If you know where I can find it, please let me know.
I’m reaching that age where I cannot expect, even with parental/unconditional love-inspired blackmail, to ask someone to iron my shirt while I check my e-mail.
You know what I am talking about fellow peeps of South Asian descent.
I am talking about that age; don’t make me say the phrase with the four-syllable adjective preceding “age.”
My family never downplayed women as inferior or anything of that sort. However, women traditionally have taken on certain tasks and have not been coerced into doing so. I suppose this is where one can make distinct “sex” from “gender” and also make apparent how and why these two nouns often are used interchangeably.
(*Extraneous note: To those who state that we should not celebrate Raksha Bandhan because it somehow weakens the female, remember to not lose your culture and make ridiculous excuses for it.)
I have always made academia a priority.
From the Talented and Gifted program in first grade, to the Junior Fellows Program in middle school, to having to gain admittance into an elite high school, and at long last, attaining the Ivy League degree, I completely exploited my parents’ emphasis on education, with high honors, so to speak.
After graduation, taking this summer off was not a given by any means and it took a lot for me to finally say, yes, it’s time for you to adjust back into home-life, it’s time for you to clear your head and recover from that Urdu final that made your first instinct to read from right to left, and it’s time for you to, well, not indulge in studying.
So I thought I should start learning how to cook.
I should start helping out around the house and not let my parents do all the cleaning and cooking.
(No way I’m doing laundry as long as the washer and dryer are located where they are. I’m not scared, I’m just scarred from when I went to get my bike twelve years ago and found a spider on my shoulder in the process.)
I thought, but I did not do.
I have not cooked a meal, nor have I really entertained the thought of cleaning more than my room. The dorm cleaning experience was far from pretty and was an infinite times more burdensome than cleaning somewhere as pure as my home.
To no avail though, I still have not taken to domestic duties as I had challenged myself to do back in May.
Whenever my parents start to bring up the context of my age, our culture, and the home, I immediately chirp in, out of habit and instinct, that I needed to focus on my career - ya hurd?
My dad quickly said, “Of course! That is most important.”
Then there was a pause, and I felt bad and realized that I was not currently in the midst of paperwork.
I did not have any pending exam or paper and that if there was ever a time to begin to enter the domestic world, pre-marriage, it is now.
Domesticity gives an odd sense of leadership because you become depended on.
Right now I depend on my mother, and my father, but I’m speaking with respect to female gender roles.
I’m hoping the women in my family have passed on an intrinsic trait to me that will emerge in the future - the trait to cook well and clean with ease and to make a house a home.
I hope this trait balances with my own trait of attaining a successful and rewarding career.
Here’s to creating a legacy and to being an independent apprentice - apprentice to cookbooks and to the observations I make.