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Confessions of a Housewife

by Suprita
(Tampa, FL, USA)

They say a woman's home is where her husband is. A woman's life is tied tightly to a husband not just for this life but for 7 lives to come. Is it really a good agreement that a girl signs on without reading the 'terms and conditions of the agreement' more so with stars twinkling in her eyes full of bright dreams.

I too got married early, just after graduation. It was arranged by my parents as is done with every other girl in this country. The boy's family came to see me, I was all decked up for the day. Elders gave us, me and my would be husband some time to know each other and then make our decisions. As if it is that easy to know a person in 10 mins! Both of us were so anxious and nervous that there were nothing to say and know. Astrologers were consulted and elders made the decision. They said I was too young to decide, alright but but not too young to get married, huh!. And it seems astrologers in this country know everything about the person and are the best judge to decide if the prospective groom is good for the girl. But they are nowhere to be seen once the marital problems arise. Well, all said and done the decisions were made and the girl is too shy to even say no. It seems the boys are always more than eager to get married. So finally, a date was decided and preparations started.

Everyone in the whole endeavor enjoys as if they are visiting an amusement park. Teenages are busy eyeing other teenagers and make use of the opportunities and the other crowd is busy judging the whole affair claiming the marriages that they conducted were far better than whatever was happening in front of them. Bride and the bridegroom are left with punditji to perform all the rituals which none of them know why they are doing.

One funny ritual I still remember was to go outside and together see a particular star in the sky. Well, but in broad daylight who can see a tiny star? Well, we performed all the rituals and even smiled heartily for all the pictures. In Indian marriages, there is a custom that the groom can give a new name to the bride. The groom here, now my husband had a choice and he picked up a name. It was nice name but I retaliated. I was coerced by my mother as she also had a different name post marriage. I too agreed, was there any choice?

Soon after the marriage was over, we went on honeymoon and to everyone's dismay I fell very sick and caught typhoid. Blame it on the unhygenic food in the marriage. My husband took me to a doctor. The Doctor checked me up and was about to write a prescription. He asked my name, before I could say anything my husband said 'Sonal Kulkarni'. I said who is she? I was the only girl in the room and then soon realized that the name and surname had changed after the marriage. Was I still the same person?

I was a B.Com graduate, which is like good for nothing. I could take up a job as kindergarten teacher. Then, my husband said why do you have to toil so much. You can relax at home, cook, watch TV and do as much shopping. He would manage the money earning part. Nice deal! And what to do with my life, nobody cares?

Soon the life of a housewife started. First few months passed quickly and before I could realize I was pregnant. Everyone in the family was very happy as if India's population is not high enough. I wanted to get things ready for the baby before he arrived. But the elders didn’t let me. They said it was inauspicious to buy stuff for the baby before he comes. We can tweak the rules if someone
else pays the bill and we don’t keep the stuff. God won't know we are cheating. We did that, shopped all the stuff and kept it at a friend's house.

After all the baby shower celebration which was no less than a marriage, the baby arrived. I bought a big bundle of diapers so that we are not bothered by constant peeing of the baby, but the elders came in again. This time with the logic of the diaper is very unhygenic and baby might feel heavy. Nice! So we were left with changing every piece of clothing every time the baby decided to lighten himself. The washing lady was complaining, but who bothers.

Everyone is every ecstatic to see a baby in the house, their smile is broader, may be to tell the world, yes the couple is fertile. The baby changed hands, reached me only when hungry. They say a woman is reborn after giving birth, and hence needs to take double care of herself. I didn’t have to do any household chores, food was served hot and rest was the only task. I was enjoying. I was being fed double the calories and don’t forget about the ladoos. I was worried about the baby fat sticking on to me, but they said don’t worry about it at all, as if nobody would care to look at me.

Soon the honeymoon period was got over and our nuclear family (my husband, myself and the baby) shifted to the city. The regular mundane life started. My husband would go to office in the morning and our baby would wail all day and night. The life of the housewife started with a big bang.

My husband would wake up the in the morning and blurt out only one word - Coffee. I would rush into the kitchen make a hot cup of coffee. If I am lucky I would get a 'hmm' or else' It's too hot. Sugar is less today. Is milk stale? It is stinking'. The day has started. Quickly pack up lunch. Timelines are hard, and chapatis should be soft. The box and the bag should be ready before time else lunch is left at home and then I would keep blaming myself that my husband would be hungry the whole day. How naive was I? As if the office is on moon and there was no hotels there. By that time, the baby up and bouncing, might have pooped too in the diaper. Well, yes I decided to go with the diaper as you don’t have those washing ladies in the city and if you are lucky enough to find one she will charge sky rocketing rate. Let the baby feel a little heavy, I am feeling light, that’s better.

Now the daily chores start with making the bed, cleaning the bathroom, giving baby a bath, feeding him. The number of tasks can increase if the baby doesn’t like the food and decides to throw-up.

The day passes in keeping the baby entertained and keeping my sanity in place. How long can one do baby talk! It can get annoying and then you yearn for some adult talk. Not Adult talk per se, I should say talking to an adult.

The frustration of not doing anything worthwhile kept building up in the background. Yes, I know we normal people are meant for a normal existence and should not worry about inventing light bulbs like Edison every now and then. But the feeling of worthlessness does creep-in at times.

I needed fresh air and got some for free when I was ready for it. There is a right time for everything.

Feeling of worthless can’t come from outside, but has to be cultivated within. One has to feel complete and then only one can be happy. The perspective changed from a victim to victorious. It was a welcome change and life seems effortless and smooth!

Check out the book Confessions of a Military Wife

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Apr 18, 2024
Star in the morning
by: NKM

You mentioned that you and your husband were asked to sight a star in the daytime after marriage. Well this star is Arundhati star and is in fact a twin star. Beauty of this twin star is that both the stars revolve around each other signifying that in the husband wife relationship, nobody is at the center and that both husband and wife should behave like the twin star and give importance to each other. So don't take it for making fun. Our rishis were very knowledgeable and had meaning for all such rituals.

Oct 10, 2019
Story rings true
by: Ravi

As a husband, I can say the story rings true. You have to be responsible for your own happiness. Your commerce degree is not worthless. Your life isn't worthless or boring. You are bringing up your baby. Stand proud. You do not need someone else's approval. If there is something else you aspire to, you should try to write about it too. It will be cathartic.
All the best

Jul 21, 2019
Beautiful !!
by: Dr: Venkat Chitta

Is this the whole write up ? For a moment, I thought this was only a sample piece.
Almost all human cultures took (and continue to do so) pride in severely restricting independent thinking and action by their women. This, sadly, has its roots in religion. Fortunately, as the importance of rituals in religions waned, as education in women improved and almost came to on par with men in some communities, these chauvinistic restrictions on the freedoms of women had to give away. It is extremely good that women of atleast some communities pursue the courses of study they prefer, choose a career of their choice, and marry when they are ready.

I wish the author completes narrating her life experiences as they come along, periodically. Such accounts have immense potential of providing soothing empathy to others similarly placed, and give courage to people "to take on the bull by its horns", if necessary.

Mar 20, 2019
Why so ?
by: Ksr

Are you and your family happy and healthy atleast now ?

May 06, 2018
I'm glad you took the trouble to write this
by: Your Name: Haze

That's lashing out, and for good reasons.

I hate how misogynistic this country can be at times and it's even more pitiful to watch insecure people tossing harsh comments below.

A culture which doesn't breed progress doesn't deserve to exist.

Jan 02, 2018
Not Impressed
by: Indian Women

This article means to demean all the indian traditions nothing else...western world know that to break India only thing is break their beautiful family values...
1. Seeing stars is a beautiful tradition if only one understand the meaning behind it.
2. Diaper - god !! You have problem with everything...???diapers are really unhygienic if not changed frequently so it's better to change cloths...
3. Name change - despite the name.change people still call you with the same name..You have 2 names and 2 set of people loving you...How manu names your child have given by the people loving him ? Compare that..Frustrated lady !
Indian traditions are not going anywhere... don't worry...They are so strong and nourished with love (only taken in right context)

Jan 03, 2016
Review, Revive and Refocus
by: Anonymous

Madam, well written article. Looks like somewhere you lost the enthusiasm. No worries, it happens to best of us. Looking at the right place helps with regaining it. whats your goal ? For example, my goal is to love fellow beings.

As a part of marriage ritual, they show the couple arundathi-vasista twin star system. You cant see it in the night either. The twin star system helps understand the couple on successful marriage. Of all the stars, this twin star system is unique - both stars revolve around each other.

This world is an exciting fun loving place, open up and explore. You have plenty to learn and give. Past is destiny. Future is free will. Go girl, break free and pursue your goal.

A name with the comment is much appreciated.

- By Admin

Apr 27, 2015
in simple words
by: saroj

simply you r a greedy woman.who likes to be ****** all time

Apr 10, 2015
Western taking on Ancient: Any guaranty that the earlier is better
by: Name

As you said,"who cares!" I don't know which generation you belong to but I am sure things are changing in my generation(I am of 23). It's not like woman have started raising voice even if there is every possible law for woman complaint redressal. It's more of the men have started taking care of the woman. There are many unjustified and unproved rituals and practice. I can say only a western effect can abolish them but to what guaranty than the adopting one is social.

Jan 31, 2015
by: Anish KumaR Singh


Dec 31, 2014
Full empathy
by: Name

True! I agree with the emotions! Although I am not a house wife, but i am a ''WIFE. I am expected to mould my life as per husband's wishes and let go off things that means a lot to me but might be worthles to my husband. I am happy ín general'but I the person in me is not happy ín particular'.

but thats life i guess :) Cheers

Mar 01, 2014
lovely dichotomy of life...
by: Kiran Anne Prince

Well written..hats off to u Kiran..looking forward to read many more...

Feb 27, 2014
Pent up
by: Kiran Jhamb

Good, you gave way to your pent up frustration. My sympathies but as Vimala says, have patience. If you have a daughter, try to make her life different.

Oct 16, 2013
by: vimala ramu

Well, you have had an absolutely 'normal' Indian girl's life and you feel 'useless' . The problem with the younger generation is they think that the first couple of years of married life is everything. But you have a long way to go. Later you will realise that 'safar banee manzil'. You will have so many achievements in your long life, through your children and when they grow up, you have your own talents to fall back on and achieve something worthwhile in life.
Buck up, life is a long journey of learnings and achievements. Only you have to make it so.

Oct 05, 2013
by: Manohar Naidu

Narration is superb in simple words Feeling of worthlessness does creep-in at times but there is a right time for every thing in life.

Oct 05, 2013
by: Ratnika Singh

Such a true picture of the average Indian wife. Superb work!

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