By middle class, I intend to mention the strata of population that form a common household; that are not extremely affluent in terms of financial prosperity, yet form the major volume of pulse of the nation.
They happily worm their way to the local vegetable market and put in a great deal of time to select the freshest supply of the day. Not everything comes at a bargain price, but yes, vegetables do come, especially when the market is at the verge of exhausting its supply.
They remember most of the less-known festivals and look forward to be a part of them keenly. They organize Satyanarayan Pooja or Mata ki Chowki (on a small scale) in their homes when their adolescent son manages to get exceptional grades in the final exams, or when their brilliant daughter gets her first job.
An evening tea, enjoyed in the company of the spouse and kids amidst smoke-stained air and dying sunlight, brings more pleasure to them than attending an office party in some 3 star hotel.
They make it a point to watch one of the early morning spiritual TV program.
They keep a vigil track over fluctuating gold prices.
They make it a point to visit their parents, staying at their ancestral village, at least twice every year. They carry gifts to be distributed to their siblings and families that have remained in the rural settings.
They love to spend time with their growing kids. At every given or created opportunity, they try their level best to inculcate the flurry of moral values in them.
They hate changes in cultural values.
They believe a lot in traditional methods of treatment.
They are less inhibited in striking amazing friendships with a large part of their neighborhood. They love to be known and to be respected.
They make it a point to watch Republic Day parade and Independence Day speech on their TV sets with the whole family glued together. They understand the fabrics of politics better than some of the best known professionals, yet don’t normally gather courage to stand up and bring about a change. They are expressive, sentimental, large-hearted and keen to learn.
They keep a check on monthly expenditures with eyes of an eagle. They save small amount of money every month to be able to purchase their teenager a laptop on his next birthday.
They invest in their children’s education without any second thought. They would compromise in paying for the premium of their health insurance; but their kid’s tuition fee would always be paid on time.
They surf the classifieds in the hope of a better job every now and then; but prefer not to leave their existing jobs in the end.
They prefer speaking in their mother tongues.
I was born in a middle class family and am proud of this. No amount of money can buy you happiness that the middle class luxuriates in. The joy of smelling the first whiff of morning coffee, the thrill of seeing the plants in your flower-pots grow, the raptures of planning for that local pilgrimage trip with your family, the excitement of trying out that branded shirt, the kick of watching the last over of the much awaited cricket match, the delight of seeing your entire family eating out together in the dining table – Middle class embodies the essence of any culture and any country, any given day.