In a society, where a woman is expected to bear the majority burden of household chores and raising kids, here is an inspiring couple that shows what equal partnership looks like.
We have seen mothers struggle with the daily household chores along with the other responsibilities. Bringing up kids and taking care of in-laws at the same time along with her professional career. While men were considered to be the bread earner of the family, women tend to do the rest of the work all alone. They are expected to manage cooking early meals for the family, doing laundry, washing utensils, taking care of their kids, and a lot more.
The times have changed. And, so have the women’s expectations from marriage.
They not only want an intelligent and loving husband but they are looking for someone, who can respect them as equals. A husband, who understands that he may need to cook while she attends her office meeting or a husband who needs to change the nappy while she is on a business trip. But these expectations baffle our society.
How could she expect a man to cook or sweep or do laundry?
But, not caring much about society, it is heartwarming how some couples are promoting equal marriage. One such couple recently shared their story with HOB, which touched our hearts.
Sharing their beautiful love story of equals, the wife shared how she met her husband Rashesh:
“Rashesh and I are high school sweethearts who eloped! Growing up, I’d often run over to his house, under the guise of playing with his sisters, but secretly it was to be around him. At 15, I told him ‘I love you!’ and ever since, we’ve been together. But when it came to marriage, our families weren’t okay as we belong to different castes. When I told dad, he said, ‘I like the guy, but you can’t get married to him.’
But standing for their love, this couple went ahead and tied the knot:
So on Dec 26, 1986, we went to court, got married and moved to Mumbai. Neither of our families took it well back then, but eventually, they came around.
Rashesh began working and earned Rs. 490 a month. So we rented a kitchen at a friend’s apartment and slept on a broken bed. 2 days after our wedding, I started working as an architect and earned Rs. 500. With our incomes, we could afford rent and groceries, but that was it. I remember, we bought our first piece of crockery when my in-laws finally visited us.
The only luxury we had was movie date nights– we’d go to the cinema once a week; I’d literally wait for that one day! 6 months later, a room in the building was on sale, so we borrowed money from friends and bought it. It was the first place we could call ‘home’ and although it was just one room, our entire world fit in it!
It is amazing how this couple supported each other through the financial crisis. But things got difficult as they embarked on the journey of parenthood. From managing work to handling baby girl, things got tougher for them. Though the society expected wife to give up her job, she shares how Rashesh stood by her like a rock:
For 6 years, we worked tirelessly and saved up as much as possible. We paid back our friends and in 1993, after Mansi was born, we both got promoted but that meant more work.
We had to put Mansi in a creche and soon, the comments started– ‘Why don’t you quit?’, ‘How can you be such a mom?’ But I knew what we were going through, and wanted to give our child everything– which came with sacrifices.
Juggling between work and home was difficult, but Rashesh and I split the chores– he’d do the laundry, cut vegetables and drop her to school. Then the comments got worse– ‘How can Rashesh do housework?’ So I’d shut them up with, ‘Isn’t this the least he can do?!’
In fact after our son was born, he did more– he’d get the kids ready for school, cook, and pack their tiffins in the morning. Once, he made pizzas from scratch for dinner, but they never cooked, so all we were eating was dough. I still tease him about it, but it was so cute! Even today, he makes us tea every morning and if I’m having a bad day, he’ll make me a ‘special chai’ and listen to my rants.
Looking back at their journey together, she further adds how love is not about the grand gestures but rather about treating your partner as an equal:
Today, he’s the VP at his company and I’m about to become the Technical Officer at mine. For our 25th anniversary, we went to Saputara– we didn’t do much, but that’s the thing about Rashesh. For him, love isn’t in grand gestures, it’s in the little things. For him, love isn’t in the words you say, it’s in the things you do– like treating your partner as an equal and really building a life together.”
At IFORHER, we are in awe of this inspiring couple, who are shattering the social norms and creating a beautiful example for the generations to come. It is heartbreaking how even in the 21st century, women are struggling to be treated as equals in marriage. We hope many people will seek inspiration from this couple and stand against society’s patriarchal mindset to create an equal marriage.