We want to donate a thousand rupees once in five years to some NGO for spread of education amongst the poor. The poor are the ones we want to eradicate. Illiteracy is something we want to defeat and see a new and strong India. Well arent we a bunch of ****ing hypocrites. We cannot even let a poor gardener sit on our sofa. We cannot even call them our employees, we prefer to call them servants. Its strange when you actually hire someone to do your accounts or contracter to build your new home you would not dream of calling that person your ‘servant’
I was reading this interesting book “White Tiger” by Arvinda Adiga. It was about this man supposedly from UP who works as a Driver at a rich mans house in Delhi. I wont talk about the book, please read it because its excellent. But it did get me thinking about this word that was atleast as far as I recollect not used in the book at all but so brilliantly described.
The word was obeisance. If you Wiki the damn word it takes you to a article on the word ‘Salute’. Suggesting obeisance is another word for Salute. But thats actually far from the truth if you read further down the article. A Salute means showing respect. Obeisance is a “gesture not only of respect but also of submission”
Now I wonder why is it so prevalent in our culture. Have you noticed a rickshaw driver or a plumber with his head held high? If you have chances are we think the person has a attitude problem. Especially if this person is working in your house or under your employment. Have you ever felt a person who does menial work is not allowed to sit on the sofas of your house. But the same rule wont apply to your Chartered Accountant who is also someone whose working for you.
In India we (I am presuming that the ones who read this blog are in the upper middle class income bracket) we always act benevolent towards the poor and show them pity. We mock them by saying our hearts go out to them. We feel that we can feel their pain because the poor souls have not got an oppurtunity to the education that we got.
It is not that everyone is ‘in’ on the trick. We dont obviously want to be such pricks now do we ?
But I guess the reason is we have grown up with the culture of expected people poorer than us to look at us with a sense of obeisance. I think its a crime to accept the idea of obeisance. Next time you are in a rickshaw and the driver is cranky, remind your self its his damn rickshaw and he is probably having a bad day. He also has the right to be pissed off at the world like you do on your monday morning blues. Next time you see your kaamwali bai a little grumpy remember how you were grumpy when your increment was upto the mark. And lastly but not the least when they quit your job dont get all wound up on the “loyalty factor” and ask yourself, havent your ever changed your job and looked for a change ?? !!
Or maybe I am getting it all wrong. Is it that being pissed off, being grumpy and looking for change is the perogative of only the well to do ?