Think Sunday! You’ll most probably imagine waking up late or lazing around until afternoon. Most of us have similar memories of a Sunday. So did I until I became a mom and a homemaker. Because now, Sunday was a day that I had to fight for to get my share of rest and some ‘me-time’. Being a working mother, I too looked forward to this day as the rest of my family. It was when I could relax and didn’t have to run around doing errands like a did the rest of the week. Yet, I believe my situation was still better in comparison to my older siblings who were homemakers. They went about their mommy and wifey-duties like a clock-work even on a Sunday. And for good reason. For them, Sunday was the day to put everything in order for the upcoming week. Uniforms washed. Vegetables cleaned. And yes, despite ‘demanding’ a Sunday for myself, I’d ended up doing the same too. All these chores hardly left me with any time for myself. And this, after all the modern gadgets I had at my disposal to help me sort my time – washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, etc.
This set me thinking – how did my mom manage her Sunday in a time and age where all these electronic gadgets were unavailable? Did she even spend a Sunday the way we did as kids? Sundays for us meant waking up all by ourselves (mommy had to wake us up for school) to catch our favorite Sunday cartoon on the only national channel available at that time – Doordarshan! After that, we would wait for mom to announce our favorite breakfast. She would make something special every Sunday other than the 6-times-a-week chapathi. It would be idli-vada, dosa, or some special mutton gravy to go with buttered naans. Yes, Sunday breakfasts were nothing less than a treat. We lived in a joint family. This meant that whatever was cooked had to be done for 20 other members of the extended family. Of course, my mom did not have the modern gadgets like microwaves to help her. She had to serve breakfast which had to be quick and hot too. Except for one of my aunt’s (my dad’s brother’s wife), my mother practically had no helping hand. Both the ladies got along well too.
If Sunday breakfast looked like this, lunch wasn’t far behind. She made our favorite khichdi with kababs or even biryani. She’d slog until evening only to see us happy and content after eating the biryani. In the meantime though, she would have given us dedicated tasks for the day. I was often given the job of rearranging our cupboards. My older siblings had to wash our uniforms and socks, dry them in the sun, and take them off the clothesline in the evening.
My mom’s dedication and organizational skills weren’t limited only to our family. There were times when guests would drop in randomly, unannounced (we didn’t have mobile phones then). And even if it was too late in the night, my mom would still whip up a lip-smacking dish that never failed to earn the praises of the guests. And if they suddenly wished to stay back, she’d make necessary arrangements for sleeping in. Yet, nothing would go off the track on Mondays. After the entire family would go to bed, she would stand in the corner of the room ironing the uniforms. So, when she woke us up early in the morning the next day, things would already be in place.
Now that I look back, I wonder if mom ever thought of taking that one Sunday off for herself. If she ever wanted to spend some ‘me-time’ on a particular Sunday. I wish I could have been more helpful to her as a kid so she could have had her Sunday too. Because now, I don’t know where was my mother’s Sunday!