By Parimala Hariprasad | DEC 2016
American author Seth Godin once wrote, “Emotional labour is the hard work of making art, producing generosity and exposing creativity. Working without a map involves both vision and the willingness to do something about what you see.”
In the recent past, I met Perianna who expends emotional labour at work. Perianna known as Thaatha is a daily wager from Tirupattur. His work has taken him to different parts of Tamil Nadu in the past. This time around, work brought him to Bengaluru, thanks to his contractor’s new work deal.
My children and I felt gifted to have talks with him during our evening walk. Perianna is very cheerful. There’s not a single day when you won’t spot his smile.
At first, you’ll wonder what work he can do in his early 60s. However, you’ll be amazed at the kind of hard work he does, and in some sense, hard workouts too! Perianna leaves his family behind in Tirupattur while work takes him to places.
He says he can’t afford to move them around. He visits them once in six weeks or so. In the current place where he works, the house owner requested him to stay back at the site for a few weeks to guard the construction materials during nights.
Without a second thought, he agreed. Perianna puts in a lot of hard work during the day, but is not required to do anything during the nights. Yet, he wakes up at 4.30am, prepares breakfast and then waters the thick concrete walls of the building.
This was never part of his work, yet he does it with happiness. Over next few days of working at the new place, he started to do other extra tasks like clearing sand/stones on the road to prevent riders/drivers from slipping, watching over steel material among other things.
I asked him, “Do you know you won’t be paid extra for this?” “Money can’t buy happiness.” Pat comes reply. Perianna appears equally at ease and jovial, be it with his peers, old people or children.
He inspires a lot of us, by his mere presence. For Perianna, work is an emotional investment. He believes in being fully present in the NOW and living life to the fullest, RIGHT NOW. More power to people like Perianna who go that extra mile to brighten up the world.
Track us on