Just a Housewife..!
by Navitha Reddy
Rajiv and Sudha worked for a reputed bank, Sudha is one grade higher than Rajiv and they both knew each other from the time they started their career. Sudha was very efficient and a strict officer. She never allowed anyone to take things for granted and work has to be completed on time. This irked many other staff members and they would sit and gossip about her.
Rajiv and Sudha were sipping hot coffee in cafeteria, Rajiv was still angry on Mishra, his colleague. Sudha tried to calm him down.
"It's ok Rajiv ji, cool down. You know these are common in work place, you should not have reacted to those comments".
Rajiv kept his cup aside and said, "What common Sudha ji, how can they insult you? Since you are strict at work, they cannot bear it so they gossip and pass such comments on you. How can i keep quiet when a woman is not respected in my presence. If you had not intervened I would have broken his bones and him count it. "
Sudha who knew Rajiv well, paused for a minute, then continued with a smile, "Rajiv ji so nice of you that you stood by me in office, you told how can someone disrespect women in front of you, you seem to be a hero now in bank. Most of the ladies clapped when you said that, but are you the same at home as well???"
Rajiv felt a sudden jolt, he looked at Sudha. "Yes Sudha ji, I will never tolerate someone disrespecting women, you can ask anyone in my family. In fact someone teased my neighbors' daughter and I was the one who gave him tight blow on his face and asked him not to trouble her.
Sudha took a deep breath "Rajiv ji, I always look upon you as my brother. So let me ask you something, you always nag your wife Rashmi for everything that happens at home. Even on family day celebration you left her by herself and joined your colleagues without even introducing her to anyone."
Rajiv bluntly replied, "Arre Sudha ji,she is one dumb lady. She is fit for nothing. She sits at home and enjoys while I work hard to meet my family needs. Don't compare her with you, you are well educated and dignified lady. My wife only knows to eat and sleep."
Sudha was surprised, a few minutes ago this person said he respects women and now he is so carelessly commenting on his wife. She pulled out a paper and pen from her bag.
"Rajiv ji, you respect me because I
am a working woman and you feel your wife does nothing. Okay, let us do a small calculation now..."
Rajiv looked puzzled, He took pen and paper handed over to him by Sudha.
"I have a cook to cook food at home, so I pay him Rs.12000 just to cook for 3 of us. In you house your wife Rashmi does all cooking so add Rs.12000 below her name."
"I have maid to clean house, mop, wash utensils, wash clothes and dry them, I pay her Rs.5000. In your house your wife does these so add Rs.5000 to her."
"I have a driver to pickup and drop kids to school everyday and he takes them to tuition classes as well. I pay him Rs.8000 every month, So in your house Rashmi is doing it I guess, So add another Rs.8000 to her."
She continued, "Since I work here, I don't have time and energy to teach my kids at home, I send them to tuitions; I pay around Rs.3000 to tuition teacher. So in your house Rashmi takes care of the homework so add Rs.3000 to her."
"Besides, I have a Nurse at home to look after my ailing mother -in - law, I pay her Rs.10000 per month, So in your house Rashmi takes good care of your ailing mother and father along with you and kids so add Rs.10000 to her."
"So now tell me how much do you earn per month???"
Rajiv said " I ...I Get around 40000 /- per month."
"How much do you owe to Rashmi??" asked Sudha.
He bent his head with shame.
Sudha continued, "Rajiv ji, Rashmi also works hard just like you, if at all you hire a maid to do all these work then your salary will not be sufficient. The love and affection that Rashmi is showering on you people is priceless. Please do not insult her by calling her just a housewife, She has ability to earn more than you. Do not be a hero to others Rajiv ji, Be a hero to your wife. Not only working women, Even homemakers are to be appreciated for their efforts. Hope you understood now the value of your life partner."
Sudha paid the bill and left to the Bank, Rajiv sat there thinking about his stupidity and the way he behaved with his wife.
That evening Rajiv came home early, Rashmi hurried to kitchen to make tea. He held her hand and made her to sit on a chair nearby and prepared tea for both. Rashmi was surprised and happy, she quietly sipped tea handed over by her husband. ***