The Urban Poor A melodrama between need and want

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Kumar Sunil

Kumar Sunil

Dreamer & Enthusiast

Creative. One word says it all for Sunil. A engineer, an enthusiastic and conscientious Information Technology consultant by profession, Sunil shares a special interest with entrepreneurship and lifestyle.

Someone who earns ₹100 and spends ₹101 is what we call I would name as an urban poor.

Hey, Guys, have you noticed, we have a new form of poor people in the trends – the urban poor or I would rather name it as a show-off community of Incredible India. This section of the community is more concerned about their lifestyle than their life. Why am I calling them poor? I beg your pardon for saying so. I deliberately used this word because they are not poor at all. Who is an urban poor, by the way? Someone who earns ₹100 and spends ₹101 is what we call I would name as an urban poor.

We love to argue with a vegetable seller for ₹10, but not with a parlor lady over her hefty fees. When the month starts, members of this group behaves like kings and by the end of the second week, I see them crying about increments and better job options.

It is a show business all around, my friends. Our generation is completely losing it; forgetting the meaning of life and the way one should live it. In the name of savings, we have ZEROS. We prefer swiping our credit cards on an ₹200 vegetable sandwich with low calories instead waking up early and going for a walk. We prefer buying a car on loan, but not an apartment to live. We want branded shirts, trouser, and pants, but prefer buying a vest from a department store , “yeh kon sa dikhni hai (who is going to see this)”. We love to argue with a vegetable seller for ₹10, but not with a parlor lady over her hefty fees. When the month starts, members of this group behaves like kings and by the end of the second week, I see them crying about increments and better job options. It took me a few years until I realized that I have no control over salary increments and rising prices, but on my spending habits. Can you guys compare yourself to your dad? I usually do. He is a man who burnt midnight oil until his post-grad and then managed to bear all costs of sending me abroad for mine post-grad. He never boarded a plane. But, when it comes to me, I am more concerned about my useless essentials. I remember him saying that he got his first trouser when he joined college. It is more of a laughing material to me unless I learned the real value of money.

I have examples where parents say they survived on bread because they want their son to be a part MBA College. Whereas, the son is more concerned about the brands of jeans he is going to pack with him. Dear youngsters, don’t you think we are swaying in the wrong direction? Have you ever tried to figure it out how a man who himself is wearing non-branded shoes can afford a pair of Ralph Lauren Shoes for you? It is perfectly alright if your dad can buy it for you today, but what about you? Would you be able to maintain this for the rest of your life? The biggest question is – is wearing a pair of Ralph Lauren Shoe that important for you? An iPhone, iPad, 50” LED, Sedan Car, Hotels, Clubs, Expensive Dresses, Cosmetics, is where our salaries going. The only reason is – we have new definitions for basic necessities. Given a chance, we would spend everything we have on improving our lifestyle. Give it a try – ask a youngster, what will he do if won a million dollar’s lotto? “I will buy a Ferrari, a bunch of diamonds, a sea-side house, a rack full of branded clothes, and a world tour,” is going to be the most probable answer. Welcome to the planet of show-off once again.

Isn’t it becoming a marathon of endless wishes and we are sacrificing our lives for these fake material things? I mean, parents are giving up everything for their kids’ comfort and kids are learning how to live a life full of discomforts? Today, I have a six figure salary and I want my son to be in the top school with top class business people’s kids. But, what if things turn upside down and unfortunately he fails to be what we are dreaming him to be? Should he misses to hit that six figure salary dart, how do you make him cope up without these luxurious comforts that you are making him addict of? Aren’t we widening up the generation gap? Friends, we really need to control this consumerism. Goods are for us and let us not make it the other way around. Dear Media, stop telling me what should I wear and how should I smell. We need to control this hunger before it eats up everything we have and finally us too. All I want to say is – try to learn the difference between need and want.

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