On Karwachauth, my sister rang me up to ask what my plans were and I replied to her in a monosyllabic “Nothing!” She was the least surprised, because for the last three years that I have been married, I have had just one word for all the queries regarding my plans on Karwachauth. I am not the one who keeps fasts or loves to dress up for Karwachauth, however, I do respect the sentiments of women who do so. So on that day I thought of making him kadhi chawal, one of his favourite meals and to my surprise, he came home early and we enjoyed dinner and each other’s company. The last three years have gone by so quickly and it seemed like yesterday, when we had got hitched.
All these years that we have been married and the years before that, when we were friends, my husband has always been the rock of my life, standing there for me unperturbed and supporting me in the decisions that I took for my life, even though they did not make much sense to the people around. He has also been my worst critic, telling me exactly where I have gone wrong.
Over all these years, our relationship has not been dictated by gender roles and that is something I cherish the most.
He doesn’t mind cooking for me, doing the laundry or any other household task, which in our society, is considered a woman’s job. When my job got demanding and I had no time for home, he was there supporting me and helping me around. His stand on a man and a woman being equal in all aspects, has ruffled the feathers of those who wanted to fit us in gender roles and tried to tell us that I being a wife should serve him and that he being a man should not do tasks that are just meant for women. But he brushes all this aside with his caring smile and never hesitates to take a stand for me, whenever anyone has tried to put me in the stereotyped mould of a married woman, a daughter-in-law and a wife.
So on Karwachauth, I thanked him for the million things he means to me and for the sweetest gestures that mean so much. Like when I am in the shower and he is going to office, he would patiently wait to say a goodbye even though he is getting late or when he enthusiastically offers to cook yummy parathas for breakfast on lazy Sunday mornings or when he gently hugs me and comforts me saying that all will be well, in the days when I am completely broken.
If more men had the courage to think outside the closed box of patriarchal values and stereotypical social constructs and support the woman in their life, the world would be a better place!