Inside the hutments..

Posted: October 15, 2006 in Uncategorized

My commute takes me past some hutments, each day. The car also tends to slow down there, and when I am not busy reading or on the phone, I take the opportunity to look inside the huts. To get a glimpse of the life there.

To see if people are depressed at their state..
To see if there is grief written all over their faces..
A sense of resignation about their lives..

That is what I would expect to find. Because we grieve when we don’t get the TV remote control, and when the newspaper comes a little late in the morning, and when the traffic delays us by five minutes, etc.

So I would believe that these people, living in huts, with little fun or luxury, would have lives of complete depression.

Only to find reality very different, as I glance into those hutments.

Kids taking bath on the streets, with water poured out of their aluminium containers.
Do they care that the world is looking at them or that its cold water (not the comfortable geyser water that we “must” have each morning)?

Working men getting ready, getting into their shirts and trousers, combing their hair to a nicety, as they head off to their jobs as peons or clerks or whatever.

Women going about the cleaning of the huts, the cooking, oiling and combing their young daughters’ hair..

Elders sitting together and chatting.

The “room” if you may call it, is a single one, at most, with several people spending the night inside. It also has space for their meagre assets. And several of these will have a TV set – finally their one low cost source of entertainment.

I am sure there may be days or times when depression must be coming in. Perhaps when there is no job. Or if they are daily earners, then on the day of a strike, when nothing comes home, or when there are floods and water’s all over their homes, and there is no income for the day.. there will be those days.

But if one was to think if there is a daily depression, at least what I observe is far from it. There is a certain acceptance of life. Perhaps the generation may never come out of that state of life. I mean, the bread earner of the family supporting 10-12 persons, could be earning what, Rs. 3000 – 4000. Or even lesser. And that may go gradually to 5000 or so. But quite likely, it may plateau out at a point. With that kind of money, two square meals, and an occasional trip back to the village is about what can be dreamt of. Is it possible to move to a pucca house at this level? Unlikely. It can only be a miracle that can rescue a family out of their state.

But they seem to be fine with their state of affairs. At least outwardly!

And we need to contrast that with lives of our kind of people. Far better off, with a nice roof over our heads, good food at each meal, many comforts and luxuries. And yet we fret for the smallest of inconveniences that hit us. We lose our temper, we are ready to take on a fight!

Lets learn from those living in the huts, to appreciate the life that we have.. !

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