Something very amazing about Hyderabad is the way that work gets done here.  The inefficiency boggles the mind.  Here is what I witnessed this morning.

The house across from ours is currently for rent.  It has been vacant for a long time now, and I am sure the landlord is missing the income.  In an attempt to make it more desirable, they have dumped a large pile of dirt in the driveway.  (That’s always good for making people flock to a rental unit, right?)  Well, I guess that the dirt is meant for the grass and flower beds along the sides of the house, which are currently just mud-pits.  Today is the first time I have seen any action over there.  A woman, with a small basket on her head, walks back and forth the 20-odd feet between the pile of dirt and one of the flower beds.  The man fills the basket for her and helps her hoist it onto her head, then stands and waits patiently while she slowly walks it over to the flower bed.  She dumps it, puts it back on her head, slowly walks back and puts it down. The man stretches and fills it again, and the process repeats.  It is excruciating to watch, and all I can think of is:  This is why India is such a mess!  Lack of proper tools and desire to get a job done.  2 people and a wheelbarrow could have this job done inside of 30 minutes.  The job as it is currently being done will take hours and hours.  Both people carrying buckets of dirt could have it done it twice as fast, and even the woman actually carrying the basket (it is small and not that heavy), instead of taking the time to hoist it to her head, would cut down considerably on the time this job will take.  I see this kind of thing over and over all around the city, from the men working on the roads to the restaurant staff to the people checking out our groceries.  A cultural difference I have a very hard time stomaching.

In addition, Scott has just informed me that there is apparently work being done on the interior of the house at the same time involving construction.  Yet another woman with a small basket is carrying wet red bricks from inside the house across the upper patio and unceremoniously dumping them over the edge without first checking to see where the man by the dirt pile is standing.  We are anticipating a yelp at any moment, or possibly just a wet, sickening thud.

I snuck up to the roof to take a picture.  I try to hide when I do this, as I feel bad taking pictures of things like this.  However, considering the fact that we get stared at wherever we go, told we are fat, and have pictures taken of us all the time without our consent, I think that truthfully no one would bat an eyelash if I snapped a picture.  Tact is not something anyone seems to worry too much about here either.

3 thoughts on “Moving Dirt

  1. avatar

    I’m sure you and Scott would love to go across the street and show them a much easier way of doing the job.Better yet,just jump in and do it yourselves. I do, however, fear for the man down below while the women on the balcony is dumping bricks from above!


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