Finding Beauty in the Dust

Seven of the twelve days I have available in Chennai have flown by, and I haven’t been able to paint anything in the apartment yet. Things got very delayed. Civil work, as they call it in India, is still being done: carpenters are sawing, wall smoothers are plastering, electricians are drilling.

In fact, we discover at the end of the days that walls once made perfect by the smoothers have become marred with concrete and terra cotta brick dust. Because the electricians had to drill holes to move fan outlets so the blades of ceiling fans don’t collide (um, yeah someone didn’t accommodate this), then light outlets needed to move because the fans needed to move. And holes for air conditioning unit drainage pipes needed to be drilled because I insisted on installing A/C centered above windows instead of on blank walls. Somehow every one of my desired changes results in lots of dust and destruction.

Final details produce more mess. When the washer/dryer hookup guys arrived, they discovered there isn’t room for the electrical plug between the washer/dryer unit and the outlet in the wall. The carpenter built the cabinet too tight. So the outlet needed to move to behind the washer/dryer. Thus, more drilling into concrete and the terra cotta brick behind the concrete.

As a result, dust n’ crumble and splatters n’ tatters:

As my dad duly noted, I have a graduate degree in public health with specialty in behavior change and my career has been in injury prevention. But how to successfully change this situation is formidable. We have a safe ladder for this worker. He won’t use it. Even if he used the ladder this week in our apartment, he won’t be using it on the next job or the job after that. They bring these drums to stand on. Maybe like the traffic here, people know how to deal in ways that we wouldn’t.

It’s customary to leave your shoes at the door. And the workers do. But I do not dare walk barefoot in here yet.

Somewhere under all the dust and crumbled bits, there is a kitchen granite counter and tile backsplash:

I feel like I’m airing dirty laundry here. :) But this is the current reality. It’s hard to pretend that it’s anything but this.

I told my husband I needed to see something beautiful after this, so we left to go shopping at Good Earth. What a way to deal, huh?

3 Replies to “Finding Beauty in the Dust”

  1. I can’t believe that guy standing on that drum, unbelievable!!!

    What a mess, eventually you’ll get there!!!!

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