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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
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Trivandrum Diary

Everyone wanted to lead a good life and they knew they could have it by working hard on their chosen professions.

Trivandrum Diary
Photograph by Apoorva Salkade
Trivandrum Diary
outlookindia.com
2016-04-29T21:01:33+05:30
Pleasantly Surprised

While on a brief visit to my home town (now called Thiruvananthapuram) in the midst of the sweltering summer, I could not help but notice the sweeping change in the attitudes of the ‘aam admi’ as well as the well-heeled. I was in the city to do a couple of repair jobs for my Laurie Baker-modelled house which I had ­recently inh­erited from my father. Built with no beams, the house stands tall even after 25 years. I was ready to face the electrician, the plumber, the carpenter and the cleaners along with their idiosyncrasies­—or so I thought. Surprising me, the electrician ­reported home at 8 am sharp, followed by the carpenter and the plumber, while their assistants waited for command. The rigour was almost military. Meanwhile, I was still in my nightclothes, sipping coffee. I had expected all of them to come to work leisurely, as was the case several years ago when my father used to fiercely oversee such things  and chase the shirkers. This time the work began with clockwork precision. The only break was lunch (an hour) and work ­resumed immediately after and went well ­beyond the stipulated hours. Not once did I have to ­resort to cajoling them.

Professio­nalism was here to stay, I realised, as the workers followed the strictness in the days that followed. The cleaning women, on the other hand, arrived after office-hours since this was a supplemental income for them. Neatly dressed in saris, they took on the task: washing, sweeping, scrubbing and ­removing the cobwebs with a vengeance. Soon enough, the house was squeaky clean. They bid me goodbye and requested me to take down their phone numbers so that I could call them on my next visit. The changes were...

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