Saturday, August 26, 2006

He even makes his own tea...

Last night I was sitting at my friend Memoona's house and I was surprised to see that her husband was drinking tea...tea that she had not made for him. How was this possible? They don't have any servants? I went into the kitchen and sure enough the evidence was there. Her husband had made his own tea.
Here is Pakistan men generally don't do much around the house. It's common that the husband will be thirsty and ask his wife to get him a glass of water. He may be sitting within five feet of the water cooler, while she may be outside or on a different floor of the house, but nevertheless he will yell "Pani lao!" (Bring me water!) and sit there waiting until she runs from waterever part of the house she is at and brings him a glass of water.

Once I was out to eat with a woman named Nadia. She and her husband have two small children. One boy age 4 and one age 2. The 2-year old is quite naughty when they go out in public. He had already broken a glass, ran around the restaurant, and provoked his older brother to tears. Husband just sat there in the restaurant while Mom was taking care of the kids. When the food came, as the guest I was invited to serve myself first. Then Nadia served both the kids AND her husband before serving herself. She was barely able to eat while trying to get the naughty child to swallow some of his food, and Husband held out his empty plate, looked at her, and said, "Mix karte" (mix-do it). There's no direct translation, but basically he wanted all the different kinds of food mixed for him on his plate. I wanted to ask him if he had some handicap that prevented him from lifting a serving spoon.

Memoona told me last night that was lucky to have a husband who helped around the house. "Most men in Pakistan would never make tea for themselves. They don't even know how to do it. In our house we don't have any servants and we both work. My friends can't believe that we do all the housework on our own, but it gets done. It's hard to keep servants in Lahore becasue you can't trust them. Sometimes they steal from you and then run away. You'll never find them again. In the mornings most men sit and wait for their breakfast to be prepared and their shirt pressed. They expect their briefcase packed, their shoes by the door, and their wife smiling as she waves goodbye to him. When he comes home, we wants dinner prepared and served to him. At our house my husband will help make the kids' lunches in the morning. Other men might not respect him because he does these things, but I know I'm very lucky to have such a husband. It is so rare here in Pakistan."


water0flife said...

Wow. That guy sounds like an amazing husband. That's cool that he will help out even though it's such an unpopular thing to do. I think some of our fathers here could learn from him :)

Jianing said...

It's really interesting. A man living in Pakistan is like living in the heaven. I didn't know that. The same situation happens in India?