Friendship and Relating – the twin factors that make great relationships!

No one is inferior or superior. In a relationship, it is the relating which is important. Not who’s more powerful or articulate or successful.
The Airtel “Priya -Boss” Ad
A TV commercial for Airtel is making news in India for the wrong reasons. It shows a man taking orders from his boss, who is also his wife; while at the same time, she,  as his wife, offers to cook dinner and invites him to come home soon. The debate on social media is on, as one analysis on IBN Live argued, “whether the campaign enforces stereotypes, breaks established family roles, is a modern twist to same old misogynist propaganda or just neo-feminism riding on compromise.”
Watch the ad here

Honestly, I don’t see why there must be a debate in the first place. Why can’t a woman be a man’s boss at work while still offering to cook a meal for them at home? Why do we typecast people in specific roles – that a man should be the boss or should be the bread-winner or that a woman must primarily be a home-maker and not have a career of her own? When I got married, my wife used to earn a salary higher than I did – she worked in the computer education field while I was a journalist, earning a measly income that was determined by a government-regulated wage board! But this never really affected either of us. And then she gave up her flourishing career to stay back at home and help us raise a family. Again this decision never affected our love or respect for each other. I know a couple, both of whom have IIM-A degrees, where the wife is a high-flying software professional with India’s # 1 IT company, while the husband keeps the home and helps their young teenaged daughter cope with high school and now, recently, college. For years now, they both have kept these roles and continue to have a very happy marriage.
So, I don’t think a reversal of roles affects a marriage. Whatever be the role, as long as the friendship between two people is intact, they will continue to relate to each other. I, in fact, salute the Aritel commercial’s director, Vinil Mathew, for choosing to make such a sensitive film. To me, the ad celebrates friendship and relating. And these two are above everything else – even above the label of a “respectable relationship”. There’s no meaning in a relationship if people in it can’t relate to each other or enjoy each other’s companionship. What’s the point in strutting around trying hard to prove that everything’s normal, when nothing really is, to please a decadent society? It doesn’t matter who earns, who cooks, who does the dishes or who fetches the groceries – as long as the two people in the relationship continue to love each other and are willing to grow and evolve through Life – together!

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