#Opinion

Allow Him To Work From Office: Tired Wife’s Letter Goes Viral

Household Chores, wife viral letter
Wife viral letter on husband’s work from home habits leaves internet in splits: Raise your hand if you are fed up with your husband hogging the remote control all day long, or demanding an endless supply of tea, all in the name of work from home. As most employees continue to work from home, a lot of Indian women are stuck cleaning up after raja beta husbands, who refuse to lift a glass of water for themselves during office hours, because “main kaam me busy hun”.

The pandemic has put numerous Indian couples in a tough spot. They are not used to being around each other 24 by 7. Before COVID-19, most couples would spend their day apart, only to reunite for dinners, bedtime and breakfast the next day. This routine was what made weekends special. But now, every day is a Sunday, only that you can’t escape your partner, have tons of work to do and bad habits and laziness have nowhere to hide in your relationship.

In light of this struggle, social media nodded in agreement, when a woman apparently wrote a letter to a prominent businessman, requesting him to allow her husband to work from office. “He is doubly vaccinated and will maintain all Covid protocols,” adding that if WFH continues for some time, the couple’s marriage will definitely not work anymore.

Why was this woman so pissed off with her husband? “He drinks coffee ten times a day, sits in different rooms and leaves them in a mess, constantly asks for food,” the woman complained about her husband’s behaviour, adding that she had even seen him fall asleep during work calls. The woman ended her plea by writing that she already had two children to look after. “Seeking your to get my sanity back.”

Replies for this tweet reveal that this was not just one woman’s unique grievance. This was Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii during the lockdown. While many men had impressed us on social media by posting videos and photos of themselves cooking and helping out with other household chores, how many of them have actually stuck to their commitment to this date? How many Indian men are cooking at least one meal at home, washing clothes, or sweeping the floor, or helping out the kids with their homework, while juggling their work as well?

The problem is that a large population of men still plays the gender card when it comes to household chores. When the novelty of these duties wore off, many of them quietly snuck back into their rooms, or dumped themselves on the couch, demanding to be fed, provided clean clothes, tea etc at beck and call. They even used this gender card to claim ownership over various sorts of remote controls. So now many Indian women are stuck at home, working harder than usual, freezing to death due to low AC temperatures and forced to watch England versus Indian test series. There is a possibility that the fifth test match got cancelled due to a curse levied upon it by one such house-bound woman.

No one ever said it would be easier to de-condition Indian raja betas and have them commit to household chores for a lifetime, willingly. Generations of men have been raised to excel in chores outside of their homes, work through the day, earn money, file taxes, fix cars, but not to make round rotis or fold the clothes properly. The pandemic is deadly, but it is not strong enough to challenge the ways of patriarchy. That duty still falls on us, the society.

Until offices open, and even after they do, wives, mothers, sisters need to stop picking up damp towels off the bed, or running after men in the house. Let them fix a cup of tea for themselves. In the meantime, grab that remote, crank up the air conditioning and take a breather.

Views expressed are the author’s own.


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