Sonia had just returned from school and was too tired to even take out her lunch from the refrigerator and heat it in the microwave, although she was feeling hungry. Actually she was not used to serving her own lunch as her mother would always keep it ready for her(all hot and inviting with its wonderful aroma) on the dining table as soon as she returned from school. But today, things were different as her mom was running high fever and thus was not in a condition to pamper her as usual.
After she had rested for a while she went to the kitchen and heated it and sat down to finish it hurriedly as she had to rush over to her tuition class as final exams were about to start within a couple of days.
She had barely gobbled down the last spoon of her sambhar-rice when she heard the horn of a school bus just down the street from her house. This must be her elder brother’s school bus, she said to herself. Soon enough her brother Rishab rushed into the house. He asked Sonia for some cool water to quench his thirst as the raging heat outside had taken its toll on him. Sonia willingly obliged and offered him a glass of cool water.
Sonia went to the study room to finish the home work assigned by her tuition teacher. Just then, Rishab cruised in and asked her to get his lunch for him . Sonia advised him to help himself and do the needful. But Rishab argued back that kitchen work was the domain of females and almost all his friends thought so. He narrated the affairs from his friend Atul’s house where all kitchen work was always handle by his mom or his sister.
Although Sonia did not endorse or support Rishab’s views and behavior but as she did not want to disturb her mom’s restful slumber, she obliged and brought lunch for her brother.
She hurriedly headed to her tuition class and was busy there the whole evening. When she returned home after the class, she was happy to see her father who had just come back from office. Her mom had also woken up by now and she looked refreshed and felt much better now. All of them started sharing anecdotes about how their day went,what each one did either in school or office.
Next day was sport’s day in their school but her brother was worried and looked sad as his sports uniform was still not washed and ready. He asked Sonia to wash it for him. Sonia refused point blank and also narrated the afternoon incidence about lunch to her parents.
Their parents were surprised to know that Rishab harbored such wrong notions about household work. They asked him from where had he picked up such prejudiced believes because they never followed such biased and obsolete stereotypes in their family home. they had always practiced complete gender equality in terms of house work sharing whether it was laundry, dusting or cooking. Sonia’s dad would often help her mom around the house. They loved to try out new tasty recipes in the kitchen together and the kids would happily relish those.
On further enquiry, Rishab opened up about how most of his friends shied away from house work as they considered it to be the sole responsibility of the females in their house. Their dad slightly admonished him for following the wrong examples and explained to him that work is work and should be shared equally among all the members of the family irrespective of gender. Off course, they are free to pick up work according to their liking and talent. He advised him to learn from correct role models to lead a happy life in the future and chose believes properly with complete awareness. What he learns and follows in his growing up years will become ingrained in his psyche and define him in his adulthood.
Rishab looked really enlightened from all the nice wisdom bestowed upon him by his parents as he rushed towards the washing machine to wash his sports day uniform. Within half an hour he had his dress washed and in fact he really enjoyed trying out a new chore.
He promised to himself that from now onwards he will follow his parents’ example and advice to bring about a positive change among his group of friends and also society at large. This definitely is the correct path towards all round progress and development.