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Currently, an article about a so called “domestically challenged” wife is making a lot of noise on the internet. As per the author, she cannot make round rotis even after four years of marriage and she doesn’t even plan to learn it in the near future. She wants to spend her time holidaying and reading and doing “intelligent tasks” rather than wasting time cooking in kitchen. That doesn’t make her a bad wife but rather just a “domestically challenged” wife. And she is proud about it.
The whole article got me thinking very hard. Really??? Does being proud of not able to cook makes you a good wife ?? Is cooking the only part of the “Domesticity of life”? If a husband very proudly says that he doesn’t need to cook, would he be looked up with the same admiration? Definitely NO. So why are we making a hero out of a wife who is proud of not being able to cook ??
I felt the article took a really prejudiced and simplistic view of qualities of a good wife and its relation with cooking. Not being able to cook definitely does not make one a bad wife. But rendering cooking as one of unimportant tasks which doesn’t require any attention and also being proud of that fact definitely makes one a bad person if not a bad wife. Cooking is an art. Everyone agrees to that. And the actual cooking is definitely one of the most therapeutic and refreshing activities – countless women who do it every day would agree to it as well. It’s the other mundane things like cutting, cleaning, clearing, etc which accompany cooking are more cumbersome and stressful. If one does not feel like cooking “After learning it” then its fine. But addressing cooking as something unworthy and useless even before learning it is complete arrogance.
I feel that everyone – men women alike - should learn basic cooking. One cannot compare cooking with other art works like painting or photography. One can learn these arts only if they feel like it. But with cooking – it’s the basic requirement for us to be alive. Even with people who can afford maids and can order food might be in an emergency situation where they might need to cook themselves. What would the proud “Domestically Challenged” wife do at such a time? Eat Maggie five times a day ?? Women are biologically blessed with some skills and qualities. Women can be mothers, nurturers. A mother knows what’s best for her child. And if she cant cook a decent food for her child, what’s the use of her being the nurturer ??
Domesticity of life does not involves just cooking food. It’s a complex maze of lots of uninteresting yet regular tasks like cleaning, laundry, keeping track of bills, grocery, dairy, vegetables, and the list goes on. Cooking tops the list. Because in India we are taught to worship food as God. And that changes the whole equation. Saying that “I am proud of not cooking” is like claiming “I am proud of being a high caste princess who is able to exploit the poor only on the basis of her birth”.
If one thinks about their favorite food at any point of time in ones life, what would that be ?? You guessed it right !! “Maa ke haath ka khana”. I really pity women who have the capability but don’t want to utilize it to make yummy and tasty food for their kids and family. Watching your family relish your hard cooked food is divine. By feeding your kids with the delicacies you prepare with your heart and hands does not just leaves a lasting legacy but also leaves years of love and bonding. And this can be done even after doing the more intelligent tasks like holidaying, reading and having important conversations with your husband. And I feel no woman should lose out on this irrespective of their choices and capability of being a good wife.