To be a part of the Great Indian Middle Class is akin to being trapped in an air-tight container. It is suffocating, irritating, and there is no way anything interesting can leak in. In this suburban “comfort”, one is expected to stay, and one’s “progress” along a standard middle-class curve is plotted. Deviation is naturally frowned upon, and one’s success is evaluated on the basis of this ideal graph, which in effect is this:
Over 90% in school (preferably a topper) – taking science in 12th, and 90% again – Entering a professional college (Medicine or Engineering) – MBA if an engineer – a job in a bank – counting your pay of at least 1 lakh rupees a month.
Obviously everyone cannot achieve such wonderful results, hence the above remains an ideal guideline, meant for every middle class child to strive for - natural interests and aptitude be damned! This is what my neighbor’s kid/colleague’s kid/insert any acquaintance’s kid is doing, and hence my child must do the same.
“Hobby classes” rarely reflect the student’s interest, they reflect what the student’s parents think will boost the poor kid’s CV. Anyone with an ounce of imagination or interest in deviating from these strict guidelines is ridiculed, perhaps even pitied for being stupid and/or short sighted.
I have thus come to the conclusion that the Great Indian Middle Class is composed, for most part of philistines. Exceptionally practical people, but with no will to explore, no desire to experience, too scared to venture out and try the unknown, afraid of failing, of becoming a laughing stock, of dying poor. But what is worse, is that their children are also trained to be the same, another generation of cowards, of sissies wanting to stay at home with safe jobs and decent pay packets and being compared to their neighbors. They will never take risks and will learn nothing of life. They will die naïve.
Where is the fun in that?
"तूफानों की ओर घुमा दो नाविक निज पतवार"