Theme of the week

Issue XLIII(27.11.2011)

Unproductive Work - Is It!

Childhood stories our grandparents told us, have a long lasting impact on our mind and a significant influence on our overall personality. One such story that my grandmother told me long back, was relevant than and is even more appropriate today. The story is like this:
There was a king and a queen, living happily in their kingdom. The treasures were full, public was happy and thankful to the king, palace was huge, safe and full of all kind of amenities.
One fine day during rains, the king decided to go for hunting in the nearby forest. Few soldiers and other helpers were with him. King spent couple of days in the forest and killed several wild animals including a leopard. On his way back, the king saw something absolutely strange and unbelievable for him. A pregnant lady was passing through the forest carrying a bundle of tree wood over her head. Suddenly the labor pain started. Without any panic, she kept the bundle on a side, managed to deliver the child on her own, wrapped him in grass and made a safe space for him in the bundle of wood she was carrying home. In a matter of hardly one hour, she was back on her way to home.
The king was astonished to see this. The woman managed everything on her own and did not require any assistance. 
The king started thinking, why the royal family ladies need help even in all their petty activities! Is this not a burden on our treasure!
After reaching back to his palace, the king decided to withdraw all help from the queen and other females of the imperial family. Queen was obviously discontented about the decision and asked her spies to find the reason. Soon she got to know the complete story and made a plan to combat. She dismissed all the gardeners of the beautiful park that was pride of the palace. Result started showing in two-three days. Without watering and care the flowers started withering and velvet lush green grass dried up. Bushes started growing here and there. The park lost its beauty soon. When King came for a regular walk in morning, he noticed the deteriorating condition of park and called the chief gardener at ones. Chief gardener came and informed the king about their termination from service.
King was really annoyed and went to the queen’s room. “What made you to dismiss the gardeners from our royal park”, asked the king angrily. Queen was expecting this question and was ready with her reply. She patiently replied, “Your Majesty, Gardeners are not required actually. Trees in forest grow on their own they do not need gardeners to water them. Then why should trees in royal park need any care. I thought, the money we spend on these gardeners is wastage, and I removed them!” The king realized his mistake and appointed all the daisies as well as gardeners, back.
As the delicate flower plants, quality grass, and fruit trees require care, so do a human child. Poor lady, in full days of her pregnancy was forced by circumstances to work even in that situation and also manage to deliver her child without any aid. It certainly doesn’t mean that she didn’t require any help. Circumstances compelled her to do things that way.
In materialistic world today, we assess everything in terms of money. Relations, need, moral duties etc. have all become secondary. Working to make the two ends meet and working just to make more and more money, ignoring other important aspects of the life, and working just to help others live better, are different perspectives. Had the lady been amongst her family members and friends, she certainly wouldn’t have to do things on her own.
The work a person does just as his or her moral liability or for comfort of others and doesn’t get any monetary returns, is called “unproductive work”. Specially, ladies who spend their time only in managing home are described as "KUCH NAHI KARTI HA" (She does nothing). Money of course is needed to fulfill our demands, but managing home and making it a livable and lovable place is equally or even more important. Lady at home is actually the home maker and not “unproductive”.
Families where both, husband and wife are working (or productive, as they say), usually leave their children with "aaya (maid)", crash home, day care center or tuition. This should be coined with the need for money. We think we are earning for the children, while children seem miserable, when parents do not spend time with them. Therefore, is the term NONPRODUCTIVE really nonproductive or is a misnomer! Is the aim of life only to earn money anyhow? Can we fulfill every demand with money? Can money and more money, make our life happier!