Staying afloat

Confessions of a SINK: single income, no kids (and not sure I want any yet)

Guilt is never far from the ticking of the biological clock.

I am officially a SINK. The DINK, the sparkling creature of the 1990s, with its Double Income, No Kids, is so  passé. I am Single Income, No Kids. It is not that I have a problem with my biological clock anymore – I mean I was writing about the wretched thing as a slightly over-intense 25-year-old, groaning and moaning to the universe how I could not stand it, but did not have the fortitude to smash the damn thing to smithereens. Ah, youth.

Now I know what the clock is actually all about. It is a giant guilt trip. It sits there quietly, waiting for me to start thinking babies (and some days, those thoughts are coming out the wazoo). Let me put it this way, I am now on my second round of friends popping babies like it is going out of style.

Work-life balance

I have nothing really to complain about. I do not think I am the cliche that is a “woman who put her career first” or anything of the sort. But I make no bones about the fact that I have to earn a living. I know no other way of being.

I put as much emphasis on my personal life as on my career – it is just that throughout my 20s at least, the latter seemed much more stable. You could argue – even in 21st century India – that as a SINK, I am an anomaly, but I am hardly alone. At one point, of course I did try to clarify to my mother (as friends were doing everywhere, I am sure) that it is not like that we were going out of our way to not find Mr Right and plan the happily ever after.

But now, I find there is a bittersweet note creeping in, unbidden. I mean I do want children, don’t I? Most days, I think I do. Then I think of my track record with potted plants (spotty), pets (non-existent), and I look around, and see how exhausted new parents actually seem. Don't get me wrong: I am overjoyed for my friends with kids. But I am also very, very sympathetic when it comes to the indignities they have to suffer – lack of sleep being the least of it.

I hear them when they talk about the guilt they feel when they have to sneak out of the house to get to work, guilt when they just want a half-hour to themselves, guilt that they will miss the “first” moments (steps, words, etc.) and overarching guilt that they are not pulling their weight at work. How much do we internalise social conditioning, you ask?

The other side

Well, let me tell you the flip side. I feel inadequate sometimes. I feel selfish, when I think about how I need minimum eight hours of sleep to not be a Grinch, how I do not cook when I do not feel like, how I am privileged to live life mostly on my own terms, to deal with what I want to deal with. A lot of this guilt is conditioning. If you are single past a certain age (try on your early 30s for size), people presume so many things about you – that you are dysfunctional or self-centred, or just not trying hard enough.

It is not like it is easier for the DINKS. The insensitive questions range from "Are you shooting blanks?" to "Do you have some medical problem?" In which world are these acceptable questions?

I know logically, I am not beholden to anyone. I do not need to justify myself. And when that slight panic sets in at the thought of my eggs dying, I know there will be options ‒ when the time comes. The rational part of my brain should just shut down that god-awful ticking.

Read Amrita Tripathi's mother's response to these confessions here.

Amrita Tripathi (@amritat) is a writer and owner of an indestructible biological clock. Her new novel The Sibius Knot is forthcoming from HarperCollins India in December.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

What’s the difference between ‘a’ washing machine and a ‘great’ washing machine?

The right machine can save water, power consumption, time, energy and your clothes from damage.

In 2010, Hans Rosling, a Swedish statistician, convinced a room full of people that the washing machine was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution. In the TED talk delivered by him, he illuminates how the washing machine freed women from doing hours of labour intensive laundry, giving them the time to read books and eventually join the labour force. Rosling’s argument rings true even today as it is difficult to deny the significance of the washing machine in our everyday lives.

For many households, buying a washing machine is a sizable investment. Oddly, buyers underestimate the importance of the decision-making process while buying one and don’t research the purchase as much as they would for a television or refrigerator. Most buyers limit their buying criteria to type, size and price of the washing machine.

Visible technological advancements can be seen all around us, making it fair to expect a lot more from household appliances, especially washing machines. Here are a few features to expect and look out for before investing in a washing machine:

Cover your basics

Do you wash your towels every day? How frequently do you do your laundry? Are you okay with a bit of manual intervention during the wash cycle? These questions will help filter the basic type of washing machine you need. The semi-automatics require manual intervention to move clothes from the washing tub to the drying tub and are priced lower than a fully-automatic. A fully-automatic comes in two types: front load and top load. Front loading machines use less water by rotating the inner drum and using gravity to move the clothes through water.

Size matters

The size or the capacity of the machine is directly proportional to the consumption of electricity. The right machine capacity depends on the daily requirement of the household. For instance, for couples or individuals, a 6kg capacity would be adequate whereas a family of four might need an 8 kg or bigger capacity for their laundry needs. This is an important factor to consider since the wrong decision can consume an unnecessary amount of electricity.

Machine intelligence that helps save time

In situations when time works against you and your laundry, features of a well-designed washing machine can come to rescue. There are programmes for urgent laundry needs that provide clean laundry in a super quick 15 to 30 minutes’ cycle; a time delay feature that can assist you to start the laundry at a desired time etc. Many of these features dispel the notion that longer wash cycles mean cleaner clothes. In fact, some washing machines come with pre-activated wash cycles that offer shortest wash cycles across all programmes without compromising on cleanliness.

The green quotient

Despite the conveniences washing machines offer, many of them also consume a substantial amount of electricity and water. By paying close attention to performance features, it’s possible to find washing machines that use less water and energy. For example, there are machines which can adjust the levels of water used based on the size of the load. The reduced water usage, in turn, helps reduce the usage of electricity. Further, machines that promise a silent, no-vibration wash don’t just reduce noise – they are also more efficient as they are designed to work with less friction, thus reducing the energy consumed.

Customisable washing modes

Crushed dresses, out-of-shape shirts and shrunken sweaters are stuff of laundry nightmares. Most of us would rather take out the time to hand wash our expensive items of clothing rather than trusting the washing machine. To get the dirt out of clothes, washing machines use speed to first agitate the clothes and spin the water out of them, a process that takes a toll on the fabric. Fortunately, advanced machines come equipped with washing modes that control speed and water temperature depending on the fabric. While jeans and towels can endure a high-speed tumble and spin action, delicate fabrics like silk need a gentler wash at low speeds. Some machines also have a monsoon mode. This is an India specific mode that gives clothes a hot rinse and spin to reduce drying time during monsoons. A super clean mode will use hot water to clean the clothes deeply.

Washing machines have come a long way, from a wooden drum powered by motor to high-tech machines that come equipped with automatic washing modes. Bosch washing machines include all the above-mentioned features and provide damage free laundry in an energy efficient way. With 32 different washing modes, Bosch washing machines can create custom wash cycles for different types of laundry, be it lightly soiled linens, or stained woollens. The ActiveWater feature in Bosch washing machines senses the laundry load and optimises the usage of water and electricity. Its EcoSilentDrive motor draws energy from a permanent magnet, thereby saving energy and giving a silent wash. The fear of expensive clothes being wringed to shapelessness in a washing machine is a common one. The video below explains how Bosch’s unique VarioDrumTM technology achieves damage free laundry.

Play

To start your search for the perfect washing machine, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Bosch and not by the Scroll editorial team.