Becoming Microwave Madam – Chapter 2
You might need to remember India at the time home appliances entered the market, to understand Microwave Madam. The resistance to new which also encompasses the attitude to the new woman in a housing societies, but does not extend to her husband.
There’s a curious friendliness from other women combined with an ability to focus on cultural differences and a need to judge the way the new woman in the building dresses. And yet, a surprising acceptance when time and familiarity teaches everyone something they should have had the sense to know.
That different customs and ways of dressing and living don’t really change what’s inside and that women, irrespective of their cultural background, are still women.
She's new to the building and here's what they say she has a career, and is out at work all day. Comes home late from the office and is NEVER around to chat with the women when they all gather down. She dresses different from the stay-at-home wives, they think it would be exciting to have her life. Washing machine, dish-washer, and a MICROWAVE plus a vacuum cleaner - no need for a maid. For her 9 to 5 is usually 7 to 7 On days that are busy she's home after 11. They called her Microwave Madam because she was different, but now their daughters have lives that make hers seem simple. 9 to 5 with a long commute becomes 7 to 7 On days they're busy they're home after 11. It's the life that they wanted for their daughters to have a career, and still be head cook and bottle washer.
The term ‘head cook and bottle washer’ is an idiom used to describe someone who is in charge of an important task, and also handles minor details.
Microwave Madam (I’ll refer to her as MM) was the new woman in her housing society. A woman with dreams that were larger than her resources and the support systems at her disposal. A modern Indian woman with traditional ideas on marriage and gender roles.
I invite you to read all chapters of Becoming Microwave Madam and understand why many women give up their careers and stay home.