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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Domesticity is Bliss

Sage Thiruvalluvar said so ages ago, in Thirukkural, Illaraviyal, kurals 41 to 50.

He said many other things that could potentially enrage a modern feminist. But, when taken in context, it is indeed a fine set of principles for leading a good life. Take it, or leave it. No harm done.

There was a time, in a certain place on this Earth, when all a girl hoped for (probably even aspired for) was a good husband, a few healthy kids, and if she was incurably optimistic, she could dream about not being treated like a lowly earthworm by her husband's family... And, such a girl, when she found a caring husband, probably truly believed Domesticity is Bliss, and gave her all to her family, worked herself to the bone as a form of seva (service) to her loved ones, never dreaming of stepping outside this temple of hers, never feeling imprisoned in it either.

Over the ages, as girls like her slowly inched their way out their doors, perhaps initially out of necessity, and then perhaps with a sense of daring and justified self-worth, they probably began to realize, much to their relief, that the temple that was their home no longer contained their entire Universe...

And, they paved the way, over centuries of hard work, enduring injustices, and persevering against oppression, so that a mother could send her daughter away to a far-off land in pursuit of her educational goals.

The daughter, never being told that being a man's wife or bearing children is all her Destiny holds and she better not stray far from it, could freely explore her new world, and grab with both hands all that it could offer, and enrich her mind and soul with experiences her mother could not have even imagined...

This daughter, finally completes a full circle, to realize that home is where her heart is, believes now that Domesticity is indeed Bliss.

She is comfortable enough in her skin that going out somewhere looking for fun is not her cup of tea. Reading, Writing, Sewing, Crafting, Cooking and playing with her kids have a lot more appeal to her on an average day than, say, going to the movies/parties/club/pub.

Oh, she does enjoy traveling, hiking, camping and communing with Nature in the great outdoors in general, but, her natural restful state of being happens to be a homebody.

She willingly establishes that her home is her temple, her sanctuary, where she devotes her energies and talents, such as they may be, as best as her inherently flawed humanity allows, to germinate and nurture her loved ones.

Perhaps that is why she enjoys cooking, almost as a form of meditation, a form of seva for her loved ones... something that comes naturally, and manages to relax and uplift her spirits at the same time.

Perhaps that is also why she gets restless when there is disorder and disarray in this little temple arranged painstaking to provide harmony and comfort for the souls dwelling therein.

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4 Comments:

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Charu said...

Sheela,

Very happy to read the post. I read somewhere that wisdom comes in asking question. The more question we ask we get the clarity and directions.

I share the same views on domesticity specially with cooking. Cooking gives such immense satisfaction and much needed "me time" for me. Though at times I'like to spend time friends outside, I am always eager and happy to reach my nest .

Enjoy your cooking . Any new projects in works. If so blog about it.

Take care

Charu

 
At 10:24 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

Dear Charu, You are so right.

Recognizing and acknowledging what's troubling us is the first step to re-establishing harmony.

And as you rightly noted, through introspection, asking ourselves the right questions, even if we don't have any ready answers, is the first step to untangling the knotty thoughts in our head and get some clarity.

However trivial and insignificant our worries seem when encountered just one at a time, it is usually the combination of them, the culmination of many little things that tend to bog us down...

And, thank you so much, Charu, for your continued support for my blogging. This is a creative outlet and stress-release for me,
and, a way to connect with the rest of the world. In that sense, this is my "social" life, a space where I try to discover "myself".
Especially considering that I barely spend 10% of my time here blogging about various seemingly mundane things, I am lucky to have
support from generous souls like you. Wish we were neighbors... move next-door to me soon :)

Hugs and kisses to little NR.

 
At 7:19 AM, Blogger the conflicted cook said...

Hi,

I don't know why but all your posts have such a sense of melancholy to them and I'm left thinking about them long after I've finished reading them. I identify with most of them except that I can't sew, quilt or do much of anything else to save my life. Also I've gotten into the habit of rounding up on your blog empire once a week or so to keep up with what's going on with Ana and you guys. I've got little ones too and now I've started to feel inadequate and that I don't do enough for them in terms of reading or doing crafts, projects and such. :)

 
At 9:01 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

::Conflicted Cook:: You are too kind. Am always glad to hear that my thoughts resonates with others - gives that "I am not alone" feeling.

 

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