The mason is also an artist


“A friend of mine married her driver… Hey! What’s wrong with that? Drivers are humans too!”

Indians, in general seem to segregate people into two categories. Those in desk and white collar jobs are considered elite. Labour and blue collar is somehow substandard. And people are given very low wages for performing these tasks.

Professionals and consultants bill their clients by the thousands for every hour. Why can’t skilled workers also be called professionals?

The other day, a mason who was fixing a crack on our wall said, “I believe in doing a good job. If you are satisfied with the quality of my work, you are likely to recommend my services to others.”

This mason took pride in his job. He didn’t go to a business school to learn about customer satisfaction and the difference between good marketing and cold selling. His charges were slightly higher than ‘normal’. We didn’t negotiate – much. After all, why shouldn’t he be allowed to?

I am certain that there is scope for individuals to charge a premium for a job well done. In other countries, a construction worker can lead a decent life — and by decent, I mean socially, not just financially. Isn’t it time we start imbibing those values in our society?


nanopoblano2015lightThis is post #15 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

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Published by

kasturika

Stories, places, hobbies, musings, maybe the odd poem... Hopefully, all these seemingly random pieces will fit together one day to reveal the grand mosaic that the cosmic universe has planned for me.

4 thoughts on “The mason is also an artist”

  1. I don’t think Indians are unique in their snobbish attitude towards people with less formal education, especially when it involves a woman marrying ‘down’ the educational scale. Since the 90s Australian universities have been turning out more female than male graduates and that snobbishness has now resulted in a large contingent of female professionals approaching a lonely middle-age.

    What surprised me about India was the weird linking of feminine beauty to skin colour. I spent a lot of my time breathless at being surrounded by stunning South Asian women only to be shocked when Indian men remarked that some of them were ugly because their skin was insufficiently ‘wheaten’. Even the most racist Australian men still recognise the beauty of the dark-skinned women they dehumanise but Indian men seem unable to see dusky beauty even in their own families.

    1. You’re absolutely right. Shockingly, skin lightening products are sold and advertised openly. And it doesn’t help that every movie across India seems to have very white actors (artificially lightened).

      For the sake of my own mental peace, I won’t even get started on the rules for marriage.

  2. Its good to be proud of our job.

    Regarding marrying a driver , Kasturika good luck to your friend. Call me prudish but such marriages come with their own set of complications. Its not just the financial difference but intellectual, social and cultural difference that make the thing difficult. Personal complexes that arise just add fuel to the fire.

    Vese I am not the right person to comment about it as I am someone who does not believe too much in love but more in understanding and respect.

    1. 🙂 well, I don’t know much about either of them or that marriage. My own reaction was that of amazement. How could she possibly do that? But then it really goes to show the stereotypes we have in our heads about certain professions that we’re trapped in a circle. Our prejudices will ensure that society’s hierarchy remains. Things may be changing, perhaps. Very recently an Ola cab driver told me he’d left a comfortable job overseas and decided to become a cabbie to stay with his ailing father. He looked every bit corporate, and earned twice as much as I did, working for less than half the number of hours as me! Ouch!

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