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Unless we are born to a Tata or a Birla, none of us are born with a golden spoon up our butt. All of us come from middle class families or at least came from. At least I do. I came from a lower middle class family where we struggled to make a decent living at first. Later as my sister and I completed our studies and started making good money we rose up the ladder to an upper middle class family. But I do not act like I was born into luxury. I still remember those struggling days and hence I know the value of money. This is how I am always gonna be. I see a lot of people around me who act like they were conceived on the bed of luxury, when that clearly is not the case. Unless you had a gold crib as a child, you still are a part of the rags to riches story. Whether you contribute to it or not, is something else altogether.
One of the biggest examples that I see around me are those people who come from small towns to a big city like Bangalore. Suddenly, their mannerisms change and they act like they took their first breath here. Brand names like Puma, Nike are thrown in during regular conversations. For majority of their life, they would have shopped at local markets, but suddenly all they can see and talk is about Levis. Do not get me wrong, I totally respect people who come from small towns and make it big in the city. But they should never forget where they came from. When you are living with limited money, every basic is a luxury. All we wanted then was a shirt and a pant. Screw the brand. As long as it was a new piece of clothing, we were happy. But now, people conveniently forget all of these and shell out thousands for a single piece of clothing, just to keep up their "image". I have not got the meaning of that word right until now. Its all about status and proving to people that you can afford that particular brand.
Such people clearly forget the past when they struggled for a decent living. A car bought on EMIs clearly overtakes an old scooter, and local snacks are soon replaced by gourmet pastries. Is it that easy to forget where you came from? Or does the value of money decrease when you have more of it? A friend of mine says that she has never travelled by the local bus and only takes an auto to travel. She was the same girl who used to travel with me everyday to and from college in a local bus. Today she can afford to take the auto, so she happily erased the old memory from her head. People who only wore clothes stitched by a local darzi, suddenly only shop at malls and look down upon those small shops. This is exactly what troubles me. Everybody out there is struggling for a living. People should not forget that once upon a time they were there too. People who thronged tailor shops, to get the cheapest deal suddenly act like they do not even know who a tailor is.
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I can afford almost anything I want with the money I make. But I do not try to over compensate for the years where I hardly had anything. I know the value of money and I know how hard it is to earn a decent living. I cringe on a few things and spend on the mandatory ones. It is not like I have lost memory of how I was a decade ago. I look back at those memories fondly and I am proud that such memories have made me the person that I am today. I have lived in a single hall and kitchen when I was young and today living in a duplex house does not make a difference to me. It has eased a lot of things yes, but I have not forgotten the closeness we had then.
The reason I am talking about all this is because it irks me whenever I see people who act like they were born with a diamond encrusted spoon up their ass. I know children of successful business men who have all the money in the world yet choose to lead a basic life. It is those people who are between the lower and upper middle class, who act like they eat gold coins for breakfast. Such people take loans after loans and buy all the appliances in the world, to prove a point to their neighbors. Ladies with nighties and duppattas suddenly wear only kanjeevarm sarees to go out and buy vegetables. Local footpath slippers, make way for 'Metro' and 'Soles' and nukkad ki chai is replaced with green tea and lime. The struggle to survive is taken over by the urge to become upper class. Its a very sad thing.
Never forget where you have come from. This is something I firmly believe in and this is what keeps me rooted. I live for myself and not for anybody else. I speak of my struggles as easily as I speak of my achievements. I do not find a need to hide them, because I do not think that it is something bad. And there is no way on earth that I am ever gonna forget them. You might forget happy moments but you can never forget those times when you worked your ass off for something small. And if you are one of those people who forgot that they were poor once, believe me, what goes around, comes around.