As far as we could get away with it, we would avoid work. “Why put off till tomorrow what we can place on someone else’ head today?” is our motto.
This particular trait is rubbed into us from early childhood, as we watch our elders devise methods to skip work. The whole educational and employment systems are ridden with loopholes to help us escape. In college, students discuss which is the best day to go on strike. The day with the toughest sessional exams scheduled gets the vote. Not to mention there was no valid reason to go on strike at all.
Recently I had a debate with a friend on which of us is the lazier. The contest ended in draw because both were too lazy to argue for ourselves.
In Kerala, I resigned myself to my fate as a lazy Malayali, much higher in stature to all other peoples of Earth. But Bangalore opened my eyes. Wide.
The auto-drivers in Bangalore sit at their driving seats all day if possible, as if they get paid for sitting idle. If by chance a pedestrian requests a ride, the rates per kilometre skyrocket, till the poor guy decides to walk all the way rather than have his throat cut. The autowallah continues to idle, relieved that the disturbance is gone.
The guy who ‘apparently’ washes cars vanishes with the car keys once every week. When he returns them, he wears a sparkling smile as if to say, ‘the innards of the car are gleaming as much as my smile’. You tip him generously only to find within minutes that the car doors were not even opened that day.
The gardener and the garden are strangers. He waters the plants once in a hundred years or so, holding the water hose as if it is guillotine. The tender plants collapse under his murderous touch and never rise again. When he was called in for re-potting, the plants did not survive another day.
The part-time maid has more visitors every week than all the residents of this apartment and the next put together, and she cannot come to work when she is suffering from their visits.
One should learn punctuality (among other things) from house painters, but only in the evening. At five on the dot, the paint brushes drop from their hands, even if the window requires just two more strokes.
None of these people in the examples above, I should stress, are Malayalis. Nor have they ever been to Kerala. (In case some of you Kerala ‘lovers’ want to accuse them or their great-grandfathers of breathing the Kerala air sometime in their life.)
My intention, with this blog post, is to warn other Malayalis that we no longer own the pedestal of Laziness: we are not the laziest race on the Planet. Be ashamed! We have tough competition and if we aren’t trying hard enough, others would snatch the trophy away from us.
The contest is on. Are you ready to oust Malayalis as the laziest species on the Planet?