“Why do I always get the burnt toast for breakfast?” asked Rahul
“Because you’re a man, and it is your job to give the best to your family by taking away the garbage with you. You are meant to look after your family and serve me well. Only then can you go to heaven after death. And since I am carrying your child it is your duty to feed me the best of food”, Snapped back Priyasha, his goddess like wife.
She is a woman of importance, not only at work but also at home. Even her mother takes her advice on monetary and corporate matters. She is traditional and during marriage had mentioned it clearly to Rahul and his family about her importance in life. She wanted a virgin husband, and was ready to allow him to work even after marriage, but only if he worked from home. She is the WOMAN of the house.
Rahul is a mere house-husband and owns a little online business of supplying content to various websites. He had acquired a First –class masters degree in English from a reputed university, he even had a chance of going abroad for PhD. But his family wanted him to get married before he flew away. Unfortunately marriage clipped his wings and he was tied to his wife’s house for his entire life. He did not have much liberty to choose his wife, so he gave in to his parent’s choice. Priyasha was beautiful, intelligent, well settled and had a strong understanding of culture, plus her family also did not ask for dowry. Everything seemed fine, so they got married. Since the beginning Rahul had to compromise with everything in the news household. He had to get up early in the morning before the other family members, Priyasha, his parents-in-law, and a college going brother-in-law. His duty was to dust the house even though there was a servant appointed for the job, clean the cars, iron his wife’s clothes and help her get ready for work, and prepare new dishes every day for the family. At night his job was entirely to meet out his wife’s desires. He also had to please his in-laws with good manners and silent approvals of every situation. Displaying his opinion on matters of importance was not considered well in the family, rather in the entire cultured society!
“Okay I get it. But just sometimes I think it is unfair” replied a teary eyed Rahul. To this his mother in law explained, “Don’t you get it Rahul, you wife’s going to gift you with a daughter. And for that you have to compromise for a few more days with her little tantrums. She’s just going through her mood swings, you know how much she loves you”.
Hearing this, Priyasha took over, “Leave him alone Maa, he’s such a drama king! It’s only a couple of days that I have burnt the bread by mistake and here he is crying about it. Okay I’ll get you a new pair of aviators. And we’ll order pizza tonight” shouted Priyasha. “If that consoles you… Silly man” she murmured and smiled at Rahul who seemed to feel better hearing the announcement.
Priyasha is expecting her first child and hopes it is a girl like her entire family. But Rahul prefers to have a baby boy who would look just like him. All this time during her pregnancy Priyasha has been dreaming how pretty her daughter would be and how well mannered she would be raised by her docile father. She dreamt of her daughter flying abroad for higher education and then succeeding her in the family business.
All her dreams were shattered after the strenuous nine months! Priyasha gave birth to a boy. And that changed everything in the happy family.
“It is all your fault”, she screamed at Rahul. He did not know how it was his fault. “But the baby is God’s gift to us, how are either of us responsible for his gender?” asked a perplexed Rahul cradling the baby. “There is science you idiot! Child birth is not a mere gift from god. Men have a huge role to play in it. It is you bloody sperms that detect a child’s sex. Men are the carrier of the X and the Y chromosomes. It is that stupid semi sized Y chromosome that causes a boy to happen! Women only have X chromosomes, they are never responsible for a child’s sex”, yelled Priyasha.
“Don’t yell, he’ll wake up”, He pleaded.
“Just shut up, you good for nothing stupid bull” came the inevitable reply.
“But how can we help? Men cannot choose the gender either. It just happens…” Priyasha had stormed out of the room before he could finish. He heard her saying, “You are lucky to be alive, in other families they would beat their husband black and blue for a male child. The first child in the family should always be a girl.”
In the recent few weeks his parents-in-law have reduced talking to him, and had motioned him to leave the house with the child and stay with his parents. His brother in law seemed more helpful and said it out aloud, “I think you should just spend a few months at your parents’ place till things cool down here. When Didi feels better and develops a longing for you guys she’ll go and get you back.” Rahul had no option but to leave Priyasha’s place for a while, but the problem was that his parents were out of town for a couple of weeks holidaying at the Himalayas. Till then he either had to stay back here and go crazy with the silent treatment or live with his younger brother Rajat.
…To be continued 😉