My privilege

Here I am sitting on a seat; waiting for my train to arrive.

Meanwhile: –


On the speaker,”Your attention please, train number 8424 — Cuttack-Bhadrak passenger will arrive shortly on platform number 1.” (Repeats in hindi and our regional language — odia) (not my train)


The kids sitting (read: fighting) next to me, “I’m gonna kill you.” His nemesis reiterates, “No, I’m gonna kill you first!” (In odia)


<Insert pic — search your memory>

I noticed a pretty girl in the crowd. (Hell no, I dare not click a picture — the law won’t see the difference between appreciating something beautiful, and teasing.) (Also, that does sound creepy!)


Once a year there comes a time when people make a journey to whatever ‘Shiva’ (a hindu god) temple thay hold dearest. The custom demands them to wear saffron/orange outfit and carry water in earthen pots to be poured on ‘Shiva linga’ (just Google it). The thing is that they have to journey barefoot to the waterbody and then to the ‘Shiva’ temple. This could easily be a 30km walk in total. Yes, these guys have done their job and are now going back to home/work.


Then there is this railway police staring down the marginalized populace of the country.


<Insert a melancholic tune>

All this suddenly unearthed a feeling which, with great pain, we have managed to silence. It’s the feeling of how privileged we are for having everything that we have. This feeling is often invoked by Indian parents when they’re guilt-tripping their kids. A person with strong sense of empathy for other’s lack of privilege will find it almost impossible to live in peace. There is so much pain in this world that no one could sleep in peace, if they feel strongly for the underprivileged.

As for myself, I make sure, every once in a while, to offer money/service to someone needy. I also try real hard to be ethical while dealing with people. Politeness and humility are things that I practice everyday. I am planning to dedicate a day every week to serve the community — in whatever way I can. Yet, I feel that this isn’t enough…

Am I being a hypocrite…?? I don’t know. It’s for you to judge.

P.S. I started this piece while at the railway platform, and finished it while getting shoved around in the crowded train. (I was standing beside the guys shown below, until I got shoved steadily to another place.) (FYI I always travel with a ticket.)


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