No retirement for wives

Why do the husbands not realise that the wives too need relaxation?

My husband, while in service, used to leave the house early and come back late. My children also would leave for their respective schools and after that, I had all the time to pursue my own interests like reading, stitching, making handicrafts and decorating the house as I liked. Sometimes I used to try different new recipes.

Till my family came back, I was free to do and experiment what I wanted. I could practise songs on the veena to get ready for the next AIR broadcast.

Once my husband and children returned, I had absolutely no time but to cook and satisfy all my family’s exotic tastes. Each one would give their list of wants. I tried my best to satisfy all of them.

Life moved on. All the children settled down, the daughter got married. And a time came for my husband’s retirement. I had to prepare myself for the situation. “Twice the husband with half the salary” was my newly coined phrase. I had to attend to my husband most of the time and all my hobbies took a back seat.

Of course, my husband tried to help me in a few ways. His motive was good, but the result was a disaster. For example, if I had kept something on the stove on a low heat, he would increase it thinking I had forgotten to adjust the heat, and the dish would be burnt.

Once I had kept idlies in the pressure cooker after removing the valve weight as is usually done. He thought I had forgotten to put the weight and restored it back in it. All the idlies became flat, thus spoiling the taste. I am sure many other retirees’ wives would have experienced such things.

I advised my husband to take up another job, but it fell on deaf years. His repartee was, “I have worked for thirty-five years. I really deserve this rest.”

Why do the husbands not realise that the wives too need relaxation? The wives have served the family for the same number of years. For this, my husband’s solution was “get a daughter-in-law.” But my sons did not want to marry until they made some money for a decent living.

I thought of keeping a cook. Though my husband opposed, I engaged one. Life was good as I could relax. I thought of going to entertainments like dramas, pictures, and concerts.

But oh! Soon the cook’s demands rose. “No coffee powder, Amma, dal is over, vegetables are over.” So much so that I was always in the provision stores and the vegetable market. And with this, expenditure increased. I sent away the cook and started doing everything by myself. I assured my husband that even with his half salary I would make the twilight years of our lives enjoyable.

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