Thursday, September 1, 2011
Speaking Of Azadi
Currently reading Aman Sethi's A Free Man and enjoying it tremendously. It's about 'the life of an itinerant labourer' as the blurb says. Surprisingly, plenty of wisdom there for not-so-itinerant labourers too. Here, for instance, is Ashraf, the central character's take on work:
'Kamai is what makes work work. Without kamai, it is not work, it is a hobby. Some call it charity; others may call it exercise - but it certainly isn't a job. A job is something a man is paid to do - and his pay is his kamai. Many of us...' Ashram paused to stand up and take in the tea-sipping mazdoors, the gossiping mistrys, and the lazing beldaars in a smooth arc of his arm, 'many of us choose jobs only on the basis of their kamai. Six thousand rupees a month! A man could get rich with that kind of money! But they forget a crucial thing. What is that crucial thing?
'Azadi, Aman bhai, Azadi,' he continued without waiting for an answer. 'Azadi is the freedom to tell the maalik to fuck off when you want to. The maalik owns our work. He does not own us...'
Never a truer word was spoken. Taking this book nice and slow though I'm dying to chuck everything and just plough right through it.
Title: A Free Man
Author: Aman Sethi
Publisher: Random House India
price: Rs 399