LIFE STYLE CHANGES WITH DOMESTIC SUPPORT STAFF When the door bell rang a few days back, I opened it to see a little girl , angelic and radiant,may be around seven years,smartly dressed in jeans,a check shirt and a jacket.I said yes?.She replied clothes and repeated clothes.I was nonplussed and asked her what clothes?She replied Ramanappa.This added to my confusion.The puzzle was solved by my grand daughter-she has come to collect clothes for ironing-she is Isthiriwallah Ramanappas daughter.Just then Ramanappa made his majestic appearance and introduced his daughter.Ramanappa is an important man in our complex.Children going to school depend on him as they crowd him to collect their ironed clothes.I have suggested that he should have a change room so that children can change and run to catch the bus while the parents are cajoling the driver to hold on.Ramanappa is keen to see that his daughter gets well educated and start her life well.He strains every nerve to work extra hours to afford her education in a good English medium school. Now enters Bhuvana our maid in her mid thirties.She is proud of being fair and good looking.Now and then she would utter some English words and when questioned would say she studied in an English medium school upto standard seven.One day she said that she would like to introduce her eight year old son to me and take my blessings.When the boy came,I was debating as to how to greet him when the boy extended his hand and said” I am Rohan studying in third standard”.I was impressed to say the least.He liked reading Amar Chitra Katha,play street foodball with his friends and concentrated on playing chess.Iasked him don’t you watch TOM and JERRY? He said that was for the nursery children and he liked to watch Discovery channel,the forests,the animals and birds.I was thrilled and mentally wished the boy all the luck in the world.We lost touch with Bhuvana after shifting to Bangalore.On my visit to Chennai a year later some one shouted uncle.I turned back to find Bhuvana immaculately dressed with goggles,hand bag and a smart phone with head set.She volunteered the information that she was working with an IT company.I imagined that she had learnt coding but her job was to clean the glass windows,partitions etc.She was paid well and got subsidised food.She could also buy and take snacks for her son returning from school.The icing on the cake was that she was expecting her promotion,as the supervisor needed her help in communicating with the other staff who knew only tamil. The septic tank in my house on the outskirts of Chennai had to be cleaned. There was no mechanical way of emptying the septic tank fifteen years back.The effluent water had to be lifted with a bucket tied to a rope.Narasimha the specialist was called.I thought to myself that he would charge Rs five hundred but I would show him my magnanimity and offer him Rs.eight hundred.To my utter shock he quoted Rs,two thousand five hundred and when reprimanded.he said the quote consisted of two elements-one for the labour and the other that I cannot do this job and had to depend on him.My wife shut me up when I said I would follow the Gandhian principle and do the job myself as after all Two thousand five hundred rupees was a lot of money.He thanked me when I paid him on completion of the job and said he had to rush the cash to Nellore where his son was doing third year Engineering and staying in the hostel.I was moved so much with this information that I gave him Rs,one thousand extra with my blessings to the boy. These are examples of the aspirational group trying to come out of their misery and make their progeny a part of the developing world.They are also becoming technosavy.Any problem with my cell phone my driver solves it.My news paper delivery boy installed Bhim application for me.Driver and maids get their salary transferred to their bank account.Isthiriwallah carries a swipe machine and accepts cretit cards for payment.I am still not comfortable with GPS while the taxi driver lands you at the exact spot where you wanted to go..Many in this group opt for wall mounted LCDs to save space.Most of the free lance technicians worm their way through traffic with their Hero Splendour motor cycles costing around Sixtyfive thousand rupees.Chidren go to good schools thanks to RTE and double income[both husband and wife working.].Name the gadget-they have it.You chuck some one out you have to struggle to get a replacement whereas this person is grabbed in minutes by somebody else.Days of this luxury of having some one at your disposal are numbered.This will be an extinct species for the next generation. Dream and aspiration drive people to come out of the morass and head towards a better and affordable way of life.Information explosion has made the have nots understand the other world they have not seen.Let us, as better placed humans help them to reach a better world not by giving alms but providing guidance and ammunition to hit the target. Dont give them fish but teach them how to fish.”’ Let us not judge people by what they are but what they would like to be.” PS-I might have mentioned some examples in my earlier blogs but need to be repeated as the pace of change is becoming faster and are relevant to the subject.