I remember, as a kid, I used to immediately warm up to people who gave me toffees, chocolates, gifts – among the other relatives who had nothing but a smile and hug for me. I used to eagerly wait for the those specific aunts and uncles to come home, just because they always bought me something. I’d be sweet, I’d pamper them around and towards the end I’d have a bountiful of treats in my bag.
Then I grew up, and I brought myself up with the principle – to never accept any favour/gift/anything from anyone, at any cost. And whatever I wanted, I would wait, save and earn it myself. So it was all sorted in my mind and I no longer was looking forward to all the treats people brought me. But this didn’t mean I didn’t look forward to meeting them, it meant, the “gifts” aunties and uncles held the same value as the “only hugs and smiles” aunties and uncles, in my heart.
Now, in almost every house there will be atleast one NRI aunt, uncle and family who’ll stay in some expensive, exotic foreign country and who come to India once in a while. And everytime they come, they’ll bring lots of gifts with them, which probably would’ve cost them just a dime, but considering the standards in our country, it will look like a lot to us. Always has, always will. And whatever we do/give in return will always seem small in comparison.
But, of late, I realised through the passing years; the elders, the neighbours, the relatives and the rest of the people I know, haven’t grown up at all. They still hold the same attraction towards people who bring them expensive gifts, towards people who are NRIs, towards people who have lots of money. It is us kids who seem to have moved on.
Though we aren’t poor or anything, it breaks my heart when I see people sucking up to that particular NRI aunt for no reason, and sticking up to her/her family like wart plasters through out their stay here. Their behaviour, attitude, emotions change drastically when she/any one from her family is around. The exotic aunts suddenly become the centre of attraction and the eye of everyone’s attention.
This is a huge startling divide I fail to comprehend, and do not wish to ever.
Though money, power, status, position matter to me, I wish to earn them myself – not by sucking up to people or plastering fake smiles on my face whenever I see them. For me, this divide just doesn’t exist. For me, the only people matter are those who’ll stand by my side no matter what. To me, everyone’s the same and if something is going to set them apart it’d be their honesty in emotions.