything for her husband – like cooking cleaning and working, while he barely lifts a finger and sits and watches TV as though he was the Nawab of Cooch Naheen. So guess what’s happened? As great as my husband is, it turns out that he does not lift a finger to do anything around the house. So I work in IT and I like my home to be super neat and tidy, and I am constantly making sure everything is nice and beautiful. He empties the rubbish bin most nights but does not do much else. And worst of all, he plays cricket all day Saturday and then dumps his whites in the garage. I retrieve them and bleach them for him. Auntyji, what kind of a doormat have I become? Even I am disappointed in myself. At work, I am this great shehezadi telling everyone what to do, and at home, I am like a little chuhi who does not say anything because I love my hubby too much. But he loves it when relatives and friends come over and admire the place and say how beautiful it looks. He is so happy accepting the compliments and basks in the glow as though somehow he managed to create this mirage with his own two hands. Now Aunty, I don’t know what’s worse – my husband’s lack of recognition for everything that I do and taking me for granted, or me just doing everything anyway. Ok, I admit that I don’t mind cleaning the ghar dwar that much, because I like a saaf-suthra home, but am I setting back feminism by allowing my husband to treat me like a dai? Like a dhobiwali? What do I do?
Unless your husband is playing for Australia and deserves to have a loving dutiful wife who washes his whites, I suggest you stop being your pati parmeshwar’s dhobiwali immediately. Now, this is a situation you have created for yourself. I understand you like your home to be picture perfect, and even if you don’t mind cleaning because you like to live in a nice home, the least your beckaroo pati can do is to say thank you. If he is not doing this, then clearly something is wrong somewhere. So here is my recommendation, and I am pretty sure you won’t like it and it’s likely to cause you more pain than it will him, but you should give it a shot. Stop doing the housework for 4-6 weeks. Do nothing that you would normally do. Leave his whites to fester in the garage. Let the dishes pile up gloriously in the sink. Let the grime in the bathroom develop into a whole new ecosystem. Let the flies move in and build a new colony in your kitchen. Sooner or later your pati parmeshwar will notice. And maybe he will do something about it. And even if he doesn’t notice the mould slowly trying to vacate the premises because hadh ho gayee, he will for sure notice his whites are not sparkly bright any more.
So, what to say when he complains? Simple. Ask him to do it himself. Or tell him to work out a schedule where the tasks are equally divided between you two. No point you doing the double shift at home. Or, tell him that you will continue to do the work, but he needs to show you recognition for it. Place a value on the tasks you do. Maybe a piece of jewellery every two months. Maybe a nice dinner. Maybe a trip. Whatever. It’s your life, you decide what merit you place on your time. But enough is enough. No more a lazy, bekaar husband. You go girl.
To DRS or not
I am a 5th generation Australian and a diehard cricket fan. I am flummoxed by India’s decision not to agree to the use of the Umpire Decision Review System (DRS) in cricket matches, and wanted your take on it. You know, technology is the future and you can’t deny its value to cricket. What’s with India not accepting the use of the DRS – surely this makes the game better? India needs to move with the times and accept progress – unless you want to remain backward in matters of cricket. What are your thoughts, Auntyji?
India venerates cricket and sees it as more than just a game where authority is challenged and snide remarks are the order of day. We see cricket as a metaphor for the universe, of life, and of all things sacred. Cricket is about more than just a series of decisions made by a machine. If you had more culture than a cool glass of mango lassi, you would know that it’s the spirit of cricket that counts, and not just the letter of law. We like to respect the spirit of authority in a game of cricket – and that’s the decision of the umpire. The machine is not always right. What decision would the DRS have made when chota bhai Trevor Chappell bowled his underarm after a quick ghuspoos in his ear by bada bhaiya Greg? And what decision would the machine have made on the recent Bailey incident?
Further, have you been paying attention to why we don’t want to use the DRS? All India is saying, is the system is not foolproof. It’s like your IT guy is saying a new application is not ready to launch because the testing has revealed the error rate is too high, and you go ahead and launch it anyway?
Well, the Indians are saying the system is not fit for purpose – which is the same as your IT guy telling you not to release the beta. Get it? Until the IT guy says the system is ready for use, you trust his or her judgement. So India has spoken. The system is not fit for purpose and does not meet our quality standards and requires further releases and upgrades before it is signed off for use. Now take that and go.