Thursday, June 18, 2009

The finer nuances

I sometimes feel that as we reach a certain degree of sophistication in life, we leave some of the finer nuances behind. Nah, this is not another one of my random weekend ramblings. But this is something that I've been thinking about since quite a while, and a few instances here and there sort of fortified my thought. My main point is that we accumulate education, wealth and elevate ourselves to a certain level in life, and somewhere along that route, we lose track of a few finer aspects of human relations. We perhaps find them too trivial, or at times, it just doesn't strike us.
We live a pampered life. We have maids who come and clean up the place, beginning from making our beds to cleaning the rooms, setting the place right and so on. But how many of us actually realize the impact of what these people do for us? We wake up in the morning, attend class, do assignments, class preps, crib about how terribly tight and hectic our lives are, and how we desperately need a break. We are made to believe that we cannot survive without these additional support services we are provided. And those who provide these services, are made to believe that we are these super-busy super-talented individuals who have to be treated with a certain degree of deference. And in adhering to that image, and treating us with respect, they do a perfect job. They give a pleasant smile when they see us, they speak in gentle low voices. Some even bow when they see us. They hold doors open for us, offer to carry some of our stuff if they see us somewhere. And how do we respond? Indifferently. How many people's names do we know? How many times have we thanked them for their support? Granted, this is their work, but a small thank you can go a very very long way, in making them feel wanted, in making them feel that their 'thankless' job is indeed meaningful to someone. Let's face it, if we are asked to do their job, we'd be rather terrible at it, and given the fact that we find it tough to manage our own tasks and time, this additional responsibility would, if not anything else, throw us completely off balance.

The other day, this chap came over to clean my room, while I was in. I just randomly asked him his name, and where he was from. You should have seen the huge smile on his face, and the effusive manner in which he set about answering me. He told me about how he was here doing an internship in hospitality and this housekeeping work was part of an internship task list. He told me about how he wanted to do engineering, but couldn't because of financial constraints. Then he told me about how much this degree in hospitality means to him, since he needed to get a good job in order to get his sisters married. And at the end, he asked me whether he was wasting my time telling me all this, and I thought, 'What kind of an image are we portraying as a civil society at a slightly higher standard of living compared to the housekeepers and maids? Is it one of an educated elite thinker, or a super busy humanoid cash register?'

Think about this.....


Blesson Varghese said...

Good observation... Its true that more we grow up, more we become ignorant to human relations. If you see a baby,he/she in all its innocence will smile at everbody, go to anyone with any skin color or any caste or any level of education.I sometimes wonder what is it that we learn in our subconcious mind which makes us so rigid or inaccessible to others.There are so many people who are in fact living in a shell and if you can break the ice with them you will be surprised to know what they are in or are going thru.

BrownPhantom said...

Very apt title.
I feel guilty many a times when my maind does the cleaning and I simply sleep.
Liked your post. Reminded of Thw White Tiger.