The irony of using an umbrella or living in slum?

Chirpy’s masseuse is a very nice lady. We usually talk a lot in the time that she is at our home. And the best part is we talk about things like Internet*, Child Marriages, Dowry, Cooking, Movies, Songs and the daily stuff. She indeed is a kind of friend to me 🙂 Her name is Sharda.

So, she has to walk around 5-6 kms two ways from home to work. And by the time she is off to home it’s about 12-12-30 in the noon which is the peak time for the Sun dear to rise sharp! I’ve been telling her to carry an umbrella to work so that she is protected from the heat. After me telling her for quiet sometime now,on not finding her carry it, today I almost scolded her for the same. The conversation went in like this:

Me: How many times should I tell you to bring your umbrella?

Sharda: Are bhabhi I can’t please understand.

Me: What’s there to understand, please explain,will you?

Sharda: Bhabhi, we are working class slum people. We should not be using umbrellas.

Me: What? Is this the reason? And why is that?

Sharda: Neighbors will start taunting me that I’ve become pricey that I use umbrella as if I’m some maharani or something!

Me: *shocked*

Sharda: Areh bhabhi, you don’t know our society’s rules and all. People don’t spare anyone. We can’t behave like the rich people do. Carrying umbrellas is a job of rich people like you. We must not do it.

Me: Don’t worry about what will people say, you must first think of your health. What if you have a heat stroke or something? Are these people going to come for you help? And don’t forget that someone has to initiate to break the so called rules no? So why not you? Take that initiative for yourself?

Sharda: I agree and understand what you are saying but I have son-in-laws. I can’t afford to behave like this.Any way, this is not your world so you don’t know. Let’s not discuss it any more. I can’t carry the umbrella until it is raining!

I was left speechless..just don’t know how to react!

*She keeps asking me about the Internet, Computers and how it all functions. I can safely say now that in this one year she has partially become computer literate and knows a lot of uses of Internet! 🙂

While talking to her about lot of things of ‘her world’ I get so many thoughts. So many things that people face,women specially! Life’s certainly not easy for them!


20 thoughts on “The irony of using an umbrella or living in slum?

  1. so true, meeting with other class of people bring so many changes to our perceptions of life 🙂 I have learnt a lot through such persons in my life and I appreciate and respect them a lot 🙂

  2. yea.. sad and puzzling.
    My maid back home never carreid an umbrella either unless it rained and she didn’t take back food in boxes. She always said that would cause problems! I never pressed her and never understood either!

  3. Sigh! We live in the world of stupid rules created by us!
    But good to know that you are introducing her to the things which she is otherwise not supposed to know!

    1. Oh I love teaching her about the ‘new’ stuff…though it’s all theoretical lectures but still at least she is now aware of the concept Internet 🙂

  4. Erm, I don’t know what to say. Sun, heat and burn are the same for everyone innit? I don’t understand why the class based rules for these basic human things? Let me go dip my head in the sand and not come back unless it is 2100 or something. Sigh.

  5. speaking of umbrellas, they are a complete no-no in Ahmedabad and here in Bangalore! and among all! seeing them, the poor Bongs who are umbrella people all round the year, have left the habit!

C'mon,out with it,right here :)

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