Privilege


In recent times, privilege has been branded as a word to describe to Whites. The use of the word is many a times justified, but I am not the judge of that. I am not perceptive enough to pick out subtle race differences, to spot the minorities. I am not writing a post about racism, nothing has warranted it. But now, I have  a taste of privilege.

 


 

Last night, after a hilarious evening with some friends I took the midnight bus home. I didn’t want to read a book. I sat with music reverberating in my ears and looked around. For the midnight bus, there were still a lot of people riding home. Auckland doesn’t sleep either. I saw faces mirroring mine: tired, sleepy and listening to music than talk to each other. The only sound was the roar of the engine (which was not much) and chatter of a couple. I raced my brain to draw some inspiration in the scene, to get inspired and write a fictional story from the dark passage home but I couldn’t. How could I?

 


 

We all are going somewhere. One station at a time #train #blacknwhite #auckland

A photo posted by Mayur Wadhwani (@mayurdw) on Feb 29, 2016 at 10:26pm PST

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On my way to work in train, I was reading a collection of personal essays. I was mundane, another commuter more engrossed in his phone or his book than to observe people or talk to people. This changed until the person next to me took out a novel. Her interests and mine were different, I read novels for fun and she read because of curiosity, which was now focused on understanding New Zealand’s aboriginals Maoris. I could see her interests in tracing Maori philosophical & cultural roots

In my time in Auckland, Maoris look physically big, scary. It is difficult to comprehend their accent their sense of humor is eclectic, only to be understood by them. After I actually got to know a few of them, I can say now they are simple-minded and enthusiastic about everything. (Exclude a gregarious roommate I had in my previous home)

We spoke first about Maori culture, I already knew a little about their mythologies as I have read some novels. I don’t know everything about them after reading a couple of novels. On the other hand, she is trying to understand the customs, their drive. She said she could draw many parallels between her Buddhist practices and Maori practices. One peculiar custom we spoke of related to their ‘Mana'(or in how I could understand the term: respect) is when a person wronged and their Mana been damaged, the same person must restore their Mana by damaging the perpetrator’s Mana. From my sessions in my University’s debate society, I know there is a property law founded on the same principle.

However, we quickly moved on from books and spoke about the city life, which is lonely as compared to rural life, rife with communities and mutual care. She said that she is trying to help out in her own way to take care of the surroundings, to give back to the country she is staying in and trying to understand the wealth gap existing particularly in Auckland. She mentioned that she feels privileged to have enough food, shelter and livelihood.

 


 

If you ever ask any foreign national to describe India, or Mumbai specifically, they will say it is very poor. She said the same thing while reminiscing her last trip to Mumbai. She was torn at the sight of so many poor people living without basic amenities. I wanted to tell her that she was a magnet for all the beggars as she had dollars. The heartlessness of my own words shamed me. Our conversation had quickly moved on from Maori culture to the poverty prevalent in my home city, the intensity of our conversation didn’t. As for the homeless in Auckland, I could say I have seen worse. Became immunized to worse conditions.

Probably why I never complain about buses running late in the city, as I have traveled buses which were running with a joke of timetable in my hometown. Why I never complain about the traffic or for that matter the standard of living here as I know it is four times what I was used to. And I am still scrapping the end of the barrel here.

When we spoke, for me it was very easy to fire up, and be outraged by her pity to call India poor. After all we are improving. However, the truth is we have to fight for basic amenities in India. The biggest of which is, and forever will be, water supply. There is too much in rainy season, too little in summer. I tried to defend my country by quoting Rang De Basanti ‘No country is perfect’ but at the end, I knew she was right. The ceaseless struggle, my city which never sleeps, city I left behind. I moved to a place with better living, with hopes of making a better life.

I have no conclusions to draw from yesterday. Because we never reached a conclusion. Maybe there will never be a conclusion.

People Suck!


*This is a rant. There’s a possibility that none of this is meant for you but for the people I have in my life and I can’t just get rid of*

Yes I said it. Yes its mean. Yes I am Rambling and ranting but i hate people.

All you ever do is make life worse. Hardly do you ever bring to the table something good, hell you don’t eve bring yourselves most of the times deciding to wear a mask rather than show who you are.

You in all your diplomacy and crafty choice of words.

You in your facebook statuses and instagram post. All you ever do is brag, i can’t seem to remember the last time there was anything sad there. Ever!

Yes you suck. Because you get everything you are looking for, with absolutely no efforts whatsoever. And no I am looking closely, I would have noticed if you are trying to make it look very easy. There’s no efforts. Just a smile and things just fall into place for you.

There’s no sorrow. There’s no regards for your friends. There’s just you and still people just scramble for your feet. No one cares if you use them and throw them away. Nope! everything’s cool.

You are mean. The rules to make you happy change in a second. There’s hypocrisy of unparalleled levels yet everyone keeps their mouth shut. Why? because it will hurt feelings. Where’s that consideration when you are being mean to me?!

And I hate you. Not because you are inhuman nor because you are an absolute asshole, but because the field’s never equal between us. No amount of good I do will ever wipe out the bad I did, but you never have to do anything good. I will never get another chance and there you will be able to be choosy with chances. I will always earn less, struggle more and lay awake at night thinking what to do tomorrow while you will be having another great night. Everyone will praise me and say shit about you yet when the time’s come then I stand alone.

Yes its just a few people who are this way but its these people who make me think its better to spend time with my dog rather than try to fit in this world.

Editing


(This post is a long overdue. I could never get it right. Another post inspiration, Adi’s poem)

Write a fiction.
Write a story.
Write a novel.

And as you write you make characters. Some are nothing but a figment of your imagination, some inspired by real life people in your life, friend or foe.

And you go ahead with it. You write the characters, explore their different dimensions and ambitions. You want to invent something new. And after a while the characters become lifeless. There’s no depth to them, there’s no variations and their roles in the story is just redundant.  The characters are not what you intended to produce, the story doesn’t need them to move forward. The story moves forward without them just fine, even better mostly. The characters on whom you spent months evolving and building, the manifestation of the same are worthless.

Editing. That’s the key. It removes the unwanted to give a complete picture. No, not the complete perfect picture but surely a picture that’s better than before. And most of the time, it seemed like a really bad idea to edit out the characters. To not have those characters continue on till the very end of the story. But you have to let it go.

And that’s life, isn’t it?

People look great in the beginning. They give hopes, give a sense of goal when you meet them, but that’s short lived. Eventually, it stops working out.

I can try having certain people in life. Struggle to evolve a relationship with them. But when it doesn’t work, I have to let them go. There’s only sorrow down that road. The emotional investment will never be returned, neither it will be valued.

Because the more I try to hold on, the more agonizing it will become. And that’s the thing, sometimes it isn’t necessary to have the pain. It is not worth it. Those people aren’t worth it.

I would rather have the people who say “Thank you for being there always” rather than those who can’t see I have stood with them through it all.

So I’m gonna let it go. It isn’t easy. It maybe a mistake. But when I try to hold on to people who would rather be with someone else, I am begging to be hurt. It is selfish. It is going to be so easy to revert back to them. And when I know where that would lead to, I am the idiot for reverting.

And I can’t do it. Never again.

The world’s big. Thousands of people I have yet to meet. And the next time I meet another character like that, I should know better than to try  harder.

I guess I have some editing to do.