Thursday, 1 September 2016

The Middle Class Equation; Can You Solve It?

You have ceramic plates but not a dining table. You have the best phone but your balance is always <10. You have a flat on your name but no bed to sleep on. The best shoes, but only a pair. An expensive perfume, but water in the bathroom only twice a day. A gym membership, but not enough food in the house. A first class train pass, but no car. A bike that always runs low on fuel. You can go for movies, but never afford popcorn. Money in the pocket, but the wallet is torn from the edges. There's always 13 bucks on you for one more cigarette, but who the fuck buys a pack? You hang out with big people, but remain to be small. You walk on the road feeling different than everyone, but still look the same.

Are you what the poor want to be or are you what the rich are afraid to be?

Man #1:
He has calloused fingers from working 16 hours a day. He sits in his associates' cars but takes a bus home after they drop him off. He gets home and spends an hour doing household chores before he can sit and have a glass of water. His kids come and tell him their expenditures for college, and even though there isn't more than any two notes in his wallet, he assures them that they'll have what they need in a day. He wishes for 36 hours in the day just so that he can work more, but doesn't really believe in God. He has no fixed hours of work, but the salary is always fixed. His wife demands for something small to pamper herself, but they both end up spending that money on the two children.

Woman #1:
She has two shifts in her day; one for four hours at home, and one for nine hours at work. She sleeps later than everyone else and wakes up before them. Her own dietary preferences were killed ever since the time she first took that pregnancy test. She had only her nonsensical soap operas as any source of entertainment, but gave that up as well because her family called it fruitless and unproductive. She spends most of her time feeling like a single mother with three kids. She gave up her passion because of her children's board exams, but was never able to come back from it. The world calls it self-victimisation, but she just calls it motherhood.

Boy #1:
He sings at a restaurant far away from home on the weekends while his friends go out to some place nice. He indulges in artistry to emote in the nights and bunks college whenever he can to save some bucks. He can't concentrate on small amounts of money because his parents sweat blood to make bigger things happen for him. Amidst all the Uber and autorickshaw chaos, he just takes the bus instead. Buying books is expensive, so he just gets them photocopied. He has a pair of Adidas, but they've been torn and sewn over and again. He comes home and hugs both his parents, just to find out that they had yet another fight.

Girl #1:
She's the youngest in the family. But there are no youngsters in a family like this, she thinks. She draws from her brother's experiences and stays as conserved as possible. She's good at art, so she buys plain clothes and paints on them instead of being reckless with cool clothes. Gave up most of her friends because a ride to Carter Road and back costs a day's worth of money. She cooks for herself to lessen the pressure on mother, but can't replicate the love and affection that mom puts into the meal. She sells her art to help mum and dad with the expenses, but she's worth so much more.

They, as individuals, sound like they're the best and most deserved among us. But when put together, they constitute of any other middle class family in this country. When everyone pulls off sacrifices for each other, no one can explain the cause of unrest and constant disputes between all of them. They all have a bigger goal in mind, but still caught in struggles of everyday life.

Can you tell what goes wrong?

3 comments:

  1. This post reminds me of what Sylvia Plath said: “Life has been some combination of fairy-tale coincidence and joie de vivre and shocks of beauty together with some hurtful self-questioning.”

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  2. That's why the Indian middle class is where it is-stuck in the middle.

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  3. "When everyone pulls off sacrifices for each other, no one can explain the cause of unrest and constant disputes between all of them."
    Love that line.

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If my neurons are drunk enough to make me write this post, they're definitely drunk enough to appreciate your criticism. Shoot.