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Life isn’t about all the fast money

Monday, August 6, 2012
Steve Madhoo

My name is Steve Madhoo and I make glass glider windows. I’m a Central boy. I’ve always lived in Chaguanas, never moved out. My phone ringtone is Kes’ Wotless. I take part in Carnival. Well, I try. I’ve been married two years now, so I’ve slowly been encouraging my wife, Veera, to go J’Ouvert and little fetes and thing. She’s more of a homegrown person. She doesn’t like the bacchanal but I’ve been trying to mislead her slowly. Both of us want a family, but we don’t have any kids yet.


Marriage is a change in lifestyle but it’s not like I feel I’m missing anything. Once in a blue moon, I’ll go out with the boys. But, halfway through the lime, you missing home and you want to go home. We have a small river in Cunupia. In the older days, my parents could go in it and catch guabine. My days, people were dumping rubbish in it. So we couldn’t bathe in it. The river still polluted. It’s sad.


It was a eye-opener going to QRC because it was a big school, you meet people from all over. But being in cricket kinda broke me in gently and gradually. So it wasn’t as hard as it could have been. Plus, I had one friend from my same primary school, so it was both of us coming in Town together. I used to open for the senior team. We had Keno Mason. I still play leather ball cricket for my village team, Spoilers.


Prior to me leaving Central, I’ve never been out of Central. The only time we’ve been to Town was Carnival Tuesday. My parents would take us—travel, because we didn’t have vehicles in those days —come watch mas in the Savannah Grandstand. Reach Town about 9 am, leave Savannah about three, half-three.  


After UWI, I got a little end in Petrotrin. I was in Penal and they wanted to relocate me. I told my father, “Dad, I ent going Santa Flora.” I talk to my parents and started to take over the family business. I strongly believe my father is one of those old East Indians that, if they stop working, they would get sick. Likewise my mom. They worked together since he started the business.


When you get a worker nowadays, you have to pick them up in the morning, drop them back, buy lunch for them! And, at the end of the day, you doing three times the work they doing! If we have real, real big jobs, I might ask family members, not outsiders, to give us a little pull-out. You can count on family. Well. Sometimes. Some of the family not too backward, either, they ent easy.


Since I’ve got married, I’m an occasional drinker. Before that, I was a limer. We manufacture our own glass slider windows. We make windows to suit whatever pattern, design, colour and thing. I believe a job is a reflection of who you are, or who you would like to become. If I’m not satisfied with a job I do, I can’t expect you to be satisfied with it. I mightn’t be able to do a hundred windows for the day; but I know the five that I do for the day would be good.


The best part about the job is working with your hands. The bad part is Veera can’t come in the factory when I have saws cutting and aluminum falling. Time away from her is probably the hardest and most distracting thing. A Trini is a person who could get up in the morning, greet the family and neighbours, walk down the road bareback by a doubles man, eat a doubles, drink a coconut-water.



And you still have your toothbrush in your mouth! I think people make life hectic. Trinis have a special way of just standing back while everything zooms past, and understanding and accepting—and liking—that life isn’t all about the fast money. That’s how I grow up and, the majority of the time, that’s how it still is in my village. I don’t think there is any place in the world sweeter than Trinidad and Tobago. Even with the polluted rivers and the overbearing crime.


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