Coronavirus lockdown: How Pune's working couples are sharing household chores and making it fun

Anjali Jhangiani
Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Divide and do: Gone are the days when doing housework was below the dignity of a man.

While most of you are working from home, you are also doing all the cooking and cleaning because your domestic help is away. If it was a day or two, you could manage by just ignoring the housework, but there’s no way you can leave the dishes to pile up in the sink or leave your dirty laundry unattended during this lengthy lockdown.

Though it can be too much to complete tasks on your computer and make sure that your home does not become a total mess, the best thing to do is divide the chores among yourselves so that nobody ends up with too much to handle.

Gone are the days when doing housework was below the dignity of a man. In today’s age of equality, even house chores need to be equally divided. Girija Sowane, an IT professional, says, “My husband and I are taking turns doing the housework-  one day I do the dishes and put the clothes out to dry from the washing machine while he mops the floor, the next day, we swap our chores.”

She adds, “Both of us work in the same organisation and because of the lockdown we have to work the same shift from 12 noon to 9 pm. We can take an hour-long break in between. Both of us are quarantined in the house together, so both of us need to do all the work. Although I cook our meals, he cleans the kitchen after I’m done.”

Suhail Ahmed, a BPO professional, talks about how he and his wife Namira try to add some fun to their chores. “We do all the housework that needs to be done at the start of the day before we log in to work. My wife is an HR personnel, so she’s very good at getting work done by me,”  he quips.

He says that they put on their favourite music while getting busy with chores. “I actually don’t mind doing the dishes. I enjoy it. My wife vacuums the house, and we cook together before we log in. We’ve been cooking only once a day that works for lunch and dinner. For breakfast, we eat cereal or fruit. Now that schools are shut, our six-year-old is home. But even he is doing his part and keeping away his toys after playtime is over.”

Gaurav Seth, who works in advertising, says that he and his wife have been dividing chores among themselves ever since they were living together, ten years ago. 

“I always make our bed when we wake up in the morning, and she goes to freshen up. I think that’s one of the reasons I managed to get her to marry me,” he jokes. “It’s necessary to do your own work at home just like you do in the office. You cannot say that you don’t know how to wash the dishes or sweep the floor, that’s no excuse. You cannot say you’re grandfathered in to not doing house chores. With women going out and working and earning, you cannot burden them with all the household responsibilities.”

“My wife brings home as much salary as I do, so it’s only fair that we share the household responsibilities too,” says Seth, adding, “You can turn your chores into a workout routine. I saw a video on social media about it and tried it out too. We don’t have a washing machine, so I volunteered to wash the clothes and did a few sets of squats while at it.”

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