Monday, August 29, 2016

The Middle Class Syndrome!!

On a casual Whatsapp conversation thread I received a message with a picture of a man taking both his children to school on a bicycle. It was a rainy morning. He had covered his head with a plastic cover to shield only his head from getting drenched. Both the kids were covered completely with a huge plastic cover.

Not because I had nothing better to do, but it was a really stirring picture!!! There was no rain coat, no umbrella. Thoughts went rattling off in my head as usual.

May be they didn't expect the rain and the plastic cover idea was  just the best idea at that moment.
May be they didn't have the money to afford a rain coat for three.
May be they forgot the rain coat at home.
May be they are used to umbrellas and it was not practical to hold an umbrella this day especially with the many school things that they were carrying..
On a parallel track, my mind went on to these questions too :

What if the man skids off his cycle given that it was raining heavily that morning?
What if one of the children fell off the cycle as there was very less space for two children to sit in the carrier?
What if the man loses his balance with two huge back packs plus two not so little children plus the cycle weight itself?
Why, he could have just decided to write a leave application stating the heavy rain as reason and kept the children indoors?!
What if the children fall sick?

At this last question, I stopped -

For a rich man, home schooling is possible - Car drive to school is possible - Rain coat and an umbrella is possible - Not a drop of water on the children and no risk of a soiled uniform - A simple email to the school asking for leave is also possible with no loss to marks in the exam or no questions asked later. Rich doesn't worry about rains too much!! As much as they don't worry about tomorrow!!

For a poor man, none of the above is possible, so there are not many options. So the poor man does all he can and sends the child to school. He believes in the unknown power to shield his life. Its either a hit or a miss in everything, especially on a rainy day. Either he gets wet or pats dry. Poor man lives for the day. His dictionary does not have a tomorrow to worry about!!

Then comes the middle class :

Some identities :

I don't have enough money. ( What will you do if you suddenly inherit hundred thousand crores from a will that you had no idea of till date??!!! Would you be able to spend it right?)

I need a job security.( What if you stop breathing at work while your job is super secure?)

I don't know why these things happen to me. (What do you think you can do or could have done if you knew that you were going to be thrown out of the train at the next station?)

I don't know why wrong things happen to me at the right times in life? ( Do you prefer right things to happen at the wrong time, like finding a lost bank card after you cancelled the card.?)

I prefer to be careful especially on a rainy morning like this with two small children travelling by cycle is a strict no - no!! ( Just how careful can you be about the oncoming drunken motorcycle guy or a bus driver on a reckless drive??)

So there goes : For the middle class - the class of people that are always thinking they don't have enough;are always working hard to make more to have a secure tomorrow forgetting the simple joys of today; are scared to take calculated risks of today that give life more thrill than anything -  small things like rainy morning causes more worry.  Their life gets spent in working up the ladder and never really being able to enjoy their earning in most household.

If you give a newspaper to a rich man, he hands it over to his secretary who reads out only the headlines to him. If you give it to a poor man, he gives it back to you probably because he cant read or doesn't have the time to spend in nano sized fonts. You know you are facing a middle class man if you hear remarks like " What did the PM do so far? He claims so much or How poorly the Indian railways operate.. You should see in Europe or You should see in Arctic!!! And this man has only read about Europe and probably doesn't even know where Arctic is in the Globe!!! And that's middle class also called as complaint box!!!!

I corrected my mind that day a little and ever since been trying to practise this : Its just okay. Too many questions, too many doubts only take too much  disk space in the mind. Half of what we worry about in life never happens and we should stop to think when did we last get drenched in rain than think about protecting from the rain itself!!We must simply get down to earth enough to understand that We are just human beings and are limited to that level of powers!!


With new opportunities also comes to fear and self-doubt. How can we navigate these very strong forces in order to reach our fulfillment...