We engage a professional thinking that she can do it in a better way than what we would do as an armature. Accordingly the architect, after a loooong discussion with us, finally planed the window and give right drawing to the fabricator. But when he delivered the window it was not as we wanted and as planned by the architect. When I questioned about the Contractor said, ‘yes, the architect gave correct drawing but our boys didn’t understand it properly. We will correct once you fix the window.’ But as he promised the contractor didn’t send any one to correct the mistake. So after a week, when we were about to fix the window, again when I called him that time he said, ‘though the architect gave us a specific drawing, yet we thought that for such a big size window it won’t fit well and hence we changed the window opening as we thought would be best for it’.
Now my question is: First the Contractor said that his boys didn’t understand the drawing and have done the mistake. Later contradicting himself he said that as the drawing and design of the architect won’t suit to the window he changed it. Then what is the use of engaging an architect? Who to decide whether a particular opening will look nice or not? We wanted the window in a particular way so that we can fix the emblem of Gurukulam at the centre. But the contractor, even after telling that we have to fix the emblem at the centre, make changes as he wishes. When I questioned, over phone he said, ‘you should have discussed these things with me so that we can fabricate the window according to your need and desire.’ But when he came to see me a month before, I took a paper and even draw where the emblem will come and how I want the widow opening etc. And that time I told him very clearly, ‘though this is my plan, yet what the Architect says is the final one and she alone holds the final authority in deciding the drawings and design’. I even went a step ahead and said, ‘whatever she says is the Gospel truth for us regarding the construction’ Now, as we (I) cannot do a job with professional skill we take the help of the architect. But the Contractor says that I should have discussed with him to have the windows as I wanted it. Then what is the role of the architect here? Of course the architect understanding my need exactly planned and gave the drawing as I wanted, but the contractors ignoring it, makes his own changes.
Due to commercialization, keeping the interest of the customers is slowly disappearing. Starting from the darshan in a temple, outsourcing even saying prayer in a church1, education which was once considered a noble service, the spirit of commercialization depriving the dharma which should be the pivot on which our life should revolve. Well anyone can make money, but the disappointment and lack of satisfaction of the customer will remain a permanent irritation—particularly in structures which cannot be changed often. For example, due to the mistake of the contractor, the top portion of the dhyanamandapa looked like a tent than a temple—as I wished to have. Now as it cannot be altered, we have to live with this structure with a permanent irritation about the contractor.
Well making a living exploiting the need and compulsion of customers is the religion of any contractors and we cannot expect high standard of morality from them. I am not talking any idealism of a perfect Contractor here. As I often say (to the labors) I never expect them to be faithful to the money which we give for their service, but they should at least not make any loss for us. But most of the contractors often do it, leaving a permanent irritation in our mind whenever we look that damage in the construction.
Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam, January 4, 2010.
1. …Catholic priests in the USand Canadasend prayer requests to their Indian counterparts. One can have a thanksgiving prayer said for Rs 40 (roughly a dollar) in an Indian church, whereas in an American church it would cost five times that amount.[Saritha Rai, ‘Prayers Outsourced to India; and ‘US Kids Outsource Homework to India’, both originally published in The New York Times, reprinted in The Asian Age, 14 June 2004 and 11 September 2005]— Ramchandra Guha, India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy, London, Picador, 2007, p.698