The Middle Path of the middle class

The Middle Path of the middle class

The middle class seems to practice a strange variant of Buddhism — I would like to call it Should-ism. Should-ism has its own take on the four noble truths:

1. Living in urban India is suffering — if you’ve not been able to migrate or move to a gated community , life is a daily tryst with suffering. Especially when the maid doesn’t show up and when she does, she uses the service lift and travels with me

2. Others’ desires are the root cause of all my suffering — people taking their cars out onto the roads and causing a jam, hawkers trying to crowd my street and the poor wanting to celebrate loudly on the streets

3. All suffering can be eradicated by better bubbles — earning more so that we can live higher, further away from the dirt and noise, engaging as little as possible with the ‘system’ and creating privately what we failed to build publicly (security, open spaces, etc.)

4. The path to alleviate this suffering is Should-ism — having a take on what everyone else should do will let us transcend (or tolerate) our suffering and make for good party conversation

In following Should-ism, we stick to the Middle Path. We benefit from this violent economy, but not so much that we cannot criticize it. We do a few token acts of kindness, like giving our left over food to the hungry child, or passing on our used clothes to the watchman.

As active citizens, we complain about vendor encroachment. After all, the freedom of movement extends to our Swifts and Innovas.

And, if a Municipal Van has suddenly appeared, sending hawkers into hiding, we don’t mind striking a quick, cheap bargain for the 2 kgs of tomatoes while he is scurrying away. Not only are we helping the poor soul, but it is also in spirit of mukhha mandi (Pali for free markets)

We should(n’t) change This (Should-um sharnam gachhami)

This is Wrong! That is Wrong! (Wrong-um sharnam gachhami)

Forget it, it’s never going to Change (Cynicis-um sharnam gachhami)

Lets explore our journey, as an Indian.

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Abhishek Thakore

Abhishek Thakore

Pushing the edge…..with soft motherly nudges…

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