Friday, June 06, 2008

Idle Minds - Do they really exist?

I was at this potluck party recently. I only knew the hosts and none of the other guests. Since the host is someone who’d always been telling me that I always talk about cooking but that the proof of the pudding was really in the eating, I decided to take some baked goodies. Once there, I wondered how at all we fit in. We were the only working couple. In all the other couples, the men ran businesses of some sort and the women stayed home. I have nothing against women who stay home (or even men who stay home) but I wonder what they do with their time. My cousin was a stay at home mom or a housewife as we called them. But she took great pride in keeping a neat and clean house. She also cooked all meals everyday and dished out one delicacy after another. So, I somehow never wondered about what she did with her time. But these women I met stayed home all day and did nothing. They had maids to do the cleaning and cooks to take care of the cooking. I was the only one there who had bothered to make something by myself. The others either asked their cooks to prepare a dish or brought food from outside. During some conversations, I figured they didn’t even read. Their kids were all grown up and didn't seem to make any demands on the parents. These people didn't talk of any hobbies even when I uthe topic up. It got me wondering: what exactly do these people do all day? They were not doing social work of any sort. I stayed at home for 3 weeks without a job and it killed me. But I managed to do a lot. I cooked, I embroidered, I read (and I job hunted). I was newly married and most women I know even take a year off from work.

I digress. The point of this rant is to understand what these people do all day? I am extremely lazy. Left to myself, I’d do nothing at all. Believe me when I say I can vegetate in front of a TV or computer if I want to. But I doubt I can do it all the time. Actually I know I can’t. So I’m very curious to know what people do with plenty of time on their hands. (I’m not being judgmental here, I’m just being curious.) I'd imagine everyone would have to do something. Our minds can't really be idle, can they?

I found the evening amusing to say the very least. A couple of the ladies asked me if I could start baking classes. Some asked me when I planned to quit working. (I have no idea why!) One lady told me it was high time I had a baby! (She didn’t know me 60 minutes prior to making this statement.) Then there were the usual regionalistic statements.
“You’re a south Indian? But you don’t look so.”
“Your husband is a Punjabi for sure.”
“How come your Hindi is accentless?”
“All south Indians I have met are well baked.”
“Arundhati is a Bengali name.” (I can’t tell you how sick of this I am!)

I digressed again. All in all, the evening left me with just one question. When I would do anything to sneak in an extra hour or two in my day, what do these people do all day? Someone please write a book for me. “A day in the life of…”


Arch said...

hi raaga..u know what they say about work expanding to fill the time available!!i guess it applies to supervision and just dressing for the day and deciding what to take to that boring potluck party which actually has 'WORKING' women! ;)

~nm said...

Well, I have done what these women do i.e have cooks cooking for us and maids cleaning for us while I was home for 4 months at home.

Either I was in front of a TV or doing my sudoku or doing crosswords or blogging or talking on phone. And when I was not doing any of these things I was playing and spending time with my son. So you know its quite easy to not be doing anything especially for lazy bones like me :P

Raaga said...

@Arch: LOL... quite possible.

@~nm: doing sudoku and crosswords count as something... and your son must have been young enough

Arundathi said...

Busy-ness is a state of mind. Even if you don't have a 9-5 job, you can be busy with life.

And sometimes even people who have 9-5 jobs, are quite "jobless" and "idle".

It is a state of mind - lots of people who work too could make statements like this and vice versa! People just don't have that concept of personal space and privacy!

Raaga said...

Those questions I mentioned... they have nothing to do with people being idle... they're just a narration of the evening...:-) of the things we have to face.

here it is said...

Arundhati, wait till you have a kid and continue to work, the comments are even more jarring from desi women, even when you are in USA.
I have been told that I am compromising on raising my child due to the traveling nature of my job, even though my husband works from home and takes great care of my baby.
I have been told I am VERY LUCKY to find a husband like mine who will agree to ANYTHING???? I do think I am very fortunate to have the husband I have, but I will always do the career I want regardless of who I am married to, if you understand what I mean.
stupids will be stupids.

But I have to tell you that my close friends are very good to me and most of them are stay-home moms.They do not have maids and take good care of house and family. In fact they feed my family at every oportunity too. I am debted to them in this life and next.

All in all, don't even bother about the comments from uneducated mass like this, hurtful as it may (for me it has at times)


Padmaja said...

Oh Raaga!! What an amazing post? Shall I tell you something? Even I too wonder what life they have when at home other then looking after kids and husband??? Not being bitchy at all... I get depressed even when I am sick to stay at home for 2 days... Just ignore those people Raaga, they don't have a "LIFE"