Monday, October 18, 2010

Mundane Things

I was talking to a friend during our evening walk and mentioned that how as a newly married woman I had found a question about maintainance money very awkward. She replies, but I get it too, and I was quiet for a moment as I had thought that is was funny to be getting money that one would spend on oneself from the husband. In fact my take on the issue was that once the intense phase of infant care and early childhood are over a woman should earn to contribute towards the family kitty. In this of course I had never taken into account the massive housework that is single handedly done by Indian housewives. I do not know about the finer points about these factors that grant spending ability to a woman in these situations but truly it had never occurred to me. Her forceful point that women who take care of the house should have some money solely kept aside for their own care sounded very logical. She gets massages and facial done with the money, with the rest she keeps saving it till a bigger amount is there, here, she showed me, 'these ear rings I got with this saving!' Well, either I am dumb or I can silently hope that practicality and worldly ways dawn upon me before I hit forty.

The Rabindranath novel I was reading speaks of these feminist issues, am amazed that the issues are still contemporary. The central character, Kumudini refuses to accept precious jewelry that her husband gifts her as he continuously tries to show her side of the family down, she accepts a crumpled paper with cardamom seeds that a child gives her with joy. She is completely reliant on her husband and yet she struggles to resist the attempts by the husband to control her.She is shown to be brought up lovingly by her brother and this instills in her the confidence to turn down that which is given to her without respect.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting observations and I can see your point. But things are just things, no? So whether they are given in disrespect or respect, they are still just things. Neither accepting them nor refusing them will change the intentions behind how they are given (in many cases), so why not receive them as payment (even if inadequate payment at times) for the services that one renders? To my way of thinking, accepting them does not imply that the arrangement was "fair" compensation - neither does it imply anything unfair. I also see it to a husband's benefit to have a spouse that has the ability to adequately relax and care for herself. I don't know... just some thoughts.