I live in Utopia. Oh yes, I do! That’s my bubble according to the Bubble Theory. (I love that theory. The author put into words something that I had in the recesses of my mind but didn’t know it could be put forth in such a smart way.) Anyway, for most parts of my life I live in a land where everything is nice, hunky-dory and nothing is bad or evil. Until ‘reality’ slaps me in the face and I cry, run to my family, my friends or myself to comfort me but eventually, I always crawl back into my bubble. My bubble is made up of all things nice and all the favourite things that Julie Andrews sang in ‘The Sound of Music’. I do not understand how God lets us rip each other apart all the time; how people let other people starve on the streets; how we let religion and racial prejudice come in the way of peace. Honestly, I don’t get it. I feel like a 3 year old when people tell me about the ‘grim realities’ of life; not understanding anything. I don’t understand regionalism i.e., the marathi manoos and the U.P. bhaiyya. I don’t understand religion. I don’t understand politics. I don’t understand office-politics. I don’t understand casteism, honour killings and even the male-female divide for that matter. Didn’t I say I live in Utopia?
Many a time it has happened, obviously, that I’ve had to face situations where my bubble of Utopia burst. (And every time, I repair it diligently) Times when people and life have acted like people and life do outside Utopia, and left me wondering to myself – Why? What? How? For e.g., I still don’t understand, why our garbage collectors and sweepers are paid a pittance, when they do the most important jobs in the society? (Try living without your neighbourhood being swept and garbage collected for a week.) I don’t understand why would that Ambani fellow let thousands and thousands of people suffer inconvenience everyday. And, how the once super clean and peaceful Nerul station has become a garbage dump thanks to the increasing population! I don’t understand these things. According to my make-believe world, the most menial jobs should be paid the maximum. That fellow Ambani should get up and get to work! And, because Nerul station has been clean in the last ten years of my living there, it should continue to be clean. But no, that will not happen because this world is not my bubble. At such times, I feel very handicapped. And to be honest, I feel like a real fool. I tell myself I need to break this bubble and move on with the ‘real world’ lest I be left behind.
So, sometime ago I tried to look at life rationally to escape my fairy-tale world. (Apparently, I am a very emotional person. I’m not sure though.) I thought it would be a good place to start with. (I find it very fascinating to learn new things.) Anyway, so I tried reading stuff on economics. I started with reading The Economist. At first, I understood nothing. It was like reading a lot of words, that’s all! Then, slowly, I understood it. Then I picked up one book on economics, a second book, and then a third one. Today, when I was reading the third one, I read a chapter on how racial discrimination is a rational process. (The book also says divorce is rational and so is gambling.) To sum the whole chapter on racial discrimination, the author says that humans have a tendency to mingle with people of its own kind so that they feel less threatened. This gives rise to segregation and hence, racial discrimination. The author also says that he didn’t promise that rationality would be a feel-good explanation of life. By the time the author had said that I was already halfway through the book, so I guess I’ll just finish it. So, here I am; living on the border of Utopia and real life and trying to point out the real from the unreal.
So, what is it that I see? I see that there is something called as racial discrimination. I see that it does matter what religion you belong to. I see that there is something such as unhealthy competition and bitching at the workplace. I see that it doesn’t matter that someone is hungry. I see that there is goodness on the streets. I see that there is someone who doesn’t cheat by tampering the rickshaw meter. I see that even the strongest men break down. And, I see that life is a concoction of the border of my Utopia and the ‘real world’ that they tell me about…