Sreekant Khandekar
Editor's Note

Will the Indian middle class finally embrace DIY culture?

As Indians, we believe that if we pay adequately, somebody will do the dirty work for us. But has more than a month of sweeping and dusting without any help changed our view of physical work?

The Indian middle class is not hot on the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) culture. On the contrary, our preference runs to DIFM - Do It For Me :)

That's why when that icon of DIY furniture, IKEA, opened its doors in Hyderabad in 2018, it had to organise 150 assemblers via UrbanClap. It had to bend to the will of Indian shoppers who don't believe a buy is complete until a workman comes and installs the purchase at home.

By the standards of any place in the world, we are spoilt rotten :) We have a disdain for getting our hands dirty and believe we can pay our way out of doing physical work. Since we don't believe in the dignity of labour, we can also be needlessly mean to the less privileged.

And yet, COVID-19 has set us right. We - both men and women - have cooked, swept, swabbed, scrubbed, dusted and ironed these last many weeks as if our lives depended on it, which indeed they have!

Has this experience changed us as consumers and as human beings? Have we formed some new habits?

Or, when tomorrow comes, will we go back to being exactly the way we were?

I would be curious to know if there is any perceptible (change) in our outlook a year from now.