BAH-BOM-BAH – May 2017

As I held her in my hands, after ten minutes of intense labour, all I could think of was, ‘I’m in love with the shape of you’. She wasn’t perfect but I was so proud of my small littlewheatish creation.

My first….

…baked chapatti. What were you thinking? There was a time when Indian girls were considered ripe for marriage the moment they learned to roll and cook perfectly round, soft chapattis (flat bread made from wheat and roasted on a griddle).It didn’t matter if they hadn’t hit puberty; if they were old enough to make phulkas(light and fluffy chapattis usually fried without oil),they were old enough to say ‘I do’. Thankfully, times have changed or else my parents would have been convicted of child marriage. In my defence, the mister is a big fan of my chapattis. I say this because he often recommends we have them with guacamole and salsa. Apparently, ‘they’re crunchy like tacos’. Then again, I’m not sure he means it as a compliment because this one time, after we’d tippled on a weekend’s eve, he told me that someday my chapattis would be the death of him – well, no true story ever started with a salad, now, did it?The following morning though,he denied having said anything like that. I’ve still not been able to figure out if he implied death by eatingone or me throwing one at his head, the odds being when I find his wet towel on my side of the bed.

A year ago,

when I learned I would be relocating and by extension leaving my then current job as Editor, I was ecstatic! Yes, you read it right. Oh come on, of course I was sad that I would have to take a short break from my career in writing which I’m so passionate about; but ecstatic because I was thrilled by the idea of being a homemaker. It’s been 4 months (my probation period?) since I took to my new role and even though being a housewife is physically and emotionally demanding, not to mention, an often, unfortunately, thankless job, it’s rewarding in its own way. Being fiercely career-oriented, I know I will miss the adrenaline rush of a 9 to 5 someday and get back to the grind but until then I’m happy doing what I do. I don’t understand why some women feel they aren’t contributing enough just because they don’t work out of a cubicle. I’m not judging those who prefer full time office jobs to being at home but all I’m saying is in case you don’t have one because you can’t find the right profile or have had to quit for medical or other reasons, don’t belittle yourself. Managing one’s home is no less than managing a business – we are entrepreneurs in every sense of the word – we take financial risks because we give up our financial independence, in the hope of earning a profit i.e. a happy family. And that’s exactly what I told Mrs. X, a curt woman in her 50s who rolled her eyes at me saying ‘so, you’re telling me you’re an entrepreneur’. Yes, I am, but I prefer the term homemaker, please.

Melissa Nazareth, lived in Bahrain for almost 3 decades before moving to Bombay. In her columns titled ‘BAH-BOM-BAH’ (Bahrain-Bombay-Bahrain), she shares her most interesting experiences, hoping to make the world a better place one word at a time.