Friday, March 18, 2005

Do it yourself...

Is it a bad thing to do things on your own? Rather, do your own things? Is it bad if you wash your own car, house ? Is it bad to do housework? cook? For a lot of people, this seems to be equivalent to a crime.
Continuing to what Rashmi has said, one of the other things we can learn from America, is to DIY. Do it yourself.
Here, in India, among the noveau riche ( through ESOPs, currency arbitrage, bodyshopping whichever) it is in fashion to say "I have a cook, a driver, a domestic help and perhaps a few PAs as well"We dont iron our own clothes, driver our own cars, cook our own food, clean our own house. We wont drive in our own nails, measure our own curtains.


shanta said...

Very commendable sentiment...

However, from the perspective of the rather abused daughter-in-law that I was for a while in India, I wonder why it is a crime to *not* do it yourself?

Picture a rude and orthodox head of the family who will not allow any *help* in the house, and will not offer any himself. So his wife and daughter-in-law have to do all the work, plus pander to his many eccentricities (add only an exact amount of mustard seeds) and put up with his temper.

Life in India for those who take care of a home is exceedingly hard work, especially for women. Consider the amount of dust that gathers there, plus the amount of cooking one does (more vessels to wash). Add into the mix relatives dropping by at all hours, and you've got a very mundane existence.

Here in the US, even if there is more work, atleast it's physically easier to do. Make no mistake, for the middle-class in India, having servants is not a luxury but a necessity.

Anonymous said...

It is do-it yourself for a simple reason because its too expensive to hire someone to do it. I don't think americans want to do it themselves, if they could hire someone as cheaply as we indians can believe me they would. Its all in the cheap labor


Anonymous said...

What Jatin said.

Its a trade-off between the opportunity cost of your time, and the cost of employing labor. The neo-rich in India probably have more productive uses for their time than the few hundred rupees it costs (per day) for their various maids/gardeners/drivers etc. And lets not forget the venerable dhobis either.

Doesn't make much sense for Bill Gates to iron his own clothes, likewise for Azim Premji or Anil Ambani.

- Rahul