I had earlier written a post on how inanimate objects behave as if they have a mind of their own. The power supply goes of just when a news of national importance is being flashed on TV and the gas cylinder has to be replaced when one is winding up cooking and just the seasoning bit is left and the list goes on. Suddenly I realize that animate objects become inanimate whenever it suits them and that is even more frustrating.
Take for example the head of the family who is sitting in the drawing room, newspaper in hand. No, I don't mean just my husband my father in law was no better. The door bell rings and the onus of opening the door and answering the call invariably falls on the lady slogging it out in the kitchen. She has to remember to switch off the gas or else the milk will spill over, she has to keep the knife out of reach or the brat will invariably cut himself with it and yet the newspaper reader is as good as the sofa he sits on. He just does not hear the bell.
The child has decided to be difficult. He refuses food, won't listen to a story and insists on being carried around. The father becomes selectively deaf. He can watch a cricket match, follow election analysis in 3 different channels but the child's tantrums do not affect him. You have no option but to dump the child on his lap and the brat becomes quiet and manageable.
The telephone rings and it is only the mother who has to pick it up. The grown up son/daughter have their own mobiles to receive personal calls and the husband seems to have lost the ability to walk. "The phone is ringing" he announces, but will not pick it up. As if all land line calls are only meant for the wife/mother.
Visitors have arrived. The children mumble a hurried 'namaste' and retreat to their rooms or better still go out as if they have some important work to do. The husband has only a half hearted smile to offer and the job of entertaining them, enquiring after their ailing grandfather/their children's entrance exams/their thrice removed cousin's marriage preparation.......well you are supposed to remember so many things and your better half keeps changing channels and watching TV. You go to the kitchen to prepare tea and either invite the visitor into the kitchen or continue the conversation from there since all others have become selectively dumb. Glaring at the husband will not help. He can look into your eyes and not 'see' anything. Point it out to them later and pat comes the reply.
"You were doing all the talking. There was nothing for me to say."
The very same children can talk for hours on the phone with their friends and the conversation has to turn to politics or cricket/football and just see how animated your husband becomes.
Multi - tasking seems to come naturally to women. Or is it perhaps forced on them and is acquired over time? I, for one, feel that men have it easy. At least I know of one man who does. Or is it that their priorities differ?
I have a lot of freedom. I sometimes I wish that I had less of it because decision making also means taking responsibility when things go wrong. I have seen women who will remain in the background out of choice and they seem to be better off. Or are they? My friend Prema for instance is handicapped but is still a pillar of strength to her husband. It is perhaps this very quality that is sustaining her. I cannot imagine her being different. Her in laws say that they remain in touch with the brother only because of her. This may be a bit of an exaggeration. But it also emphasizes on her role in running the show.
I meant to write a light post but this is becoming serious. I really want some inputs from the male perspective. But perhaps these are not issues to men at all. Like my husband would say-
"Yes, I was watching TV when so and so came. So what?? What is your problem about it? The programme was interesting and they would have watched it with me were it not for you." How's that? All my raving and ranting goes waste. Too bad isn't it?