The Middle Class Dilemma

The beginning of 6th grade is marked with all Indian kids leaving behind their beloved Natraj pencil and moving on to the finer things in life which makes most 11 year olds feel big and old; a pen. For me it was not just that. It was the start of the time where a Parker pen could make you Obama of the United States, of the rich and famous. A Trimax could get you exclusive passes to the world of bling and flash accompanied by “welcome to the jungle” playing in the background – and a Reynolds pen a pitying shake of the head.

My middle class dilemma was that my father used to get Parker pens from his office in bulk and I used to take them to school not knowing their significance. This basically brought my status equivalent to that of Jimi Hendrix. The thing is Parker pens are almost always accompanied by “I was born in Australiyaaa,” stories, Kipling pencil boxes, and Hershey’s chocolate.

Feeling like Jimi Hendrix is well, pretty damn awesome, so I did pretty much anything to keep my title of a rock star intact. This includes adopting a slight American accent, pretending to love Hershey’s more than Cadbury and well just plain advertising a false persona of myself.

Being middle class is actually like visiting France and not being able to go to Paris, being so close to the best part that you can actually feel it, but honestly can’t afford it. The strive to get richer and richer can be compared to the unfathomable yet misguided faith Donald Trump had in himself when he signed up as a presidential candidate.

You can’t blame the middle class for climbing up the ladder, but then you can blame them for removing the ladder putting in an escalator and trying to climb as fast as they can. Which would probably result in their own downfall; figuratively and literally speaking. The middle class start investing in fruitless things with no guarantee of profit.


Middle class kids have it the worst and the best. Their parents send them to the best school possible but there they meet the worst kind of kids. Kids who have everything handed to them in a silver platter with a golden spoon (not all but few).


The kind who call “Ramu kaka,” to switch on the fan. This makes them question a lot about themselves and makes them have a lot of questions to ask their parents. “Why can’t I have this when my friend has this,” and more? “Why can’t we go here when he or she is going there as well?” “Why is it that they get more without any particular reason?” 

Parents either fail to answer or just simply say “Humare paas paise nahi hain, tum pado aur khud karna.” This is very useful advice given at a very wrong time. Kids take this in a very wrong way and go on the wrong path to fulfill their desires.

I overcame my middle class dilemma by telling myself that, well girl, just get over it already. It is as simple as that. I started finding unconditional happiness in listening to glorious Queen songs and dancing to Daler Mehndi. I also took the advice above in a good way; I learnt that even if now can’t fulfill my desires maybe the future will.

Or maybe it won’t.

Money can only buy a few minutes of happiness, not true contentment. Find happiness in small things, in things that matter or in things that seem insignificant at that time. “Let it Go,” and “Let it Be,”; wordings of two wonderful songs that make a whole world of sense.

ShagunAuthor: Shagun Singh
Photo Credits: Angie Harms https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode
Photo Credits: Angie Harms
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode

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4 thoughts on “The Middle Class Dilemma

  1. Shagun, you just wrote our hearts out. It was hard to study among those who had pencil boxes with buttons that popped its hood and the sharpener compartments open, digital watches, cool ‘slam dunk’ bags, and could afford by Lays chips everyday to collect tazos. Life is beautiful. And are the People who come out of it. And that’s why, some of us still prefer simplicity over comfort even if we could afford it. Wonder how we would be as parents?

    Liked by 2 people

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