‘Mummy, why can’t I play? Rahul bhaiya is out whole day playing cricket, I want to go out too!’ Munni pulled a face, hating the chores that her mother gave for the day. It was her usual routine followed regularly, to help her mother, with the latter putting out a list of things to do for the day - including, washing her brother's dirty laundry.

‘Don’t be silly. He is a boy. Besides, who will marry you, if you don’t know household chores? It’s a women’s duty to look after the house.’ Her mother replied.

‘You always say that, Mummy. Who will marry Rahul bhaiyya if he doesn’t know household chores? Why he gets to play all the time? Why he never does any work in the house. Why it has to be always me?’ Munni argued.

Her mother looked at her, surprised at her daughter’s sudden outburst. But Munni wasn’t stopping. Once started, emotions were flowing out.
‘If you say the same things that you’ve been telling me to Rahul bhaiyya as well, don’t you think this mentality will change – that, only girls should do the household work, while boys can live like maharajas – play all the time, come and go when they wish?

‘But beti..this has always been the rule…’

‘What rule, Mummy? Who make the rules? Your mother ( Granny ) must’ve taught you the same things that you are trying to teach me now. And her mother, prior to that. And then, when it continues for generations, it becomes a rule. What if you changed that, mother? Change that rule! Why must we be blindly following whatever that has been taught to us from generations? Maybe, in future, I’ll also have to teach the same to my children too. But, I do not want that mother. I don’t want boys to get all the advantages compared to girls. I want girls to do what boys do i.e play, have fun, study further; and expect the boys to do what girls do too ie. wash clothes, cook etc. If you teach that from now only, Rahul bhaiyya won’t take everything for granted like he currently does. He'll #ShareTheLoad!

Munni’s mother could only look at her daughter. She was quite at a loss for words. She had never really thought of things that way. Her young daughter was teaching her something new, something revolutionary. And she was so true as well. Only if such things are taught right at childhood, would those values stay on forever and bring about real change in the overall society. Every family needed a Munni. She had given her enough food-for-thought that day.

That evening when Rahul came home, after playing cricket, and threw the dirty clothes in the bathroom carelessly, Rahul's mother peeked into his room and said sternly, ‘You’ll wash your own clothes from now on.’ Rules had changed...
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( Images - BA )
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