Here's the thing. This Punjabi friend of mine recently commented "South Indian men are spineless. They aren't men at all." I'm not a person to take offense to such regionalism. I am used to it. From her especially. I am used to the "South Indian people are so dark! If my kid were dark, I'd disown him", "My grandma used to ask me to keep a distance from dark kids lest I get their colour", "You south Indian people lack class", etc. I don't pay any attention to them because they are narrow minded views of a woman who has been brought up in certain ways and refuses to broaden her spectrum of thoughts. Most importantly, I don't pay any attention to such comments because I know that she is a good person and that all that is just talk. But, this comment of hers "South Indian men are spineless. They aren't men at all" remained in my head. Again, I didn't take offense, I brushed it aside as ignorance and let it go. Well, here we go.
1. My Appa helps Amma out in the kitchen to which your reaction was "Aww.. that is so sweet!" How do things go at you place? You and your mum are the only ones to cook. Hell! Your dad and brother NEVER get water for themselves, you get it for them. Even though they maybe only two steps away from the table.
2. Appa, the sibling and I help Amma set up the dining table and clean up after our meal. How are things at your place? YOU set up the table alone and then, actually REQUEST your Pappaji and your bhaiyaji (who are lounging in front of the T.V., on the couch) to please sit at the table for a meal. Request. Request. Every single day, every single meal.
3. When your Ma ain't home, you become the maid of the house. When my Amma ain't home, my Appa takes care of us and we help him out in any way we can.
4. Ever since you crossed the "marriageable age" limit, you are being treated as a maid at your house. Oh, not just a maid. Their driver, their butler, in short their "haan ji" doll. My Appa treats me like a person. An actual grown up person.
5. Your views are easily brushed aside. You have been taught that a woman's place is in the kitchen and taking care of the house. And you live by it. I have been taught to think independently, do things by myself and not to listen to anyone who is trying to limit me. As a result, I've turned out head strong. But, hell, I do whatever the fuck I want to and you are limited by their leash. And yes, whatever I do, my dad is proud of my actions even though some of them make him go "Oh My God! You did that!? HOW DID YOU DO IT!?"
6. You have been taught that before marriage you should always be dependent on your daddy for money. After marriage, be dependent on your husband for money. I have been taught to get a good job, earn for myself and KEEP MYSELF SECURE. Dependency has very little room. Till date, Amma doesn't take any money from Appa. And here you are thinking of not working at all once you get your degree. No judgement. But, allow me a little room for pity.
7. You mom actually told you "Your weight loss and skin care regime shouldn't suffer. I don't care what you do about your exam." For us, education is of UTMOST importance. To you people, it is beauty over brains. For us, it is brains over everything else. You told me that your mom said that because of your "marriageable age" (Ban that phrase please!) Guess what? It doesn't matter what age. For us, education always comes first. My mom, at the age of 40+ is learning German at a professional level. For fun. So, yes, education for fun is also encouraged. Your parents are just asking you to be a bimbo with no brains.
Good Lord, this post is bordering on being hateful toward her. My point is, you are living with a bunch of male chauvinist bastards who don't deserve you or your ma. And you put up with it. I am in turn living with this Pa who respects me, my actions, my thoughts, my choice AND my behaviour. Not just my Pa. Even my cousins (all male clan!) respect me. I deal with ZERO chauvinism in the house, in the family, in the extended family! Everybody is treated as an equal. I just feel really sorry for your pathetic little existence.