Saturday, August 11, 2012

Can Indian men find happiness in being house husbands? Answer is Yes

Househusband? Indian wives would probably give each other 'knowing' looks rather than admit it as something to feel proud about. But you know what, that is changing. It's not a bad thing, is it? Especially if you look at it from a woman's perspective. Will this trend find more takers? I don't know but I think it will gather momentum. 

Chetan Bhagat as House Husband
The August 2012 issue of Child magazine presented the parenting views of Chetan Bhagat, best selling Indian author. Pleasantly surprised, I wanted to share some of the statements that caught my interest because I feel that it is bold for any Indian male to make these statements with such honesty and conviction.  

For example, Chetan Bhagat states boldly, "I am a house husband. My wife loves to work. That does not make her any less a mother or a wife. She is true to herself, the kids and to me."

I can't think of many successful Indian men saying this with such intense passion. These views differ from person to person but the statement also springs a trend that is now taking root gradually in many parts of India.

Chetan Bhagat on Lavish Birthday Parties
Chetan Bhagat states that he always explains the ground realities esto kids. When they complain about how lavish their friends' birthday parties are, he tells them clearly that birthday parties are not weddings. It is a rule in his home that birthday parties are celebrated at home. If the kids continue complaining and comparing with friends, he tells them to go and live with their friends instead. He says it is important for kids to value money and have a sound sensible value system to live by.

I agree with this Birthday Party theory one hundred per cent. What about you? I'd love to know.

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13 comments:

ssstoryteller said...

hey that was a very short analysis...tell more...

agree with the birthday parties
1) Celebration and acknowledgement that you(or child)is special is definitely the purpose
2) Themed ostentation in the name of birthday is a waste of money and of course i always ask "whats the point:who are you trying to impress"
3) the child will be happy with Love and laughter....He or She does not come into this world with expectation of intricately carved cakes/ gifts/ give aways...we are the ones who create this for them

astrosunilnomy said...

I would say that first birthday party should be special, later ones can be normal as this becomes the memory of kid & parents as well, the photographs the moment is just too great to celebrate with neighbors, family & friends. There was this tradition in my previous company to estimate the expenditure for such a party if held, & then donate the same amount come NGO or orphanage, so that we feel good in the realms of pleasure of giving. I think kids can also be taught about this. In my opinion i would die to be house husband, it gives me so much time for my hobbies etc. it gives freedom to try out & explore things which never can be done when working like over 10 hrs a day. but living in a metro needs or rather demands that both partners be working !

Meera Sundararajan said...

You know Swapna this concept of a "House wife" or "House husband" springs from the sexual division of labour in a society where anything that does not bring in cash income is not counted as work- such work is undervalued and usually delegated to women. In Chetan's case I would not like to call him a "House husband" exactly because he does work and earn when he is at home while also taking care of the home I would guess. About the celebration of children's birthdays lavishly, I think he has a point. Children need to be taught the value of money. One can have a good time without blowing off too much of money can't they. Money does not equal happiness and that happiness comes from spending time with our friends. I think teaching children this small lesson would help a lot in their lives

~Dwana said...

still love reading your posts.... even in the states birthdays become issues if children are not well grounded, they tend to forget the meaning of celebrating one's birth.

My boys are nearly grown now, but the big parties were reserved for their first 5 years, after that I was careful to honor their lives while creating special moments.

jk said...

Chetan Bhagath is a writer and he can do writing even while sitting at home.. need not be a case for all .. similarly regarding Birthday Parties, I might say its more an internal affair, but then the need for children to call their friends home can better managed by calling them for some kind of a recreational public event commonly organized in that area .. Maybe like festivals in nearby Temples etc.. or a Sporting event nearby home .. or even something like Bhajan Sandhyas or Book Fairs .. if children are going out to other homes for some common event, they also might get plenty of opportunites to invite their friends in return too .. need not just birthdays .. and the financial committment and organizing hazards also could be low .. but then for the ones who have some good organizing ability and perhaps got lesser constraints in spending more for such causes might see it as an opportunity to project them which also can be appreciated without feeling any need for others also to emulate..

Capt. Ajit Vadakayil said...

Hi,
Times magazine blue eyed boy , and multinational corporate mouthpiece Chetan bhagat has been afforded an unprecedented marketing blitzkrieg, never seen before in india, for his book “ what young Indians want”.
He is John Galt’s ( of Ayn Rand fame ) and Walmart’s man rolled into one.
Punch into google search PERCEPTION AND RELATIVITY- VADAKAYIL, to check out a direct question to GURU chetan.
Capt ajit vadakayil
..

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on each of the points, I value it.

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

I too agree that first birthday party should be special, and the rest can be can be celebrated at specific milestones based intervals.

I really liked the tradition that you have mentioned in the previous company. That's such a refreshing thought.

Regarding house husband, it's good to hear a different perspective around it. But yes, these days,both partners need to be working.

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, Meera.

Work that is done by women as home makers is undervalued. Previously, we women used to undervalue it unknowingly too. Now there is more awareness, appreciation and acceptance to a great extent. Why do I feel so? Simple: I am battling criticism every day for choosing not to be a home maker by other home makers around me. So i from this I'd like to believe that they respect and appreciate what they are doing as home makers now more than say, two decades ago or a decade ago.

In Chetan's case, he may not fit the bill of what is known as a "House husband" but he's the one who takes pride in saying it, so no harm done there, I guess.

About the celebration of children's birthdays lavishly, I agree with you. One can have a good time without spending all of one's money. Like you rightly said, happiness comes from spending time with our friends.

Once again, thanks for sharing your thoughts in detail here. Truly appreciate it.

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Thanks, Dwana. I am thrilled that you love to read my blog posts. Great to hear about how you honor your kids by creating special moments for them, would love to know more about it. Do drop by more often.

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Hi JK,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Let's look beyond Chetan Bhagat and the reality is that not a lot of Indian men are keen to be labelled as 'house husbands.' There is a sense of social stigma attached to it in Indian households.

Regarding Birthday Parties, while it's an internal affair, it spreads its ripples far and wide into the lives of young saplings. One kid throws a lavish party and all kids who attended it start longing, yearning and crying to their parents for the same. The parents are the ones who have to face the dilemma. In most cases, parents give in and we see the trend of spending lavishly for birthday parties becoming increasingly common.

I liked the recreational birthday ideas that you shared here. I know a lot of parents who are doing those and I think it brings in a lot of fun and creativity all around.

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Captain Ajit, thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Personally, I am not sure if I admire Times magazine blue eyed boy's writing talent. :)

House Husband said...

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