Some very middle class things..
Having been brought up in an Indian middle class household , I’m sure many of you out there reading this post can relate to this exceptionally well. We Indians are very desi and frugal in whatever we do.Indeed, we all know this: “India is a poor country, but Indians are not poor..”
“Jugaad” is something which is in every Indian’s blood and there’s no denying that. We make use of everything that’s given to us and we are the happy lot when it’s offered free of cost..
These are some of the situations that I have faced and experienced myself which I love to share here. Enjoy a giggle here and there as you read and relate to most of them as this is what defines the journey of a middle class person and that struggle is tough , challenging and hilarious to an extent.
1) This was the time of the TV antenna and whenever it rained , the male member of the house would go up to the terrace to check and fix it up, twisting and turning the antenna which would be rusted and the poor brother would be made to run up and down to check the tv status or sometimes he would be shouting from the terrace asking the members of the house, “has it come clear?” while the members shout back “Yes..or No..”or sometimes the house members pranking the already frustrated male member by saying “May be a TV operator is way better than you!!”, while they actually enjoy watching some movie that they are totally engrossed in and the transmission has become clear.
2) The toothpaste tube would be squeezed till the last drop came out and when asked for a new one, mother would reply with a ‘NO’ and her standard reply would be ” there’s enough for today and it can be used for another some more days!”
3) Then comes the turn of school uniforms and other clothes . The school uniforms would be always bought one size bigger than your actual size so that after you have used it thoroughly it would pass on to your younger sibling(or even to cousins in some families) who if is of your own gender benefits out of it and would be perfectly fitting for them. While you walk around with the over sized one looking like a fool but your parents would tell you it fits perfectly and you’re looking smart in them. This also goes for school bags, books, toys. Everything was a passed on affair, or on a deal basis.
4) Whenever your mother ran out of of something in the kitchen , you are thought of and sent to the nearest grocery shop to buy that packet of oil or tea powder or pulses with the exact money or some extra money from your mother and she would wait for you at the door while you come back all panting and sweating and she asks you the change you received back from the grocer, so no pranking with your mother or you’re sure to get some dose of scoldings from her!
5) You and your siblings attacked the sweets and savories as soon as the guests left. This one is a classic and it still happens in every household. The special snacks would be served to the guests when they come over which you are never allowed otherwise to touch on daily basis. You and your sibling behave the best when they are around and the minute they leave , your true colors come out and it’s a battle between you and your sibling to attack the plates and wipe them clean while your mother gives you both that “look”.
6) There was always a BIG polythene bag in which other smaller polythene bags would be carefully stuffed by your mother. And every bag had its own specific use . If milk or vegetables was to be bought then your mother would hand over a bag which would be specially kept for that. If a visit to the bank is on the cards then a more glossier and good looking bag would be handed over. Like that, many such occasions had many bags and you needed special permission to use those glossy beautiful bags which were hidden somewhere away in the cupboard and only your mother knew where it was kept.
7) Then comes the story of the bottles. No bottle would be thrown away. The oil and shampoo bottles were preserved . Once those were over , they were sun-dried and re-filled with another liquid. And who can forget the bournvita and complan bottles which would be further used for storing masalas, all kinds of powders, mustard seeds, dhania seeds, dried chillies and so on. Full vasool..!
8) No food was ever wasted . Your mother would churn out new dishes from left over ones and you have to admit they used to be tasty and she was a pro at it. And if you refused food, no pampering was done and you would have to sit hungry all day which proved of no use and then you come back and eat whatever was made at home.
9) Attending weddings was a carefully planned mission. You leave your stomach empty that day so that you can hog whatever you can come across because such events guarantee yummy food and you don’t want to waste an opportunity to eat, and that too to your heart’s content. And every relative would come and ask you if you have tried this dish , that dish and guide you by giving you directions towards those dishes as though you are at a traffic signal and asking for directions to a place and people are guiding you left and right.
10) And lastly how to forget , if you are not compared to your neighbor's son or daughter or some relative’s kid , then you are not middle class..! Right from your birth, for every single aspect of your living, there will undoubtedly be a comparison game always happening.
Hope all this brought back memories of your childhood . It surely made me nostalgic and because of this upbringing I’m proud to say I’m still grounded and enjoyed every bit of my growing up and past ….
Send in your feedback's and do share some of your experiences in case I missed any. Would love to hear.