Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Middle of the Road... (The Indian Middle Class)

The lower Indian middle class is an egoistic lot, priding themselves on small great achievements that are insignificant beyond survival, celebrating small joys and anguishing in the face of harsh reality. They walk with their heads held high, drown in debts for the sake of their children and hope for a sun filled day tomorrow. Mediocrity and the middle class is a tough combination in this rat race. It is all about sacrificing your soul for the sake of survival in a country like India for the meager opportunities that are handed out in infested bowls by the government. So I see this guy who fights in an unknown city for survival, quietly tolerates mean insults from relatives for taking up space in their apartment free of cost, laughs like a carefree bird, loves music and gets criticized for indulging in his passion and studies for the sake of a job. I see a girl crying alone on a terrace for her father cannot afford to give her a free independent existence, who survives on the money and insults of her benefactor and breaks all rules to be with her friends. I see a friend trying to make their lives happier by indulging them whenever he can, lying to his parents to be with them, flirts like a dashing young charmer and forcing his friends to study when all he does is play games. I see another love sick puppy who cannot think anything beyond his girlfriend and cares for his friends like they are his own brothers and sisters and cares selflessly for them. They refuse to loan from each other and give away willingly after eyeing each other rather impishly. All they want are jobs, money and a shelter of their own. All they want is to make their parents proud. All they want is to scream at their parents for giving off free advice.
The mother toils at home, is worried sick for her kids and the father waits for the day when he can rest awhile after his children take his place of responsibility. He walks with his chest wide when his brilliant child scores a 99% and admonishes when his dull son keeps playing the guitar. He follows the budget closely and swears at price rise, while his wife visits all the temples and offers prayers for the well being of her family. Both constantly worry about money and feel low when they cannot fulfil the demands of their kids. The month ends are terrible with nearly no money, the women are at their meanest and the men at their worst. But these are respectable people, who value virtues and discipline, and celebrate joyously the little beautiful things in life. They criticize the government, watch cricket, consult literature and the arts, worship thousands of Gods, are easily brainwashed when it comes to religion and are proud to be Indians. Optimism is their ‘middle’ name. So when you look at the colours of holi you see the radiance and joy of this class, when you look at the diyas of diwali you see their hope, and when you look at their Gods you see a reflection of their faith. For they believe that in the end all turns out well. In the end all will and must turn out well.

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