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Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon
Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon

Serious question (Page 10)

madmaxine IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 06 August 2012 at 1:39pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by appy_12

res! 

P.S: I'm alive, maxine! :)

Hey Maxine! Great topic! You know me well, and you're quite smart (:P), so you must know that all my serious posts are backed by a story. MY story. So, today is no different! 

I belong to a typical Indian family.. With a few twists! :P My mum is a working woman, a supermom! She says she worked till three days before I was born, and then started working again before I turned one. this is when she hired an ayah, a nanny for me. I was only 3 months old then. Her name was Shanthamma. I don't know we all called her that. Her real name is Anasuya. But till today, she is Shanthamma for me. 

She was a widow. Always donned in plain white sarees which were often stained blue due to the Ujala she used. Amma started going to office, and Shanthamma and I became very close. She used to sing a really weird lullaby to me, not one that you would hear normally. Years passed, I grew up, but shanthamma stayed. She, who actually came as an ayah to our house, soon became an all rounder. She knew how to operate the twin tub semi automatic washing machine, the wet grinder for idli-dosa, she kept the house clean, and waited till my mum came home everyday, and then left. She walked 7 kilometers to and fro everyday for us. 

As I went to school, a few more responsibilities came onto her. She pressed my navy blue tunic and white shirt, washed my blue house flaps, polished my shoes, made me wear them (!), oiled and braided my hair, reheated the food by the time I went for lunch everyday.. She loves me. She's a great grandmother now, and still, Apeksha (Me!) is the apple of her eye! :) 

Still, I used to fight with her.. A lot! 'SHANTHAMMAA!' and everyone used to know, 'Oh, they're fighting again.. Guess Shanthamma forgot to add three spoons of sugar in Bournvita again!' Everyone of my relatives.. Right to the most distant cousins know Shanthamma, and she remembers their names too.. Although her pronunciation is different! She calls my brother Suraj ,Suresh! Nobody actually noticed, but as I grew up, she grew old.. And she took Voluntary Retirement, with benefits, two years back. Yes, she practically raised me till I became a teenager, till I was 15. She still visits, hugs me tight, saying I'm the most beautiful girl she's ever seen, and always gives me a 5 star.

Right now, she's at home. Because my parents are out of town. Shanthamma is a part of our family. She was since she stepped into that small quarters we used to stay in, in the 90s. I can never imagine life without Shanthamma, and I know she will go some day. I dunno how I will react. But it won't be good. I know that! 

Also, she skypes with my relatives whenever she comes home! :P I remember, me and my sis tried to teach her English once. She learnt the alphabet, but we couldn't continue. We just decided that she was too smart and would leave behind all the engineers, the maaliks she worked for! :D 

So Vidhya, I don't think there is anything bad or low about being a domestic help. They're great people. They make life all the more beautiful! :) They become so attached to you, they're family! I don't know, and so can't speak about others.. But as far as I have experienced,  domestic help aren't any lower than all of us. We all work, we're all slaves. So why the difference? 

Whoa! That was long! :P

What a beautiful story. Your loves shines through in every word. You made me well up Appy...damn you! 

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madmaxine IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 06 August 2012 at 1:45pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by joenet1234

First of all the question is NOT about IPK or Dadi or ASR or KKGSR! Please go back and re-read the question. Reading is fundamental, although seldom practiced but should be given its fair shot.

Now on to answering THE question. The idea which was instilled ages ago is unfortunately still prevalent, that somehow humans need to differentiate amongst ourselves. If physical attributes of differentiation are not enough, resort to other measures is attempted as long as the end result is achieved. In my house, the term servant didn't exist. We had domestic help which was only in the dire times. We were required to address our helpers us Uncle, Aunty. Amma or Baba. No other names or titles were allowed. Also, it was engrained in our brains they are part of our family and should be treated as such. They are here to HELP US, we should be grateful and boy we were!
As much as it irks me to see this sub-par treatment towards another human being, I am much saddened to say these stereotypes exist and are promoted by our society. If someone one is helping me get through my day, there is something seriously wrong with ME and not them that I can't even pull my own weight around.


Thanks for pointing it out Joey...I think people were getting a little lost with the point I was trying to make. 

Yes...your point about innate human character is well taken. We do always feel the need to draw distinctions. It's just that...well it's 20 f**king 12. I wish we'd move on a little. I watched The Help on the way back on the flight. That was America in the 60s. It's also pretty much India in the 2000s. Cannot stand. More on Skype sometime. 

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sumaya123 Newbie
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Posted: 06 August 2012 at 1:46pm | IP Logged
:) Wink

Edited by sumaya123 - 06 August 2012 at 2:04pm
blokes Goldie
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Posted: 06 August 2012 at 2:11pm | IP Logged
I cant make sweeping statements to include every household- but in our families- be it Maya at my aunt's house or Pandiyan at grandpa's house or Neela at dadi's house (we had part time help- 2 hours a day at the different cities we lived in- we did the rest of the work)- all were treated as a family member- not considered an untouchable. So, frankly to read comments that make sweeping statements that they were treated like untouchable is odd. Technically, an untouchable was one who carried human excrement out of the dry toilets that were the norm before flush toilets came into existence. I have never met an untouchable in my entire life though I have travelled a lot in India- lived in many towns and cities and met with many people- I have met a lot of poor people, farmers, factory workers, municipality street sweepers, garbage collectors- but no untouchable.

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madmaxine

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Posted: 06 August 2012 at 2:26pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by blokes

I cant make sweeping statements to include every household- but in our families- be it Maya at my aunt's house or Pandiyan at grandpa's house or Neela at dadi's house (we had part time help- 2 hours a day at the different cities we lived in- we did the rest of the work)- all were treated as a family member- not considered an untouchable. So, frankly to read comments that make sweeping statements that they were treated like untouchable is odd. Technically, an untouchable was one who carried human excrement out of the dry toilets that were the norm before flush toilets came into existence. I have never met an untouchable in my entire life though I have travelled a lot in India- lived in many towns and cities and met with many people- I have met a lot of poor people, farmers, factory workers, municipality street sweepers, garbage collectors- but no untouchable.

Well, you and I may not have met them..they certainly exist. A recent episode of Satyameva Jayate talked about the lives of the people that still carry out human excrement in India. Anyway, that is completely beside the point of this thread. This has nothing to do with Untouchables in the truest sense of the word. The people that have used it, were I think merely referring to Dadi's reaction to Khushi and purifying herself and whatnot. 

I was merely pointing out the insensitivity that is so rampant even today when people talk about their domestic help. I hate the false equivalence that we hold so dear in our great and glorious nation is all. 

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Posted: 06 August 2012 at 7:20pm | IP Logged
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Posted: 06 August 2012 at 7:49pm | IP Logged
I think its superb topic.!!
but yeah have to think about it..
its very sad because its still exists in india
CravingKhana IF-Sizzlerz
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Posted: 06 August 2012 at 7:49pm | IP Logged
Dinity in labour is a beautiful concept...quite an idealistic one...in reality highrachy exists all over the world...in some parts its less open and in others more blatant...
 
while being domestically capable is one thing but to be "a domestic" is not so welcome...all aim for higher as in the highrachy of life and work it does not rank high...it is unskilled labour...
 
of all proffessons i have never heard anyone say that they would want their doaughter/son to be a domestic not even those whoa are of that field...
 
 
how we see indviduals who work as domestics is often the way we are rared...but even those of us who see them as part of our family do not deem that as a proffession we would aspire at...
 
in the east (most ly of the south asian areas) caste and monitary superiority are at play...I say that because in some parts even domestics have to be of thier won caste...just poor relatives...but once you pay someone to do your bidding and you are th boss then the difference is created...
 
in the west...class and monetary and even ethnic differences come inot play...nationality...and we find the "arena of domesstic labor" occupied by immigrants of countries that  the employers usually dont hold much value for...and most domestics are those who have not the right paperwork...the right credentials ..etc and not many are proud to openly state they are maids etc...
 
some how in the west atleast if you fall on hard times it is easier to work a job without having to suffer too much socialy...that is beacause most of us live outside of our social circles...so yes...the automatic reaction to one being wrongly thought of as a maid, a gardner or the many domestic roles one could think of ...is that of incredulity and i see nothing wrong in it...what is wrong is painting all those who are domestics with one brush..making insinuations and even when you have them as part of your lives treating them as something lesseer...than what you are...
 
 


Edited by CravingKhana - 06 August 2012 at 7:56pm

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