me, thinking out loud…

Bills and Billboards

I was travelling in a bus today, when I overheard two people sitting behind me. One of the guy was telling the other about his brother’s job and the hardships he faces. The guy they were talking about, practically risks his life, to be able to eat a square meal. He works on Billboards, used to paint them and now that there aren’t enough people who get them painted, pastes the vinly posters on to the boards.

All day a guy struggles hard, to transform an ugly looking, old hoarding into a huge attractive advertisement and he is paid so well, that he has to slog it out to make ends meet for his family of four. They who get the paintings made or the posters put up, are striking it rich with loads of money and fame. Those who drive by, are having a good time watching that beautiful looking woman there or fantasizing themselves in that wonderful car up there. Then why is this person here, who slogs it out, making so many people happy, struggling to see a smile on his daughter?

When people around can get paid handsomely for having a jolly time in the air-conditioned room, puking out a few lines of code each day, can’t this guy, sweating it out in this may heat, get a better deal? Isn’t there something fundamentally wrong somewhere?

Comments on: "Bills and Billboards" (6)

  1. Hey there!

    I totally agree with this post. I like the honest approach to life.Its sad when you and me have the privilege to sit in front of a comp screen and type away about stuff, while there are millions just wondering how to make it to the next dawn.
    Anyways, Keep writing!!

    PS- Cloudnine just told me about this blog Will visit again! :)

  2. exploitation! any ICSE machas.. remb tht lesson in Hindi.. advocating against this.. i fgot the title.. one very well written one
    ek soln which quickly comes to thot is.. do ur own work.. ‘whatever’ it is.. with the risk of pullin of these minimal wages as well frm em..
    if ur wrong at the fundae.. then its tough..
    sri sri askd for ‘maro samajam’

  3. i have been thinking about a somehwat similar problem for sometime now! how do *we* get food?
    why does the farmer who produces it gives it to us? for fertilizers and farm equipment? he can do quite well without them. he has to use them just for *us*– to produce more for us. he could well work just some hours a day to produce for himself, as Thoreau did(and showed). for wars and govt– for letting us make plans sitting in AC rooms on how to send his sons to get killed? for newspapers(which contain nothing for him!) for books where we enlightened ones will write about how useless and filthy war is?
    for ‘entertainment’ tv etc– where he will be sold the lives of people very unlike him? And in anycase i doubt tv can be tolerated in a sane society!

  4. punchagan said:

    The kids now can rattle of names of people from the ‘entertainment’ arena or the people in the AC rooms strategising for wars or the famous authors..
    Do any of us ever get to know the name of the person who produced that grain we have eaten today? Do we care about the people who have given their everything to ensure we get something to eat today?

  5. Its surprising that I see so many ppl looking that problem from insided a small corner. Get of the picture and have a look at it the way it really is. It’ll make sense.

    Firstly, the farmer neither cares nor gives a sh*t about who you are and what you are doing with his grain. He is simply selling it to vendors who give him cash: cash for services at the hospital nearby, should his family fall ill, cash for insecurity in the future (as is clearly evident from the suicide rate here), cash for some of the luxuries that his children dream about eveyday, cash for social status that defines how well you are doing.

    All this caring for the farmer is uncalled for. The software coder is providing revenue to the nation which inturn uses it for loan waiver and fertilizer plants, farmer subsidy, weather forecasts, free education and medical facilities. The software coder does his bit by making the money and giving it in the right hands that will boil down to the farmer as well (it obviously will, or we would all go hungry within a yr).

    “Do we care about the people who have given their everything to ensure we get something to eat today?”
    And yeah, ‘the people’ havent given everything to ensure we get to eat, they have just serviced their own requirements of livelihood, and in the process providing us with food (thanks to the economic system which permits such a flow).

  6. punchagan said:

    well, even if you look at it this way why is it that so many farmers kill themselves each year, as compared people in any other “field”?

    Even after providing all the loan waivers, subsidies, education and medical facilities, why then are they pushed to the extent of killing themselves?

    When a software engineer changes so many jobs every year and chooses where and for how much pay he wants to work, the farmer is forced to keep producing the same crop every year even if troubled by lack of rains, and lots of other issues that are not really in his control.

    ps: a non-anonymous comment would’ve been good.

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