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A woman who is her husband's boss at work but still cooks for him at home? New telecom ad stirs up Twitter outrage and wit

A wife who's the boss of her husband at work, a man who accepts that gracefully, a wife who still cooks for him.

Rituparna Chatterjee | IBNLive.comMasalaBai

Updated:July 28, 2014, 1:02 PM IST
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A woman who is her husband's boss at work but still cooks for him at home? New telecom ad stirs up Twitter outrage and wit
A wife who's the boss of her husband at work, a man who accepts that gracefully, a wife who still cooks for him.

A new advertisement for the telecommunication company Airtel has got many users on Twitter with their knickers in a bunch, debating 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.

A woman is shown firmly setting a work deadline to a man in the opening scene of the ad. He quietly proceeds to finish the job after a mild protest, working late into the night while the woman, presumably his boss, leaves for home. She proceeds to call up her husband - the man from the office - and coaxes him to come home - tempting him with a four course meal she cooks for him.

Watch the ad.

No sooner than the ad debuted on Twitter, it created its intended impact. While some passionately debated an underlying misogyny in showing a smart, beautiful, successful and clearly confident woman cooking for her man at home after almost as long a day at work as her husband, some users just wanted to have fun.

"That Airtel ad is a real nightmare. Same reporting manager at office and home. You can't lie anywhere!" joked standup comic Amit Tandon. Haha.

If a strong, career-driven woman chooses to don a feminine T-shirt and a comfortable pair of shorts, roll up her sleeves and whip up pasta and soup after officiating board meetings all day - is her choice driven by duty, compulsion and living conventional roles or sheer practical convenience (the husband isn't home, but she is and dinner has to be made) and warmth (because she wants to not because she has to)? Shouldn't the choice be hers?

But mostly the ad works because it forces people to debate and challenge conventional patriarchy, which is always a good thing in a country where many thousands of women do not have basic rights and control over their own lives and lifestyles.

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