The blog has been left abandoned for long now, and way too long by me.
Miss Maqsood has one of the most amazing patience levels in the world to chase after me for writing a post, and especially this long. That’s why shes my BFF ❤
Okay, so today, im talking from personal experience. This is mostly applicable to girls from the Indian subcontinent, those who grow up with a life plan that more or less looks like:
School- (college/ high school) – (degree/uni) – (masters/taking a break) – shaadi.
Everybody is entitled to decide how they want to spend the rest of their life, and if this is what you want to do, then its YOUR choice, and you’re no lesser than anyone going on a different road. That should go without saying, but it doesnt (unfortunately).
For us girls, somewhere between shaadi and padhai, I highly recommend sneaking in 2 more things: work and living alone.
1-Work: I think every girl should work at least once in her lifetime. A proper professional job. Or if that’s too much, then a part time job. Even its for a few months. Even if its not your field of study. Even if you’re not a career oriented woman. Even if you don’t plan to ever do it again. But at least, ONCE.
This is for a variety of reasons. It emboldens you. Opens a door for you into the big bad real world. Gives you exposure to different kinds of people and teaches you how to deal with them. Introduces the world of politics, powerplay and office politics to you. Makes you realize the kind of commitment that a job needs. Helps you learn to value and respect the people that earn for you*, and go to a job for their ENTIRE LIVES, every single day, with no end in near sight. Encourages you to discover yourself when you draw the line between what is acceptable and what is not. Pushes you to keep going and work under pressure to meet deadlines.
Teaches you the value of time and punctuality (Because if you’re not on time, you lose money). Teaches you dedication and responsibility, to wake up and go, regardless of what fight you had with your significant other, regardless of who died, regardless of when you slept, regardless of how sick you feel ( Cuz if you don’t show up, you lose money ). Teaches you the value of hard earned money. So the next time you spend on a fancy lunch or splurge on a branded perfume, you remember how many hours of work it would actually cost you.
For many more reasons like this, I suggest every girl works. After a few months at work, something that you had no idea about, will become heartfelt appreciation you will have for the person who earns for you*. It also gives you a deeper understanding when you deal with the relationships involving these people, which usually is the father or husband. We hold a lot of expectations from these men that play central roles in our lives. To be there for the small and big occasions, to take an off when we need them to, to give us time, to remember and honor the little joys of our lives. These things often turn into the causes for fights or us being naraaz with him. But once you’ve worked, you realize that to get a leave isn’t as easy saying “Here. This is my letter. Im going on holiday”. You realize that to get time off isn’t as easy as walking out of the office as soon as its 5pm. You realize that work can be very demanding and stressful, and in the midst of all this sometimes, birthdays and graduations take a back seat. You realize that although IDEALLY, work shud stay in the office, it cant always. Sometimes it comes home, or sometimes the husband/ father cant come home. You will UNDERSTAND now. Because you’ve been through it. And that understanding makes your lives so much easier and your relationships so much stronger.
*(since you wont be working yourself, I think its safe to assume you will be dependent on SOMEONE)
2- Live alone
Whether this is in a hostel, or a few months away from home for your education, or just managing the place while your parents are away, every girl must give it a shot before she gets married and moves in with a guy.
You would say “why bother, when its gonna be the same thing all over again?” Well, it teaches you so much and prepares you for the responsibility and the hard work that goes into managing a home. It helps you appreciate your family while you live with them. And if you do get married, then you wont get overwhelmed; mentally, physically and emotionally.
Family is a blessing. You can walk in from a long day, theres always delicious hot food to eat. The room will always be tidied. Your bedsheets will always be clean. Nothing is ever lost because mom always knows where it is. The kitchen is always stocked up on the food you like. Theres always money to borrow from dad. Everything is always in working order. Theres always a familiar face around which gives a deep sense of comfort, whether you share everything with them or not. Theres always someone to blame if something goes wrong.
When you live on your own, you are the only person responsible for what happens and what doesnt. You learn that if you want something, then you have to get up and do it. If theres no food, then its your fault that you didnt buy it or cook it. If theres food rotting away, then you didnt throw it out. If the internet is cut, then you didnt pay the bill. If the ac isnt working, then you didnt get it fixed. If the house is dirty, you didnt clean it. If theres noone around when you are breaking down, then its cuz YOU decided you were brave and strong enuf to be on your own. You realise that running a home isnt easy. It takes a lot of thought and effort, and to have your head in your place. The only person who will be accountable for anything that happens in that house will be YOU. Paying bills and controlling finances isnt easy. It teaches you to prioritize your spending and manage it. And if you end up being stupid, then you end up without money. You learn to manage your time, between your studies/ work, taking care of the house and doing the things you want to.
You realise what it must have been like for your mother, efficiently managing every bit of your family, from fixing your dress to finding dad’s wallet to cooking for family dinners to making sure the house always looks like happiness. You realise what it must have been like for your dad, from paying the bills, to buying what each family member wants to making sure the house has what it needs.
Even if you’re not going to get married, and plan to live with your family for the rest of your life, then some time away can definitely help put things in perspective. If you plan to live alone, then you know now, how truly well your parents always managed it. More power to you for being so independent ❤
And if you are going to get married, then this is just half of what you will be doing in the near future with your significant other. And it does get easier then, yet at the same time a little more complicated. Because when you add another person, brought up in a house different from yours, to the equation of managing a home, things tend to get, a little, messier. No matter how similar you both may be, everyone has different preferences, spending habits, eating habits and and so many other habits in the way they do things or like them done. So now, not only will you be managing your money and your home, you will be taking care of his money and his home. Over time, while rubbing off each others edges, and molding your own ways, that place will become ‘our home’.And I hope and pray, its only half as daunting as I made it sound.
May you all always find love and contentment in your homes and lives ❤
Disclaimer: In no way am I a supporter of gender roles, but lets face it, life looks like this for most girls in 21st century India, by their choice or by default. And in the very first part of the post, i have clearly mentioned this post is applicable to girls whose life plan looks a certain way. So even if you want your life to look like “Ki and Ka”, Im sure Ka would love it if Ki appreciated and realized how much work he has to put in to run the household 😀