My office generally starts at 7 AM, and I am supposed to turn off my laptop by 4 PM, in an ideal situation. But how ideal is it to imagine things will be the way they are supposed to be ideally? So it was one of those days I had to stretch at work. From 7 AM to 1 AM.. How many hours do they make? I didn’t even count. I was beyond livid. It had been just five minutes I had logged off, and there my manager sends a message: We are running on 40% capacity. We will have to continue with this for two more days. I murmured my disgust under my breath.
The mister, who had been a silent spectator through the day, offered a cup of black coffee. “Here.”
“At 1 AM?” I was shocked and irate.
“Thought you loved your cup of black coffee any time of the day… or night.”
I sent a tired smile his way.
“Bahut pressure hai kya?”
“Haan. Hain toh.”
“If you are unable to handle this pressure, quit you job. I’ll manage. Look for something else. Don’t spoil your health.”
He himself has been slogging for 12 to 13 hours every day. Stretching is not a one-off incident for him. It has become a way of his life now. I haven’t seen him have breakfast on time or not delay his lunch one day ever. Yet, I could never sum up the guts to suggest that he left his job, and that I will support till he finds another job.
The society we will in has built this expectation from a man that he has to be the primary breadwinner for his family; a working wife can unburden him a little, but he will never be freed of the prime responsibility of providing for the woman, the kids, care for old parents.
I have lost my father-in-law recently. He is survived by three children, and a wife. Two are daughters and my husband is the only son, and the youngest child. With unmeasurable pride I say, that though all children were provided with the same upbringing and access to education, it is only my husband who has taken up all the responsibilities that his father has left behind, be is caring for his mother and unmarried sister and dealing with all incomplete legal and paperwork.
This is exactly what I saw my father doing while I was little. In his limited salary, he made sure my mother and I were well-fed, his unmarried sisters completed their education, were married off and wired money to his mother for her medicines.
There are bad men out there. Criminals. They have no rights to be walking on the face of Mother Earth. But then, we all have men like my mister and my father in our little worlds. These men, more than often go unacknowledged. TO be a good and responsible man is the most thankless job ever.
We all know what 8th march is. But how many of us can say in a heartbeat what is so special about 19th November?
Men don’t crowd up clothes and jewellery shops, that’s why brands don’t scream at the top of their lungs wishing them, or promise them tall discounts. And this is how we all stay ignorant.
19th November is International Men’s Day. To all the amazing men out there, who are silently slogging to provide for their family, burning the midnight oil to keep the family smiling bright, A Very happy International Men’s Day.
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