Mahesh, 32, is a manual labour working in a village. He also has a couple of buffaloes. His wife also goes for manual work in people’s farms for about half the month. Gopal, 23, is an engineer, working as a sales executive with a large Indian company in Mumbai. Dipika, 20, is in her final year graduation with an excellent academic record. Srinivas, 42, is a senior executive with a large MNC bank. Revati is studying in 10thstandard and is academically brilliant, social, well read (for her age).
Economically, their parents or larger family members aren’t dependent on them. On the contrary, their siblings and some other close family members are also in an economically ‘surplus’ zone. None of them have any extravagant lifestyles or expensive habits. None of them are too ambitious. None of them are any serious practitioners of some art or sport.
All of the above are typical representatives of people around us. All of them (possibly except Revati) have grown up with a primary aim of earning their living and then being economically independent. Economic well being offers respect in the society and independence in decision making. They are, thus, people who’ve arrived, or sure to.
When they catch up with friends on facebook or personally and ask ‘what’s up?’, there’s a talk about the road trip or the vacation that is being planned. Cricket, politics or minor events at work or school / college are the discussion subjects. There may be a few others, but mostly inconsequential. It wouldn’t have mattered if it (the discussion) hadn’t happened.
Few of such people eventually think about issues like the social culture and values, health, environment and other such issues of larger, though not of urgent concern.
Even reading the four paras above seems boring. There’s nothing happening in the story! But it interests me to think about what will happen in these stories. There may not be any urgent challenges, but will there be any important ones, which they will take up some time? Something for which they will not mind staking all they have? Something for which they will not care what the society thinks of them? Will they find something really interesting in life? For some reason I’m unable to comprehend completely, I’m losing sleep over it and am writing this at 4 am! Am I headed for an appointment with the psychiatrist?