Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dignity of Labour

The guest was about to arrive..one of grandpa's close friends....every thing was in order, right from the delicious food that was making every ones mouth water with it's unique aroma...yeh..unique is the word...though grandma was an excellent cook, it was always something special for the guests!!
Irshad's hotel, another trade mark in my list of memories, was an important part of the occasion as well, since a huge container of wheat dough was sent to him to be converted into piping hot naans (bread)....right out of the tandoor (a clay oven)....it was a treat to watch the naan, going into the tandoor and coming out well cushioned and full of tender aroma that reached every corner of the muhallah (neighbourhood).
All the kids in the house were super excited. Nana as usual was in his calm and composed state, going about his daily routine as was well expected from him....
Everything was in order.... when all of a sudden the phone rang....it was the guest on the other side of the line....my uncle took on the job to explain the route to him.."ya, you take a right and then a left..no no not there, yes exactly...do one thing, just call me up when you reach the main road, I'll send a servant to help you reach here..."
That was it!!!Nana peeped out of his room...."whose servant are you talking about?"
Uncle got a little unnerved, but he poured out an answer carefully..."our servants bhaijaan" (all his children use to call him bhaijaan, which actually means an elder brother, but since they had taken to addressing him that way...the word remained the same..feelings counted as they usually do)
No one is a servant in this house!!!!!Nana shouted out.....they are not your slaves!!! They are here to help us with the work we find difficult to do...address them by their name! Just because they are doing a job which you do not consider up to your standards, doesn't give you the right to degrade the person doing it! Don't you believe in dignity of labour!
Uncle was a bit embarrassed but got the message instantly.....so did I.

People call their helpers, Ayah, Bua..servant e.t.c...they too have a name and should be addressed with it...it makes them feel happy and gives them a sense of identity.
No one likes to wash someone else's dirty clothes or utensils, but life has a different story for each one of us...it's just that we should be respectful towards the less privileged, they deserve it...after all as nana put it...."they do what we find difficult to do."


  1. I always like to address people by their name...it sounds so sweet to the ears when addressed by name. And yes just because they do some not white collared jobs does not mean we address them differently...your NANA is really great

  2. My admiration for your grandpa goes up further high having heard from you of his many good qualities.Thanks for the strong message contained in the post

  3. Great post...:)
    I bow down to your NANA..
    May he be blessed and his blessings be wth all of us..:)
    He's really a great man..



  4. your nana is man of substance... i find him a very ideal person... really, the lesson you have tried to portray through this post is really a noble thought and your writing is really commendable... take care...

  5. What a noble man your nana is. The present tense here, is deliberate because people like him are immortal. And your narration, as always, kept me hooked.

  6. While reading, i could get the smell of the nan
    being baked.. :)

    you have been lucky to have such GREAT elders, to teach you a lot of virtues since childhood.. thats one thing that alwys shines bright..

    i loved those words in the last line!

  7. I remembered an instance in our neighbourhood long ago. The Bai there once complained about the undergarments she had to wash asking if they could just do some minimum cleaning before putting it to wash. Giving undregarments to wash is itself demeaning and this family had been doing it!. Then they called in the police constable, a friend of theirs and this poor woman was given threats and few slaps for being arrogant to her employer. I never understood how those people behaved the way they did.

    Your nana being so understanding in that age is applauded. Few were so well meaning to the disadvantaged then.

  8. I love to smell bread baking or anything else with pleasant aromas. I don't think I would like to have crossed your nana, ha, ha, she sounds like a very nice person. Thank you for coming by.

  9. Yes Lakshi, Addressing ppl by their name is a great thing to do..it feels good :)

    Thanks Gp :)

    Yes Nipun, he truely was great man.

    Thanks Jayant :)

    Same goes for your dear Veena..your narration is truely amazing...Im waiting for the next post, been a long time :)

    Ya Sindhu it's very interesting to watch the naan being backed :)

    KK thanks for sharing the incident...its indeed painful for ppl to do such things...sans shame!!I dont know where they sell their etiquettes...atleast they can do this much...
    it all depends on the way youve been brought up.

    :)Thanks Margaret youre an excellent human being as well..very inspirational:)

  10. Great Post!! Great words.. They make our life easier.. and things we find it difficult they make it easy..

  11. Wonderful story !!!!
    Touching words .....
    Thanks for sharing it with us :)

  12. YEs this is very true, This reminded me of something , I was from city, spoilt went to my vilalge and called the land help Oye and I got a slap from my NAna ji I wont forget ever in my life..

    his words were the WHEAT you get in your house in the city is harvested by him, sown by him.. and his name is MAJOR SINGH...

    your Nana said the right thing...

  13. Hey Bikram, welcome to the blog,yes, ceratin lessons in life are for keeps, they help us towards a beautiful life :)

  14. This is so prevalent among the highly educated and highly cultured, I don't know what sort of education the parents impart on their children when a 5-6 yr kid call their 50 yr old driver just by "driver" and not even an uncle!!

  15. Mustaf, I think people just go by how society functions, but values should be kept in the forefront..it helps..

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  18. Hii Sana, your nana is a great man, who values the other person and his/her work. It shows that he strongly believes in "koi bhi kaam chotta bada nahi hota.." gave me a nice lesson.