© Santosh Subramanian – Some rights reserved - Under Creative Commons

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I, Me, Mine

I have not seen an individual or a leader or an activist who admits what they do is wrong. All of us, including me, believes, strives and gives away for the good of the environment - At the capability each of them is. Every one; be an individual, be a community, be a state, be a nation, or even mankind; has a story of how much they have given away for the benefit of others and how they feel betrayed - And interestingly, all of them pardons the other and is living an idealisitic life.

I was listening to a telephonic conversation last week that my wife had with our erstwhile house-maid about her employment.

A quick flash back:-
We had a house-maid with us since more than 2 years and she was pretty good in terms of looking after our baby while we were at work and running the cooking-cleaning cycles. We hired this lady after some horrendous experiences with few others and luckily this worked out. It was more because she was from a well-to-do family earlier and the sudden demise of her husband had forced her to take up a job and she had kids to raise. It also worked out for us too because she was not yet exposed to the manipulative behaviour of the 'typical house-maids*' and was pretty straight forward - but not very longer.

Now, my wife has a problem. Sometimes she is prejudiced (I hope she is not reading this... LOL...). If she likes somebody or hates somebody from the first instance, her logical thought process just shuts down. That disaster happened here too. The maid's problems started becoming her problems and she started getting actively involved there - to an extent of giving her monetary loans to pay off her debts! And in return she looked after our little princess very well.

Her immediate monetory problems were solved, her daughter got a job and it was nice to see a broken family getting together and making progress... And the inevitable happened. As the days and months and years went by, she started taking us for granted that eventually ended up in arguments and recorded telephone conversations and remote monitoring of what is happening at home while we were away at work (Technology if correctly used; can do wonders!)

Then I decided to pick up an assignment away from Bangalore (There was other reasons too...) and we moved to the United States for a year and that forced her to find another job.

Back to Present:-
Now the points of argument at both sides are as follows:- "We gave her everything what she wanted, even helping her kid to find a job, help her close her debts by lending money et.all and never treated her like a maid - and Why did she do this?"

On the contrary; "I took care of their kid like my own - I haven't taken care of my own children like that - Why are they negotiating on my fate that drove me to be a house-maid".

Both the sides - ours and hers - has a point. And this is really interesting. When we start coloring the facts with our imagination, we lose the point.

Lets take our argument:- "We gave her everything..." - Why did we; when she wanted only an employment? We assumed that loyalty could be bought and that proved otherwise by due course of time. We forgot that it is human nature and tendency to look for more, ask for more and evolve (Didn't we learn from Darwin?)

And her argument:- "Why are they negotiating..." - That is not a fact; but a colored imagination! My wife asked the money back that she borrowed from her - which is a fact and the fact ends there. The rest of it is imagination!

In one of my earlier posts, I had mentioned about "Fear for failure". And I feel it is this fear that prompts and motivates people to color their thoughts and take it from a state of pure fact into a state of perceived fact coupled with imagination and look others through that colored glass - An attempt to make your point stronger so that you dont fail! And in the process conveniently forget how this might impact others, how the environment perceives it and eventually become a "self made martyr"!

And what made me write this post now is the theme of the month of October in my kiddo's play school. The theme is "I, Me, Mine". Basically, the teachers help the kids to identify themselves by their names, and then identify their parents by their names and photographs and then identify their school bags and personal stuff which belongs to them! - Pretty simple and straight forward- huh? But the "I, Me and Mine" that they drive into this kids at this age makes them to be a more self-centric generation who does not give a damn about others but only themselves.

I am sad.

* --> The house-maids in India are well known for their manipulative behaviour in terms of influencing the children, insensitive to their presence while using vulgar/adult language over phone and sometimes even to the level of abuse to the children - mentally, physically and sometimes even sexually. When accountability is ignored with associations and labor groups to endorse them; justice becomes a distant reality for affected children and their parents.