A lockdown special meme: A mother is on a video call giving cookery lessons to her daughter . It is a delightful video in which the mom is shown giving detailed instructions ” yeh karo , aise karo , kam dalo, …,” telling what and how to do. Amusing is the way she moves her head in disapproval when her directions are not properly complied with. The best is the glee on the face of the mother as she is seen enjoying her moments of glory.
Of all the memes that have popped up recently, I find this one to be the most amusing, and also relatable as I see myself in place of the mother giving cooking instructions to the children. Ever since the lockdown, I, too, have started feeling important, regaining some lost ground in the life of children who have been feeling lost in the absence of domestic help. I get a sense of importance as I give them tips on issues ranging from simple kitchen queries to sharing secret ‘maa ki’ recipes on phone. A big boost to my ego!
Lockdown has brought an upheaval in the life of everyone including the children–my son and daughter-in-law , who had earlier been dependent upon their didi, the maid for cooking and other household tasks. For the working couple now it is ‘work from home’ combined with ‘work at home’. After the lock-down was announced, the young couple began managing the household responsibilities enthusiastically without the domestic help. As a mother I felt proud, and also impressed with the way the two of them were jointly carrying out the domestic chores.
Well, initial enthusiasm of the couple to keep the house spic and span waned within a week. Eagerness to try out new recipes started declining. They were fed up cleaning utensils. Grimy pressure cooker, oily pots and pans, dirty dishes, spoons and ladles that came in all shapes and sizes kept piling up in the sink, hence the conclusion- lesser the cooking, lower the utensil load. They learnt the magic shown in the ads of sparkling utensils with dish cleansing bars and liquids does not hold true in the real world. Utensils need thorough scrubbing.
A week through the lockdown, my son sent me an amusing drawing ‘The Quarantine Circle’ depicting their exhausting daily routine. The first graphic depicts a couple, a boy and a girl-cooking, then an arrow points to the next figure in which one is sweeping and the other is mopping the floor. The third pointer takes to the next picture of the duo washing utensils. The funniest is the last one in which the two are shown lying down completely exhausted. And the last arrow points towards the first sketch with the caption ‘repeat’. Oh my God! It really is a never ending work circle- cooking, cleaning, washing dishes and back again.
Learning the hard way how tiring, stressful and monotonous the household work tends to be!
(Published in Momspresso on 30 May 2020)