I’ve been thinking. So much going on offline, I couldn’t even post my favorite Sundays In My City post.
The thing is, the apartment complex we live in is getting a facelift. So a lot of work is in progress. Not easy to paint two large buildings. We wisely decided to carry out repair work before painting and this is time-consuming. But now, we’ve finally come to the stage where this is over and the painting work is ready to begin. The first step is pressure washing the building.
(If some of you are wondering about the title of this post, I’ll get to that shortly. Indulge me, please?)
So – each resident was informed that today was the day in our building and advised to shut their windows to avoid the water being sprayed in. The boys began their work in the hot sun – oh yes, summer is upon is. A blessing for the painting…but not so great for the workers.
Soon enough, there were disgruntled residents getting annoyed about the disturbance and the water trickling in. I confess, I was a bit worked up about the spray coming in through the ventilators above the windows in a couple of rooms, but shrugged it off since all the stuff near the windows were all covered. After all, it was only water and could be wiped off.
When one of the neighbors complained about the mess these boys made, I felt a little bad. You know, the boys – about 8 of them – did not look a day over twenty. Skinny but energetic, they showed good team spirit, laughing and joking as they did their work. Three of them lowered the thick rope with a narrow wooden plank from the fourth floor, on which one of the boys was perched, holding the water tube to pressure wash the building’s walls. And man, that was some high pressure. The moment the water hit the wall, it dispersed in a fine spray. Beautiful to watch. The boy was lowered, a little at a time so he could cover the area on either side of him.
Slow, painful, tough, dangerous work. He had to trust his coworkers to hold the rope firmly. He had to be brave to do this work. He was literally risking his life to do his job. To cover just one column of flats, he must have had to be lowered on that precarious ledge at least thrice. So imagine – ten columns on one side – that’s 40 columns on four sides per building. We have two. Couldn’t be fun all the time.
And here we were, complaining about a little water seeping in – to get our own building painted.
The things we take for granted and think we are entitled to! So embarrassing. We were inside our houses, enjoying a hot lunch of our choice, watching TV… while those guys were baking outside. Lunch break saw them quickly grabbing something from the local cafeteria so they could get back to work quickly. At 6.30 pm when they wrapped up work for the day, they packed up and left.
It left me wondering whether some of them wished they had gone to college and were in better jobs. I wondered what dreams they had. I admired them for being cheerful.
The things we take for granted!
Long ago, my Mom read this out to me “I complained I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet“. I still remember how I sobbed when I understood what it meant. Even today, that quote keeps me grounded.
True, isn’t it? If only we took less things for granted and appreciated more!