From the pages of a plumber's diary by G. Venkatesh SignUp
From the pages of a plumber's diary
G. Venkatesh Bookmark and Share

Hello, every one who is reading this. Reading a plumber's diary doesn't look so cool, isn't it ? But then , are plumbers are not important people? Why is it that all of you remember a plumber only when he is needed and not otherwise. I am 64 years old now and I am still a capable plumber - someone who has worked hard over the years without any social security benefits. For me, work has always been worship. If I was after money, I would not be staying in this shanty near Shanthi Nagar. But I loved my job, I still do. Age has however caught up with me. I am unable to move freely around in my bike like I used to earlier.

In my 30 year old career, I have worked with many builders and developers and have also done freelancing. I have soiled my hands trying to work in dirty toilets in individual households, schools and colleges. But not a single customer remembers me today even though I have solved the most challenging leakage problems guided by my instinct and not necessarily by technical competence.

Plumbing is not just about engineering. It is about common sense. It is about logic. It is looking beyond the brief given to you. It is about deriving job satisfaction from the little things that life has to offer you. I have never run behind money. But on occasions when people offer me some ex-gratia, I find it so hard to refuse.

It is a matter of regret that plumbing has not been given due weightage in India. People wish to build jazzy bathrooms with modern gadgetries but seldom do they pay attention to minor details regarding the laying of pipelines. This causes serious issues at a later stage. As a plumber, my heart aches when I see the plundering of the precious resource called water. Topics like Rain water harvesting are only being discussed in conferences and dining halls but no concrete action is taken either by the Government or the residents or the builders.

I yearn for respectability. A plumber, an electrician, a carpenter is also a human being. He is also doing his job to earn his bread and butter. Why can't people address us much more respectfully? Unfortunately, many novices have brought ill-repute to this profession because they have done something to correct a plumbing problem only to aggravate it more. This happens because of the mentality that anyone can become a plumber. As I said before, a plumber is not someone who can leverage on technical competence alone. He also needs common sense. I am also pained that many builders pay lots of attention to aesthetics in the homes that they build. Seldom do they feel the need to focus on good plumbing practices or appointing reputed plumbing consultants. I also have little regard for those plumbing consultants and professionals who I know quote a princely sum for a plumbing job even without knowing what the job is all about. It is because of these unscrupulous people that the profession gets a bad name.

I am delighted to know that Indian Plumbing Association has created enhanced levels of awareness about plumbing issues in India. The Association has brought respectability to the plumbing profession. Well begun is half done. So, I am sure that the day of reckoning is not far. What is even more encouraging is the efforts of the Association to train plumbers. Why is everyone running after IT ? Why not study mechanical engineering and specialise in plumbing? I shall be glad to see more girls step into the plumbing profession. A wishful thought, isn't it? But if girls can drive cars, scooters, bikes, metro trains, taxis and buses, why can't they enter the plumbing profession ? I am sure that they will do a damn good job.

It is time to say goodbye to you all. I thank you for this opportunity to share my thoughts with you. I have so many memorable experiences in my life that these are the real rewards for me. When a plumbing problem was resolved, the relief that I saw on my customer's faces, was my biggest reward. Let me conclude by saying that the plumbing profession is one of the noblest professions in the world and despite all the challenges that I faced, I would like to be a plumber in my future births as well !

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