We were the ones

We followed the lockdown even though the gnawing sensation in our stomach told us how bad it will be for us.

We clapped and we lit diyas.

We donated to every one who sent us a message on mail or through an app because we believed in humanity. Even if it was a small amount, it was big for us in the larger scheme of things.

We got happy when the EMI moratorium was announced and disappointed when we found out it was a scam.

We sat in our apartments and in our houses and watched on tv how in the name of religion, in the name of politics, or mismanaged initiatives, people were still out on the street. Not just out but in huge crowds.

We watched in disbelief images of people thronging markers as if nothing has happened.

We watched the wedding on tv when there was a lockdown everywhere.

We watched the entitled getting a pass so that they can go to their farmhouse.

We watched the government announce schemes for various strata of society. We watched RBI governor talking about interest rates and stuff. And we realised none of it is for us.

We lay on our beds in the dark with no sleep in sight, wondering whether we will get a pay cut, whether we will get laid off or will we get furloughed and how will we manage our lives.

Because we are the ones – the middle class, the consuming class or the salaried class. The ones who pay taxes and watch our money get wasted. We are the ones who buy everything that keeps the corporate India running and the bottom half getting wages.

We are the ones nobody has talked about or thought about during this entire locked down. All everyone asked was that we should only give, give and keep giving. Because we are not corporate honchos or celebrities or the political leaders who can sit in the comfort of their mansions and talk about social good, knowing fully well that they were well insulated.

This too shall pass. We will survive somehow. The so called new normal for us will be a life cut down to the basics. Our new normal will be about adjustment and compromising on our dreams. Because we are the middle class. Neither here nor there.

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