Sunday, July 29, 2012

"Common people read and write the book, uncommon people are being read in the book"

Satyamev Jayate is now over. Politicians and other corrupt officers can breathe easily now, I suppose. All the topics, ranging from female foeticide to "love", were very heart touching. Though Aamir Khan didn't touch every aspect of every problem, but then whatever he did, people only think of doing so. He brought "nationalist" feeling of a citizen into action. Obviously, Indians are born cynical.
Psychologically speaking, we tend to use "halo effect" for people who do good. Halo effect is when you tend to generalise a person's whole personality by one favourable or unfavourable trait he possesses. We Indians choose to take the latter into account when it comes to judging people who have tried their best to do something good. They say- "Aamir Khan is doing good things for the society, it is true. But then why take 3 crore for a show? Ye to samaajseva ki commercialisation huyi na boss."
I really don't give a damn to comments which are not profitable to me, or my surroundings, which are only for the soothing of one's inflated ego.

Though Aamir touched almost each kind of problem, I have one problem which I will like to discuss with the medium and source I am bound to- blogging. In a psychology class, we were talking something about confidantes and relationship with maid servants ( euphemistically called "help"). Many people came up with many stories- like my help is working in my house since 15 yrs, my help's daughter's education is funded by my family. Some like me, who always tend to look at the negative first and seldom jump to positive, told about incidences like the maid wanted the girl of the house to turn 16 so that she can kidnap her, use her for wrong purposes and ask for ransom even though she worked there for almost 10 years. Then some people talked about harassment of the help. This is where I thought, that harassment of the help is something which our families, we ourselves have done in some or other way, even if not in a very large scale.

My grandparents, and some of my friend's grandparents, or even parents( not mine here) are one of those people who tend to
1. Go behind the help when she is sweeping the floor, and tend to find fault in
2. Tell her not to take holidays because guests have come and the chores are doubled.
3. Tell her that she does not clean the utensils properly and has left some "VIM" in the plate itself, and the child of the house will "DIE" if he eats in the utensil.
4. Often some people tend to do a "reality check" with maids. They "knowingly" drop a gold chain in the corner of the house, and after the maid has done cleaning, they will go there when she is not looking to check if the chain is there or not. If it is still there, let it be there; let her come and give it to me. If it is not there, the maid's sacked.
5. Tell her to clean properly by bending properly.

I have often landed into fights with my grandparents. My maid servant is, what 65 yr old? I really feel ashamed that she is still working. Okay, it is not that she is just working in my house, it is her source of income and we pay her well, but then when you know she is also "human" and like us, even she is ageing, our generosity towards her should increase consequently. It is not really that we tend to leave the whole house vacant for her when we are out, but then at least we should be humane enough to respect her age.
Some people tend to tell that she is not doing this, not doing that, or tell her on her face itself. My question to them- If I tell you to sweep, clean, wash etc for 10 houses continuously, will they do it? And that too with immense, dot perfection?
Some incorrigible people do not take this as a rhetoric and answer back- "It is there picchle janam ka paap they are washing away ( they are washing away their last life's sins).  My father had a great answer to this- Is janam me to aap paap kar rahe ho uske saath bekar vyavahar karke,  agle janam me aapka bhi achcha hisaab hoga. ( In this life YOU are committing sins by behaving rudely towards a person who is indispensable part of your household, in your next life your sins will be accounted for.")

Conclusion- Maid servants, whatever their behaviour, gender, age is- are always people who are to be respected. We should know that by keeping a maid we are encouraging modern slavery, so atleast while committing one mistake, we should not commit another. Give them their space, assert your authority to an extent that it does not become inhumane. And when you know that they are not able to do things properly because of their increasing illness, either fund their treatment, or let them go.

Another thing, though thoroughly unrelated to this, is our view towards the disabled. The word "handicapped" was used before, which is now banned because it was a derogatory word, and was derived from "cap in hand"i.e beggars who have bodily disadvantages. But then even though the etymology is banned, our views about them almost remain the same; be it locomotor, visual, auditory or psychological, we tend to look down upon them as if they are inferior beings and not human at all. I often tend to think that what difference remains between our treatment towards an animal, which is perpetually bad, and our treatment towards humans, who have some problems or who are not financially stable ( maids, like I said.)

People now tend to show themselves  as socially forward by giving them names "differently abled" or "Specially abled". Even these words, according to me, are pitiful remarks to the people. They are not victims, neither they demand pity. They just need the same respect, treatment we give to people who have everything intact ( and still of no use).

I went for a case study to a school for Autistic and Dyslexic. I saw kids and interacted with them. I had to choose one among them and talk to his teacher about his abilities, past condition, present state and his specialty. I was astound when I heard about his amazing abilities- he is amazing in drawing, dancing, judo, karate and he can sing. And me? I can just write about them.

As they say- "Common people read and write the book, uncommon people are being read in the book."

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