Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Updates and The Little House - Philippa Gregory

This was the week, when many job cuts were announced at work. Some colleagues have got their notices. The rest of us have been told the numbers, but not the names, while we play the 'who's going to go' game.

And someone in the team, has already calculated, how a potential job loss would be pretty devastating for most of the men in the team, ( most of whom don't have working wives) but not so for the women ( who of course can easily live off our husbands)

And as I went home to a, yet again, maid-less day, trying to keep the house from disintegrating into dirt and chaos, attempting the much hated cooking, I began to read the 'little house', finished it off within 2 days. Its a book that leaves you angry.

The story is basically a working woman, who loses her job and then gradually gets drawn into the rut of 'family politics'. The perennial power struggle that follows every marriage, where the odds are stacked unfairly.  In the novel the woman is an orphan, an affect our lofty culture attempts to achieve through kanyadaan, bidai and tradition.

Its hard to describe it really, although its a conversation about the little things which I've often had with friends. The constant clashes over 'how' to run the house, how to manage the baby. The additional balance of power, controlled by money. The division of what constitutes house work, and how is it to be managed. The changing  nature of relationships and the struggle against the change.

Overall it was a pretty gripping book, and although the end loses touch with reality in one way, its one thats interesting and chilling in more ways than one.

2 comments:

Guru Kini said...

Well I find it comforting that if I get the boot, I can live off my wife at least for a while :). Anything wrong with that? If my wife's job is also at risk, then we have a major problem in our hands.
I kind of agree with the "pompous idiot" - maybe the way he put it would have ticked you off. But when you have a no-income family, it is pretty devastating. It is not a gender thing.

Tess said...

quite agree that dual income families help, key thing being- only for a while.

there's more to this of course, in terms of more things he said, and the whole background to what was said then, and at various times in my life about how my job is expendable, but my husbands isn't.

Maybe I'll retract the 'pompous idiot'. But the strange discrepancy of no house-husbands, but plenty of house-wives, is of course a gender thing.