I was coming back from my tuition today and it happened so that I got an opportunity to see the slum where our  maid lives. It was a slum with all its hallmarks. Dilapidated and pathetic state of living, poverty beyond imagination. imagesThis photo here is of Dharavi, one of the largest slums of India and probably Asia as well. This is an iconic photograph as this showed the disparity between two classes of society. This is ofcourse not where my maid lives. Dharavi in is Mumbai, Maharashtra and our maid lives in Haryana, two states separated by almost 1500 km. But there is not any difference in the lifestyle. 

There was a movie called Nayak which means “Hero” in Hindi. In this movie, somehow an ordinary an gets to become the Chief Minister of Maharashtra for one day. He sees that, people are living in slums, being originally of a media career, he knew that people of that slum had been allotted permanent residences by the government. So, when he investigates, he comes to know that these people had put those houses on rent so that they could earn an extra buck.

Now coming back to my maid’s slum. I was shocked to see that there were two temples in succession but basic sanitary facilities were not available to those people. There is a forest type area in front of that slum, they actually go to there to relieve themselves. Moreover, they cross the roads as if they are some super hero or Rajnikant, totally oblivious to there surrounding and might I tell you, they are supposed to cross a well built and well maintained National Highway.

I am not even aware of the fact that do all of the children there go to school or not as there are very few schools in the vicinity. I was shocked to that many of the houses had cars, not like Mercedes or something but a TATA Nano (world’s cheapest car) and MARUTI SUZUKI Baleno (the production of this vehicle has stopped). What even makes me laugh is that my maid’s daughter is in 12th, just given her exams and the family is looking for a groom. But this fact requires appreciation that atleast she was allowed to complete her school.

It is not that these people don’t earn money. My made take 1000 Rupees (20$, a nice amount here), a month and she works in a good 5-6 houses, her husband works in a factory and and brings in about 10000 Rupees (200$) and has a working son who also gets a little more than what his father earns. In all a family way above the poverty line in even an Indian city. Moreover, they save on many type of thins like house rent, they get electricity on subsidized rates and the other perks.

Sulabh International Ltd. provides installation of a simple two pit or pit privy toilets at a very low cost with proper guarantee and warranty for the stipulated period of time. Even after that time period expires, the maintenance cost is minimal. Yet to save that money, people prefer to defecate in the open and put there life at the risk of exposure to innumerable diseases. Surprising right!

We here cannot hold only the people responsible here. According to Census 2011 only 75% people in India are literate and through a private survey, it was found that even these 75% cannot read properly or even write their names correctly, yet have been deemed literate. The government had to tell people about the dangers of defecating in the open, probably give an additional benefit with it like the Mid-Day Meal scheme is the benefit that students get by coming to schools run by government of India. Also, when the National Highway was being widened, the slum was not removed, even though it creates a really big constraint of space on the road and a perenial traffic jam even after such a huge amount was spent on revamping this entire section of the road. If they couldn’t do it, they could have outsourced the job. Even if that was not possible, they could have told Sulabh itself to construct a toilet complex, seeing the huge number of people residing there.

Sulabh in Hindi means easy to find. It is an NGO turned company that constructs self sufficient toilets across the country and continents. You can read more about it here

Well but this is India.


I got the idea to write this post when I read this story:

” A doctor when talking to her patients who were dealing with stress problems. She brought a half filled glass and everyone thought it will be the same half filled half empty concept. but it wasn’t. She showed them the glass and told them that if she held the glass for an hour, her arm will pain. If she held it for a day, her arm would go numb and  and she wouldn’t feel anything. That is exactly what stress does to you. If you keep it on board for long it will cause all sorts of miseries and if pent up for long it will impair you decision making ability and then well your mind will go numb.”

Physics as a curiosity can be insanely interesting but as a subject it can be horrendous. It demands the maximum amount of attention and utilizes an extremely high amount of memory power. It is probably the only subject that has the ability to inspire hate against not only itself but mathematics as well. I hated it like hell. I caused me to actually think that if I did not know that which force kept me bound to the earth, it will not throw me off. I actually had lost confidence that I might have to drop that year or maybe I might fail. And I had been an all-rounder throughout and failing would be just the end of the world. But then reading another story helped me change my outlook towards the subject

” A man getting ready for office sat down on the dining table where her daughter was also having breakfast. The girl heard the school bus honk and is a hurry the glass of milk fell and the shirt of her dad was all smeared with milk and milk powder. She scolded her and she went crying to school. He was also annoyed at the shirt and at himself for scolding her. The mother was also anguished.

Now lets see another version. The milk did fall but the father quietly went and changed his shirt and caressed his daughter and everyone had a beautiful day. What this proves is that whatever happens is 10% luck and 90% about what you do in that situation.”

So that is when I realised that what I do about my condition is how the future conditions will turn out to be.    Everyone used to tell me that physics can be tackled only with practice but practicing was like giving my head into the mortar. So I tried with easy questions and tried to control my hatred towards it and work on my concepts easy and slow. What actually really helped me were the online lessons.

But ofcourse, I won’t say that by doing this I aced. No, I did not but yes I did pass wit respectable marks. It is just about changing you outlook. And by that, I also don’t mean that by doing this I started to love the subject. Again a big NO, only dealing with the physics numerical and books became easy. Even today my mind wanders off when its raining to think that the earth is not throwing the rain drops back because they don’t know why they are falling.

Another small example: I hate going to temples ans Mom and Dad love them, so I really can’t say no. But after some time I realised that all these great temples have a really wonderful architecture and really interesting stories behind their construction and development and so I found my interest in  these places.

So changing your outlook towards a problem, expressing it like writing about it in your blog will make it easy for you to combat it and maybe even win.