Sharing woman’s festive load

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 Oct 2018 12:32:16



In our country festivals, customs, celebrations and occasions occupy almost every page of our almanac. Festivities freshen up our nation. Felicity is perceptible all around with best dressed men, women and children in jovial mood. Ambrosial food, aromatic flowers, choicest incenses, colourful and glittering decorations build a beautiful aura around cities.

In this fabulous festive ambience very occasionally seen rejoicing is the sincere home maker and also the over stretched working woman. Both dedicatedly work round their rut clock for the celebratory preparations. These truly duty conscious women, selflessly toil backstage in the dull and dreary interiors of home to ensure that the elegant festive show runs smoothly.

A woman who works so hard for every occasion is reciprocated from people at home with just a simple admiration or at the most a heartfelt liberal appreciation. This is meagre compared to the mammoth and worthy task she manages efficiently.

In fact a woman never craves any appreciation or recognition for the work she does, conscientiously. Yet it is essential that she not only receives due recognition for her brilliant work but also substantial cooperation and support especially from male members of her family.

Most of us men take the devoted woman of our home and her valuable services for granted. We simply consider it ‘her part of the job’. It is really appreciable that in spite of growing age, stagnating stamina, diminishing strength and increasing health problems, a woman rises with renewed vigour to every family event year after year.

May be the inner joy and soul satisfaction, serve a woman's motivation. While this may be true, the corporeal entity has its limitations and with time and toil a woman's body and biological system become increasingly susceptible to disease and disability. It is a known medical fact that if physical limitations are far too stretched the human body becomes liable to a variety of diseases.

In carrying forward the festive customs and ancient traditions of the family the personal health of a woman is always neglected and suffers grossly. With advancement of age and tenure the industrious activity and resulting overload on the body aggravates not only the existing medical conditions but also gives birth to new ones.

Women rarely express their inner agony and silently bear all the suffering. Vo to karna hi padta hai (that needs to be compulsorily done) is the only subtle sombre expression occasionally heard from them. In the entire process at psychological level too women undergo a lot of suppression, repression, angst and anguish which also have definite repercussions on her health.

A woman besides obeying the time honoured traditions has to look after other sides of the home too. These include bringing up of children, caring for the old, receiving guests, maid management and delivering basic household chores. For the working women it is all the more difficult. Most of the times a woman is literally sandwiched at multiple levels of her responsibilities.

Every year we Physicians see a number of female patients with a pretty long list of physical complaints after major festivals and celebrations what I have casually coined as ‘Post Festival Stress Syndrome’.

We the ‘working men’ of home (in Marathi the earning man of the house is addressed Gharatla Karta Pursush) are definitely sensitive to a woman’s troubles yet we are not able to extend much help in her tough and tedious tasks. Today's empathetic men certainly realise what a woman goes through to light and lift the face of the family. They do assist selected home jobs and also perform outdoor works thus sharing a small piece of the huge cake.

This limited help isn’t enough to reduce women's hefty festive burden. Just by executing the above tasks if men consider they have done everything possible to help the woman in home then they are unconsciously fibbing with themselves.

Even while my guilt laden heart writes this article in complete physical comfort women in my home are working in the tiny kitchen in a hot and adverse environment. As I notice this I tell them to put on the fan. They say they cannot do so for the gas flame will be put off by air drafts from the fan. I further tell them to open the outer door for good ventilation. They say they can't for the flies will enter and spoil the food. They continue working in utterly unfavourable conditions, in all the heat and discomfort.

This situation gives me the exact ground level feel of the trying conditions women work in. In the situation I simply feel helpless not being able to comfort them. But beyond feeling helpless I do nothing further. What is actually called for in the given situation is my priority to execution of the

thought of installing an air conditioner in kitchen which often passes my mind?  Men may be carrying out their part of the job whole heartedly. They may be trying to help and ease a woman in their own way. But what is really needed is active implementation of things that can lighten the festive and overall work load of a woman. Every home situation crucially demands men sharing equal part of the mountainous work at home.

If men consider they are unable to the help the lady in the house because they are not skilled in the job they should promptly initiate to learn the jobs in woman’s realm. If
men are genuinely desirous to provide woman a real aid and relief they actually need to explore the area of her domestic domain.

Today no sphere of work exists where women cannot accomplish the jobs performed by men. So in the neo world no longer remains the classification in work- 'His' or 'Her'. The ancient wisdom teaches us every work is worship simply to be offered with all devotion. We are traditionally taught no work is small or big or either person specific.

So men should part with all ‘esteem issues’ regarding learning and doing domestic works. Indeed they should actively and wilfully learn every task on home front. They need to ensure that everything doesn’t fall on a woman dumping her ‘self’ and damaging her health.  To lighten a woman’s festive and general work load, to considerably relax her stress and strain also needed is a substantial reform at the level of thought and attitude. Broadening our outlook on customs and traditions, and hyper sensitising our concern for a woman’s wellbeing are essentially required.

With due respect for all festivals, customs, occasions and family traditions I feel if we adopt little flexibility and be open to possible relaxations in following the ancient norms we can see the woman in our home healthy and happy.

If we cannot compromise on complying with certain traditions we need to learn the effective ground level management and be little practical. This will offer much needed respite to the woman in our household. We need to equally revere the deity who exists in human form in our home and eternally runs the world inside. With her untiring efforts this real Goddess makes sure that every person in family ever remains happy.

In this contemporary world the role of men in home needs to be modified amply. While every member of the family shares the jovialities, delicacies and festivities to the fullest he should also share equivalent part of a woman's festive load.

Let us seriously resolve to liberate this real architect of our heavenly home from binding shackles of unending responsibilities. This festive season lets us bestow the woman in our home a wonderful present of learning at least one job of her province.

Let us continue showering on her many such novel presents on all future occasions. This way we can gift her, a deserved and priceless mental, physical, spiritual and social well being and endow our home a perfect harmony.