Tuesday, 25 March 2014


I have just finished today's quota of language-editing work and mailed it. This is for a prestigious international journal where the editors doing this work are expected to have earned an MSc or a PhD in Chemistry. After reading a research paper that described a strategy to target cancer cells, going over and over unfamiliar molecule names, unfamiliar techniques, and long-winded sentences for over 5 hours, I have earned maybe 800-850 rupees.

Yesterday, I got the airconditioners in 2 rooms serviced in anticipation of the coming summer. Here the word "serviced" means the following-- 2 fellows came, asked me for duster cloth and Colin. One made me get him a stool, on which he climbed and  dusted the 2 indoor units, wiped them after spraying my Colin. He then washed the 2 outdoor units by pouring 3 buckets of water each on them as if he was performing some abhishekam. The other fetched water from the tap in my garden. This went on for all of 45 minutes and I had to pay them 1000 rupees-- 500 per AC.

Three months ago, my first floor bathroom drain developed a leak. I got this plumber to come. He brought his assistant, I gave him all the material and he patched something up. It took him about 2-2½   hours. He charged me 2500 rupees. And the drain resumed leaking two days later when I started using the bathroom again after the cement dried.  

Of the three jobs above, AC cleaning is the most efficient way of making money. Zero skill, very little time consumed and no drains. I am considering taking that up instead of freelance editing.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

My air and My water


It is very difficult for people to understand  common good. Most of us have difficulty in accepting that some sacrifices must be made by us for common good.
In the case of ground water, I cannot even make people understand that ones borewell is not really ones own.
Our colony with more than 1000 dwelling units, has a couple of deep borewells from which we get our water supply. Of course we have shortages often. So some people have dug their own borewells and run that to supplement the colony water. This excessive availability of water makes them profligate. They wash the yard everyday, wash cars everyday............. they argue that it is their water, from their bore well.
It is not possible to convince them that like the air, groundwater does not belong to anyone. It a common good.
I tried asking one person that if I emit some acid fumes in the air above my house- ie "my" air -would they be fine with it?