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QUARANTINE TIMES: RE-ARRANGED MARRIAGE

Updated: Aug 6


I think that this 21-day lockdown (in India) has taught us that there are no gendered chores; there are just chores. There is work that needs to be done and anyone who can do it.


For the first part of our marriage, Subir would go to work as the 'husband', and I, as the good 'wife' stayed at home, taking care of the house and my daughter (Medha).


But now, because everyone is quarantined at home, and the domestic help can no longer come here, the load of the household falls on just Subir and me. It's been a while since its only been Subir and me.


Subir and I have been married for 25 years, and we don't recall it just being us for a while. A couple of years after marriage, Medha was born, and even after she left for college, we always had domestic help.


Medha's grandparents came over all the time, friends, guests, etc. It wasn't just us, you know. But now, with this lockdown, it's just us, like only each other.


It takes me back to our early years of marriage. We had an arranged marriage, so there was a little of getting used to time that was needed, but the old-time romance, fighting, and spending time together on the couch -- all the memories I cherish are coming back.


I think that this lockdown has not only made me a bit nostalgic for yesterdays we can never recover, but also, in a weird way, it is creating a stronger bond between us.


We have never worked together. We had our divided chores that complimented each other, but sharing housework is a different kind of bonding. We have divided all the household work between ourselves. I mop and dust and clean the house, and your dad cooks the meals for the day. That takes us most of the morning. And once that is done, we sit on our balcony sipping on tea and singing old Bengali songs.


~~ Subir & Ananya Nag, Kolkata, India (Parents of Medha Nag, Class of 2020).

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