The relativity of gratitude (and ingratitude)

Mrs. Nambiar of National Games Village (NGV) was very upset. Her servant maid hadn’t turned up for the last several days. “These people’ she complained to Mrs. Chandrashekhar ‘What to do with them? You can’t trust these people you know. One day they come, one day they don’t come. What they think of themselves? They act like big maharanis sometimes.”

Mrs. Chandrasekhar tut-tutted ‘Aiyyo, whatever you do for these people, no, they don’t have any gratitude. You know I had one servant. Madam was coming whenever she wanted. One day I was so busy, you know. Somebody and all had come to my house. That time this lady is telling me she is not coming. On the phone she is telling me madam, my son got fever. So many times I told her put that child in school, he is always playing in that dirty place, but these people are not interested in educating their children. When they fall sick they will come crying – madam this madam that. I told her from now on you don’t come. Aiyyo after that she came crying but my husband told me – you stop all this servant business. Aiyyo, now no servant or anything. I wash my dishes and the house is so clean now.”

Mrs. Nambiar made a disgusted face. “What to do – these people got only that slum budhi. Its good they broke down all these houses. Look at these people. They want to stay only in posh Koramangala eh? So greedy no? They don’t have money to pay rent for  even one small house and look at their cheek. How much we struggled to get a house here and these people just want to come and live here. Because of them now we have so much water problem in NGV. You know those people have so much water supply. They got goondas. We are struggling and they are nicely enjoying”. She sidestepped the man washing his car with a hose pipe.

“I know’ agreed Mrs. Chandrasekhar ‘They don’t even bother to make their children study. Those children are playing in the dirt all the time.They can’t take care of their children and still they want more and more. The government is trying to make them have family planning. No use for these people.”

Mrs. Nambiar and Mrs. Chandrasekhar were going on their walks around NGV.

Mrs. Chandrasekhar continued ‘ You saw today’s Bangalore Mirror. They told about how difficult it is for people from NGV because suddenly no servants. Now the servants are asking for extra 2000 rupees because they have to come from Sarjapur it seems. What – now we have to pay for their transport also? Next they will ask us to pay for their saris and movies also.” Both the women started laughing and shaking their heads.

“Really these people are too much’ said Mrs. Nambiar ‘ I did not know that they were demolishing that slum. I only read  Bangalore Mirror na? They did not write about this demolition.Only today when they wrote about NGV, I was surprised.”

“Why will Bangalore Mirror write about all these slum demolitions? Then all the time their news will be only full of that’ said Mrs. Chandrasekhar, starting to laugh again.

“I know’ agreed Mrs. Nambiar “these people, within one day they will come and start a slum somewhere. I don’t know what the government is doing. These ministers are busy going to different countries and here we have to suffer. We are struggling day in and day out trying to send our children to good schools and at least have a decent house. But its good no that there is going to be a mall there. We can go walking there also’

‘Yes” said Mrs. Chandrasekhar “at least we dont have to struggle and run to Forum and Garuda mall for our shopping. We just have to cross the road. Thats good. Hope they build it fast.”

The women continued with their evening walks discussing and pondering about about such similar things that concerned their daily lives.

The evicted women of EWS quarters should feel grateful to the government. At least they don’t have homes that they have to clean, they don’t have dishes to wash, they don’t have to struggle to pay rents, they don’t have to get up early to send their kids to school and they don’t have to rush off to work anymore.

Ejipura evictions rob NGV of domestic help

 

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6 thoughts on “The relativity of gratitude (and ingratitude)

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  1. “I only read Bangalore Mirror, na?” Really pity those who read bangalore Mirror only – BM is Times group’s biggest disservice, bigger than Bangalore Times and Page 3 and ToI

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  2. I lived in the National Games Village when it was first constructed. This would have been in 1997-98. The Games village was built on an area which would serve as a overflow lake. Once the NGV was built, the excess water from the storm drain which ran beside it would now overflow into the slum that lay across from it. A slum which was occupied by mostly Tamil immigrants (read little or no political voice). The situation there was so bad during the rains that water in the slum would accumulate to neck height. Not only a threat to life but also a regular destroyer of food and other produce and things that a household would accumulate. There was once a road blockade that some of us participated in to bring this to the attention of the authorities.

    On the other hand in the NGV itself small pools of water would accumulate on the entry road because of poor construction. In no time people came and chipped small rivulets into the road to drain this water.

    I could never get over the injustice of this while at the same time contemplate on my own privilege simply because I belonged to the middle class (Son of a Public Sector Employee). Made me think, what is wrong with this country?

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    1. Dear Philip, If you would like to be part of the group of volunteers working at EWS do share your email id. One of us will get in touch with you. Sylvia

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