It took us about nine months to finish the house. Well, it was actually not really complete, but we moved in, as soon as one of the rooms had four walls and a door. Money was getting less and that way we could at least save the money we would otherwise spend for the rent in the guesthouse we stayed at.
The kitchen was not ready either, so we put the gas stove in a corner of the provisional bedroom, where we slept on mattresses on the floor. Most of the time life was taking place outside anyways and the camping adventure like living style even had a touch of romanticism. We had no running water and there was still a wall missing in the bathroom, too. We improvised and hung a mat where that wall was supposed to be, so that we could at least use the toilet with some privacy.
Everybody who has built a house probably knows that it is never really finished for good. There is always a bit of work somewhere, things to repair and to improve.
…WELL, IMAGINE IN INDIA !
We discovered what really went wrong during the construction only once we started living in the house;
that much for ‘No Problem!‘
which is the phrase I got most of the time as a reply to my questions while the house was being built. Actually it is one of the sentences you get to hear most of time if you have a doubt or are worried about something and expect to get advice from an Indian!
INDIA IS THE LAND OF NO PROBLEM !
I wondered for example why the wastewater from the kitchen and the bathroom was flowing through an open gutter and not through a pipe, why the wooden window frames did not close hermetically and why the floor was anything else but a plain surface.
One evening I was lying on my mattress on the floor staring at the ceiling and discovered with dismay a huge bump in one of the corners. It looked pretty ugly, as if someone had dropped a huge wrecking ball on top of the roof or as if the house got hit by a meteoroid right on that spot! I called Baba immediately and angrily pointed at the nasty bulge:
“Look up there! What is this?”
“Oh, yes… There tin sheet a tora (little) broken when making roof; but, NO PROBLEM!”
I sighed loudly doubting that any “mystery” would ever see any problem where I did and thought about what could be done to fix the ugly corner. Maybe I should try something artistic and paint a 3-D planet on that bump, which might look nice.
Nothing like that ever happened; today it is still the way it was back then. I actually completely forgot about the silly bump. No problem!
Maybe it all depends on the point of view. Perhaps if someone here tells you ‘No problem’ he refers to himself. No problem for me, then why should it be a problem for you? Or maybe: Maybe it is a problem for you, but not for me, which means ‘No problem’.
Once I even found these two words being used as an advertising slogan on a signboard at my favourite guesthouse in Rishikesh:
‘Last Chance Café – The No Problem Company’
This sounded pretty much suspicious to me when I first saw it, but I have to say that it was actually all true! In the end I got married with a helping hand of the No Problem Company and things that seemed impossible eventually became reality.
I start to think that the No Problem Philosophy is a magic key to open certain doors; possibly not the ones you wanted to open, but maybe precisely those which you had to cross!