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7 Apr 2012

Me. An Average Indian.

The alarm goes off and, instinctively, I hit snooze. Few more minutes of my time are not going to make a difference in Suresh Sir’s life, is it? His client can wait, I need my beauty sleep.

I brush my teeth and my half closed eyes catch sight of the price on the paste carton. WHAT?! My mind awakens instantly, HE CHARGED ME THREE WHOLE RUPEES OVER THE MRP?! How dare he, I’m never shopping there again. And then I feel a lapse inside myself as I think whatever, it’s just three rupees, what value does it have these days, anyway. Plus, the shop is so convenient….

As I make the coffee, I throw the banana peel into dustbin…. Curse, when it missed it by a few inches. Ah well, the maid will come in soon, it’s her job anyway.

The milkman calls out. I go outside to get my milk, absent mindedly throwing the dirty water in the vessel on the neighbor’s wall. Oops, she just whitewashed it… maybe she won’t notice.

I smell the fresh newsprint, like I always do, and sip the bitter brew while scanning the headlines. “BABY FALAK DIES OF CARDIAC ARREST”. My eyes moisten for a second, I’d been following the story for some time now. No human being deserves what was done to her… much less a baby, I thought.  I read the rest of the story on page 10…. The advertisement on the side caught my eye. “NEW FOR OLD OFFER”. My thoughts wander…. maybe I should exchange my old laptop and the mixer for that new Inspiron I saw the other day… So sleek, so cool it was… Maybe…

Local elections are on; I snigger at the uselessness of the whole system and wonder where my Voter’s ID is. I proudly proclaim to all and sundry that I don’t vote. What’s the point? Nothing’s going to change.

I dress and head out, I’m already late. I curse the lights for turning red at that precise moment and tap my foot impatiently on the kerb. The boy comes to me with wide, brown eyes and a dirty, dirty face. He has the face of a golden retriever with honesty, cuteness and helpless abandon writ all over him. My will hiccups as I pull out a ten-rupee note... he looks like he should be my niece’s classmate. Which reminds me, I HAVE to get her that HP limited edition set she’s been begging for since January…. Doesn’t matter if it costs half my salary, she is my princess, who else will spoil her?

I huff into my office and snap at the attendant for delaying the lift. He bows his head and mutters an apology. So what if he can’t walk? He’s paid to operate the lifts, he can do at least that efficiently. Loafer, kahin ka.

I start getting calls almost as soon as I log in. I put my headset on Good morning, this is xxx customer care, how may I help you? I deliver in my best chirpy voice. The customer is having trouble checking his balance and I wonder what rock he lives under to not know even that much in this day and age. I check records, he lives in Vanaprastha Home. Ugh, why don’t his children take care of him? At least I won’t have stupid old men asking me foolish questions first thing in the morning.

I saunter in after my long, lazy lunch. Though I wish I hadn’t taken Sumeeta with me; thanks to her I spent the better part of three hours listening to how her baby’s smile was magical.
The boss isn’t in yet. There’s a commotion outside his office. I walk up to Arjun’s cabin and ask what’s going on. Suresh Bansal had a heart attack early in the morning, he is stable now but under observation.
Involuntarily, my mind thinks will they give us a day off?!! I shake off the hope and tch, tch with the rest.

Payday! I pack my bag at 5 hoping the TL will let me leave early and check my account to find the salary credited. Wooohooooo! Shopping spree. My board lights up but I ignore them, say I’m done. White lies don’t matter..... everybody lies anyway.

I reach home with a lighter wallet but a happy heart. The neighbours were fighting again. I heard her scream once and everything was silent. Who am I to interfere, I think. Their domestic issues.

I cook and I eat in candle light, thinking about the day. I can’t finish the bowl of rice and I walk out to the overflowing street dustbins. The stray looks at me with longing eyes; wagging his pitiful tail. The action makes his bones stick out even more. Ugh, such a dirty animal. If I feed him now, he’ll expect the same every day. I dump the bowl into the dustbin and shoo him away.

I do the laundry, I brush my teeth and I fall asleep.


I am an average Indian. I live in a Metropolitan city. I eat. I live.

I tch, tch about an honor killing, like/share a Facebook page and lend my support by posting a picture of me in a black dress to proclaim my protest.
I love my own religion, all other Gods are irrelevant.
I love my own State, every other State and its people are backward, dirty and talk funny.
I will isolate that ‘loose’ girl even if I have secretly spent nights in my boyfriend’s apartment.
I refuse to do any work that is beyond the scope of my duties, I refuse to help others even if it is within my ability. What if it rebounds on me?
I will call Keenan and Reuben stupid inwardly for interfering unnecessarily. I will say the rape victim got what she deserved.

I am indifferent.
To everything that doesn’t affect me directly.
To everyone I have no reason to care about.
It’s time to change.
This might be just another post for a contest on Indiblogger.  And yes, I do have my eyes set on the prizes, as well (proving that, well, I'm every bit as indifferent as portrayed). But the sentiment is one that I have been wanting to voice for some time now. Thank you, Stayfree India, for prodding me into posting this. 

If this makes even one person take that little extra effort to feed a dog with leftovers or contribute ten rupees to a child's education or vote compulsorily at the next elections, rather than being indifferent, I shall consider the post to have been a quality addition to my life.

The views expressed in the post are my own and I take full responsibility for them. It is not my intention to hurt any sentiments, feel free to disagree. But do allow me to exercise my freedom of thought, opinion and speech.