Jude Thaddeus

Our Servants: Nov. 3rd
We are gradually getting the servant staff hired. There is our wonderful driver Jude. Jude earns about 3000 rupees a month (a $100). He supports his mother, and father, both retired, and his two sisters who are going to secretarial school. Jude is currently enrolled in typing school. He would like to learn about computers, since his father is very concerned that he advances from a career in driving. I have been watching his personal drive (as well as his driving - he is as Pam says, a "lead foot"). In time, we’ll send Jude to computer training school, and have him work as a librarian inside our facility. By the end of our three year stay, I hope that Jude will have advanced himself to the point where he is earning about 12,000 rupees a month, as an experienced member of Apple’s support staff. We have a maid named Lakhshmi. She is about 4’ 6" and has three children; her husband abandoned her about a year ago. We pay her 400 rupees a month for cleaning the place (about $12). She earns another 300 rupees from cleaning our landlords' place, and she supports her kids on the $20 a month. She knows how to say "good morning" to Sue, but it’s all Hindi after that. We have two security guards, Nagaraj, and Ramesh. They are hired by a security firm called Group 4, and are bonded and licensed. For the security service we pay Group 4 about $350 a month, although I don’t know how much Ramesh and Nagaraj earn after Group 4 takes their cut.
We’ve been trying to throw out our cardboard boxes. I’ve heard that cockroaches like to lay eggs in cardboard, so after unpacking one of our purchases, I instantly throw the box outside. Jude has objected somewhat strenuously to our putting boxes in the rubbish, so I’ve been saving the boxes in the back yard, hoping to throw them in the rubbish when he’s not around. Today we asked Lakhshmi to take them with the rest of the rubbish. About 10 minutes later we went outside and I saw a bicyclist with a huge stack of cardboard, some of it ours. Jude informed me that Lakhshmi sold the cardboard collector our boxes for a 20-rupee profit. She’s going to have a field day when our ground shipment arrives - it has 30 or 40 huge boxes.
We’re getting settled in. Sue says the house has a rhythm to the day. About 6:30, the lights and the street noise wake us up. It’s on to a battle with the hot-water geyser, and a hope that power and hot water exist. Successful today, at 8:30 Jude our trusty driver shows up, and Ramesh, one of our two security guards says hello. Then at 9:00 the banana-wallah comes by to sell bananas. About 9:30 the town smoke shop comes by, a chap with newspapers, magazines, candy, etc. Then at 10:00 Lakhshmi the maid shows up. At 11:00 the carpenter comes by to work on my desk; he is making a computer table for me out of teak plywood. The total cost will be around $300, of which half is labor for three people for two weeks. Around 12:00 the bhengan-wallah comes by, (the eggplant seller), followed a half-hour later by the subsi-wallah (the vegetable seller). In between the regular parade floats is the side entertainment, carpetsellers selling ten or twenty odd rugs on a bicycle, glass bangle makers, water pot wallahs, and more than occasional beggar. Soon we will have dishes, cookware, and a grill, and then we can enjoy the pleasures of negotiating for vegetables with the various wallahs.