Three men talk about taking dinner at home even when they pretty late, and on how do their wives react.
Men are supposed to be served food at home whether they are late or on time. Moreover, this is primarily the responsibility of the females of the house to prepare food for their husbands, brothers and sons without any consideration for the time. In a few of the cases, one can find sick women preparing food for their men, who are least bothered by her condition – obviously barring a few exceptions. However, in certain instances, the realisation is dawning upon men of the new generation to allow their female ‘dependents’ have more breathing space and comparatively easy life.
Two real stories! A man, lets call him Riaz Butt, got married after his heart with his class fellow long before finishing their studies, that is, Masters in Physics. Both the families did not accept their marriage and they started living in a separate and rented house. If Riaz ever used to be late, his wife never let him in and he used to go to his father’s house to spend the nights. These days, the marriage is on rocks. The rest is out of context here, but it is a total novel story.
One of my friends, who is doing cloth business in Azam Cloth Market. After 9’O clock, he cannot spend even a few minutes outside his home because if he was going to be late, his wife would charge him Rs 500 per hour, sometimes even a few bucks per minute. What a way to bridle a husband!
Sunday Plus got hold of three men falling between the age group of 30 to 65 years. One can see the tangible difference in their opinions as there is in their ages.
65-year-old Qazi Riaz Hussain is an optician by profession, and a traditionalist in the strict sense of the word. He got married in the early ‘70s, but he cannot point out even a single day when he went home and his wife or any of his daughters did not serve him freshly made chapattis though gravy is the same as that of the evenings. “From day one, when she followed me to Saudi Arabia after our marriage, she has been cooking food for me. If I have dined out, then it is an altogether a different case, but if I have to eat at home even at 2 am, she, or in a few instances, my daughters served me hot dinners. As now all of my daughters are married and happy in their own homes, (Al-Hamdollillah), I am bit tentative about taking dinner late. In the first place, I make sure that my wife does not have to take a lot of trouble because she is not enjoying very good health for quite some time now and I do not want to trouble her. I am usually back home soon, and make an effort not to get very late. A few years ago, I used to be late quite often, but she never flinched even for once from her duty of serving me hot dinner.
“You know getting late is a matter of either company or work. My profession has never been of the kind where I have to work for long hours; so mostly it were friends or some other urgency, which made me get late. Earlier, I used to get back home and eat my dinner, and my wife did it all for me and my friends, who accompanied me to my home. They liked her cooking. But now first because of age, and secondly, my ever-shrinking circle of friends owing to their demises from time to time, I come home straight from my shop. If ever I have to go somewhere, it is my occasional visits to the homes of my daughters. On the other hand, if I am late now, then mostly I have my dinner out.
“During the earlier days of our marriage, she always cooked food for me (which she is doing even today). By nature, she loves to cook and she feels immense pleasure when she is cooking, and there are people around to eat. Keeping this in mind, I think I am a privileged one among the rest of the lot; and should be served the best.” (Laughs)
38-year-old Mujahid Hussain was married about 10 years ago. He has two lovely school-going daughters, and his educated wife is not working. So the responsibility of the house is totally on her shoulders. Mujahid is working with a local television channel, and his working hours continue till the wee hours. “Earlier, I used to take my dinner with me to the office, but somehow I stopped this. Now I have just snacks and a cup of tea as my dinner, but by the time, I reach home at about 3 am, I am hungry. She does not have to open the door as I have keys with me. My wife gets up and makes fresh chapattis for me. After I have taken the meal, she clears the table and hit the sack.
“She was bit nervous and wary of my habit of late arrivals initially, but later on, she adapted herself to my life and office timings. Even if I used to be late on my off-days from work – as I was whiling away time with my friends – she somehow digested this bad routine as well. I believe that two things made our life easier: first, she is a compromising lady, as she did not want to annoy me owing to my temperament. Secondly, it never made any difference to me when she was annoyed, even sometimes angry visibly.
“I don’t know what would be the situation after ten more years or so, but if I had to do the same job and with the same working hours, probably she will there to serve me as she is doing today. Another possibility is that of my daughters cooking for me whenever she would not be feeling well. On the other hand, I expect of myself not indulging in eating out, as I do not like to go to eateries even today because I prefer home-cooked food. My wife knows it too and she is happy serving me freshly cooked food.”
30-year-old Mian Usman is a computer expert and working on different projects related to software and networking. Presently, he is a faculty member of the University of the Punjab. Sometimes, he is quite late because he has to sit in the University and look after his projects. He got married last year. “I have not changed myself in the exact sense of the word although some people were telling me about an impending ‘life after marriage transformation’. My company is the same and I have not altered even my schedule. My wife is happy with it because after finishing her domestic chores, she reads, watches television and sleeps. She has adjusted her timings with me because I am the focal point of her life. She is just worried about my health, and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to taking care of me. That is why, she calls me in the afternoon at my workplace just to check whether I have taken my lunch or not.
“I am not a typical husband, who makes her wife to do everything for him – from cooking to washing. Sometimes, I love to make coffee for her because I think I do it the best in this whole world. When I am home, I am all hers and nothing else. On the other hand, she never disturbs me when I am with my friends.
“When I reach home, and I have to eat, then I buy chapattis or naans on my way home. She warms gravy for me and sometimes, makes tea as well. I think it is not too much of hassle for her because it is an easy thing to do.”