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For a great marriage, men must cook

Arshiah Parween
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Times have changed, and education and careers no more remain the domain of men alone. But it seems times have remained stuck in the Stone Age where cooking is concerned. Women are still the ‘absolute rulers’ in this department, or rather are ‘made to be’ — unless she works in restaurant where the chefs are mostly men.

Most articles I have found advise men to enter the kitchen to please their wives by ‘occasionally’ cooking for the family. I have an issue here. Yes, men ‘should’ cook, but ‘before marriage’, for whatever reason. After marriage — they ‘must’ cook.

Men must cook to build a happy marriage.

Gone are the days when women always stayed at home and the men went out to work. With an increasing number of women choosing to pursue higher education and careers, juggling personal life and professional career has become the norm of the day, and cooking a draconian task. Expecting a woman to prepare a full meal all by herself after she gets back from work by 7 p.m., leaving behind all her mental and physical stress, is outright cruel. So a man must cook alongside his wife. Maybe preparing half the meal every day or the full meal every alternate day or week… whatever suits the couple should do the magic — less stress, better health, and more love.

Of course, if a woman is a full-time homemaker then expecting her husband to cook dinner after he returns from work completely exhausted is inhuman. There are exceptions, though. For example, wouldn’t it be so unsympathetic of a man to let her pregnant wife stand in front of the stove heat for hours? If she can go through the pain of bearing a child for a year, so a man could cook too for a year. Doesn’t this sound fair enough?

Again, women fall ill but are still expected to cook. Wouldn’t a man truly earn the love and respect of his wife if he serves a nutritious meal to her in bed? The wife will embrace him with open arms! Not only that, her heart will soften and she might listen to all his requests at all crazy times. Ahem. Yes women are like that, a bit of display of affection and she is ready to become all yours.

But despite this doable deed, there are very few men who cook ‘at home’. So how do women make men cook? Sadly, not much can be done to teach grown-up men. Either they listen temporarily or the relationship turns sour.

But women need not be disheartened. She can ensure that at least her daughters and granddaughters and so on get husbands who cook for them! How? By teaching her sons cooking skills slowly but steadily from the time he turns three till the age of 18. Thus she ensures that her son, a future husband to a girl, does not just cook for his wife but truly makes peace with the fact that a house kitchen is not just a woman’s department but his as well.

And of course, if men can use food to build diplomatic ties to solve issues of local and global importance — why then mustn’t they use food to build strong, enduring bonds with their wives for peaceful and mutually fulfilling marriages?

arshiah.parween @gmail.com

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