Tired and annoyed from work, he threw his bag, shoes and tie aside.

Like always, he sat on the sofa and started muttering loudly.

He – They don’t know how to work. Have no experience at all! They get up and come to work thinking they know everything.

And just like every day, she quietly walked out from the kitchen, placed a glass of water and a cup of steaming tea in front of him. He kept on complaining as she soundlessly picked up the thrown shoes, bag and tie.

He – There is no sugar in the tea. Do you not know anything at all? Does anyone not know anything at all? Take this back right now!

He put the cup down with such force that half the tea spilled out. She quietly picked the cup, walked into the kitchen and came back with a rag.

She started cleaning the spilled tea as he continued his muttering.

He – I come back tired from work and all I want is a cup of above average tea. Is that too much to ask for? I knew you were good for nothing the day I married you. The household runs by what I bring. All you have to do is to cook and you can’t even do that properly. Do you know how anxious I am every day? Do you even know what anxiety is?

She cleaned the tea along with the tear that had silently rolled down her cheek.

She (whispered) – When you long for something but can’t have it!

She walked back into the kitchen and suddenly laughed. She laughed as more tears followed. How she was accused of not knowing anything! How she was accused of not earning when that was the one thing she was asked to give up! How she was made to give up her career as a lawyer and learn to make round chapattis!

They had said ‘a man’ doesn’t like to sit back and watch his wife go out to work. Then, was this manliness?

Author: Zainab Haji


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