Being Women

Cooking: The Unseen, But Mandatory Labour

Cooking has always been linked to female gender roles and identity. The poet poses some important questions that challenge these notions.

I am a woman who doesn’t like to cook.

Men go to work and when they cook

they are good people or chefs.

When I cook, I am doing my duty.

I was born to light the gas and put the

oil in the pan that simmers my career,

burns my dreams and goals that are

left unattended on the flames of life.

I was asked to remember the

ingredients of biryani

better than the components of a

chemical solution.

That’s being practical.

That’s more useful for life –

a woman’s life.

When my cousin makes tea for

his wife on a lazy Sunday,

it’s worth a social media post.

When she does the same after

a tired day of work,

it’s the principle of life.

Her mother told me she had taught

her to make tea at the age of eight.

Same age at which my cousin

learnt to eat with his own hands.

That’s being practical.

That’s a woman’s life.

A lady heads our account at office.

Holds darkness as bags under her eyes.

Looks as if she was born in another era.

Doesn’t remember what it was to rest.

She told us that at home she is a wife

and a mother of two.

She cannot refuse to cook.

That’s being practical.

That’s a woman’s life.

I don’t want to do what a woman

should do, rather do what I like.

I have stopped wearing sarees

and high heels that steal comfort.

I want to stop cooking too,

though I am good at it.

That’s my way of telling the world

that it is not yet ready for us.


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