Today, I have the pleasure of hosting Sid Balachandran of I Wrote Those  fame on my blog. Since I came across Sid in the blog world a few months ago, I have been a regular reader of his blog. Whether he writes fiction, humor, musings, parenting or slice-of-life posts, he does them all with elan! He also is a friendly, sunny presence in the blog world always ready with a kind word, thought or an encouraging comment. I particularly love his daddy posts where he outlines his daily struggles experiences with his toddler son. Do drop in at his blog if you haven’t done so already. You will surely find something of interest there for you. So, here’s over to Sid on a topic very close to my heart and home…

***

“So, what do you do?” asked my first cousin’s wife’s sister’s husband’s father whilst he sipped on some lovely coffee that my wife had served. I almost spat out my coffee in surprise. It was the first time that I’d met this person, and this was the question that he chose to start off the conversation with.

“Umm…Well, I am an aspiring writer. I also do a bit of content writing for some websites. And some basic graphic designing too,” I reply. “I work from home, so I get to spend time with Rishi too,” I quickly add, pointing at my little one who’s busy in the corner, trying to uproot a potted plant. The only reason that I’d added that last statement about working from home, was to ensure that I wasn’t asked a follow-up “why” question. But that didn’t really work out.

“But, aren’t you an engineer? That too with a Master’s degree from abroad? And so many years of experience working in London? And you want to make a career in writing?” queries the man, seriousness oozing from his every word.

Flashing him a grin worthy of a toothpaste advert, I reply, “Yes, I am. And this is what I do!.” Though I sense that he is quite dissatisfied with my answer, he returns to reading the newspaper whilst I rush to stop my little one from uprooting another plant.

Here’s the thing. There’s absolutely nothing unusual in being asked what you do. It’s a perfectly normal question. But the disapproval that follows the announcement of your choice of an off-beat career path – well, that’s a phenomenon that I’ve only experienced in this magical society of ours. Not only does everyone demand to know your job status and position, but give an answer that’s deemed “unacceptable” to the traditional norms, and then you’re in for some free advice (or gyaan as I love to call it). But then again, it’s largely a question that’s been reserved for the Indian male. Womenfolk in our society are tackled a wee bit differently. With them, the conversation often starts with “Do you work?” followed by either a genuinely curious “Nice. Where?” or a “But why?” with a raised eyebrow. (For the record, I support a woman’s right to choose her career, whatever that may be. Not that my support is necessary, but just letting everyone know where I stand on this)

Before we go ahead, let me give you a bit of background information which may help you understand my situation. We recently relocated to India, after an eight-year stint in London. Back there, both my wife and I were employed in full-time professional jobs, worthy of our degrees and experience. And then our family plus 1’ed (you may use the term “bloomed”, and we decided to move back to India to be closer to family and help uphold our traditions and the rest. Naively, I also decided that this would be the best period in my three decades of mortal being, to follow my dreams and pursue a career that involved something I loved passionately (only maybe a tad less than my family of course)Writing. Plus it would give me the added benefit, that I’d get to spend a rather sizeable portion of my time with my toddler son, helping him teach the tricks of the big, bad world. Which to be honest is a priceless advantage.

so what do you do

But of course, over the course of the past 10 months, I have had the pleasure of discovering that almost everyone who I’ve interacted with has an opinion to offer about why being a “work-from-home-dad” is not a real job. Starting with the distant relative who has previously never expressed an iota of interest in my wellbeing to my neighbors who suddenly deem it fit to be a serious problem that I never have to leave home for “work”. I for one, find it extremely fascinating that everyone (and I mean, everyone) in our society is really concerned about me not doing a “real job” (whatever that means). If you really believe that such people don’t exist, then do read on. Here are two examples of nosy lovely people I’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of discussing my “work” with.

As one of the 1200 residents in a rather large apartment enclave, there are times when I’m coerced into attending one of the many social functions held here. I for one, avoid these “social get-togethers” like plague. Not because I’m socially awkward or an introvert, both of which I may well be. Primarily because I can’t be bothered being asked another “So what do you do?” question. But then, there are times when you have to swallow your introverted-ness and “interact” with some of these unique people. During one such recent function, whilst I was calmly gobbling down my gajar-ka-halwa, a couple of elderly neighbors came up to me and started with the usual chitchat. Soon the conversation turned towards work, and I desperately looked around for my wife and son, so that we could leave before it was my turn. As fate would have it, the virtual dice rolled quickly, and it was soon my turn to answer the question. I politely gave them the same answer I had been giving for the past few months, and I was gifted the following familiar response – a raised eyebrow, a slight drop of the jaw and the great Indian head shake (all of which collectively, I am assuming, indicated their disapproval. The only thing missing was the “tut-tut” noise).  On the positive side, this unexpected answer helped divert the discussion to the NaMos and RaGas of the political world, which helped me exit politely. As I walked away, I heard one of the “elderly neighbors” state “Bechara (poor fellow), he is a house husband!”. Probably with another shake of the head.

Another such unique encounter that I’ve had, has been with my ex-maid. I generalize of course, but the “gossipy” maid is another one of these species, whose curiosity knows no bounds. Armed with the advantage of working in several different flats and the benefits of sharing intimate household information with others of their kind, they are perhaps the most irksome of all. Especially since you know that you part with your hard earned money to employ them, and they’re happy to hang out your “intimate laundry” to dry, in full view of the public eye. But they’re also a species that most of us cannot do without, and hence imperative to our society in general. And my household is no exception. Though my interaction with our maid had been rather limited, I’d often noticed that she threw inquisitive glances at my screen when I was busy rattling away on my keyboard. So imagine my surprise one day, when she asked me quite seriously, “Kya, aap hamesha ghar par ho? Aap kaam pe nahi jaatey kya?” (which roughly translates as : Are you always at home? Do you not go to work?) As I sat there stumped by the audacity of the hired help in querying about my employment status, my little son came running up to me. She looked at me with the triumphant look of having figured the solution to complex mathematical calculation and said Accha! Aap ghar baitkey baby ko sambhalthey ho!” (Right, so you’re a full time stay-at-home daddy). Needless to say, we found a less judgmental substitute in a matter of days. The only downside is that I am unable to walk past the maids’ lunch area (sadly, our paths cross on the way to collect my son from school) without most of them nodding their heads, as if I’m a disappointment to men everywhere.

I could probably go on and on about little anecdotes of “supposedly helpful” conversations that I’ve had with everyone who’s been sometimes confused, sometimes disapproving, sometimes even irked about my decision to pursue a different career. But the more I discuss it with others, the more I find that most people aren’t actually bothered with my job per se. It’s the fact that I’m always at home (they pretend to ignore the fact that I’m actually working) and have a little kid around that bothers them more. Whilst I agree that it isn’t the “accepted” norm for “men in our society” to opt for a career change which may not always make them the primary breadwinner of the family, I must confide that I’ve not always been one to conform to the “rules of the society”, so to speak. Add to the mix, a lovely wife who is happy for me to chase my dreams, and I can kind of understand why people in general are “seriously concerned” about my current “apparent predicament”. Of course predicament is a word they use freely and loosely.

As for me, I’m content. Why wouldn’t I be? After all, I can afford to sit in my balcony in the middle of the day, sipping my chai, whilst thinking about the next topic to write from my virtual calendar of content deadlines. All this whilst being well aware, that my choice of employment is currently one of the trending topics in our society. After all, if you’re being talked about, that means you’ve truly arrived on the world stage, isn’t it?

Image : Courtesy Flexijobs.com

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64 Thoughts on ““So, what do you do?”

  1. LOL Sid!!
    yes, nosy neighbors and aunties and maids are a bane!
    and that question – “What do you do?” is irksome to say mildly!

    I’m asked that question too.. people are judgmental and crude when they ask in the way you have described.. but then, while those judgmental folks are struggling at work or wherever they chose to be, I get to sit on a bench with my book with birds and friendly neighborhood kids and dogs for company! 😀

    So cheers to you and your growing ilk! Follow your dreams and don’t forget us friends when you are all famous!! 😉

    Thank you Rachna for featuring such a dear friend on your blog. 🙂
    Pixie recently posted…light and darkMy Profile

  2. Pixie,
    I agree whole-heartedly. But what to do, we are…well, at the mercy of these kinds. Why don’t people just realise that it’s a matter of choice? And sometimes following what you want to do in life. Atleast my immediate family understands the choice that I’ve made.
    As for being famous, lol. Let’s wait and see.
    Thanks for the motivation though 🙂
    Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  3. And I thought only I was subjected to So What Do You Do? Basically what people want to know is how you earn your bread and butter. For they know that there is little or no money in writing. Very few like Chetan, Amish or Anuja have made it big.
    At the end of the day, its your choice and people have no right to intrude beyond pleasantries. Unless of course, they are close friends.
    Always a pleasure to read you Sid.

    • Thank you Alka. I understand. And I completely agree about the money and writing bit. However optimistic I may be, being a Chetan, Amish or Anuja is still a far-fetched dream. But my concern is not with the question, but with the judgemental comments and general disapproval. And I know for a fact that these people aren’t basing their “judgement” on facts and figures. It’s based on what they deem are good jobs. But of course, I wouldn’t be the first person whose choice of career has been a topic of conversation.
      For now, I shall concentrate on my book and hopefully the continued support of good friends like you to guide me along 🙂
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  4. “Bloomed” made me laugh. What your maid said made me laugh out louder. Your post made me smile. In times when there is hardly any difference between men working and women working, I hear a lot of ‘tut-tut’ for my “career choice” too. I also hear how I am a dependant on my husband. And they have no clue how they add to our pillow talk. 😛
    If I was you, I would actually go for all those get-togethers you ‘avoid like plague’. I know, you don’t want to spoil your mood with those ‘disapprovals’ but hey, when you carry the badge of a stay-at-home dad so proudly, might as well flaunt it! 😀
    A lot of men will consider you fortunate. I think my husband too. 😛
    And if you are indeed content, no more semi-rants on this! 🙂
    Good daddy you are. Stay happy! And luck with your career-choice.
    sakshinanda recently posted…Being VIP MadamsMy Profile

    • Well, there’s a start. A smile is definitely a good sign, no? I know it’s not ha-ha material, but as you said “no more semi-rants”. I am truly content about this now. Tut-tuts are the emoticons of the day and we will get them regardless. So I’m going to take a leaf out of your book and continue to write. And try and better me previous post 🙂 Off I go, to make one of those badges 😀 Thank you for your kind and motivational works Sakshi
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

    • Sid,

      I agree with Sakshi (didn’t you know it?).

      I’ll relate a long tale about Johnny. To know who Johnny is, ask me.

      One day, Johnny went to church. A neighbor was there too. He was talking to a bunch of people when Johnny sauntered into the the group. The moment this neighbor saw Johnny, he started telling every one how much he likes Johnny. He then stupidly (and not a little maliciously) went on to tell everyone how difficult life was for Johnny because he had no money. He then expansively asked Johnny to come over for meals at his (the neighbor’s) house everyday.

      Johnny was painfully embarrassed. And Johnny was pissed. And when Johnny gets pissed, the earth moves off its axis. True story.

      The upshot of the church visit was this:

      Every day, three times a day, for the next 30 days, Johnny rang the bell of the neighbor and asked for food. I think I need to tell you that Johnny has the BIGGEST appetite of any man I have ever known in my life. Three times a day for 30 days, Johnny ate at the house of that neighbor. In a week, the neighbor’s wife had begun to look stricken. In 15 days she looked consumptive. In a month they both looked on the verge of penury.

      I told Johnny to stop it after a week. And he said, “No, they wanted to feed me. Now they will feed me if it kills them.”

      I know you are too intelligent for me to dot the Is and cross the Ts for you.

      Johnny is my best friend. 😀
      Dagny recently posted…Divinity In DoubtMy Profile

  5. All of us get subject to it, you are not alone 🙂 I quit my job last May and have been asked that question umpteen number of times. Despite my patient explanation, I am always asked “all that is fine, but what do you do all day?” I give up.

    Btw having read both Chetan Bhagat and Amish Tripathi, I am not sure I would want any of my blogging friends to be compared to them. Here’s wishing you leave them all behind with the book you are working on. Cheers! 🙂
    Seeta recently posted…(Step) Motherly Treatment IndeedMy Profile

    • Thanks Seeta. These are the times when you truly feel “Silence is golden”, no? I suppose it irks them more that a guy has chosen to go down this route 🙂 As for the Chetan and Amish comment, we were just going with commercial success. Though I put down their success more to “right place, right time” rather than right material. Chetan more so than Amish. I shall reiterate what I just told Alka – With support from good friends such as yourself, I’m sure I’ll finish the book. Success, well, completing it will make me feel accomplished, regardless of the commercial success 🙂
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  6. I can only imagine the things you go through Sid. But personally I stand in awe of men who will take the bold decision of working from home so that they can spend some more time with the family. Its easy to say that as long as your wife and Rishi doesn’t mind you can take a chill pill and let others go to hell, but reality is that it may not always be possible, considering the way Indian families are!
    Take care,
    Bhavya recently posted…Highway ~ An Experience In Itself!My Profile

    • Bhavya, depending on the choices we make, I suppose we all go though it at some point. Sometimes its a job. Other times is marriage. Sometimes its kids. So that’s there. I’m only able to do what I do, because I have a loving and supportive wife and understanding parents. Though I honestly wish I could give some people a real piece of my mind 🙂 Thank you for your kind words Bhavya !
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  7. You have arrived Sid 🙂 And it is not just you who is subjected to this query but your predicament is more given you are a man. And everywhere you get a headshake and sometimes can hear a faint ‘tut tut’ too.

    Happy to see you here Sid.
    Jas recently posted…Age is ‘just’ a numberMy Profile

    • I agree. It’s just because of how our community and society loves to stereotype each of us. Indeed. I’m sure if I listened carefully, I’d here the tut-tuts more often. But I’m trying to go past it. Thank you Jas, for taking the time to read, what I can only refer to as, my rambling rant 🙂
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  8. Reading you for the first time, Sid (though seen you quite a bit on common groups in FB) thanks to Rachna. It was an interesting read. I can relate to people reacting this way to anyone not confirming to their societal norms.

    Interesting career choice. Hats off to you for that. Not sure when I will muster courage to make such a choice.
    The Fool recently posted…Children of the Lamp seriesMy Profile

    • Indeed Karthik. I was actually first introduced to your brilliant blog by Seeta when we had that whole Enid Blyton conversation 🙂 Yes, not conforming to the norms can sometimes make you a social outcast. Luckily for me, I have friends, albeit some of the virtually, who support and motivate me. And a family too. Though they did take a lot of convincing 🙂
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  9. I was reading the lines on the road less travelled by Robert Frost before I came to Rachna’s blog. carrying your wonderful guest post.Many people are yet not aware that a career in writing,not a busy boulevard, can be full time that is best done from home.With a bit of luck one can hit the jackpot of name and fame.Best wishes.
    KP recently posted…EgoMy Profile

  10. Bhavana Rao on February 26, 2014 at 1:23 pm said:

    Loved your post and my respects to you for sticking to what you think is right for you and which makes you happy and not falling prey for our ‘society norms’.
    Some elders who had led a very average life (well, according to their equation of ‘average life’ thrown upon us that is) think that they can give all kinds of advice on how to lead an extraordinary life. This really amuses me.
    It hurts sometimes, but cannot stop the world, but the only way according to me is to give them the taste their own medicine. I don’t even bother to stop doing it for the most elderly people who try to poke their nose into my life.
    Cheers. 🙂
    Bhavana

  11. Thank you Bhavana, and hat’s off to you too 🙂 Certain elders (and these days not so elderly ones too) have this “we-know-what’s-best-for-you” attitude, that to be honest, just pisses me off. The best way to retaliate is to continue doing what you want to as long as you know you’re on the right path.
    Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  12. Kudos to handling a tricky issue so well!! I know that women face a lot of these nosy questions, but I can imagine it must be worse for men working from home in India. I’m really awkward at these kinds of parties too, so I can completely understand the ‘trying-to-slide-out-of-conversations’ move!!
    Fab recently posted…Review: Online Shopping Website – ‘Jabong.com’My Profile

    • Thank you Fab. When you hear the same questions and get the same reactions from almost everyone, I suppose, we all start finding ways to avoid rather unpleasant scenarios. But as I’ve cited, sometimes, you are put in the spot suddenly. And well, not much we can do about that. Just continue to live our lives 🙂
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  13. Honestly Sid, knowing you virtually for the past few months and based on that one three hour interaction that I have had with you and your family sometime ago, I can confidently vouch for the fact that you surely are destined for better things that spending at least eight hours in a stuffy air conditioned office coding or selling software that really doesn’t make any material difference to the world we live in.

    With your writing though, you surely have the power to make a minute difference at least to your readers thoughts, their imaginations, their lives by virtue of your words, and how you weave them into stories. For sure, you are better off in your current condition, no two ways about it.

    Just like Sakshi mentioned in her comments, the naysayers and the doubters will continue to exist and buzz around you irrespective of what you say, do or think. That is just the way we humans are, we Indians are. You therefore, are better off doing what you love rather than pandering to their whims and fancies.
    Jairam Mohan recently posted…Kurma Avatar – Part 2 – The churning beginsMy Profile

    • Thank you for those thoughtful words Jairam. I’m not sure about the “destined for better things” part, but I am sure as heck, going to give that a shot 🙂 You’re quite right, when you say, that this is the way “we are”. I’ve never experienced this anywhere else. Then again, returning to India was a conscious decision on my part, and if we hadn’t, well, I wouldn’t probably be writing. So I guess it all balances it out. Just need to find a way to shut those naysayers up 🙂
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  14. Tell me about it 🙂 And, ever got to hear the comments on a man refusing to marry? 🙂
    chsuresh63 recently posted…Child-likeMy Profile

  15. Love this post! For a change, it was an eye-opener to read about social prejudices against men. And I totally agree about the maids, they can be much more judgmental than the society’s residents. We need more men like you 🙂
    Sonali recently posted…The Haunting ExesMy Profile

    • Oh Sonali, thank you 🙂 Social prejudices against men exist as well, but of course women bear the brunt of it. As for the maids, yes I’ve learnt my lesson there. And for the last comment, for more men like me, we need more supportive wives/partners like mine. So here’s a virtual toast hoping that will happen soon 🙂
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  16. Sid,Though I have come across your comments on the blogs of some friends, this is the first time I have read your post. I must say that your style of writing is unique. The book, which you are writing is going to be a super hit !! As far as the remarks of ‘aam janta’ are concerned, they will always be there to amuse you. If you were not a ‘husband, working from home’ , the people will question you,” why did you come back from ‘abroad’? India mein kya rakha hai? and so.”
    Thank you R

  17. Menons129 aka R,
    Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m going to go with “good unique” rather than “different unique”. Though they could very well mean the same. As for the book being a hit, like they say “aap ke muh mein ghee shakkar”. It’s very true, for without the aam janta and their amusing quips, we wouldn’t have much to write about.
    It’s interesting that you say that. When I did announce to my far-relatives that we were planning to return to India, that’s the exact question they asked 🙂
    Thank you for taking the pains to go through my, well, drivel, for the lack of a better word.
    Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  18. haha! Sid!!!! Poor you! If you think your are alone, think again!!! I’ve been asked why I choose to write and be a reporter despite I have a degree in Economics where I could make hay under the sun. Lol! Guess, working from home hasn’t caught up on our ultra conservative society where work means 9-to-5 job in an air-conditioned office. Guess, you must tell them, I love switching roles with dear wife. Love this post:)
    vishalbheeroo recently posted…Mumbai Musing: Horns OK, Please!My Profile

    • Working from home is catching up. Working from home,every day isn’t. For the record, I do have an air conditioned room. Though being in Bangalore, I hardly have the need to use it. If it makes them feel better, I am more than happy to suit up and sit here 🙂 Thanks buddy. Appreciate your comments as always 🙂
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  19. I can tell you this much that my husband is gonna be real jealous of you 🙂 Am sure he’s always dreamed of something to do where he can be his own master (for the longest time I remember)

    Anyway, I don’t think pre conceived notions can be broken so easily but man, do keep at it! 🙂 Have fun!
    Kajal recently posted…Sufiana With A TwistMy Profile

    • Kajal, I know its not always possible to follow your heart. Circumstances can be a real pain at times. But if presented with the opportunity, it would be sad if we didn’t atleast give it a shot right?
      Thanks Kajal. Friends like you are my strength 🙂
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  20. well what can I say except admit in shame that we are a bunch of nosy people….We like to judge n meddle in someone else’s affairs not to mention we only accept engineering n medicine as worthy professions!!! wonder when we vl change !!
    nabanita recently posted…Fated…My Profile

    • Oh Nabanita, It’s ironic isn’t it. The one who shouldn’t feel shame, is admitting it. Whereas the others are holding their head high under the assumption that they know it all. Thank you for you heartfelt comment 🙂
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  21. Enjoyed reading the post, Sid. Very happy for you that you are pursuing what you want and living your dream. How many dads would be lucky to spend their time with the growing kid? Btw, one qn. This is just a thought, pls don’t take me wrong. To all those who ask you, what do you do? Why don’t you say that you work from home. I believe there are many people (men and women) who work from home, right? I am not sure if that is an uncommon scenario in India. And what many people don’t understand is WFH is a bigger challenge than doing the 9-5 job. I keep telling my husband, you stay at home for a month and then speak. Next time, you should give them more gossip and have fun about it…:D
    Rachna, thank you for introducing another blogger 🙂
    latha recently posted…Locks of love….My Profile

    • Latha,
      Thank you so much for those inspiring words. Interesting point you make there. I did start with I work from home. That’s the answer I used to give, till people started getting nosy. They went on to ask “But where? What?” etc. And I just be truthful about what I’m doing. Though people are quick to tag me as a house husband, I alway maintain that I’m a work-from-home-dad. Not a stay at home one. Big difference 🙂 Atleast according to me. It’s true. Getting work done from home is a big ask. I know, because I try my best and sometimes with deadlines around the corner, things can get funny 🙂 Thank you for stopping by
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  22. Sid, WE are all jealous of you now 🙂 Doesn’t matter that I am at home too but, still 🙂 You have written this post in great humor Sid but, I am sure it must have been irksome at the least! It takes courage to write about your misery of being the latest trending topic to a comic post. Thanks for sharing with us. You SHOULD chase your dreams. Great going. Also an appreciation for your wife here 🙂 Do convey.
    poornima recently posted…Marriage and WEMy Profile

    • Poornima, jealous of me? Lol. I am in awe of all you wonder-women and talented mommy bloggers who quite literally manage everything along with their writing. As for the humor part, I guess its essential to laugh off these little trysts with all the rather interesting people that we meet along this journey of life 🙂 As for chasing the dreams part. IT is on and I will be sure to let my wife feel honoured to read your lovely comments 🙂
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  23. Hmm…we live in a society where everyone has a perfectly clear idea of what we should be doing with our lives. An orthodox mind is unable to accept that a man can earn money from home, pursue his passion and take care of the kid. But then, if you start caring about such people you end up lending credence to their opinions.

    You should try beating up your wife, spend all day on sofa watching cricket matches to earn some brownie points 😀

    • That’s true. Not just do they have what they call, a “clear” idea, they try to impose it too. And of course when we don’t abide by their rules or take on their suggestions, disapproval is quick to follow.
      Love the sarcastic brownie point approach. But I guess its too late for me now 🙂 Our roles are reversed now , so I just hope my wife doesn’t beat me up. I kid of course. *asks the wife to politely back off since she’s busy peering over my shoulder* 🙂
      Sid recently posted…“So, What do you do?”My Profile

  24. Sid, thank you for this lovely post. Not only are you sharing personal experiences here but your post is an apt social commentary on how Indian society treats its men who do not follow the oft-tread path. I know because I have been through it. But like you pointed out, being a woman gives me the luxury of working professionally or not, not too many raised eyebrows there. Being a man, you have no choice. Though, the decision is between you and your spouse and family, the entire world discusses you and your ‘crazy’ choices in hushed tones even looks down upon you for living off your spouse. Some of them are brazen enough to tell you to the face as you pointed out courtesies be damned. And somewhere, we are not immune to this criticism. It hurts! Especially on the days when you are feeling low, when you see your peers leap ahead of you, or just when you are having a rough day, it may be difficult to tell yourself that this is so totally worth it. Yet, end of the day, it completely is worth it if that spot in your soul is warm and satisfied! I grappled and struggled giving up a cushy career and putting family ahead. I tried my hand at a few other career options that would allow me to keep my family as a priority. I failed miserably in some of them. I also knew when to admit that it wasn’t working out, yet that worm to work professionally never left me. Now when I look back, I feel immensely satisfied at having been completely hands on with both my kids. And, career, well it always finds a way of working out, as it did for me with writing. Somewhere along the road, you start shutting out the naysayers, developing a thick skin or giving it back in good measure (depending upon the mood). As long as it makes me happy, I will continue to write. Good luck with your aspirations and the book too!
    Rachna recently posted…“So, what do you do?”My Profile

    • Thank you Rachna. I hear every word you’ve said there loud and clear, and as you already know, it resonates with me. Fingers crossed that I’ll be able to make them swallow their words soon 🙂 Once again, thank you for this lovely opportunity and for introducing me to some amazing readers and fellow writers !

  25. Kudos to you Sid, for following your dream. Very few have the courage to do that!
    As for people and what they say, well, the only opinion that should matter is what you think about you!! So chill and go and chase your dreams and make them a reality! Cheers 🙂
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…How I WishedMy Profile

    • Thanks Shilpa. And welcome back 🙂 You’ve been missed. Chasing my dreams is what I’m doing, and I promise you wont have to queue up for my book when it eventually makes it to the shelf 🙂 You’ll have an autographed version. After all, I owe some thanks to staunch supporters of Harry’s hut 🙂
      Sid recently posted…Mr Murphy gives me a flight to rememberMy Profile

  26. Sid, Sid, Sid. I can very well understand how it feels to be judged by anyone and everyone because of the way men and women are supposed to be in our society: men at work and women at home. Never the other way round. I’m a full time working mother and my kids are admitted in a day boarding school from 9am to 5pm. People look at me with disgust as they feel I’m neglecting the kids. It irritates me more when family members who have been of no help (rather have only managed to add trouble to my life) in anything including raising the girls, pass baseless comments and judgement about my motherhood. One thing that I have learnt so far is the farther you stay from this so called society, the better it is for you. They can do nothing to help you but can help dump you in the darkest dungeons. Chill, have faith in yourself and keep writing.
    Rekha recently posted…Parenting: More Than Meets The EyeMy Profile

    • Rekha, It is indeed a very sad state of affairs. What I’ve ultimately learnt is that society will continue to judge, no matter what. If you don’t fit their stereotypical bill of “man, woman and family”, they will give you an earful. So, yes, why not use this as fodder and churn out posts and stories eh? AFter all, when life gives your lemons, make lemonade ! 😀
      Sid recently posted…Mr Murphy gives me a flight to rememberMy Profile

  27. I have always admired people who have managed to tread the unbeaten path to follow their dreams ! I LOLed all through your anecdotes about nosey relatives, neighbours and maids. But then you are doing what you want, spending so much time with your son and most important you can sit in your balcony have that lovely cup of tea whenever you want ! That’s what really matters doesn’t it !

    • Absolutely Ruch. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Thank you so much for reading my ramblings about society and the rest 🙂 Sometimes you just need to vent out and with supportive people such as yourself, who understand the plight, what better way eh? 🙂
      Sid recently posted…Mr Murphy gives me a flight to rememberMy Profile

  28. Well written. When it comes to women there are two groups. One rooted in past norms which believes that she has to stay at home to take care of kids. Another that believes that a woman who decides to stay at home is a waste. I can imagine the reactions you must be getting.
    jaishvats recently posted…Sibling Wonders!My Profile

  29. Sid, I think you are doing the job you were truly meant to do – writing. You are so good at it, you enjoy it, you get to spend time with your family, what more can one ask for? To all the people who ask and have asked you silly questions about your employment status, well, they seriously have no clue. I don’t know if ignorance is a mistake but it sure is irksome. I am a copywriter and people have asked me if I copy and write but since I am a woman, these people think it’s okay even if my job is about copying and writing. 😀 (Which I can’t always deny 😉 )

    Wonderful read! 🙂

    • Destiny’s child (love that name btw),
      Thank you so much. Why can’t people just be understanding and appreciative of what we want to do? I can understand if they are genuinely concerned about the well being part. But for most, it’s just them being meddlesome and wanting to give us their opinion, whether we asked for it or not 🙂 I’m glad you think that I can write. At least I”m not the only one who things that I kind of write okay 🙂 See you around
      Sid recently posted…Mr Murphy gives me a flight to rememberMy Profile

  30. Working-from-home moms and dads (and stay-at-home dads) are probably the most judged by society…maybe it’s because people resent the fact that you have the best of both worlds! 😀
    I’m glad you don’t let it get to you, but I can only imagine how tiring it must be to hear the judgmental comments over and over again!
    Roshni recently posted…Mother and Daughter RelationshipsMy Profile

    • Roshini, I agree. We do have the best of both worlds. And as hard as we try not to let us get to us, somedays, well, we need a rant. This post was the result of one such rant, which Rachna was kind enough to publish 🙂
      Sid recently posted…The RunnersMy Profile

  31. Sid thank you so much for writing this post. You have no idea how happy I am that someone like you came out in the open and readily accepted these disapproving looks and yes wrote about them too. I know we live in a world where feminism or sexism is always seen from one angle, the woman’s. Reading your post the integrated levels of discrimination rampant comes to light here. Don’t let this spirit die down ever. Rishi is one lucky son.
    richa singh recently posted…The Wind-up Bird Chronicle By Haruki Murakami – A reviewMy Profile

    • Richa, I am happy. Not just at having written the post, but also that lots of people have been supportive of my decision. I mean from the blog world ofcourse. The naysayers are aplenty and yes, sometimes its a decision that can back fire. But I am quietly optimistic. Of course I know you will buy my book, when and if it eventually comes out 🙂
      sid recently posted…The RunnersMy Profile

  32. Sid very well written and so different and light from my rant post on the same topic. It was heavy and bitter. I am glad you can see the lighter side of it. I also try to but mostly end up fuming :D. The questions never cease. They are endless and it doesn’t matter you are on which side. They never stop. Best is ofcourse to ignore and enjoy our cuppas. And when we can’t ignore we write 😉
    Sfurti recently posted…What Makes Our Home?My Profile

    • Sfruti 🙂 Thank you ! I’ve learnt that the hard way. No matter how hard we try to explain, they just dont want to know. And of course as you said, when we cant ignore, we write. After all the power of the keyboard is higher than their gossipy tongues 🙂
      Sid recently posted…Music and Lyrics – Part OneMy Profile

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