In the beginning of time, when the first set of cavemen realized that they needed to cover themselves up to beat the weather and protect themselves they discovered animal hides to drape themselves in the most fashionable manner possible. What they did not realize was the fact that they would need more than one piece of clothing or that the said clothing would need to be cleaned every now and then. When this did dawn on them, they’d kill another tiger or a boar or whatever it is that they fancied, until a smart woman amongst them decided that she was fed up with the pile of smelly animal hide at the corner of the cave and decided to take it down to the watering hole for a good scrub. Laundry was born! Now, the cave man didn’t have to bother himself with skinning dead animals too often and just hunted for food. His work had reduced but for some reason the cave woman was stuck with the laundry.
Forward to the future to a time when our grandmothers were young girls hopping around green fields and soaking in the clean air while accompanying their mothers or sisters to the village tanks or ponds with neat bundles of laundry where they would scrub all the soiled clothes. They were more powerful than the cave woman because they had this hard block like thing called soap that they used to scrub their laundry. Never mind that they had to walk a mile or more and endure blisters on their hands doing laundry on a daily basis while their men were out working the fields or at government offices as the case may be while the others just relaxed.
Now, to our childhoods, remember how our mothers handled dirty school uniforms and other clothes including horrors like snot filled handkerchiefs? Clothes were neatly sorted based on color and other attributes, soaked and washed using a Rin or Nirma soap bar. While some of the more savvy moms moved to Surf and then Surf Excel thanks to Lalitha ji and her mantra “Surf Excel hai na” to fight the toughest of stains that still did not stop them from huffing, puffing and sweating while washing clothes inside their tiny bathrooms or the washing stone by the well in their back yards, braving the sun and other elements.
Lets face it! Laundry was a job that required great physical strength. Now, while some of us were lucky enough to see our dads and other great men help out with tasks like putting clothes out on the line to dry or taking them off, we have also been witness to the men of the house lazing round while the woman burnt more calories than she consumed washing, hanging and folding the loads of laundry. Then the revolution started, women started working and to their great delight washing machines made an appearance in Indian households squashing any arguments about increased water and electricity bills. Now the Indian woman had found great relief from blistered hands and discovered the freedom of few minutes to do other things.
The present – we have the best washer detergents available, not to mention some of the best brand of washing machines. All that one needs to do thrown in the clothes, add the powder and let the machine do its thing. sit back and relax. And guess what? Even a child can do it with minimal instructions! So why not a man? But we still have these kind of statistics:
Isn’t it funny how the new age Indian woman juggles so many different tasks and roles, laundry being one of the high priority ones (along with board meetings, paying bills and meal plans of course) but most men tend to relax any time they are at home? Indian men these days have made great strides in all walks of lives. Some are great chefs, some load the dish washers, some actually do the dishes and some even take great pride in the OCD type behaviors they exhibit when it comes to keeping their space clean! So why not get involved with the laundry?
On behalf of women everywhere and by the power of Ariel, it is time to tip that laundry bundle in the favor of men so that the women can get some time off to watch TV, read that newspaper, finish her coffee or just get some rest. Don’t worry guys, we will soon get a Robot in every home to do this task and also hang out those clothes to dry or even dry them out with the touch of a finger but until then a relaxed lady of the house is a happy one and a happy woman just means a better world for you. But ladies, if doing the laundry is your way of relaxation go ahead and knock yourselves out 🙂