“That woman eloped with the electrician”, declared one. “Oh no! The electrician of all people, what was she even thinking” pitched in another. “Didn’t she have eyes in her head? Her neighbour next door was hands down a better catch than that ELECTRICIAN!” screeched another. “Mom, that pot-bellied man next door is hardly a catch!” “Shhh! don’t go by his looks, he has some very deep pockets” she continues, “Have you seen his wife? The Manolo Blahnik, the Gucci, the Prada, she is like one big emporium. Who wouldn’t want a life like that? And rumour has it that he is quite a ladies’ man, you know what I mean” she at her daughter. The detective of a woman continues, “If I was given a chance I would surely elope with him”. Daughter makes a face and makes her way out of the room.
The rest continue talking about the woman of ill-repute who eloped with her electrician. Neither the woman nor the electrician was related to these women, they were bystanders who were enjoying a show which wasn’t even put up for them (but knowing women, let’s save that talk for another day). Secondly, they were not even concerned about the woman’s family; a grief-stricken husband, a baffled child, the furious in-laws, all of whom were only concerned about the electrician’s profession or the lack of it (according to them). The in-laws themselves incredulously repeated, “An electrician? That’s the most shameful thing she could have ever done. How would we even explain this to our friends? “ . The mother-in-law reprimanded her son by adding, “Didn’t I tell you to stop her from socializing with the helping hands? She always shared a cosy equation with that elec….” she spits as if the mere name of the profession would disinfect her tongue. The grief-stricken man has by now turned into a furious one and he bemoans his fate by saying, “God above! She stripped me of my virtue. Couldn’t she find someone better?….”.
Wait! He (all of them for that matter) means to say it would have been just about fine if the lady would have walked away with the alleged millionaire next door? So it seems. And this where a new life lesson was learnt by me-It is ok to be bad and to do bad as long as it isn’t done with the so-called bad part of the society.
Hierarchy has clung to the knees of our society since its very establishment. It knows us inside out and knows of our trepidation which sets in when circumstances decide to pull out the rotten luxury of one from our very hands. We are far-flung from an era of feudalism, but it still continues to haunt us. And a vigorous head shake and wringing hands are not a sufficient signs of denial. The right crowd syndrome imbibes us at a very early age right within the confines of our homes. You don’t trust me, here are few seemingly ambiguous sentences with unambiguous meanings – Choose right friends in life (meaning, is that your new friend? He looks like a crook), Do not talk to strangers (well, that person seems to be a gentleman, you can talk to him. No not that one, that fellow indulges in lalochezia, he doesn’t even look like a gentleman. Steer clear!). Then there are mothers who would easily accept prospective daughter-in-laws from a family with old money (or, new money for that matter. But money should be an inseparable part of the equation), fathers who strongly detest that one boyfriend whose mother worked hard to put him through college, grand-parents who fret over that not-so-proper-looking friend of yours who stays in a place which looks nothing like a mansion. These ingredients season one’s outlook towards the world. These are starters which stimulates the false senses of one being more superior to the other. By the time the main meal and dessert arrives the scene gets much more interesting.
This great divide or wide chasm is getting wider in this materialistic world. While, this makes an interesting topic for discussion over a hot cup of flavored tea specially imported from Ceylon served in dainty porcelain cups, the naked truth stares them all in the face which no body is keen to acknowledge.
We’ve all become (or, are slowly becoming) a tree with a hollow root system which seemingly has the solution to this problem. Aberrations from the usual society-dwellers are hoping for an Earth-jarring fall for this hierarchy tree, but unlike a natural tree with a rotten root system, this one is here to stay for some considerable time. Who should be blamed for these shallow standards? If you just said, “The society!”, then pause for a while and contemplate, “Who are the inhabitants of this society?” The last I checked animals were just a minor population of it. It is we who set standards to filtrate. And as we die, we pass on this standardized filtration system as a legacy to the new green leafs of this tree. And hence, statements like, “I am stuck up in a college with the wrong crowd” (with a fake American accent) is liberally utilized and accepted as well. Did you just say, “Oh! They are just kids. They’ll mellow down with age”. Note this-All the participants in the story of the lady who eloped with the electrician were once such kids who inherited the taste (or, the distaste for that matter) for the right people from their parents and other associations. The art of looking down upon someone cannot be fostered overnight; it needs proper nourishment to flourish.
No honest profession or possession is ever too small or less and it should definitely not define our judgement of an individual. They are as good as us and we are as bad as them is a mantra which should be reiterated throughout one’s life. For now, let’s just hope that we aren’t headed back in time to be bound with a modern version of the long-gone (that’s what we’re said) feudal system.
P.S. Teaching conversational skills to the women of our society which would hone their skills to speak relevantly should also make it to the top of our society’s list.