This article is response to a recent article which was well circulated, at least among my acquaintances, garnering enough praise to be recommended by a close friend (His Highness). Here’s the link for reference, though I will try to explain its gist here too:
It talks about an increasing trend among millennials to be walking mockery of the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (I admit I found it grossly unconvincing, but more on that in a separate post.) How, you ask? By choosing to live a life compromising on food, nutrition, health and shelter in lieu of a successful career, pretending all the way through. Examples quoted are young professionals – twenty somethings – who starve themselves: only eating sandwiches at Le Pain Quotidien worth INR 200, whenever they can afford it, if at all; who don’t own or rent a place to live but own a car which they obviously sleep in; and the likes.
I couldn’t possibly argue the increasing trend towards such lifestyle choices, not because I believe it’s real, but because I can’t research it enough to poise a statement with more than 95% confidence level. I, however, have primarily two points of contentions:
- The blatant use of the word “poor” and
- The hypocritical light with which they are represented.
An average person is in general either sympathetic or distrustful or both towards someone addressed as “poor”. Sympathetic because you might feel it’s probably not their fault that they spend their lives without proper food, education, healthcare, and most importantly, opportunities. Distrustful because you might feel they are poor because of their own laziness and complacency. They just don’t want to work and earn but in fact, want to be provided with everything by the government or donations, etc., otherwise how hard is it to get a job as a “chotu” at a roadside dhaba.
I would take a step back here and disagree with Mr. Rahul-I’m-40+-yet-I-liked-to-be-called-the-young-face-of-India-Gandhi that poverty is a state of mind. It is a lack of opportunities , to oversimplify things.
The urban poor mentioned in the article are not in a state of perpetuated impoverish state with a vicious cycle that is difficult to break-free from, they have made a conscious decision – a malleable one at that – to prioritize work, socializing and networking above their health, nutrition, family and lives.
These folks are short-sighted or what we call – “padhe likkhe gawar” if they can’t see what their lifestyle will do to them by the time they are only 35 or 40, aggravating by the time they become senior citizens, if they stay alive, that is. Their career is based on pretense, they believe. I ask them in what profession would they not find as***les who flaunt their riches, jewellery, iPhones, and even having a cousin in one of the older IITs (not counting you, Roorkee :P).
It is unhealthy trend for the society, no doubt. But the article should only invite rebuke, not sympathy, TBH.