The Deadpans of Hyderabad

When I was up North, I used to think of Hyderabad as a very nice place to be in. I dreamt of smooth roads, beautiful gardens, and most of all an enthusiastic and highly professional working class. I included the latter in my list because many MNCs opened their offices here, and not in any other Indian city. Low labor and infrastructure costs were the hallmark of all cities in India. So what made the MNCs choose Hyderabad? The answer that came to my mind was the working class of Hyderabad. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
The working class of Hyderabad really sux. I must add that I am not referring to the entire population (including myself), this post is dedicated to those special souls doing blue-collared jobs. Carpenters, electricians, washer men, house maids, drivers etc. rule the roost and making them do jobs for you is impossible. Believe it or not, Tina and I have went without a house maid for more than ten days at a stretch. Its not that maids aren’t available. Contrary to that, take a walk down any road and you will spot at least ten of them. But you can cry, crib, shout, or plead but they will not come to your house for work.

And when they do honor you with their august presence, they want you to pamper them and pay salaries that are at least four times of what maids normally charge. The only excuse they have for their incompetence is that they do not know Hindi, which is our national language. There are a few who will pretend that they don’t know Hindi, even though they do. Its just that they do not find you worthy of talking to.

When we take up a job somewhere, we are expected to know the language of the employer so that he or she may communicate with us. But here the employer must know Telugu or be doomed for ever. Each day Tina and I come across so many of these masterpieces and end up cursing them even when we are back home. Its not that we don’t have anything better to do.

But the icing on the cake is the look they have on their face. They look like such deadpans that you don’t even feel like arguing with them. They will stand in one position like numb skulls and nod their heads left to right which means yes to whatever you are saying. Whereas, the rest of the world nods its head back and forth to express acknowledgment.

Each day is a new day here, promising to be as shocking as ever. After a grueling hard day on and off the road, we resolve not to get succumbed to the forgettable situations that we often get into. But more often than not, enough opportunities and reasonings come our way, making us ponder that what really makes the deadpan splutter.

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