Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts (Episode 3)

Hats off to these young people for their cooking skills. I am suitably impressed.

While five of the team were slaving at the cotton mill, Amrita who found herself allergic to this work took to the market and cooked up a meal for the team. No one complained, so the food -- which looked good -- must be good.

Several of the team members complained about headaches. It might be the sun, or it could be the pesticides, we will never know.

Apart from finding it difficult to complete the task set for them, leading to the owner of the mill having to resort to asking his regular workers to work overtime, there was also the ongoing dispute over who should clean up the toilet.

The girls insisted that the boys had blocked it up and the boys insisted it was the toilet tissue used.

No one -- and nothing -- budged. So the stand-off and stench continued. By the end of the programme we still didn't know how it was resolved. But a plumber would cost 120 rupees.

It just reminded me of how boys and plumbing somehow do not mix.

What is it about boys that they would not put their hands into the sink to clear a blockage, let alone unblock a blocked toilet.

I used to partner Bernard G at Chemistry lab while preparing for my A Levels. At the end of each gruelling three-hour session we were supposed to clear the sink. But would Bernard stick his fingers into the drain hole to pick up some escapee litmus paper?


Nothing I said would persuade him to clear the sink.

This programme suggests to me that the young people have never had to clean a toilet and therefore did not know how.

Good to see that Richard has stopped complaining. Hilarious to see him mucking around the mountains of plucked cotton. The supervisor told him to work and not have so much fun.

Richard's reply was his workers would work better if they had fun at the same time.

At 70 rupees a day for seven to eight hours work, what fun can you talk about?

Also very odd that he said, "I'd kind of forgotten that someone has to pick the cotton."

Just as milk comes from cartons, Richard thought (logically but wrongly) that someone had invented machines to do the actual cotton-picking. Not in India.

In the mega-farms in USA, they do use heavy machinery, but this can only be done after chemicals have been used to defoliate the plants.

Already the six are coming round to think that it is unfair that so little should be paid for so much hard work. So we live in hope that next week 'fair trade' would take on a different meaning for them.

Back to Organic-Ally.

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