The Indian modern household is still waging its wars in trying to cope with home management and careers, children, relationships, ageing parents and a burgeoning life style that economic upward mobility entices one towards. Unlike the West we have not got many of the basic amenities in place that offer an easier methodology to make this balancing act of all these factors less exhaustive.
My list of complaints is founded on my own experiences where time and effort have often been more than required to get through a day. Let me start off by pointing out that in most Indian hospitals there is this absurd expectancy that one member of a family has to be with the patient at all times 24 X 7. This is even when as patient is in the intensive care unit! As a care giver to my mother this has often led me to being sleep deprived where it is personally dangerous to my own well being. Ok....then the logical answer would be to get professional nursing aid to do this duty. Well be my guest and try to get competent professionals! On employing professional care givers I have conducted spot checks on them only to find nurses hired for night duty in the recovery unit of the ICU, fast asleep with the blanket over their heads, oblivious to the patients safety or needs!
Car pool systems for school going kids and agencies for educated babysitters, volunteer groups who can socialise with the ageing, services of plumbing, electrification and carpentry as phone-in facilities, maid procurement agencies that are efficient and reliable, part time drivers, laundries and dry cleaning services that are hygienic and efficient and standardised; cleaning agencies for home and office purposes, professional shoppers.... the list is LONG.... are all yet to make their entry in a structured and organised manner in India. We need such help and facilities desperately, and with the joint family system not being the norm any longer, alternative structures of help need to be available especially when families have responsibilities that span both the domestic and the professional.
The concept of something like a delicatessen hasn't found its mark in India. To just hop in and get a varied menu for an impromptu dinner that you can jazz up with a few home additions to is inconceivable. The Indian super market culture is also terribly bizarre. You are held at ransom to buy brands that they promote instead of being offered a wide range of products which would enable a client to have their personal choice catered to. Agencies like Croma for example, are lousy places to shop at because product quality is seriously compromised due to their lack of understanding the concept of multi-brand selling; and after sales services from such outlets is wishful thinking and if at all provided, then shabby at best.
India needs to fix its unorganised labour problems urgently. Migrant labourers standing on the curbs of side walks each morning waiting for majduri is a strange sight to see. Contractors haggle with them and as they are migrant labourers whose wage rights and issues of housing are no bodies concern, they are exploited. They have insecure livelihoods and yet we all use them when we need to unashamedly.
I want the simple convenience of getting value for my money in India. From door frames to windows to assemble-able homes....the hardware and home-stores in North America and many other western countries are treasure troves for. Here in India I get all excited if I see a new styled mop in a shop! Pet stores and animal amenities are common place abroad yet in India we have to search to find one that is well stocked in the products and companies that you need. I am constantly anxious each time Begum's food stock starts dwindling. Then its panic mode time as we start waiting weeks for a simple order of cat food to make its appearance.
Dust and dirt are another factor of Indian life I want eradicated like polio and small pox! Side-walks are only what I see in foreign films, and I drive around Baroda feeling like Pig-pen a character from Charles Shultz's comic cartoon strip "Peanuts" who is always shown in a cloud of dust! Another observation I have made is that technology serves only those of us who have made it a point to comprehend and use it appropriately. However there are many in India who are ill equipped and are at a huge disadvantage as a result. The on line systems are often nightmarish situations when we have to use them for things like visa or passport renewals.
All in all I do wish we could logically look at the missing factors that progress and development may have caused, and fill in those gaps. I often feel frustrated that the obvious is just not being addressed. Perhaps we need to have management institutes make projects that address effective ways of making modern India have functioning services that meet the demands of today. Till then it is going to continue to be exhaustive and draining to live amidst progress that has one hand tied behind its back!