The Diary of an American Housewife

The streaks of the sun said good morning to me through the window. The kitchen was now brightly lit. It looked like one of those photos taken by the professionals. Everything was perfectly arranged in the cupboards. Except for the few dishes in the sink.

I went to the dressing wardrobe and picked up my diary from beneath. The environment was perfect for unloading the words.

“This is my daily job. To get up early in the morning, prepare the tea and breakfast, and then this dish cleaning after he left to office. Sometimes, I start on the laptop before i wash the dishes. They can wait, but not my parents. It would be late night for them. Just delaying their early sleep and sitting by on the machine, waiting for their daughter to call up. Then around 11, I take my bath and have to prepare for lunch. The timings of both were never consistent. The latter would be skipped sometimes, if at all he never knocks the door at noon. And then, the whole of the afternoon dedicated to myself, my thoughts and just me. It had become my routine.

The afternoon thoughts have now blended into my mind and body. It was the same everyday. As in the famous film Zanjeer, what is it that I don’t have? I live in an average rented house. I have a  loving husband who takes extreme care of me, and who earns dollars and takes me out on most nights and weekends in our car. I have a bunch of friends who keeps asking about me and the luxuries I enjoy at this abroad home. The missing of parents and relatives is natural for a newly married woman as the pains during the childbirth. What then is missing?

Is it me?

I remember myself as the girly little child wearing frocks who played around the little ground back in India. As the proud daughter of two government employees who made them more proud as she grew. The show case in the main hall of our sweet home, were filled with photos and prizes I had won for my academic performance. I remember mom explaining them to the guests with huge happiness on her face. There were award ceremonies at the school, and the competitions, and my school classmates, who looked onto me as their captain. I could hear the faint sound of the music I learnt and listened during those times. The concerts we attended in the evening, on the free passes from mom’s office. It seems I have forgotten the lyrics and the notes. I don’t remember them anymore. The various entrance tuitions and my expedition on my Kinetic through the city to achieve the first bench seat brings a mocking smile onto my face. The images and short clips of moments of engineering college, the bunking, the friends, the exams, the mugging up, studying for campus recruitment and my first salary play refreshingly from my mind’s media player as if the photo video album is automatically inserted into it. That was me.

The end to the marriage hunt was abrupt. Seeing their daughter living abroad with a loving and earning husband was like dreams come true for mom and dad. It all happened in few months. The arrangements, engagement, the visa, the travel, and my resignation.

What was it that I lived my childhood for? Why did I learn this much? The power of education has not only earned me this life, but also have dampened my mind with these thoughts. Is this my destiny? Or is there any escape? Maybe there is and maybe not. How much worth is this sacrifice of my independence, to get cuddled in his arms? I guess it cannot be measured. Maybe it could but never absolutely. ”

I closed the book. The dropping of the pen on the table made a small sound, as if it marked the closure of the chapter. As if it rings a bell. To remind me of the time.

I walked towards the kitchen sink, and turned on the tap. The gush of flowing water pacified my bubbling thoughts, very slowly…

12 Comments

  1. Loved this piece. It always bugged me that many girls who study their butts off in school and college end up being a house wife or a shadow of what they are capable to achieve. Why go through all the pain if you are anyway going to end up as a bimbo?

    1. @Rockus: I guess, they never know whats going to be in future.. And I don’t think they never would want to be house wife or a shadow at the end. Maybe its just the circumstances.. We never know…

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  3. @Rockus,

    I understand the sentiment behind your question. You should really check out the chapter called ‘Is Divorce Underrated’ in the popular economics book ‘The Logic of Life.’ The author, Tim Harford, explains through a very simple ‘Marriage Supermarket’ that it is in the interest of women in certain situations to get competitive advantage over others. One way to do that is to earn an education.

    Even if they don’t use that while they are housewives, it gives them options in case things don’t go well.

    Ram

  4. Archana thatz a lovely article….You brough all the unanswered questions of many women…I totally agree with you….

  5. Is that all .. Seems left in the middle…But I guess Childhood days always lingers in our mind , that our mind is not able to accept present Solitudeness without much people around ..but as we age gracefully we need to embrace it with memorable married moments(I m sure u wud have had) , to look at the current life 10 0r 15 years from now, would be even more nostalgic..:)

    Archana.. It was quite the same some years back, When people used to be in different states within India …. Its now USA…seems near nowadays na.. ? Education makes difference..:)

    Nice Blog dudet..

  6. Beautifully scripted but you could have elaborated with some interesting indian life..the thing i admire is u’ve taken girl with good academic background, i too sometimes felt the pinch of turning good indian talents into ordinary housewives in USA, just for the sake of well earning husbands…keep it up..

    1. @skmuthukumaran: I thought it was not about the Indian/USA culture, rather the feelings about educated housewives, be it in India or abroad… Thanks for the suggestions though 🙂

  7. Hi Archana, A very well scripted blog. All I can say about this is –

    ‘yeh daulat bhi le lo, yeh shohrat bhi le lo,
    bhale chheen lo mujh se meri jawani,
    magar mujh ko lauta do bachpann ka sawan,
    woh kagaz ki kashti, woh baarish ka pani’.
    Well done and God bless.

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