Essay on Dhobi (Laundryman)



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In the villages, the life of a washer man is easy and simple. He goes to his customers from village to village and collects their dirty clothes.

He does not use soap or bleaching powder. He heats water mixed with rah (a kind of sand) and puts the cloth in it. Then he goes to the pond or a brook and cleans them with labour.

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He returns clothes in a day or two only. He gets his wages in the form of corn at the harvest seasons.

At the time of marriages and other ceremonies in the family he gets rewards in the form of clothes and cash. Thus he gets enough corn to give food to his family for the whole year.

The condition of a city washer man is different. He gets money for his wages. He charges his wages according to the number of clothes washed by him.

So unlike the village washer man, whose wages are fixed, the city washer man earns from morning till evening. A good washer man can earn more.

He must know his art well. He has to use soap for silken clothes. He uses bleaching powder and indigo to make the clothes clean and good.

Then he irons them to make them decent looking. A good washer man is punctual and generally he makes the clothes ready in time.

Thus, he has a good business. But most of the washer men have got the habit of telling lies. They make promises but do not keep them.

A careless washer man often forgets the clothes and the customer suffers the loss. Generally the washer man has a good memory.

He knows the clothes of all his customers. Yet he makes dif­ferent kinds of signs on the clothes of different families to know them. So he makes a very few mistakes.

The life of a washer man is a hard one. He has to work hard in water in the coldest weather. Yet he gets small wages.

He carries clothes on a donkey to the pond or brook or the river and works hard all the day. Then he irons them at night and goes to bed late in the night.

The washer men live together in a certain part of the city. Their donkeys bray and make a lot of noise at night. The washer man gets into the habit of drinking and smoking.

Still, the washer man is a useful member of our society. He makes us look clean and respectable.

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