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|The Early Morning Wake-Up Call (standard:non fiction, 854 words)|
|Author: Juggernaut||Added: Jul 22 2013||Views/Reads: 1328/777||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|The noise from beating wet dirty clothes on a hard surface while washing was early morning wake-up call to Juggernaut growing up.|
The Early Morning Wakeup Call Subba Rao Yellamma was a washerwoman, she visited homes on a weekly basis to collect dirty laundry to wash and iron and bring it back within a week or so. In Hindu culture people in the trade of washing dirty laundry belongs to a special caste at lower end of the hierarchy. The members of the caste live close to a river, stream or some water source where they wash the clothes the old fashioned way by soaking in soap water and beat with wooden paddles or striking the wet cloth on a hard surface like a rock or concrete slab. Some of the boulders naturally occurring on the river banks were turned into accessories in washing dirty clothes. The boulders subjected to daily harsh contact with wet clothes turned smooth all around from weathering. From regular shoulder movements in washing heavy loads, the upper body muscles of washermen and women look more of gymnasts working on parallel bars. Washed clothes were dried in the hot tropical south Indian sun. In the years past, donkeys were used to carry the loads to and from the river after cleaning and drying or sometimes the washermen ad women carried on their own back. The people in the traditional laundry trade developed hunch-back from chronic bending of their backs while carrying the loads. Yellamma owned a large piece of land in the urban area. On the periphery of her property were wooden shacks with thatched roofs that housed her men and women worked for her. A shallow water well at the center of the property served as water source for washing. A cluster of slant concrete slabs grounded deep into the ground were spread out on the property each like a work station to wash the clothes. The intense manual force that brings wet clothes in contact with the concrete slab generates sound that resembles firecrackers going off simultaneously. The sound from the synchronized washing was daily wakeup call for the school children and workers early in the morning to get ready for a commute. Before the sun rise, the men finish washing the clothes to hang them to dry on steel wires stretched between bamboo poles erected crisscrossing the property. Colorful saris and other garments hanging from the network of cloth lines appear more like an international flag festival. By mid afternoon, the clothes were dry and ready for ironing. The ground at the washing area was turned into swamp from washwater discharged onto the ground over the years. The workers walk Click here to read the rest of this story (75 more lines)
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