Friday, April 28, 2006

Rich Kid Poor Kid

This incident dates back to my school days, I used to study in a very up market school full of snotty rich kids belonging to the most famous political and industrialist families of India. There were a few kids from middle income groups to stabilize things; otherwise the school would have been rather empty.

Now I come across my school mates smiling out of the page 3 sections in the newspapers or making their mark in politics or media and I wonder that if I were to meet them today, would they recognize or talk to me? Back in school everything was simple; the rich - poor divide was not very evident in the lower grades. A good friend, daughter of one of the most eminent Indian business families often called us over. Being her friends, we were given the royal treatment, the red carpet was rolled out and our every whim was catered to. We demanded a rice dish called 'papad chawal', tri colored puris, hot ginger or cardamom tea every now and then, movies, go swimming courtesy her premium club membership and what not. She and her family happily complied because we were all good friends, our humble origins were inconsequential.

One fine day realization dawned, social and economic differences became important and she became conscious of them. She was getting married and the 'type' of friends who attended her wedding became a matter of concern. Did they have manicured hands and feet, did they have appropriate dresses and jewelry to wear, would they even look 'proper' when introduced to prospective in laws? We may not have had pots of money but we had pride in our hearts and we politely declined the wedding invitation. At 17-18 years, an all expenses paid trip to an exotic location is very tempting but the hurt was far greater than the temptation.

We did meet her a few times later but then she was very much the high society lady who wore a perennial mask, our worlds were completely different and it was impossible to relate, but she will always remain a very essential part of our childhood and happy memories.

6 comments:

The Comic Project said...

You have so many stories to tell..so many

Sandeep Meher said...

that is startling... rich and famous... do/can any of them lead a normal life? or maybe what you described is indeed their normal life. and no i am not being judgemental. but it takes more courage to not sound judgemental when you have had the experience and are writing an anonymous blog. good one.

rishabh_flop_ruler said...

i know exactly what you mean.

Sue said...

Sometimes, when people change so much, it's safer that they stay in your memories rather than in your present life. Safer and happier.

ichatteralot said...

@TCP: Plenty more to post ... keep visiting :)

@Sandeep Meher: I am not sure - they seem to be getting wierder by the day. Having everything that money can buy must be awfully boring...

@Rishabh: All I can say is *SIGH*

@Sue: Totally agree - it was a different world altogether

Nautilus said...

It is funny how people change, friends change! Your friend was a rich kid who had to adhere to the norms of her society,which was different from your society and she had to make a choice!

Not being able to relate to friends from childhood is a pretty common thing. People tend to grow in different directions and after a point it becomes impossible to come back to the same platform with your childhood buddies and share the same camarederie! Its sad...but its true! :-(