Monday, January 24, 2011

I Tip Because You Don't

If you want to know what this blog is all about, you need to walk with open eyes the next time you go out on a shopping spree. Open your eyes and take note of the following people you will come across in your everyday lives:
  1. Old Cobbler women:  They can barely see the needle and do not have enough power to push it through the sole, but still sits in the sun, all day long. People still give her custom, more as patronage and charity and less as repair charges. 
  2. Old drivers of ancient ambassador cars: They cling on to large steering wheels as if clinging on to their almost departed souls. The explosion of traffic on Indian roads confound them, they feel like we would feel driving a hundred years from today. People still employ them. They might have spent a century serving one master, and the master wont let him out in the wilds.
  3. Old Security Personnel: This is the guy your late grandpa's age you find guiding your car into parking bays in mid-size shopping malls (big ones don't employ old people). Forget the guiding part, they can barely move and mostly cough into the whistle instead of blowing. Their lungs have been dysfunctional for long. People still employ them because they are predictable and will attrite when dead.
  4. Waiters in local hotels: The kind that are as rickety as the chairs and just as old. They carry tea in steel tumblers while the younger ones carry them in ceramic. They are employed because they rarely go home.
The list is endless. You may add the guy who cleans your car everyday morning, the vegetable vendor, the carpenter past his prime ... they can be just about anybody. We are today a nation that have people above their 70s working to keep hunger at bay. They might have bred children who care but are busy fighting for their own survival. They might, for all you know, be Bangladeshi's or Indians whom our polity forgot. They might be from the nameless multitude of migrants without votes in cities where they live, and hence, don't count anymore. I don't know, and I don't care. 

All I know is this, when I chance upon them and use their services, I tip, because you wont.

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