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I vs. She

I vs. She

No other woman in the world can match the hard work done by Indian married woman. Struggle increases if she has kids. Struggle multiply if she is living in a joint family with her in-laws. This is a story of alomst every working woman in India.

M Kaarthika Santhosh
An engineer by education & writer by passion. I love stories, be I am telling it or listening to it! Follow my page 'The Rough note' in fb!
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She woke up even before the sun came up. She indeed felt sleepy and tired but still got out of her bed to start her day’s work. 

I said to her, “Sleep a little more. When all others can wake up late, then why can’t you?”

She said, “I need to get things ready for everyone. So can’t sleep now. I have got to work.”

She made tea and then woke her in-laws. Her mother in-law who had the tea, complained that she had not put enough sugar and also muttered that she never does anything properly. 

I said to her in full rage, “It is because you care for her health and that her diabetes should not worsen you give her less sweet, but she complains about you! Just shout back at her!” 

She immediately responded to me, “She is like my mother. I will treat her with respect. I won’t shout at her. I will take all the good she says and will throw away the bad.”

Then she woke her husband and children and hurried them to get ready.  While getting ready they asked her few things like, “Mom, where is the uniform?”, “Honey, where is my towel?”, “Press this shirt for me, please”, etc.

I told her, “See, everyday they ask you even such small things. Can’t they search and do these on their own?”

She told me, “It is my duty to take care of them and do whatever they need. Now, you be quiet and don’t disturb me!”

It was breakfast time. She was the one who woke up before everyone and worked non-stop to make food on time. She was indeed tired and hungry. But still she served the hot food for others while no one asked her if she had food or at least when she would have.

I could not tolerate this and said to her, “Are you mad? Just eat first and give the rest to them. You give the best to these people and you only eat the left-over every time.”

She silently said, “They deserve good food. I can manage with this. Don’t keep on complaining!”

After her husband left for office and her children to school, she cleaned the kitchen, left food for her in-laws at the hot-packs and started to get ready to her office. Amidst these works she had to read newspaper for her father-in-law who barely could see, had to pay her bills online, had to call her maid to remind to come on time, had to make a list of things she had to buy at the stores in the evening, etc.

On the way to office, she took a local bus which was very crowded. Some idiotic fellows who behave as if they have never seen women stared at her and one of them even tried to touch her by ‘accident’.

My anger shot up seeing that, “Slap that rogue, right on his face.”

She said, “If I start slapping, then the whole life I would be slapping all the guys on my way, so better ignore him and move on.”

After she reached office, she started her day’s work as usual. Office work is another tough life for her. She had to give and take so many fake smiles, bear all the office pressures and deadline and still act normal, complete her work well in time so that she is not pressurized to do overtime, as she had another different world waiting for her at home. Still her boss complained that she never stayed late and worked.

I said to her, “Look at your boss, always grumbling about you not doing overtime. Can’t he understand that you have work at home too? Explain to him why you can’t stay late.”

She replied, “It is OK. He is my boss. For him only my work matters. It is me who has to balance my work and home.”

On the way back from office she went to the market to get vegetables.

I told her, “Hey look, there is cabbage. Get them. You love to eat that.”

She replied. “Kids and my husband don’t like it. So why to get it? I will get what they like to have.”

In the evening, she had yet another schedule of making dinner, taking care of her in-laws, cleaning the house, checking the expenditure and saving as much as possible, teaching her children, etc.

I asked her, “Even this tutoring work for your child can’t be done by your husband?”

She replied patiently, “He comes home late and is always tired by his hectic office work. So why disturb him?”

She never understood that she is more tired than him and needs rest.

She liked to see TV serials but as her son had to see some T20 match or as her daughter had to see some award function on TV, or as her husband had to see some important news, she sacrificed her habit of watching TV.

As usual I tried to reason with her and said, “Why do these people always take control of the remote of the TV and never let you watch anything."

She retorted, “I have watched a lot in my childhood. Now, let them watch.”

One by one everyone went to bed and of course she had some house works pending which she had to complete before sleeping. 

I said to her, “You woke up before everyone, worked more than everyone, and even now when everyone has slept, you are occupied with something. I know you are tired. Go to bed. You can do this tomorrow.”

She said, “This is the last work for the day. Let me finish it and sleep.”

I heaved a sigh. She never listens to me. I shout at her, I plead to her, I argue with her. But still she gives me some reason and keeps on working for her family.

Between us, It is always I vs. She.

It is I “her mind” vs. She “her heart”.


M Kaarthika Santhosh

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Rob Sutter Success Coach with rebellious instincts

The most difficult and demanding job is of a Mother. After reading this story, I wonder now how much my own mother would have struggled everyday. Though there were no in-laws for we four siblings were more than enough :) I liked the way this narrative is built up. Good work !

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Thanks :) Glad that you liked it.

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