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.
from dweebness.wordpress.com
It’s time to change. 

 http://ohmenver.tumblr.com/post/12916269499
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.

78 comments:

  1. Good to see you back on the circuit, baby! Cute post. Good luck with the contest:) Best wishes!

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  2. That was a great post with a good message too. People should not be so indifferent. Even if it doesn't directly affect you in a way you can see, that doesn't mean it won't affect you. Apathy is one of the true evils of this age.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and apathy/indifference can do more damage than hate or anger.

      Delete
  3. Great post PeeVee! You are right in that most Indians have that 'chalta hai' attitude and that someone else will clean up their mess so to speak. Good luck with the contest! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, PB. We just sit and wait around for everybody else to do our work. But even worse than that, we complain. About every single thing that can be complained about. The reasoning, I fail to grasp.

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  4. What a brilliant article! It is so well-written, I do hope you win!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Sunkissed :):)

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  5. Loved the post... Iv nothing to say..no big claims...no advices...no nothing more

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  6. It is a time to change indeed. This casual approach is gonna take us nowhere! Interesting title I must say,.. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Su :) It isn't. We need to stop being so passive about everything.

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  7. Ah. What a sensible post. Absolute wonder reading it. :)

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    Replies
    1. This was very.. Real? You know what I mean?

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    2. I think I do :) Thank you!

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  8. I loved this post. Pakistanis and Indians are the same :P

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    Replies
    1. Bhai-bhai hum log and all that? :D

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  9. It is something we all realise and at some level feel guilty about too. But the change doesn't come before we get rid of the 'what will others think?' notion. You articulated that typical psyche very well. Nice read. :D

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rose.
      The guilt doesn't seem to push us into action though.
      And the 'what will others think' notion is the worst thought that could occur to the human mind (in terms of the nation), don't you think?

      Delete
  10. It's a beautiful post! I will try not be indifferent from now! Thank you :)

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    Replies
    1. No... thank YOU :) if it has made a difference :)

      Delete
  11. I think this was a great post. You made me nod, because there are people who do that. SOmetimes I do it too.. And that's exactly the root cause. WE need to change.. Only then can we see it..

    With all honesty and respect, I think Peevs this was a great post & you should win :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, WE change, everything else changes.
      Thanks for the support love.

      Delete
  12. The Great Indian Chalta-hai attitude is well-portrayed PeeVee. Good luck for the contest. This post is definitely a great contender!!

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  13. Amazing post! Read something I have been telling people around me. Its time when we do something different instead of telling 'I am different'. Its time we empathize with people- how angry we would be if someone was late for our work, what if the maid dint come at all (would the banana peel lie there until next day), what if the baby and Suresh Bansal were our relative. I have more but I don't want to make something you wonderfully wrote sound dull because of my comment.
    I just hope you win :)

    An average Indian.

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    Replies
    1. EXACTLY my point, I seem to have gotten through, CD! Thank you so much <3
      Winning or not, I know there is a kindred soul out there:)
      Thank you...

      Delete
  14. Great post.. Nice message... I wish you win... All the best :)

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  15. Hi-fives for being indifferent in general. Love it!

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  16. It was a beautiful and an honest post PeeVee :)
    You're not our average indian, you're our indifferent amazing indian :)
    All the best :)

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  17. PEE VEE , oh gal , you killed it , BIG TIME.
    Every line , phrase , para is so real. And TRUE .
    Awesome write up.
    Wish you all the best . :-)

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  18. thank you for speaking up my mind in a way much much better than I could, beautifully written :)

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  19. Brilliant! *Applauds*

    I still miss you. :| Good luck with the work!
    Blessed Be! <3 :D

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    Replies
    1. Thanks love...

      I texted you, didn't get delivered :/

      Delete
  20. Loved this post! So straight forward and honest. I can relate to a lot of it too, even though I'm from Pakistan.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks :) but then our countries are too similar in good ways AND bad.

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  21. This was superb. Have shared it on facebook :). Now I can be happily indifferent to the rest of thw world and worry about what dress ti wear for vishu :)

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    Replies
    1. Then we have that one thing/goal in common for the next week :D

      Delete
  22. Great post, Priyanka. I'm a first time visitor to your blog.

    Here are my 2 cents on the same -
    http://eatpraylovemovies.blogspot.in/2012/04/my-2-cents.html

    Remember, they're giving away 2 Kindles ;)
    All the best :)

    Cheers!
    mansi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mansi:)
      Kindles, hmmm, for me it's the iPad or the BS vouchers :P

      Keep visiting!

      Delete
    2. I have an ipad...and just won bought body shop vouchers...

      i have my eyes set on Kin kin kin...

      If not anything, i'll settle for dkny

      ;)

      Delete
    3. Let's strike a deal then, I get the iPad and you can have the Kindle :D How does that sound?:D

      Delete
  23. Hey brilliantly u portrayed your day..

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    Replies
    1. My dear, it is not a portrayal of MY own life... Just a first person narrative.

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    2. oops sorry.. thought its urs :)

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  24. This is so meaningful PeeVee!!

    The important emotion of being thoughtful about things around you explained with a slice-of-life account...

    All the best with the contest :)

    -Visha

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  25. An awesome post on the average Indian..

    liked the way u picked up nuances of everyday living from the life of an average Indian.. extremely insightful n very observant, PeeVee :)

    A good message too.. hope we Indians do manage to do at least a fraction of what ur post here tries to say..

    All the best for the contest PeeVee n nice to be back here after so loong.. kinda missed u dearie

    :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Raj:) I hope we do...

      I keep disappearing, don't I :(

      Delete
  26. I am not an average Indian.

    Instead, I am a mediocre Indian, who left home for office today morning only to find a human head separated from the body on a rail track - A clean case of suicide, just a few meters from home.

    I am perturbed and the best I do is think, worry and pray. Helpless as I might be, I am ashamed for being part of a silent society where resentment and hopelessness is steadily brewing.

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    Replies
    1. Oh my God! I'm so sorry :(

      Maybe there will come a day when it will all change.... Maybe we have to work towards it, maybe it will be like a volcanic eruption against of all the atrocities we see today.

      But we can only hope that that day will come soon.
      Hope and pray.
      And do our duties.

      Delete
  27. was a great post Peevee..! Thts wht most of us odes every other day! A winning post indeed!

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  28. Very very very well expressed, PeeVee! I wish you win.. you deserved that win!

    Bitter truths, some facts and everything else is expressed brilliantly! :) All the best!

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    Replies
    1. Bitter truths which aren't sparking too much of debate, I'm afraid.
      Thank you so much though :)

      Delete
  29. Great post, Priyanka. I love how honest and straight forward you are, telling thing as it is. I really do hope you win :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Zarine. Hope everything is okay in Chennai.

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  30. Very well written! Best of luck for the contest:)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Sir, wish you the same :)

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  31. Brilliant post! The easy writing, the effortless expression, the easy you-can-all-relate-to-it manner and the punch at the end. I say, super. All the best!

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  32. Nicely written
    Well done yaar..cheers for the article :).
    Also Check out mine.Give your comment on it.
    Are Hijra's(TransGender) not a Human being.?

    ReplyDelete

Go on, you can say it.