One Saturday, morning my friend Padma tweeted “Eradu dina raja ningolle maza “. That means I have two holidays together and I would be enjoying it (in Kannada a south Indian language). I was also thinking so. But a little later my son was asking for his full sleeve shirt and pyjamas as wheather was turning cold.
When he went to bed with little fever, I was forced to go for getting warm clothes from the bed storage, a facility all north Indians used to have in a small flat where additional storage is rarely available. At Delhi we have to maintain two different sets of clothes one for summer and one for winter unlike in Bangalore where we can wear the same clothes all over the year with little extra warm clothes. We had to maintain two wardrobes here. So, clothes are stored in this extra storage box available below the bed. We had a queen sized bed which had boxes side by side with four shutters. Lifting each bed to access the storage is quite a good exercise. Finally I had all the warm woolen clothes out and after an hour effort; I had all the clothes drying in the mild sun light. The sun shine will become more dull as winter proceeds so it is necessary to take out the warm clothes even before the beginning of winter. So my holiday ended with this tiresome job.
This was usually done in leisure, but this season I was quite busy getting our house painted taking leave from office. Generally here people get their house painted just before Deepavali /Deewali. People welcome Goddess laxmi with a well cleaned house. A ritual we have also adopted after coming to Delhi. We used to clean every nook and corner of our house. But this time as we had painting got done, our whole house have itself cleansed.
We all argued about what to throw and what to keep. All members were preferred to keep their things and advising other to throw the things arguing it was useless. Finally we reduced the clutter by ten percent.
The painting had took almost fifteen days. Actually I had forgotten the previous experience of painting as at that time we had left the house in the hands of painters and had been to vacation in our native place. Bangalore. By the time we returned the house was painted beautifully except there were few tiles broken all over bathroom.
However this time the painting contractor, a young man Roshan supporting his father’s company assured that he will engage his own men for relocating the furniture and arranging them back.
The first room was quite empty with little furniture and they finished it within two days. The other room was filled with all sort of books of children, sport and games gadgets and what not! I had to struggle to take out all delicate things put in to cartoon boxes and shifting out of the room. Next I emptied the kitchen, quite tiresome job. But the work did not end to that they started water proof, plastering etc and let the plastering to dry. I shifted all things back to kitchen. This repeated another few times once for painting, once for polishing, once for cleaning and so on.
Finally, the whole process became so tiresome to me. Everywhere we had furniture, clothes, books and what not! Even though the painters were very polite and helpful did not lessened my work.
The whole team of five workers including the young leader was working very hard. They never bothered to sit or relax or talk any issues. Two of the workers who were taking care of plastering were never bothered to take even lunch. Standing on the ladder they were throwing cement and leveling lifting their arms hours together. I was wondering won’t their arms pain due to such hardship. Even Roshan used to do the work of POP, painting polishing and what not! For his young age he was very cool and solving the problems arising throughout with his experience.
In the last two days they started cleaning the floors. One young boy was taken care of this work. As advised by the contractor, he was cleaning the floor tiles with acid. He put the same on my marble platform and left to have lunch by the time they came back my ten year’s shining steel gas stove top was blackened for my horror. The young boy tried all his best to clean the stove. I could not even shout at the poor fellow who had come all over from Bihar to Delhi just for his earnings. This I come to learn earlier, when the boy was mopping the floor very poorly and I teased him that would not he help his mother at his home. He replied that he had three sisters who would do all those course and he only had to earn the food. He had three small sisters and mother to look after with.
So finally the painting completed but I had no time left to arrange the house to its proper form but I had to attend the office with no more leave left.
By afternoon, rahul came to my desk. Rahul is a boy from distant Jharkhand and was working in our office on casual basis. Such a humble boy doing all type of work we asked for. I was surprised to know that he had completed his 1st year of engineering course and because of lack of fund he had to leave the college and working in the holidays. Everyone was giving him suggestions but not any help.
When he came to see me, he was happy that he got scholarship from the govt and could continue his studies. I was also happy that a poor dedicated boy without a father (he also had a widow mother and younger brother and sisters), had got a good opportunity to develop his career.
In that fortnight I could see so many people with such a dedication and hardship to achieve their goal around us and I was thinking how much do e give preference to dedication and hardship while achieving our goals.