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That Adorable Indian Middle-Class Family

There are certain things in life that money can’t buy.

Photo by samer daboul from Pexels

In December of 2018, I had a late-night flight from Bengaluru to Delhi. Usually, it gets very cold in North India during this time of the year. The flight landed at Delhi airport around 2:30 AM. After deboarding, I collected my luggage and went straight to the cab stand. If you have ever boarded a late-night flight, you know how exhausting it is. You just want it to be over as soon as possible.

Due to dense fog, there was a shortage of cabs. After considerable efforts, I finally got a cab with a wait time of 25 minutes. I was frustrated with such a long wait time but realized nothing much can be done. Waiting at the cab stand, I saw a guy leave in a Mercedes Benz. I got a little jealous thinking how fortunate he is, his family sent a car along with a driver to pick him up.

I was getting crankier with each passing moment. However, a few minutes later something happened which greatly impacted me and still brings a smile to my face.

After 10–15 minutes of wait, an old WagonR came. The car was there to pick up a guy who was standing next to me. He was a young lad around 21 or 22, maybe a final year college student or a new joiner in an MNC.

The fascinating thing though was that almost his entire family came to pick him up at such an odd hour. There were his brother and sister-in-law along with a newborn baby. There was also an old lady which must have been his mother.

As the car gates opened, instantly the boy hugged them and touched their feet. Everyone was so happy to see each other, perhaps the boy had come back home after a long time. Then he held the young baby. Judging by his excitement maybe this was the first time he held his niece or nephew. The next moment his mom handed him a new hoodie because of the cold, even though he was already wearing a jacket. Finally the boy got in and they left.

I don’t know why seeing all this filled my heart with joy. All my irritation disappeared and I was at ease. I was no more jealous of the guy who left in Mercedes. Instead, I was overwhelmed with the act of love which I just witnessed. I went home happy, smiling through the entire ride, and had a peaceful sleep.

Whenever I am reminded of that incident I start reminiscing about the adorable values of a Indian middle-class family. I too grew up in a middle-class family. We also owned a WagonR. All the kids of the house use to wear clothes of a similar pattern stitched from the same cloth material. We were often given discarded school books, bicycles, shoes, and accessories of the senior cousins. Going out for ice cream was a big thing. We kept a frugal mentality while spending money. I can go on and on, the nostalgia never ends.

Money can buy all the materialistic comforts but the values of the Indian middle-class family are priceless. A WagonR might look scruffy in comparison to the Mercedes yet the former has been a home to so many hearts the latter will never have.



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