God forbid if the maasi falls sick or is on leave for one day, the lady of the house spends the whole day hurling profanities at the absent maasi. At the end of the day, firing the maasi in the morning is all she can think about besides complaining to the husband how tired she is.
Unlike their well-to-do counterparts who spend their days schmoozing and brunching, the middle class housewives instead of doing something productive, meaningful with their time like taking proper care of the children, prefer to spend the time gossiping, shopping, watching morning shows, Star Plus and the numerous soap operas on different private channels.
A study by Anjum Zia (2004) concluded that entertainment was the primary purpose of viewing cable television and 70 percent female cable viewers were interested in watching only two kinds of programmes: films and dramas. Only 17.3 percent of women used cable television for information and awareness purpose. When mommy doesn’t have the time—ooops sorry! — can’t tear herself from the idiot box, what are the kids supposed to do? Play in the streets of course. It is really sad to see children, some who cannot even walk properly, let out on the streets so that mommy dear can rest and watch TV. It is only towards evening, the time when the husband is supposed to be home, that these women starts looking for their child who did not turn up even after sunset. This is the time the family runs from pillar to post to find the child.
Then comes the crackle of the mosque’s loudspeaker, giving details of the missing child. The missing cases of toddlers are extremely heart-wrenching and would make one want to question humanity. Everyone seems to sympathise with the poor mother. No one bothers to hammer some sense into her for her carelessness.
A child comes to the world as a consequence of the mother deciding to keep the baby. And when she makes a choice of bringing her baby to the planet, she should also stand by her decision and take responsibilities attached to them. How is it that a child just goes missing from a house, or from out of the street? Guilty or not, a parent is responsible for a child, especially as small as the missing children.
Respect for the sunburnt woman working in the fields with a baby on her back grows by leaps and bounds while looking at the values these women have. Even urban working mothers spend quality time with their children. A stay-at-home mum may be there physically, she may also have her mind on other things and not actually provide her child/children with the same attention as a working mother who makes the most of the limited time she has. Every child deserves to feel safe and secure, and not be left wondering in the streets if his/her parents, especially mother, does not have the time for them. Mothers are responsible for the safety and welfare of their children and therefore they should be blamed completely if their child goes missing.